Opinion: Our generation needs to stop self deprecating out of validation
Why Gen Z needs to take a serious look at our communication
Sometimes, after a long day of school, work or whatever you do with your day, you want to unwind and have a treat yourself kind of night. Personally, I think there is nothing wrong with these nights. After a hard day, of course, I’ll want to come home and have chocolate or a slice of pizza. The problem is when I do treat myself or something along those lines, I find myself validating my actions, even though I don’t have to.
I’m being self deprecating when there is zero reason for me to. I notice this trend among many of my friends and peers too. Everyone has to validate their actions and accomplishments by making it seem as though they’re not a big deal or being too harsh on themselves. Our generation is going to be known as the self deprecating one.
This should be taken as a serious issue because constantly being down on yourself over and over again can lead to a bitter downward spiral. If a person is constantly being self deprecating on every little detail of their life, their mental health will seriously deteriorate.
I know that I am absolutely guilty of this. For example, say I’m with a group of friends eating dinner and I go and get ice cream for dessert. No one really minds that I get ice cream, but I make a comment and say how this is going to go right to my thighs. It’s just a harmless comment that everyone laughed at and didn’t really notice much after that.
But later that night, alone in my room, I did pay more attention to my thighs and suddenly became oddly aware of them. If I hadn’t made that remark earlier, I wouldn’t have become so self conscious.
One remark can turn into a bitter downward spiral. You have no one to blame but yourself. It’s a vicious cycle that can affect a person before they themselves can even notice. We need to take our own mental health more seriously in this regard. We need to stop putting ourselves down constantly for unnecessary reasons.
Our generation should be proud of what we’ve been able to achieve. It’s OK to want to brag about something you did. Whether it be something as small as getting a good grade on a quiz or curing cancer, we need to start lifting ourselves up more. In today’s world, we all rely too much on validation from others, like how many likes we get on an Instagram post, or how many matches you get on Tinder. All of those things are fine and dandy, but they really mean nothing in the grand scheme of things.
I mean really, how many of you are planning on telling your grandkids about the time you got 600 likes on your avocado toast picture? I know for sure I don’t plan on it. I plan on telling them about the time that I worked my butt off on a project that was very demanding and I got a good grade. I want to show them that hard work pays off. We need to start being proud of ourselves more instead of trying to make ourselves to be less than we are.
People are so caught up on not being too proud of themselves out of the fear of how they will be perceived by others. This is a horrible fear that too many people, including myself, have. In order to break the trend, we must come together, recognize the pattern and learn to celebrate each other as well as ourselves.
Emma Greenberg is a freshman in the School of Communication, and a columnist for The Eagle.