Why Do We All Think We're So Cool When We're Young?

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seoulsearch

Senior Member
May 23, 2009
10,773
353
83
#1
Hey Everyone,

Pippy's "Cray Cray Bae Bae" thread got me thinking about my own teen/young adult years and how ironic they were.

Many people here who are familiar with my posts know that I was definitely not one of the "cool" kids in school. I was just a nerd who was usually kind of in the middle, talking to people from an array of different groups, but I was definitely not seen as one of the "in" crowd.

And yet... Why did I somehow think that compared to adults, I was just so cool? :rolleyes: Why did I roll my eyes at most anything they had to say, and question most everything that was ever taught to me at the time?

The inspiration behind this thread is a recent incident in which a 15-year-old family member declared, "Don't leave me here with all these old people!!!"

And then I had to look around... and realize... that I had become one of THOSE old people.

Why is it that most of us think we're so "cool" when we're young, and that "old people" around us don't know a thing?

(Everyone is welcome to post, including the younger people who regularly visit the singles forum--go ahead--you can tell us "old" people why we're uncool. :)) I would actually be pretty interested in your answers.

As I've gotten older, I think that for myself, I've come to realize that what I really dislike isn't a person's age, but when a person talks down to me. I am a much better student to someone who says, "Hey, we can both learn from each other," rather than the person who pats me on the head and says, "You're just a baby," (and plenty of people in their 60's and 70's say that to me.)

I have no problems with people having more wisdom and life experience and wanting to tell me about it--I'm just very cautious around anyone who sees my life and my own experiences as having no value to them in return. This being said, I have to give a shout out to Magenta, notmyown, Angela, and JesusLives--I have gone to them several times for advice about different things, and they are always respectful, very encouraging, and go out of their way to never make it sound like they're talking down to me (thank you ladies ever so much!)

I greatly appreciate older, wiser people who can lead in a respectful way because it often seems so rare.

My family has a friend who is in the triple digits as far as age, and that person could easily pat a 95-year-old on the head and tell them they're just a baby, too, but I have never heard this person do that, and I hope that I can be like that when I get older (actually, seeing as the young people here would already see me as old, I guess I'd better start practicing.)

I must admit that I have to fight myself to not have a condescending attitude as well, especially when I see a post from a 24-year-old lamenting that, "I have been single my whole life!!!" (It could be worse, sweetheart. You could be me... :))

But I have met many young people who have already gone through enough heartache to cover 10 lifetimes, and so I know I need to keep asking God for help in remembering that we all have a story, and everyone has something valuable to share.

Why are we often so quick to dismiss what older people might have to teach or share with us?
 
Last edited:

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,637
331
83
#2
Three words: Lack of experience. The less you know, the smaller your world is, the more you think you know. The more you know, the bigger you realize the world is, and the more you realize how little you know.

To a young person who has not seen much yet, the world is small and he knows all about it. There's nothing you can tell him.

Of course there are rare teenagers who keep their eyes open and learn all they can. They are the exceptions that prove the rule, but they are a joy to find.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,637
331
83
#3
Also old people are BORING! They move slow and talk slow. No kid has time for actually thinking about what he says, and old people that actually deliberate about what to say take forever and three years to hold a conversation. :p

Again, I do know a precious few kids who take the time to think about what they say before they say it. And again, they are the exceptions that prove the rule, and again, they are a joy to find.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,637
331
83
#4
Also a lot of young people are trying to figure out how to be successful in this life thing, and a big part of what we think of as "success" is popularity. Gotta be cool to be popular. Old people don't care a thing about being cool (aside from the random mid-life crisis of course) so what do THEY know?

Also a lot of old people complain a lot. While young people are trying to fit themselves to the world, old people complain about the aspects of the world that don't fit what they think it should be. Sometimes I can see why young people don't want to hang around old people. Have you ever noticed how a group of old men complain as a means of fitting in? You can't be a part of the gossip club at the long table at the local diner if you can't make a good complaint. And woe betide anybody who disagrees with a complainer! Try it sometime, tell a complainer how he is wrong and the situation is actually good. That's one of the fastest ways to draw his ire.
 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,192
219
63
#5
I had a sociology teacher in High school who honestly thought the government should print more money, so everyone would have some.

I was smarter than Ms. Tarver. That made me cooler.
 

Stranger36147

Senior Member
Jun 13, 2015
691
37
28
#6
When I was much younger, I'm sure I was under the impression that I was cool sometimes. As I got older, I had an important realization:

I never have been and probably never will be cool.


:cool:


The above smiley is cooler than I'll ever be, no joke. When I put on sunglasses, I look goofy.
 

Dino246

Senior Member
Jun 30, 2015
4,824
375
83
#7
To the OP question: because when we're young, we haven't yet been barraged by an endless stream of discouragement, unconstructive criticism, social ostracism, personal rejection, bullying, failure, disappointment, loss, and grief. We haven't yet had our confidence shredded by the harsh realities of life. We haven't yet faced our own utter sinfulness.

And now to happier subjects... :)
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,637
331
83
#8
Also a lot of old people complain a lot. While young people are trying to fit themselves to the world, old people complain about the aspects of the world that don't fit what they think it should be. Sometimes I can see why young people don't want to hang around old people. Have you ever noticed how a group of old men complain as a means of fitting in? You can't be a part of the gossip club at the long table at the local diner if you can't make a good complaint. And woe betide anybody who disagrees with a complainer! Try it sometime, tell a complainer how he is wrong and the situation is actually good. That's one of the fastest ways to draw his ire.
I have been reduced to quoting myself. *sigh* But I didn't have time to type the rest before heading out for w*rk.

With so many old people complaining, it has become a stereotype. So a lot of young people group all old people as "complainers." And since the stereotype is "old people don't give a fart in a whirlwind about being cool, and they complain a lot, and they have that old person smell, and they move slow, and they talk slow, and they are booooooring" a lot of young people avoid old people. Not only are old people not cool, they are actively uncool. They aren't just at zero on the cool meter, they are below zero. Old people as a group are anti-cool.

It's just one of the many groups people get lumped into. Old people are anti-cool, jews will try to haggle, muslims will try to blow you up, irish are good-natured drunks, french are supercilious and insulting... old people stereotype is just one of many. We have to live with it just like asians have to live with people assuming they are automatically good at ping-pong.

Fortunately there are always a few young people who will look past the stereotypes and see people as individuals. It always makes me happy to find those people. :)
 

Tinuviel

Senior Member
Jun 6, 2015
4,738
240
63
#9
I guess...I never saw myself as cool. Not that I had self-esteem issues or anything, but I never really passed through the "I know everything" teen years so many people talk about. I've always had a tremendous respect for people older than me, and usually prefer to hang with them than with my own age group. I give the credit to my mother, who was (still is :)) violently against any sort of age-segregation and regularly took us to see people as an act of Christian charity, even if there weren't young people for us to play with.

So, why are we often so quick to dismiss what older people might have to teach or share with us? It has been drilled into our heads since day one. We're with our peers from the moment we go to school, daycare, whatever. Even our churches have stopped putting the young with the older members. We cannot relate to them, we're kinda scared of them, and we've been taught that we don't have time for each other.
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,637
331
83
#10
Personally I think everybody should be required to watch the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Relics" by the age of 15.
 

Pipp

Senior Member
Sep 17, 2013
3,966
200
63
#12
I'm much cooler in my old age than I was when I was young.
 

Deade

Senior Member
Dec 17, 2017
2,606
575
113
72
#13
When I was 15, I knew everything. By the time I was 30, I just knew a lot. At 45, I had a lot to learn. When I turned 70, I knew almost nothing so that made me ready to learn.

 

Tommy379

Senior Member
Jan 12, 2016
6,192
219
63
#14
I guess...I never saw myself as cool. Not that I had self-esteem issues or anything, but I never really passed through the "I know everything" teen years so many people talk about. I've always had a tremendous respect for people older than me, and usually prefer to hang with them than with my own age group. I give the credit to my mother, who was (still is :)) violently against any sort of age-segregation and regularly took us to see people as an act of Christian charity, even if there weren't young people for us to play with.

So, why are we often so quick to dismiss what older people might have to teach or share with us? It has been drilled into our heads since day one. We're with our peers from the moment we go to school, daycare, whatever. Even our churches have stopped putting the young with the older members. We cannot relate to them, we're kinda scared of them, and we've been taught that we don't have time for each other.
But you're the oldest 18 year old I know.
 

joefizz

Senior Member
Apr 23, 2017
13,450
350
83
25
#17
Hey Everyone,

Pippy's "Cray Cray Bae Bae" thread got me thinking about my own teen/young adult years and how ironic they were.

Many people here who are familiar with my posts know that I was definitely not one of the "cool" kids in school. I was just a nerd who was usually kind of in the middle, talking to people from an array of different groups, but I was definitely not seen as one of the "in" crowd.

And yet... Why did I somehow think that compared to adults, I was just so cool? :rolleyes: Why did I roll my eyes at most anything they had to say, and question most everything that was ever taught to me at the time?

The inspiration behind this thread is a recent incident in which a 15-year-old family member declared, "Don't leave me here with all these old people!!!"

And then I had to look around... and realize... that I had become one of THOSE old people.

Why is it that most of us think we're so "cool" when we're young, and that "old people" around us don't know a thing?

(Everyone is welcome to post, including the younger people who regularly visit the singles forum--go ahead--you can tell us "old" people why we're uncool. :)) I would actually be pretty interested in your answers.

As I've gotten older, I think that for myself, I've come to realize that what I really dislike isn't a person's age, but when a person talks down to me. I am a much better student to someone who says, "Hey, we can both learn from each other," rather than the person who pats me on the head and says, "You're just a baby," (and plenty of people in their 60's and 70's say that to me.)

I have no problems with people having more wisdom and life experience and wanting to tell me about it--I'm just very cautious around anyone who sees my life and my own experiences as having no value to them in return. This being said, I have to give a shout out to Magenta, notmyown, Angela, and JesusLives--I have gone to them several times for advice about different things, and they are always respectful, very encouraging, and go out of their way to never make it sound like they're talking down to me (thank you ladies ever so much!)

I greatly appreciate older, wiser people who can lead in a respectful way because it often seems so rare.

My family has a friend who is in the triple digits as far as age, and that person could easily pat a 95-year-old on the head and tell them they're just a baby, too, but I have never heard this person do that, and I hope that I can be like that when I get older (actually, seeing as the young people here would already see me as old, I guess I'd better start practicing.)

I must admit that I have to fight myself to not have a condescending attitude as well, especially when I see a post from a 24-year-old lamenting that, "I have been single my whole life!!!" (It could be worse, sweetheart. You could be me... :))

But I have met many young people who have already gone through enough heartache to cover 10 lifetimes, and so I know I need to keep asking God for help in remembering that we all have a story, and everyone has something valuable to share.

Why are we often so quick to dismiss what older people might have to teach or share with us?
Duh because we young are cool and old people can go on with their "wisdom" for "hours" on end!:cool:
 

Lynx

Senior Member
Aug 13, 2014
12,637
331
83
#19
I remember that one!
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson for Sep 14, 1992 | Read Comic Strips at GoComics.com

I guess...I never saw myself as cool. Not that I had self-esteem issues or anything, but I never really passed through the "I know everything" teen years so many people talk about. I've always had a tremendous respect for people older than me, and usually prefer to hang with them than with my own age group. I give the credit to my mother, who was (still is :)) violently against any sort of age-segregation and regularly took us to see people as an act of Christian charity, even if there weren't young people for us to play with.
Which illustrates the last point I want to make on this topic, and thank you Tinuviel for making it so well. We elders must also be careful not to lump all young people in one stereotyped group. Not ALL kids see being cool as the be-all and end-all of existence, and not ALL kids think they know everything. Gotta take each person as an individual.

Mind you, I'm not saying any of that at seoulsearch. Kim is one of the last people I would think of stereotyping somebody. It's just a relevant point that needs to be mentioned in this thread topic, a point all we elders (holy carp, I'm an elder!) should keep in mind.
 

seoulsearch

Senior Member
May 23, 2009
10,773
353
83
#20
Three words: Lack of experience. The less you know, the smaller your world is, the more you think you know. The more you know, the bigger you realize the world is, and the more you realize how little you know.

To a young person who has not seen much yet, the world is small and he knows all about it. There's nothing you can tell him.
I have been thinking about this all day... About how wrapped up I am in my own world at any given point, and the anxiety keeps me from realizing just how big other people's own worlds are compared to mine. I'm going to have to ask God to help me remind me to look beyond my little bubble.

Thanks very much for making this point!!!

However, now I run into another dilemma--is my world flat, or is it round? :D If it's round, I can't see past the horizon as it curves out of my reach; and if it's flat, I guess I need to try a little harder at looking past the 4 corners. :p

To the OP question: because when we're young, we haven't yet been barraged by an endless stream of discouragement, unconstructive criticism, social ostracism, personal rejection, bullying, failure, disappointment, loss, and grief. We haven't yet had our confidence shredded by the harsh realities of life. We haven't yet faced our own utter sinfulness.

And now to happier subjects... :)
A childhood friend of mine and I were talking about all the major milestones we looked forward to when we were young... driving at 16, graduating at 18, turning 21 and feeling as if you're finally independent... And this left us asking each other, what do we have to look forward to now? Social Security and Medicare?

I think one of the things I miss most about my 20's is that it was a time when anything seemed possible--when we could supposedly become anything and anyone we wanted to be.

I think one of the biggest challenges I'm having in this stage of life is trying to constantly set new goals and things that I can realistically strive for and achieve. When I was young, I dreamed of traveling the world.

Today, I got an estimation for an $8,000 medical bill that insurance won't pay. Fortunately, it's not an emergency... so I'm hoping to stall it for several more years. But that doesn't account for the other $2000+ worth of other things I won't be able to put off.

So much for just taking off and "living out my dreams". :rolleyes: Nothing like a good case of cold, hard reality to chase away one's youthfulness!!! :p

Duh because we young are cool and old people can go on with their "wisdom" for "hours" on end!:cool:
You make a very good point here, Joe.

When I train people at work, I constantly have to remind myself to always say, "If you know all this already, please tell me because I don't want to bore you--just let me know and we'll move on to other things."

I've also found that God seems to be connecting me with younger Christian sisters to talk to, and I'm trying very hard not to sound "like an old person", and pray that I'll always remember to listen to what they have to say.

At the same time, I am always looking for older, wiser mentors to teach me more about life, and the things that are ahead.

"Middle age" is kind of a strange place to be, huh?

I've always been used to looking up towards other people... it's a strange feeling, and actually quite intimidating, to have a few young people asking me for advice.

All I can say is, heaven help us all. :D