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Millennials Are Sharing How Their Boomer Parents Are Becoming Nastier With Age

If there is anything millennials can all agree on, it's that we're getting old! Of course, so are our parents, which means we're now dealing with them as senior citizens. And if you're a millennial with boomer parents, you've probably noticed that their idiosyncrasies have gotten worse and that they're getting more and more set in their ways.

"Getting old. Should've stretched before I stretched."

However, with some people, as they get older, it goes beyond quirks and stubbornness and to them becoming downright bitter and meaner. Recently, I stumbled upon a thread from a couple of months ago where user StyrkeSkalVandre was interested in just that when they asked millennials: "Has anyone else noticed their parents becoming really nasty people as they age?"

Two adults gesturing in a lively discussion, expressing strong emotions, possibly in a parenting context
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The thread got over 4.9K comments from millennials who have noticed that their parents had become nastier as they've gotten older — as well as some whose parents had actually become calmer. Below are the top and best responses, along with the OP who started it off with their own story:

1."My parents are each in their mid–late 70s. Ten years ago, they had friends, and they would throw dinner parties that four to six other couples would attend. Also, they would be invited to similar parties thrown by their friends. They were always pretty arrogant, but hey, what else would you expect from a boomer couple with three master's degrees, two PhDs, and a JD between the two of them? But now they have no friends. I mean that literally. One by one, each of the couples and individual friends that they had known and socialized with closely for years, even decades, will no longer associate with them."

"My mom just blew up a 40-year friendship over a minor slight and said she has no interest in ever speaking to that person again. My dad did the same thing to his best friend a few years ago. Yesterday at the airport, my father decided it would be a good idea to scream at a desk agent over the fact that the ink on his paper ticket was smudged and he didn't feel like going to the kiosk to print out a new one. No shit, three security guards rocked up to flank him, and he has no idea how close he came to being cuffed, arrested, and charged with assault. All either of them does is complain and talk shit about people they used to associate with. This does not feel normal. Is anyone else experiencing this? Were our grandparents like this, too, and we were just too young to notice it?"

Person at airport check-in counter handing over a boarding pass to an airline representative
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2."My mother has gotten more and more childish as she ages. She's 73 now, and her emotional maturity clocks in at about a teenager. Has burned so many bridges with her children and friends. Feels entitled, lacks empathy, and is super judgmental (while saying she's not at all!). Sometimes I wonder if our parents are changing or if we all just grew up and are able to see that they were always this way."

thekimchi

3."My dad has become less nice and sympathetic. Constantly going on about politics, racism, and hating on gay people. I don't think that way. When I'm in a dangerous situation as a woman, it's somehow always my fault. I love my dad dearly, but the older he gets, the worse he gets. It's just sad."

omglifeisnotokay

4."For all the talk they make about 'We didn't have all these screens when we were your age,' I think social media is wreaking havoc on the older generation as much as the younger."

Various-Cranberry709

Senior man sitting on a couch looking at a smartphone, displaying a moment of learning or managing technology
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5."I noticed this happen with my parents and their neighbors next door. Solid friends for seven years, and then my dad flipped out one day this past fall about religion to the neighbor's wife. Just blew up the relationship because he doesn't believe in God and she does. It was very eye-opening as I heard about it from the wife after a month or so and not from my parents. My dad called me to tell me not to talk to her and then went into a tirade about how he and my mom have known plenty of 'crazy women' through the years and all these women are just bat shit."

"I could not help but think that while I love my dad, the common denominator in these relationships is him. And when the wife relayed what happened (straight from the notes she wrote directly after the event), it was 1,000% how my dad has historically behaved toward me when blowing up. It had me tearing up on the phone because he had been very mellow for a long time now and I thought he had chilled out with age."

dearthofkindness

6."Gen X'er here. Yep. My Silent Gen mom gets meaner and more passive-aggressive by the day. She's angry, and social media keeps her raging, afraid, and marinating in conspiracy theories. I rue the day I ever got her an iPad and set up her Facebook account. It's utterly tragic."

SevereAtmosphere8605

7."I work in retail and see this all the time with boomers. They're all reasonably nice people with the exception of some. But what's really interesting is the commonality they share when it comes to something not going exactly right. Unlike other generations, every single one of them has this tendency to get super flustered like it's the end of the world if there's a minor price difference or if their coupon isn't eligible. And what's shocking is that both my parents are exactly the same. Totally chill and great to be around...until something doesn't go according to plan. That's when the stress kicks in and everything falls apart."

Telkk2

Woman with arms crossed, wearing a leopard print top with black trim, expressing disapproval
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8."I think people in that age bracket just suppressed their feelings and never dealt with them. Now that their bodies are more fragile due to age, they can't handle it and become grouchy and bitter. Combined with the 24-hour news cycle and cellphones allowing unlimited, unregulated access to the news cycle, they never take a moment to unplug and relax, which blows the repressed feelings up."

CenterofChaos

9."My stepdad is 71, and he gets wild road rage more and more. In general, he's just crabby and getting crotchetier with each passing year. My mom is still cool, but I see her often lose her patience more with retail and waitstaff when she never used to."

chaosisapony

10."My dad just complains all the time, and it’s embarrassing. He's not mean, but he is embarrassingly cantankerous. We went to a restaurant that I’ve been going to since high school where the owner knows all of his customers by name. My dad insisted that there was a senior discount. The owner's kid said they didn't have that. My dad had to argue. They finally just brought him the $2 and change to make him shut up. I kinda wanna not go out with him when I visit, but then I'd have to do the cooking."

sweetEVILone

Man gesturing with a fork at a dining table, expressing surprise or excitement
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11."I'm going through something extremely hard right now and had to inform my parents. Their lack of emotional understanding and support is so apparent that it astounds me. While the two friends and two siblings I reached out to have been so helpful and supportive. I don't understand how I could have such helpful siblings while my parents are so useless and out of touch. But honestly, my parents never were very nice to begin with."

musicalmustache

12."My dad, 100%. He went from someone suggesting helping others was a sign of strength and something we should do when able — often taking unhoused people with us to get food, stopping to help injured animals he found, etc. — to someone suggesting even appearing to need help was a sign of weakness."

"He became very money-oriented and selfish, only reversing course when he needed something medically…then once he got it, returned to form and was a monster of a person. He started making racist jokes, never had up to that point, and looked down on anyone that wasn't living in a big house with two rental properties.

I blame Fox and Rush Limbaugh for decades of turning him into what he became. Fox was always on in his house, and he listened to Rush Limbaugh religiously. I shed only one tear once he passed, and never in front of anyone."

Gardening_investor

13."My mother has become downright hard to deal with on a daily basis. The negativity is constant. Negative about strangers, family, friends, myself, the world, politics, life in general. It's absolutely exhausting. Constantly comparing what she has to what everyone else has and being bitter about it, and very hypocritical."

crisishedgehog

Woman standing with arms crossed, wearing a black shirt and a green necklace
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14."My parents are in their mid-70s and are having the hardest time accepting that they're getting older. They will only accept specific types of help, and if I can't do it, I'm the bad guy. My mom literally yells at every customer service rep about something those people have no control over, and she sends long-winded messages full of complaints to no-reply numbers/emails."

Sinnika

15."My mom is Gen X and has become so racist. She doesn't think so, but she seems to have such disgust for anyone who isn't white and that she doesn't know. Also, she's weirdly become super pro-police. Yet she's not Republican at all...it's f'ing confusing, and IDK where this woman came from."

"This is a woman who raised me to not judge someone by anything but by how they treat others and who they are. That hate wasn't OK. She used to work with unhoused people and made it a point to expose us to helping so we could understand that being unhoused doesn't mean you are bad or less than others. It's baffling to me; she's only 56."

Mockturtle22

16."My mom has gotten sweeter, my dad on the other hand, yeah, he fits this bill. The dude used to be able to make friends with anyone and everyone regardless of religious or political beliefs. Now? He has no friends. He even cut off his own brother over a perceived slight."

"The smallest error or flaw and he is completely done with that person (for example, the guy at their local deli stopped giving free samples because the store changed the policy during COVID, so now if my dad sees him at the store, he completely ignores him even though it wasn't even his decision). Now, he wants to move to another state, but my mom still has dozens of friends and doesn't want to uproot just because he has burned every bridge he has had."

Guardian-Boy

Elderly man with arms crossed wearing a plaid shirt over a white tee, expressing slight discontent.
Videodet / Getty Images/iStockphoto

17."Wow. I think both of my parents are nicer now that they're aging. My dad has been more sentimental since his dad died, and my mom has had to work on her relationship with me because I'm comfortable and can no longer be controlled by money. (I actually cut off her control over me with money more than 10 years ago, but she was still trying for about 5 years.)"

"Neither of my parents are on social media so that might help. However, my MIL is on social media, and I've noticed a change in her since 2016. She's much more socially aware and speaks up for immigrants and LGBTQ+ on a regular basis in family conversations. I LOVE IT."

KTeacherWhat

18."My parents seem calmer than they used to. My dad is still working, which means he doesn't have time to waste on Fox News or whatever, and my mom is a social butterfly so she's always out with friends. I do wonder what changes will occur with my dad's retirement, but my sister and I are both extremely against hearing about the political views of his age group, so it's kind of a banned topic entirely. If I never know anything about his political views, I can still assume the best. And I will tell them to just stay off the news channels. Ideally, they'll just stay docile and a little out of touch. I'm used to that."

Futurepharma91

Four joyful women are sharing a toast with wine glasses, seated together on a couch, depicting a moment of friendship and celebration
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19."My father is pretty cool in my opinion. He's an old hippie who extremely dislikes confrontation. He had a difficult childhood with abusive parents. Joined the Navy at 17 to get away from his father. His mother wasn't much better, but she gave her consent for him to join the Navy when he was underage. My dad has stories for days and has lived a very interesting life. My mother, well, she's the opposite of my father. Always annoyed and angry, and as she got older, she became more angry. She's hard to be around and is always complaining."

Barlow3001

20.And lastly, "My parents have gotten nicer and more laid-back as they age. My dad had a heart attack a few years ago, and the brush with death made him reevaluate what's important in life. He used to be a difficult person, but now he’s downright sweet."

superjess7

Two older adults sharing a laugh while sitting with coffee on a house deck
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You can read the original thread on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.