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The publication in January of Anne Helen Petersen’s viral Buzzfeed article, “How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation” has generated many different responses: enraptured recognition, thoughtful reflection and of course — snarky cynicism. But whatever the response, there’s no doubt it touched a vulnerable spot in our collective mind.

The rejection of the idea of millennial burnout seems to usually take two broad forms: that it’s an elaborate cover story for entitled laziness or that it’s a fancy term for common fatigue brought on by a long to-do list. The solutions offered are just as predictable, often boiling down to “don’t be so lazy.” Or, if you’re really that exhausted, just stop being “a neurotic mess” and do less.

Though the solutions appear mutually contradictory, they share a basic premise: Whatever millennials are complaining about stems from bad choices (doing too little or too much), and can be remedied by making better choices (doing more or doing less). This focus on our choices may help account for the tone of exasperation audible in so many of these responses. What seems to disturb or at least irritate many critics is the implication that humans are not in full command of our minds and bodies; that we may be victims of forces larger than us.

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Illustration of a stressed out man.Be better!Seb Agresti / for NBC News

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Click the link below for the article:

https://www.nbcnews.com/think/opinion/millennial-burnout-real-it-touches-serious-nerve-critics-here-s-ncna974506

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