Can Reactions To Ageism Be Confused For A Midlife Crisis?
An “midlife crisis” is stereotyped as an individual wanting to change their lifestyle. Lately though, it feels like many “midlife crisis” are not a “choice,” but instead a reaction to situations forced upon us by ageism.
Can reactions to ageism be confused for a “midlife crisis”?
Because we are living longer as a society, we are hoping to stay in the workforce longer. However, old practices are still in place in which employees aged 50+ are being phased out – and that’s if they make it that long in the workplace. Often times, phase-outs start happening to employees in their 40s, just as they’ve gotten into their stride in the office.
When individuals spot signs of phase-outs they react. Those reactions can range from switching careers, to trying to act younger, or becoming uninterested in talking with friends and family about their current situation. All things we stereotype as “midlife crisis” actions.
Here are 5 midlife crisis stereotypes, versus how ageism impacts your mid-life:
Spending More Money
Midlife Crisis Stereotype: One of the biggest stereotypes about midlife crisis is that people going through one will start shopping for luxury items – houses, cars, vacations, and high-tech products.
Possible Ageism Reality: However, when ageism has a hand in changing your life at the mid-point, you may not be able to pay your bills, let alone afford luxury items.
Making Rash Life Decisions
Midlife Crisis Stereotype: Another midlife crisis stereotype is that you will act quickly to make big changes. Whether those changes impact your career, or your lifestyle, it’s believed that not much thought has gone into them.
Possible Ageism Reality: However, if ageism strikes at the mid-point of your life, and your career, any “rash decisions” you make may feel like they are the only way you will be able to stay afloat. If your job is in jeopardy, you may need to change career lanes, or states, to continue working until YOU are ready to retire.
You Are “All Over The Place”
Midlife Crisis Stereotype: Individuals going through a midlife crisis are often described by others stereotyping them as “all over the place.” They are making decisions that aren’t in line with decisions they are believed to normally make.
Possible Ageism Reality: When your life is in flux because of ageism, you might find yourself ducking and weaving in situations to make sense of it all. You don’t choose to have stereotypes aimed your way that negatively impact your life, so in reality you being “all over the place” is no fault of yours, but rather you are making decisions in each situation you are in to try to make that situation more positive.
Changes In Appearance
Midlife Crisis Stereotype: You alter how you look, and people are shocked and place the blame on a midlife crisis.
Possible Ageism Reality: If you are feeling judged based on your age, and if you are being treated differently because of any “aging features,” it’s no surprise that a first reaction may be to try to look “younger” to keep ageism at bay longer so it lessens the impact it has on your immediate future.
You Don’t Want To Talk About It
Midlife Crisis Stereotype: Those close to you don’t understand why you don’t want to hear their concerns. They believe that you are only out for your own benefit during this “crisis.”
Possible Ageism Reality: In reality, experiencing ageism can make you feel disconnected. You can feel embarrassed that you are being stereotyped based on your age, or how old people believe you to be. You may not want to be open about what you are experiencing.