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Woman Calls Out 'Boomer Panic' After Witnessing Older Generation's Inability To Stay Calm When Frustrated

Photo: Vlada Karpovich / Pexels 
older women together

A woman who goes by the username @myexistentialdread on TikTok asked for an explanation surrounding a phenomenon she deemed “Boomer Panic.” 

She used her own experience with a Lowe’s cashier as her example, saying that she was in the self-checkout line, where an older woman was helping the line move. 

The woman called out 'Boomer panic' as her perception of the older generation’s inability to stay calm when faced with difficult situations or emotions.

She defined “Boomer panic” as “when you are in an interaction with anyone who’s a Boomer, and… anytime something is going slightly frustrating or like, south, they immediately resort to that, like, screaming and screeching and like, the panic.”

The woman explained, “I had a dowel that didn’t have a price tag on it, whatever, so I ran back and took a photo of the price tag, and as I was walking back towards her, I was holding up my phone… because I had multiple dowels and that was the one that didn’t have the price tag on it.”



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“And she looks at me and she goes, ‘I don’t know which one that is,’ and she starts like, panicking.”

The younger woman described the older woman’s reaction as “just like, screechy, panicking for no reason.” She clarified, “I’m not upset, I’m just trying to work with her, I’m not mad. I’m the one that brought a dowel that didn’t have a price tag on it.”

woman explains what boomer panic isPhoto: Pavel Danilyuk / Pexels 

“I’ve only experienced this with Boomers,” she stated. “Never with anyone else. Only old people who… they just panic, and they get so angry... And then, by the end of the transaction, she was like, fine and acting nice, but like, what is that?”

Her post received over 11,000 comments, many of which agreed with her original thesis statement that this certain kind of panic affects Boomers only.

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One person commented, “the toddler-like panic from lack of emotional regulation is one thing. The amnesia they seem to develop as soon they down-regulate and act like they didn’t just have a meltdown is what always knocks me out. No emotional regulation or emotional permanency.”

This woman’s experience with 'Boomer panic' is purely anecdotal, yet a theme others noticed in relating to older people seems to be focused on their inability to regulate their own emotions.

Another person offered a heart-wrenching reason why that might be, saying, “From conversations with my mother, they weren’t allowed to make mistakes and were harshly punished if they did.”

woman explains what boomer panic isPhoto: T-leish / Pexels 

The woman who posted the original TikTok responded to that comment, saying, “A lot of people mentioned this, and it breaks my heart. I think you’re right.”

While her definition of “Boomer panic” might seem harsh at first, it only takes a little extra context to understand why they might react the way they do. As each generation grows older, becoming parents and even grandparents, or aunts, uncles, and friends of those with children, the need to help future generations understand and express their emotions becomes clear.

We should try to have empathy for all generations, even if their ways of reacting and interacting with others differ from our own. 

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Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers parenting, pop culture analysis and all things to do with the entertainment industry.