Millennials are the middle generation generation born between 1980 and 1999 near the millennium. Here, I very much liken the Y generation to Adler’s middle sibling theory. This generation, which feels stuck between the X and Z generation, is undecided, trying to establish a balance, thinking that life does not give it what it deserves.
Since I am a psychotherapist belonging to that generation, I am very familiar with that feeling of being stuck. I find the X generation very close to Adler’s biggest sibling theory and Z generation to the youngest sibling theory. Let’s talk about these a little bit;
Generation X is those born between 1965 and 1979. This generation is the generation that the elders and the elders of the family love the most and find close to themselves. It is a patient generation that has grown up with rules, does not fail to respect authority, and gives extreme importance to loyalty and hard work. As I just said, it overlaps with Adler’s theory of eldest sibling. These ; ”It is usually born in the center of attention. He is the first eye pain in the family and the most attention is given to him. But this situation ends with the birth of a new sibling. Now the attention has turned to the new baby and he has lost his uniqueness. The newly arrived baby has stolen the love he’s used to and must get used to sharing. The arrival of the first child coincides with the immaturity of the spouses. The first pregnancy and first birth are the most exciting events for the spouses. This first product of marriage is met with the highest expectations. Spouses are most inclined to see their first child as an example of themselves. Besides this inconvenience, the importance given to the first child and the close attention shown by the parents may render the mistakes arising from immaturity insignificant” (Yörükoğlu, 2003)
Again, like the eldest sibling, Generation X tends to be addicted, to work hard and always strive to be ahead. When a sibling appears on the stage, he finds himself out of the limelight. He is no longer alone or exemplary. He is ready to believe that the newcomer has taken away the love he is accustomed to, almost as an intruder.” (Corey, 2008)
Our generation Z is those born in 2000 and after. The oldest is 16 years old. Generation Z is very close to Adler’s youngest sibling. “It is always the apple of the family’s eye, it never grows up. The family does not overestimate him either. He does not have to share the family’s attention with others. He is always the doll of the family and he can be pampered all the time. The environment always takes care of him as a cute, always small child. This situation may cause the child to develop egocentric attitudes. He thinks that when he grows up, his environment should always pay attention to him. It is desired that these children remain children for a long time. The discipline has become even more relaxed. He gets almost everything he wants. In short, a good environment has been created for the “selfish and spoiled” to be brought up. There is no reason why he should not use his situation for his own benefit.” (Yörükoğlu, 2003)
In other words, we can say that the X generation is the super-ego superior, the Y generation is the most balanced, contrary to what is said, the Z generation is the generation ruled by the id.
In the meantime, the Y generation, who have difficulty in balancing, refuses to be obedient like the X generation and to be egocentric like the Z generation. This paves the way for the formation of imbalances in their own mood. They are criticized with disrespect by the X generation and as backward by the Z generation. These age differences are quite similar to the jealousy and differences of the three brothers who are jealous of each other. In this respect, it can be described as the sibling jealousy of the masses.
If we look at the Y generation with a lens, we can say that this generation is generally the rebellious generation who married and divorced quickly before they found themselves in recent times, and cannot be easily chained. The issue that the Y generation, who is a generation with a highly developed sense of justice, has the most conflicts is also the issues of rights and justice, like the middle sibling. They do not use social media as a means of communication, like the Z generation, but to make their voices heard and shout in the name of rights and justice. They want flexible working hours, they do not obey as quickly as Generation X, they protest, shout and rush to start their own business because of their fondness for freedom.
Because they are overly fond of their freedom, they stand on their own feet and take responsibility and control of their lives as soon as possible. However, they are ready to have fun, walk for justice, gender equality, all modern and beautiful changes. They are often envied by generation X and generally considered disrespectful for what they do. We can say that the Z generation is more compatible with the X generation in many respects.
I think that the way to communicate with the Y generation is to understand this feeling of being stuck. If we want to avoid difficulties in communicating with this generation, I think we can achieve this by trying to understand their characteristics and the difficulties they are experiencing. Again, as they try to balance between X and Z, they try to help them solve their internal conflicts; I think we can exist to support the Y generation by communicating without judging their unstable and competitive sides.
X, Y, and Z are generations shaped by the environment presented to them, and they deserve neither to be ruthlessly criticized nor to be written about. I think that brotherhood of generations, like Adler’s sibling theory, is more understandable if we look at it on the basis of jealousy. The envy of the old to the young is increasing day by day, because each generation is a little more free, a little luckier and strives to get what is rightfully obvious. I hope this jealousy will end as soon as possible and much healthier generations will grow.
Specialist Ps. Fatma EFE
Jarette, C. (2013). Psychology in 30 Seconds. China: Caretta.
Akyazı, E. & Tutgun Unal, A. (2013). Communication Faculty Students’ Use of Social Networks in the Context of Purpose, Adoption, Loneliness Level Relationship, Global Media Journal TR,
Modern Psychology: “Introduction to Alfred Adler Psychology and All His Studies” (Yörükoğlu,2003; Corey,2008 )