The Millennial generation gets a bad reputation--we're lazy, self-centered, entitled, spoiled, the list goes on. Unfortunately, there is another stereotype that many of us continue to perpetuate, perhaps worse than all of the above: we're petty.
And to end this reputation and this past year, the first step is to leave pettiness behind.
Okay, I'll acknowledge it: sometimes it's "fun" to be petty. Kindness can be hard work, so if we don't feel the need to be kind to someone, we can just choose not to be. It's an easy way to assert control over your life and over other people--we shouldn't have to let other people into our lives if we don't want them there. Do we really have to come up with a laundry list of reasons to back up why we don't want to deal with another person? It's the easy way out and spares us from having to actually work with the people in the world around us.
If we don't want to be a lazy, self-centered generation, we shouldn't want to take the easy way out by justifying unnecessary and unwarranted unkindness.
Relationships take work--friendships, romances, relations with family members, all of them (except maybe your dog). If you don't feel like talking to Dan from Tinder for no REAL reason except a lack of attraction, we will ghost him and leave him confused. If Katie seems like she doesn't fit as seamlessly into the squad, it's best to just ignore her and treat her less kindly until she finally gives up and find new friends. While these are "simple solutions" to much more complicated problems, they're lazy solutions that end in messy breakups, falling outs, divorces, and an upholding of our tainted reputation.
If we muster up some empathy (and some maturity, for the love of God), we should also see that we are only hurting others with this attitude.
As someone (among many) who has fallen victim to some petty individuals, it's painful emotionally to feel as though you are isolated and mistreated without a real rationale. It's time we end our fixation on ourselves (note that we are called the self-centered generation) and recognize how others might feel about themselves and their intrinsic worth. What if you were mistreated without an explanation, without any real reason you could figure out? How would you feel?
Sorry, but even though we all feel like we are entitled to having perfect friendships and never have to deal with anyone in our lives that we don't want to, this attitude needs to end. We are not young children on the playground anymore, and we should not act as such--handpicking who we want in our lives. We need to place our trust back in nature to see who gravitates toward us and away from us without blatant and unjustifiably unkind ways of treating others. It's work, it's harder, but just as we can no longer stand our title as the lazy generation, we should no longer carry this behavior into the new year.