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Health

People admit the one thing that Boomers really got right and some folks are uncomfortable

"You have to force yourself to do things that are difficult and uncomfortable."

boomers, millenials, self-reliance

A Baby Boomer has some thoughts on emotional resilience.

An overarching Baby Boomer stereotype is that they have a problem with the younger generations, especially Millennials because they were coddled growing up and lack the determination to do hard things.

Many believe that when helicopter parents shelter kids from discomfort, they never develop the emotional resilience that it takes to succeed on their own.

Some may even attribute this to the increase in mental illness.


A writer on X, who goes by Katie, recently admitted that Boomers who believe facing discomfort has a significant benefit may be right. Her post has been seen over 4 million times.

“My boomer-est opinion is that you have to force yourself to do things that are difficult and uncomfortable and you have to do it often, while you’re young and your brain is still flexible." Yes, even if you are (functionally) mentally ill,” Katie wrote. “Buying groceries can be uncomfortable. going to school/work can be uncomfortable. Socializing can be uncomfortable. The more you do it, the less uncomfortable it will be. If you can do these things (I know that there is a % of the population that isn’t), you have to do them often.”

“I’ve never come back to a piece of life advice more than this one,” she continued before quoting Virgil Thompson. “Try a thing you haven't done three times. Once, to get over the fear of doing it. Twice, to learn how to do it. And a third time to figure out whether you like it or not.”

Many people agreed with Katie’s Boomer-adjacent thoughts on building emotional resilience.

Some folks are on the fence.

Others disagreed with Katie’s point, saying that the idea that we can all “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps” is ableist and erases the struggles that people with anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses have.

So, what does the research say?

Dr. Simon Sherry, a professor in the Department of Psychology and Neuroscience at Dalhousie University, says that coddling has caused real problems for the younger generations. "There is nothing wrong with wanting to keep kids safe, but we must recognize there are unintended consequences in our current approach of excessive caution and vigilance. Instead, we must teach our youth to face anxiety, take risks, and overcome fears,” Dr. Sherry told CTV News. "We need to get control of this societal problem before it causes further damage for future generations.”

When it comes to confronting uncomfortable situations, Dr. Launa Marques, Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School and Former President of the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, says avoiding discomfort can make anxiety even worse.

“Psychological avoidance isn’t about the actions we take or don’t take, but the intentions behind them,” she told The Washington Post. “If our actions aim to squash discomfort hastily, then we’re probably avoiding. For each of my clients, avoidance became a crutch, initially tempering their anxiety but progressively amplifying it. Psychological avoidance, rather than alleviating anxiety disorders, can exacerbate them.

Obviously, everyone’s situation is different and people who are experiencing mental health issues should consult their therapists to determine the best course of action to overcome their challenges.

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