Have you ever heard your parents or grandparents talk about the Baby Boomers? Or Generation X or Y? Those are names given to people born in a certain time frame – a generation – and each generation usually has its own group of characteristics. Your generation – people born between about 1995 and 2010 – is called Generation Z. Generation Zers don’t know what life was like before the internet. In fact, 96% of 12 – 17 year olds in the United States use the internet at least once a month
What else are they saying about your generation?
- The “popular girls” will care less about brand names and more about their own personal style.
- You love to share what you know and what you think about a lot of different things, and it’s easy for you to do with the internet.
- Your lives are more structured than your parents were, and it is predicted you will be responsible adults with high social values.
- You will be smarter than generations before you.
So what can YOU do to get noticed in your generation? Developing the below skills will help you stand out in a crowd:
- Make sure you have good verbal communication skills. This means practicing your public speaking and being comfortable talking in groups.
- Be patient. Today, people expect things fast, but patience really is a virtue, and if you learn to be patient you will have a skill not many others have.
- Learn how to talk to people. Any people, whether they are your friend or not, whether you have things in common with them or you don’t. Learning to carry a conversation with people you know little about (or may not even like!) is a skill fewer and fewer people have, especially with so much communication being done on-line.
- Learn how to work with a team.
- Have confidence! Get out of the house and do things. Whether it’s playing a sport, volunteering, or just helping around the yard, getting out and getting involved is a great way to build confidence in yourself.
So, does this sound like you? Tell us what you think!
Ever sit near the phone waiting for it to ring? Or run out to the mailbox the minute the mailman comes? Probably not, today there are enough things to keep us busy, you don’t have to just “sit and wait”. But even with distractions, waiting for an invitation you’re not sure you’re going to get can seem long and lonely. What do you do if it never comes?
The birthday party “everyone” is talking about, the after-dance or after-game get together that “everyone” going to. The first thing to think about if you don’t get invited to something is whether you think it was Intentional (on purpose) or Not Intentional (not on purpose).
If you don’t think it was intentional the best thing to do may be simply to tell people “Hey, I’d like to do that too”. I knew a girl once who was disappointed no one included her in the silly pictures they were creating and sending out to each other on-line. It wasn’t until she finally mentioned she wanted to be a part of it that anyone thought she cared – everyone actually thought she didn’t like it!
If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, and you really are friends with the person, you could invite them to lunch (or to do something else) on a different day, or send them a card (there are cards for just about everything these days). There could be many reasons why you didn’t get included and it’s easy to assume the worst, but most of the time your friends are not trying to hurt your feelings.
If you think the non-invitation was intentional, then you should handle it a little differently. It’s hard even as an adult to feel you’ve outgrown a friendship, or that someone chose not to include you in their event. However, those things happen, as teenagers and as adults. Try not to spend too much time worrying about it. If you think someone is your friend, and they are making you feel bad, they may not be that good a friend after all.
In that case, one of the best things to do is to get out and do something else. Either get together with another friend, spend some time on your favorite hobby, or visit (or write a letter to) someone you haven’t seen in awhile. Keeping busy doing things you enjoy will not only take your mind off of feeling bad, but will also remind you that life goes on, and the best people to spend time with are the ones who really make you feel good about being you!
We’ve all been in situations where we don’t know what to say, and that doesn’t change as you get older! Whether it’s a friend who’s in a fight with another friend, someone at school had a death in their family, or your parent had a really bad day at work, there are times when you want to be there for someone but you just don’t know what to say.
Do you smile akwardly and walk away? Sit silently and not say anything? Say something that you later think “Ohhh, maybe I shouldn’t have said that?” No matter what you do, knowing you are there for them will make your friend or family member feel much better. But if you really want to say something to show your support, try this:
“I don’t know what it’s like to…(include what is happening), but I know what it’s like to be sad/angry/scared/worried/disappointed, and I’m sorry you’re sad/angry/scared/worried/disappointed.”
“I don’t know what it’s like to have to put your dog to sleep, but I know what it’s like to be sad, and I’m sorry you’re sad.”
“I don’t know what it’s like to have someone do that to me, but I know what it’s like to be disappointed, and I’m sorry that happened.”
One last thing to remember – some day you may be the one who needs a kind word, and your friends may not know what to say. That doesn’t mean they don’t care! If you’re going through a tough time it’s o.k. to tell your friend how your feeling, too.
Showing compassion and saying a few kind words goes a long way in building and keeping lasting friendships!