I cannot count on two hands, or even ten, the amount of times I’ve heard a complaint along the lines of ” Today this*insert minor inconvenience or first world problem* happened and now I wanna DIE!” You know, the kind where people take a small problem like spilling a $6 coffee on their shirt and act like their life could not be worse.
That does not even scratch the surface of real problems.
I myself, along with most people, am guilty of complaining BUT there’s a huge difference between having valid complaints that you later let go and do not let stop you from going about your day or being happy, and complaining about every small issue as if it is the end of your life as you know it. I think I frequently encounter this in my current environment especially, being a private University with a student population mainly consisting of privileged millennials that think a day of hard work involves “surviving” their day of class and homework.
It is something I have recently been more aware of because I have noticed small comments like these can dramatically affect your mindset, mood, and overall outlook on life. It is honestly becoming a pet peeve of mine the more I recognize it because I think my generation is especially guilty of it. Yes, it sucks when something happens like you spill water on your laptop and ruin it right in the middle of exam season, and it is valid to be upset and complain, but we have taken complaining to a whole new level.
We have somehow found a way to normalize overreacting and I think this even has had an impact on how we view and treat mental illness. For example, if someone says a complaint along the lines of “Oh my God, if I fail my exam I’m gonna kill myself” or “This *not really bad thing* is going to give me a panic attack!” without genuinely meaning it is highly insensitive and just overall dramatic. That is firstly, hopefully an exaggeration, secondly, highly insensitive, and thirdly, invalidating the seriousness of mental illness. Fortunately, I think people are becoming more aware that saying you want to kill yourself is not a joking matter, but we unfortunately still experience complaints like that daily. People that suffer from depression, anxiety or any other mental illness genuinely experience panic attacks and thoughts of suicide, so throwing around those words about is truly overkill. We see it used for humor, especially now that social media is growing faster than a lot of us can keep up with and people are using that type of humor to become relatable in this epidemic of being over dramatic. I feel like it is also becoming more common for people to throw themselves pity parties. Everyone can relate to minor inconveniences and making humor out of it isn’t a crime, but we’ve really brought it to a new level. We have made overreacting normal and it’s honestly gross. Let me be clear, I am also guilty of it sometimes because it is very easy to get sucked into, especially if you surround yourself with people that do it. I personally find stepping away from those situations or environments and appreciating the simple fact that I’m alive, have food, a house, and am fortunate enough to have all the things I do, that it makes me happier than sitting around dwelling on stupid shit like getting mud on my shoes. At the end of the day, that is really not what I want to waste my time thinking about.