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Generation Y: What should we understand about their relationship with others?

21 October 2021, Madou Diarra
Generation Y: What should we understand about their relationship with others?

Generation Y (young people born between 1980 and 2000 approximately) is paradoxical. It is an eminently relational generation. And yet, many young people doubt the relationship (friendly or romantic). What can we really expect? Can it be sincere, selfless, lasting? This doubt can turn into a poison. As it seems so difficult to me to find happiness in the relationship with another, I protect myself. The risk is then of no longer seeking in the relationship a certain egocentric comfort. The relational goal then becomes self-actualization. Finally, I only engage in the relationship with the other if I “feel good”.

This functioning does not promote emotional maturity. Very often, friendships are made and broken very quickly. Fusional, we do not really believe that they can last. We hope so vaguely but with the impression that deep down, it doesn't really depend on us.

All the more difficult as this friendship is expressed publicly, on social media. You can also destroy a friendship for having slapped your friend on Facebook. Facebook functions as a public place, even as an exhibition space that does not promote the intimacy in which friendships are built. Dare to be yourself to dare friendship.

Point of vigilance: if the relationship with the other is seen first of all as a search for its own fulfillment and not as a path to happiness through a reciprocal gift of self, it is difficult to believe that the total gift of one's life to God can fill a life.

Opportunity: Emotional immaturity leaves painful dissatisfaction. The experience of versatile relationships does not satisfy, which is a real pain. When young people meet couples, priests and consecrated persons who testify to genuine joy, this fear gradually subsides. In the accompaniment, the confidence and the look of hope brought to the young person allow him to dare to live the relation with the other in truth. The experience of fraternal life, for example in student hostels or in scouting, is a very favorable condition for building strong friendships.

The importance of feeling.

The "feeling" is at the heart of the lives of young people. How do I experience things? It can also be the dictatorship of emotions. I don't see why to put effort into something where I don't feel good.

Thus during an interview with a student who had "dried up" the weekly evening of the home while participation in this evening is part of the commitments he accepted in the charter of life, while it is explained to him how much respect for this commitment is necessary, he answers, in all sincerity that he does not understand why. For him to participate in this meeting when his heart was really not there that night would have been a hypocritical act. This is particularly illuminating about the importance young people place on what they feel. In the end, what had prevailed in her decision was to feel good, consistent with her value of sincerity.

Point of vigilance: our society conveys the false idea that an act is right when the feeling that leads it to perform this act is sincere. Emotional sensitivity can therefore sometimes obscure discernment and blur reference points.

Opportunity: This ability of young people to identify and speak their emotions can help them understand what others are feeling and reach out to them better. If it does not drift towards the systematic justification of actions taken by the other in the name of the sincerity of the feeling, this empathy can above all turn into genuine compassion.
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