Millennials Have Bad Manners

[Note: from time to time I get “comments” below from people who are just reacting to the title and haven’t actually watched the video to see the true message.  It’s amazing to see the vitriolic responses (which I remove). It really helps to watch the video first.]

It’s a phrase that has been echoed throughout the years about any given era’s younger generation . . . “Young people today have bad manners.”   It seems like every generation looks at the next generation and finds fault.   Currently, it’s today’s Millennial Generation which is being saddled with this proverbial character judgment.

But, is this assessment of Millennials really accurate? Do they truly deserve this negative estimation of their generation’s collective attitude?

In this video, I  explain not only why I disagree with the bad reputation many older folks associate with Millennials, but also why I firmly believe that the Baby Boomers of my generation should take a good hard look at how they themselves were viewed by previous generations back in the ’60s and ’70s, and why they should then reconsider their assumptions about Millennials.

I’m really eager to hear your thoughts and opinions on this one!  What do you think about today’s youth?  Also, I’d particularly like to hear what you think about the ‘old guys’ complaining about today’s youth.  Please share your feedback in the comment forum below.  I read absolutely every comment and I’d love to hear from you–thanks!


10 thoughts on “Millennials Have Bad Manners

  1. Ivan: While I too do not worry about the future with Millennials in charge, I do think that there is an inherent characteristic of their generation that can be classified as having a lack of respect for their elders and authority figures. As I raised my children, who are now in their twenties, I noticed that they and their peers frequently spoke in a manner to us, their teachers, and other authority figures in a manner in which I would never have dreamed of doing when I was their age! Now, that being said, I think it very likely that my generation has CREATED this bias. Because we held a healthy distance and fear of our elders, and have in turn chosen to raise our own children to feel more comfortable in speaking their mind and sharing their opinions. While I feel that this is an improvement in the parent /child dynamic, it can often come across as disrespect to verbally question authority and to act as if they should be treated as a peer long before that status is earned. For example, millennials tend to assume calling an elder by first name is acceptable, where our generation would never do so without explicit invitation. We were taught not to talk back when being corrected; millennials in my experience feel that giving their side of the story when corrected is a given right. So, while I view the future of the planet as secure as well in their hands, I do feel that collectively millennials could work on the concept that their elders deserve a certain immediate level of respect, without having to earn it as a peer would. I enjoyed your video and the thoughts it stirred this morning!

  2. My first reaction was to think of Socrates and the perceived challenge of the “next generation”. Young people are constantly learning and adding social skills and manners as they become aware of them. As the “mentors” for this next generation we should be looking for ways to suggest appropriate behavior and do it in such a way that the acceptance of the new information presented encourages them to build it in to their daily interactions. Beating anyone or any group over the head is pointless, choose someone to “train” and show them the way. Invite them to more functions so they can see how the more seasoned individuals handle themselves in various settings.

    Choose to make a difference in an individual’s life and they will be telling this story themselves in about 20 years and they may recognize you as the hero they needed that came along at just the right time!

  3. I feel that it is very unfair to give a blanket definition or description to any generation including today’s. We are in a media age where every misdeed is given immediate coverage and we are inundated by the failings of the few which then seem to be the failings of an entire generation. While I may not agree with the number of tattoos or piercings, my experience has been rather positive – you are right on the money when you point out that young people today are more caring about social issues and environmental issues and they also seem to be very willing to share their thoughts and ambitions. Perhaps the problem lies with us and how receptive we are – how willing we are to overlook the externals and see the committed individuals beneath. I think we run the risk of closing the door on innovation by relying on our own biases.

  4. Some have bad manners. But some are incredibly respectful.–like my daughter’s boyfriend who requested meetin w me to talk about his relationship w my daughter. His manners may be better than mine.

  5. Hmm.. I was born in the early 80s, that probably makes me a millennial. 🙂

    And yes, I’ve to agree that even my circle of friends are more aware and have keen interest in most issues affecting their life – social, financial, environmental and political. So much so, they do ask why the BNI agenda is like ‘this’ instead of ‘that’. But don’t get them wrong. They’re asking not to challenge it, but curious as to why it can’t be optimized to be more efficient.

    To that question, I’d think it appropriate to ask Dr.Ivan Misner directly of his answer. (Not wanting to put you in a spot, Ivan)

    After all, we’ve to continuously show the proper guidance for the generations to come.

  6. Older people in general will forget how their generation was and will complain about the present generation I think…
    The craziness that was the 60’s I don’t think has repeated itself yet.
    Kids now are conscious about the environment, about doing good to others and have “jobs” that will make a difference in the world…
    I did not hear too many of my friends (except me) saying that they wanted to go to college to make a difference in the world or to do something they really liked, they were going to college because everyone did or had to do it.
    Kids now are confused about what to do with their lives because adults are educating them with tools that worked in my generation and generations before mine… Kids now need more guidance and less authority to fulfill their life’s purpose.

  7. Thank you Dr. Misner for this reminder. We have a couple of millennials at home and I will agree that a little reflection back a few decades is sometimes what we need to help temper our otherwise harsh judgement of those coming behind. A couple of other qualities I love about the millennials are 1. They love and live community. 2. They want to be authentic and can typically spot fake from a mile away.

  8. Millennials are accurately called the OOPS generation. They were rewarded without having to do e.g. everyone received the first place trophy; they were past from grade to grade; their parents acted as “friends” and not authority figures; there was no consequences to bad behavior. As a whole, they are less than average intelligence as proven by taking away their electronics. They are socially inept. The world would be better off without most of them.

  9. I thought that I taught my only child to say please and thank you. Her two children always say it, but never my daughter. She is always putting me down for doing nice (not expensive) things for her and her family. Never a thank you and never a please. With that out of the way, which is hurtful and disrespectful. I just sent a crocheted baby blanket to my nephew. It took me 3.5 weeks to make. It is the only handmade item that I have made for ANY of my relatives. I know they got it, because I tracked the package. Not even a phone call, email, mailed Thank you. Not even by a third party. That took not only MY TIME, my effort, and the cost of materials, but the love I put into it. Where are their manners? They should at the very least acknowledge that they received it. Should I ask for it back?

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