The Most Common "Boomer" Personality Traits

The Most Common "Boomer" Personality Traits

How often do you hear younger people referring to "Boomers" insultingly? In recent years, the term once used to categorize anyone born between 1946 and 1964, has quickly become a catch-all insult used by younger generations to describe their “prickly” elders. Boomers, like every other generation, have their stereotypes (both good and bad). Let's take some time to explore the worst (and best) of these stereotypical Boomer traits.  

1. Entitlement

Boomers are often known to carry themselves with a heightened sense of entitlement, particularly when it comes to customer service, workplace dynamics, and social respect. This is often contrasted with the economic challenges faced by younger generations, who feel that Boomers were given a much better lot in life and should probably cut them some slack. 

Johann-Walter-Bantz-Bowrurrx5E8-UnsplashPhoto by Johann Walter Bantz

2. Resistance to Change

Boomers are frequently viewed as being resistant to change, particularly in the workplace and especially when it comes to new societal norms. This old-school thinking often clashes with younger generations, who believe the Boomers have contributed to stunting their progress with stubbornness and an overall lack of willingness to adapt to the new world around them.

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3. Appreciation for Formal Communication

Unlike their younger counterparts (especially Zoomers) the Boomer generation prides itself on maintaining traditional communication methods, such as phone calls or face-to-face meetings, over modern digital communication. They value clear and direct communication styles — emojis and Zoom calls just won’t cut it. 

Vlad-Sargu-Itphh2Lgzui-UnsplashPhoto by Vlad Sargu

4. Technological Hesitancy

Many Boomers are willing and happy to embrace the digital age and all its wonders. However, quite a few are repulsed by it and are left feeling rather nostalgic for a time when smartphones and social media didn't dominate the world. This is often at odds with the younger generations who have fully embraced technology — and simply can’t understand why their grandparents are still baffled by email. 

Nischal-Masand-Wteucliadfq-UnsplashPhoto by Nischal Masand


5. Conservative Views

Boomers are seen as having more conservative views, which can frequently clash with the more progressive values held by younger generations. Younger people often find themselves in tricky situations when challenging Boomers on everything from social issues to the environment (particularly that one uncle at Thanksgiving). 

Adi-Goldstein--Kobsuu7B3G-UnsplashPhoto by Adi Goldstein

6. Difficulty in Relinquishing Control

In professional settings, Boomers are viewed as rather controlling and unwilling to relinquish their perceived status and sense of authority. This is generally seen as belittling and offensive by younger generations who believe that Boomers are impeding their potential for success by not trusting their capabilities. 

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7. Unconcerned With Their Environmental Impact

The Boomers are generally criticized for their role in environmental degradation. Their careless lifestyles and industrial malpractice are often linked to climate change and a slew of other environmental issues which now unfortunately plague younger generations — and will continue to do so for years to come. 

Johannes-Plenio-5 9Inhy4Nse-UnsplashPhoto by Johannes Plenio

8. Financial Prudence

If there’s one thing you can say about Boomers, it’s that they don’t play around with their money. Much to the chagrin of younger people who grew up in far more tumultuous economic periods, Boomers tend to be savers who value investments and have a strong inclination towards building a secure retirement fund.

Towfiqu-Barbhuiya-Jpqyfk7Gb4W-UnsplashPhoto by Towfiqu barbhuiya

9. Economic Impact

Many criticize Boomers for the slew of misguided economic policies and decisions they made while in leadership roles. Younger people strongly feel that Boomers had a leg up on them economically, which they squandered — leaving millennials with a bad economy and even worse prospects for the future.

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10. Strong Work Ethic

Boomers are uncompromising in their belief that a hard day’s work is the only real way to make it in this world. They are extremely driven by status and material success and often see hard work and dedication as the only legitimate means of getting through life.

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11. Disregard For Work-Life Balance

Although the Boomers have a rather commendable quality in their strong work ethic, many younger people negatively associate it with contributing to a culture of overwork. Work-life balance is something the younger generations have aggressively advocated for in recent years and they often view Boomers as a barrier to improving their relationship with work.

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12. Materialism

More money, more problems. In combination with their hard-nosed work ethic, Boomers are often seen as placing far too much of a priority on material possessions and success. This often causes them to put undue strain and pressure on younger people who value less tangible things like leisure, comfort, social fulfillment, and mental health. 

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13. Disregard for The Plight of Younger Generations

Worst of all is the stereotype that Boomers don't understand (or even acknowledge) the economic and social challenges faced by younger generations today. Instead, they simply write them off as weak and overly sensitive. Student debt, the housing market, and job security are all issues young people are faced with and they see Boomers as not only being callous in their disregard but, in many cases, directly responsible for a lot of the problems they’re currently faced with. 

Tania-Melnyczuk-Nzohvjodthw-UnsplashPhoto by Tania Melnyczuk

14. Preference for Ownership

Boomers are all about the tangibles. Whether it's physical media (like books and vinyl records) or properties and other assets, Boomers tend to value tangible ownership as symbols of success and stability. This flies in the face of their younger counterparts who find value in less tangible products, particularly in the digital realm.

Lucia-Sorrentino-Jvannrsj2R4-UnsplashPhoto by Lucia Sorrentino 

15. Desire for Quality

As champions of ownership, Boomers are usually sticklers when it comes to the quality of goods and services. They place a premium on quality over quantity and are generally happy and willing to invest in higher-quality items that promise durability and long-term value.

Jelle-Van-Leest-Imfks2Co9S0-UnsplashPhoto by Jelle van Leest

16. Autonomy and Self-Reliance

The Boomers often value autonomy and self-reliance as desirable qualities and ones that are seriously lacking in younger generations. To them, solving problems on their own or within their immediate community is how things get done — rather than relying heavily on external aid or intervention.

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17. Community Engagement

Not only do Boomers possess a strong sense of civic-mindedness, but they also pride themselves in actively engaging in their communities. Boomers often look to social clubs, religious institutions, and volunteer organizations as effective pathways to build strong social networks (the real kind). 

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18. Health Consciousness

Boomers have lived through a multitude of changes when it comes to what is and isn’t considered healthy. As a result, many Boomers have become increasingly health-conscious, focusing on diet, exercise, and preventive healthcare to maintain vitality and longevity as they gracefully age into their golden years.

Amauri-Mejia-Gvf7Rka-E9Q-UnsplashPhoto by Amauri Mejía

19. Reverence for the Past

Boomers often revere the past, particularly the time they grew up in. Although that may not always be a good thing, it certainly serves as a stabilizing force in a rapidly changing world in which younger generations may be all too quick to dismiss the achievements and redeeming qualities of the era that came before them. 

Anita-Jankovic-M5Ofzzrckwc-UnsplashPhoto by Anita Jankovic

20. Strong Loyalty

Boomers often like to maintain a strong sense of loyalty, whether it be to their employer, commercial brands of choice, news sources, and particularly personal relationships. This forms the basis of a much stronger social cohesion, which younger generations are far less concerned with. 

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