Why Old People Are Mean?

I came across an article over at the Medium a while back that kinda struck a nerve. The title was as above. Yeah, I do kinda think that I am meaner than I used to be. It’s just that I have always lived with the idea that as time goes by we, as a society should constantly improve. Quite frankly, it pisses me off what has happened to our country in the last twenty years. We seem to have moved 60 years backwards in that period of time. Maybe I am mean because I am so disappointed in humanity!

But then again the author gave three reasons why some old people are mean that kinda struck home with me.

They were mean young people.

Some people are just mean all their lives. They just never figured out how to be pleasant. They think they were owed a good life that for whatever reason was denied them. It doesn’t matter that they did nothing to make that happen. Some people just don’t change.

They are sick

Being in a retirement community I see a lot of sick old people. The number of maladies in this building are beyond thought. But, I got to admit that most of the folks are much more pleasant than I would be if I were them. Maybe, I am just a future mean old person? 🥸

They are afraid

There are plenty of reasons why old people are afraid. My cognitive skills are declining along with my deteriorating body. That becomes more obvious to me as each day passes. I can’t seem to put things down and five minutes later remember where they are. I can’t tell you how many times I have reheated a cup of coffee in the microwave and then discovered it hours later when I finally opened the door again.

They say that technology doubles every four years. When I left the corporate world twenty-some years ago I was tech-savvy. I try to keep up, but that is almost becoming a futile venture now. Everything is changing, and every day it is harder to keep up.

Maybe I’m afraid of dying but also afraid of living. I make the best of it, but on some days when I really want the world to just be the one I remember and understand, I get cranky and mean when I realize that will never happen.

I know I have reasons to be cranky and mean, but for the most part, I am neither of those things, or at least I keep them to myself. I put on a smile every day and try to enjoy life. Some call that masking and tell me that I don’t have to pretend, but sometimes pretending is the best thing I can do. Being cranky and mean all the time is no way to live your life, so if you are like that then just STOP it. 😖

2 thoughts on “Why Old People Are Mean?

  1. I try, too, to be nice, although not quite as nice as I used to be. I used to be nice to people who were deliberately baiting me, and I don’t feel the need to do that any longer. I have a soft voice and a Southern demeanor, and some people don’t understand that I also have my own thoughts and beliefs and can’t be easily dissuaded from them or bullied into doing something I don’t want to do. In an effort not to seem confrontational, I used to use phrases such as “We all have valid points, but some people find . . .” when explaining why no, I wasn’t going to adopt their way of thinking. I don’t do that as much.

    I, too, relished learning about new technologies and felt I could keep up with the three years excelling as a physics major behind me, my early adoption of computers, and my history of trading complex (almost) delta-neutral options trades. However, I watched a documentary the other day about the intersection of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology and art in the form of NFTs and the way that was transforming the art world. For the first time that I can remember, I didn’t even want to try to grasp all the intricacies. I wasn’t interested in the kind of art being produced, and I don’t trust cryptocurrencies yet. They move the way gold futures used to move overnight in foreign markets, wiping out months of investments for people buying or selling them. Whole companies built on these technologies are springing up and advertising the kinds of claims we used to see attached to new tech companies, making paper fortunes for people or real ones for a time, only to fail as cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin make the moves they’ve made since Oct 2021. I believe they may be great for more than speculation in the future, but I no longer have the stomach for roller coaster movements, not do I have the time to recover investments lost that way. I don’t have the physical strength to throw away my time on something of no use to me now. So, if that makes me old, stingy and a bit dismissive about something new, I’ll take that charge.


  2. Hi Linda, thanks for your thoughts. I, too, am letting go of a lot of things I once valued as important. One of those things is current events and politics. For the most part, I just don’t care to learn much about what is going on. I used to be a political junkie, but things have gotten so retched since 2017, that I think why waste my time on it!


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