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15 Things Millennials Say That No One Else Understands

15 Things Millennials Say That No One Else Understands

Every generation has its own vernacular, colloquialisms, terminology — slang, if you will (you do). And members of generation whY are just as prolific in their hip word creations as those of generations past. Examples:

1. Bro

Et tu, Brote? Millennials have this sly habit of taking the word “bro” (which is supposed to be short for “brother,” but as a Millennial you use it to describe guys whose minds are filled with nothing but the quest for sex and, well, that’s about it), and placing it into any word possible. The brocabulary includes events (bro mitzvah, Broman Holiday), people (Bro Montana, Seth Brogan, Kimbro Slice), phrases (disbrospectful, bro manchu, brodown, pro brono), and other aspects of bromunication that have nothing to do with blood relations or those Warner guys.

2. Adulting

Possibly the most difficult Millennial word to accomplish, “adulting” refers to acting as an adult would, with full grown up responsibilities, grown up jobs, grown up bills, and even food especially for grown ups (yuck!). It’s a bittersweet term. Wonderful because it comes with grown up drinks that get you through those days when you can’t even, but awful because it means you’ve lost that youthful serendipity.

3. Can’t Even

“I just can’t even!” The mantra for Millennials across the nation (mostly female, but guys, you get your chances, too) is used when someone cannot comprehend, act on, or come to any conclusion whatsoever regarding situations from adulting to when that strange bro asks if you want to “Netflix and chill.”

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4. Netflix and Chill

Usually referring to an exchange of goods and services between two Millennials, whereby Millennial one invites bae (Millennial two) over for streamed sitcoms and junk food as an excuse for both to indulge in something a bit more enjoyable. It’s modern quid pro bro. Sometimes the phrase is mistaken by a person trying to binge-watch the newest season of New Girl while hanging out with a friend, both stuffing their faces with Doritos. But not by the cool youths.

5. Merica

Particularly around the 4th of Bro, the term “Merica” (mur-i-kuh) is used to describe and encourage anything remotely related to all of the U.S.A.’s worst stereotypes, or just anything a bronified redneck would enjoy (e.g. guns, PBR, bald eagles, freedom, etc.). Yes, those-of-an-older-generation, America used to stand for (paradoxically) opportunity and sacrifice, but that was before Millennials had Joey Chestnut shoot it down with a turret strapped to a flock of red, white, and blue bald eagles.

6. The struggle is real

Typically used in conjunction with “adulting,” it refers to a person’s inability to excel at daily tasks, usually because that person is being clumsy or forgetful. It’s also used as a reference to being poor or overworked. Eating through your last packet of Ramen, for example, is quintessential de strugel, which you (sadly) know all too well.

Surprisingly, it’s often used by Millennials who are actually doing pretty okay at life.

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7. White girl

See also “pumpkin spice latte,” “fall,” “overpriced coffee,” “flannel,” and “upper-middle class.” This phrase is in reference to the turning of seasons, particularly around September 22 (Brotober 3rd, by the Broman calendar), whereupon upper-middle class entitlement-addicted females flock to the nearest Starbucks (Sbucks) in search of an artificially flavored seasonal beverage while shrieking something about hoodies and boots.

As anything but one of these “white girls” (which you actually are), you mock the entire situation as you repress your desires to partake in their delicious, carefree ways.

8. Bae

Created by Apple’s mistake of auto-correcting “Bro” to “Bae,” the word has come to be a term of endearment signifying someone’s significant other. Often used to replace “babe” and “baby,” it is in fact not meant as a synonym for a small child, which has caused some recent complications on find-a-babysitter-esque websites.

9. Sorry not sorry

You’re sorry that you’re not sorry. But you’re not sorry. You’re not sorry at all. About anything. This phrase is meant to deceive and mock and boldly proclaim that you are proud of your ill deeds!

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You are a strong independent black woman that don’t need no man!

10. Basic

Unlike you, you complex son-of-a-bro, this term refers to persons, particularly of the female variety, who are utterly predictable in their likes, style, and personality. Iconized by Gucci, Louis, Fendi, and Prada, “basic” is meant to insult a person’s unoriginality (or basicness), which is why when it comes to mainstream appeal, you don’t even botha.

11. Rachet

This beautiful use of the handyman tool refers primarily to women who think they’re the bro’s knees, but are in fact the exact opposite. Whether because they’re classless, hideous, or still roughed up from a late night out, a rachet girl’s appearance is anything other than what could be considered put-together.

12. Fetch

Fetch is not going to happen! It has happened. Brolloquial for anything cool or, dare you say it (you do), bitch’n. “Fetch” was brought into the mainstream by the instant classic Mean Girls and its cult following, who just have a lot of feelings. Rumor has it that if you turn your bathroom light off and say “fetch” three times, Regina George will appear and call you a homeschooled jungle freak. Pretty fetch, right?

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13. Break the Internet

Not exclusive to the Kardashian family, “break the internet” refers to creating a massive explosion of social media buzz and chatter around a specific re-meme-rable event. Breaking the internet has become so pervasive that even Time has a list of things that broke the internet (which kind of makes you feel bad for whomever has to repair this thing every time).

Apparently Kim’s butt broke it, and apparently that confused you, and apparently Taylor Swift is your spirit animal, and apparently still nobody knows what ALS stands for, and apparently we Millennials have an incredibly short attention span.

14. Turn Up

Not to be confused with a garden vegetable, this cultural phenomenon is all about getting as hyped as possible, and staying hyped until the Red Bull wears off. Brolarized by the trap music scene, “Turn up!” has been the calling card of Millennials from sea to shining club, and is responsible for more than a few of your less-than-fantastic decisions.

15. Humble Brag

This paradoxical line takes shape through such lines as, “I can’t believe I got an A on my paper, I didn’t even start till the night before.” And “That awkward moment when you’re walking down the street and someone from The Tonight Show decides to interview you.” Outrageously annoying, humble brags are always cause for dispute between you and your humble braggin bro-worker.

But you still accept them for who they are because you’re clearly the better bro.

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Kenneth Burke

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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