(Closed) Question to any psychologist bees – why do old people become so “outspoken”

posted 8 years ago in Wellness
Post # 3
Member
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

Haha, I just took Social Psych (I’m a 3rd year Psych major) but we didn’t talk about this. However, I work at a nursing home and I feel that uniquely qualifies me to comment. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 

I think it’s 1 part boredom/loneliness (saying rude things gets attention), 1 part that they’re grumpy because they’re usually in pain, can’t get around as much, and miss independence, 1 part “might as well” philosophy, since they’re older and aren’t so worried about social mores, and 1 part that they’ve gotten so far behind the times that they just can’t believe the state of the world. Seriously, we have a small home and the main home, and one of the residents at the small home asked me “if (black people) had ever tried to get in at the bigger home.” After I was done stuttering at both his blatant racism and apparent belief that segregation still exists, I told him that, of course, we have people of many races, African Americans included. 

Honestly, as much as it drives me INSANE (nothing I cook for them is ever.right.) it’s a lonely life. Most of our residents, at least, are either divorced or widowed. Their kids rarely come to see them and they can’t get out much. Many of them are depressed and have been on anti d’s for years, but don’t get any kind of therapy. 

Post # 4
Member
2186 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

psych was my major (well psychology and govt double major and my thesis was social psychology based) – and thats not a “theory” thats just “old”

once you reach a certain age (for some people its 80, and for a few happy ones, its like 18….) you dont really care what other people think anymore. so call it not having a filter,b ut its really not giving two hoots whether or not the person you are talking to has feelings. they figure if they have lived this long its their right to say whats on their mind – because really at that age, what are you gonna do? quit talking to them? they do it because folks let them get away with it ๐Ÿ™‚

i usually ignore comments from my “elders” that are hateful or just plain mean. that includes my mother and both grandmothers.

sometimes though i have to speak up and tell them that being old doesnt mean that the rules of politeness goes out the window !!!!

 

Post # 6
Member
2280 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

They’ve got nothing to lose, I suppose. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 8
Member
581 posts
Busy bee

I have been with many elderly people, many of them family, and I can tell you they are not all so outspoken.  I think @lilyfaith has a good point that it is a call for attention.  They don’t have much going on in their life and they are looking for some action.  If they tended to be “too honest” in their younger years, they are even more so as they get older.  All we can do is have a sense of humor about it.

Post # 9
Member
14 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’m Health Science Major and in my Aging and Health class we learned the term “gatekeeper”. All people have these thoughts they just have a “gatekeeper” that stops them from saying it aloud. Older adults tend to lose their “gatekeeper” so they say whatever crosses their minds. In many cases I doubt they are doing it to be hurtful or malicious.

Post # 10
Member
7771 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Old people can be so mean.  Working in customer service and serving them can be challenging.  Someone once said that when you get old, you know who you are, but that doesn’t mean you are right.  I think they just assume they are and feel entitled and let the flood gates open.  I ususally just ignore them, but sometimes my Gramps can get so out of hand, yelling when everyone else is calm.  We usually sort of laugh to keep sane when he isn’t looking.  It is good to be open minded and aware of others.  I do not prefer tactless diarrhea mouth people. 

I think many of you are spot on with your points- I bet a lot of it is for attention.  They are bored, and they also tend to think they know because they have lived through it all.  And I think they do just stop caring what others think.  But not all old people act like that.  I love the sweet ones!

Post # 11
Member
3587 posts
Sugar bee

I didn’t major in psych, but I think it’s because they have gotten so old, and finally feel they can say what they want. They held their tongue when they were young I guess.

I ignore them, sometimes I say mean stuff back.

Post # 12
Member
1391 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I’ve worked at a nursing home for several years so I have MANY a story about older people being straight mean lol. I feel bad but some of it is funny, cause it’s things that most people would probably LIKE to say but won’t. 

When I got engaged last year the residents were asking about it, and this other girl mentioned that she just got engaged and this little old lady leaned towards me basically yelling “who the hell would marry her? has she ever looked in a mirror!?” It was awful cause the girl heard all of it and she started crying ๐Ÿ™

 

 

Post # 13
Member
2271 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2009

Although I am not quite elderly YET, I have become incresingly outspoken — although I have yet to tell anyone they are fat. I was outspoken to begin with, or what other people call “blunt”. I tell it like it is, although I rarely bother to say anything to people I know don’t give a flying frisbee what I think. However many older people get the feeling like they are invisible, or that their opinion no longer counts and they think they have to speak up in order to be heard.

Post # 15
Member
5263 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2012

@missfireslayer: I feel like working at a nursing home has given me a much stronger spine. I try to cook really good food from scratch for the residents, and they’ll still say awful things about it. It stings, but you really learn to stand strong. 

Post # 16
Member
1391 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

@lilyfaith: oh yeah seriously. This one little old lady told me to “Fuc* off” when I asked what her tattoo initials meant lol. I was like GEEEEEEEEEEEEZE.

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