Older folks have a reputation for grumpiness. Young kids and twenty-somethings see adults in their 40s and beyond as dull, snarky, and unagreeable.
Experienced people know the truth. Life isn’t all roses and butterflies, so we learn to like what we like and set firm boundaries to avoid things we don’t like.
While scrolling through the popular R/askreddit community, I stumbled upon a question asking older generations to share some of the things they started to dislike as they got older.
The answers ranged from the struggles of aging to new technologies. I’m sure you’ll find something you can relate to in the responses!
Old Body, Young Mind
The top response lamented the body’s failings as we age. “My brain still thinks that my body is still in my mid 20’s,” said one user.
“I went to the doctor for back pain several years ago, and the diagnosis was basically “You’re 30, not 20,” added another.
We may want to stay up all night, hike that mountain on a whim, work out without stretching, and eat greasy pizza at 10 pm, but our bodies quickly remind us that’s not the answer.
All the Subscription Services
Back in our day, when you bought something, it was yours. With technological advances, companies learned they could make even more money by charging a monthly fee for products and services instead.
Enter the subscription model.
Older Redditors hate the new system.
Some invest in physical media for ad-free viewing, while others reject subscriptions for things like heated seats in cars.
Many users said they started to hate other people more and more the older they got.
“I’m 40, and I’m starting to dislike people altogether,” shared one user, seeking advice on how to avoid the pitfall because they don’t want to hate people.
“My dislike of throngs of vile humanity began in my 40’s, and 20 yrs later, it has not changed,” added another.
Some said they realized that most people are jerks, but accepting that makes it easier to deal with, while others approached the problem with more empathy.
“In my thirties, there was an epiphany when I realized how many people are traumatized before 18,” said one user. “I’m not saying it excuses the behavior, but there’s so much cruel nuance there,” they added.
As we approach middle age, our parents approach their golden years, and the terrifying realization that they won’t be around forever really hits home.
“The fear of losing them soon terrifies me,” admitted one user, speaking of their aging parents.
“A few days ago, I was looking at a picture of my dad that was taken that day. For the first time, I realized how old he looks now,” added another.
Losing our loved ones is part of life. People age and move on from this world. That doesn’t mean we have to like it, though.
Middle age is a rough time. We have so many responsibilities and obligations that we have little time to experience life’s joys.
Many Redditors expressed dissatisfaction with this stage in their life.
“I find myself always exhausted and unfulfilled by just everything around me,” shared one user.
Others mentioned there might be an underlying cause to the overwhelming feelings, such as depression, ADHD, or even thyroid issues.
Dating as a teenager and young adult was fun! Each date offered a world of exciting possibilities, and you never knew what might come of it.
As an older adult, it loses its appeal.
“Now that I’m older, it’s a whole ordeal and feels more like a job interview,” said one user.
“I used to find the process exciting, but now I find it exhausting and people in general to be users and time wasters,” shared another.
Young people just starting their careers see corporate environments as the next big frontier. They love the idea of work as a family, game rooms in break rooms, and mandatory happy hours that help them befriend their colleagues.
As we grow, we realize all that stuff is just icky icing on a nasty cake.
A “fun” culture may hook young folks, but older people just want to be paid for their job so they can go home.
“Every time I see HR or marketing refer to the company as family, I cringe,” shared one user.
“Ah yes, ‘mandatory fun’ events. I can’t stand the constant corporatized cheerleading,” added another.
Negativity and Drama
“Life is too short to waste time on those things,” said one sage Redditor.
Older people may seem callous but refuse to engage in the drama. It’s not grumpiness. It’s choosing happiness over the trivial and meaningless fake problems others create to keep their lives interesting.
Remember when we had to see the live show rolling into town each weekend? We stood in long lines to score tickets to our favorite bands, pushed against strangers to get closer to the stage while avoiding the mosh pit, and hopped and jumped to the biggest hits from the airwaves.
The entire scene loses its appeal as we get older.
“My feet hurt, the music is too loud, I’ve become very sensitive to the strobe light effects most of them use, the fees to buy tickets are outrageous plus parking… and frankly, I get bored,” said one user, explaining why they no longer enjoy concerts.
“I get tired of jockeying for space while sweaty people bump into me or having some 7-foot dude stand in front of me,” added another.
Women’s clothing is awful, and as we age, we start to realize how horrible it is.
“Is it too much trouble to ask/make a full t-shirt?” asked one user.
“What cracks me up the most is sweatshirts, sweaters, and heavy jackets being cut so short to rib cage to show midriff. I just want to be warm!!!” exclaimed another.
Other users pointed to the lack of pockets, short shorts, and sleeves without room for arms as other examples of poorly designed women’s clothing.
Are Older Folks Wrong?
As we get older, are we really getting grumpier, or are we getting wiser? Is it wrong to express our opinions, set firm boundaries, and refuse to buy stuff that doesn’t meet our needs?
I don’t think so. As this thread showcases, older people aren’t getting grumpy, they’re just wising up to the way the world works and refusing to participate in things that don’t bring them joy. That sounds healthier than the young and bushy-tailed ideal of agreeableness, doesn’t it?
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.