Did you watch that teenage boy on the Dr. Phil show that gets a $1000 monthly allowance? He took his mom’s master bedroom with a walk-in closet and sent her to a small room. He does not work. He does no housework.
When he does, he demands to be paid for it. He was demanding a $1500 allowance raise. He said he is a taker. What he wants, he takes. He does not care whether his mom and younger sister are overworked as long as he gets what he wants.
Have you seen the so-called Karens that demand undeserved treatment? The rules are only right when they are serving their interests.
That is entitlement. Called derecho in Spanish
What is an entitlement mentality?
The entitlement mentality is defined as the sense and attitude of demanding special treatment, attention, and deservingness of things that one has not worked for or done little to deserve. It is the sense that people or the world owe you what you want or specifically think you deserve.
The word deserve has an inherent demand for effort invested to get an equivalent reward. In other words, you have to do something to be deserving of something.
Unfortunately, people with an entitlement mentality do think they deserve something without any substantial effort to be deserving of it.
Signs of the entitlement mentality
People with an entitlement mentality show the following signs.
They take more than they give. They want to enjoy maximum benefits by doing nothing at all or doing the bare minimum.
They believe they are better than others and should always be treated as special.
They tend to break rules when they do not favor them.
They want what they want even if it comes at the cost of someone else’s peace, health, etc.
They become vindictive and punitive when they are not given what they want. This is done through silent treatment, slandering or smear campaigns, etc.
They are prone to making unrealistic demands on their partners and family. The boy in Dr Phill’s video asking for an allowance his mom can not afford.
They often compare themselves to others and see them as competition.
They want it their way or the highway and find it difficult to compromise.
Entitled people are poor listeners since they believe only their opinions are worth listening to.
They are attention seekers and often do things to seek admiration and approval from people.
They often tend to show a superiority complex and dominance over others to be perceived so.
Lack accountability and hate to be responsible for anything. If they do something wrong, it is another person’s blame.
They are full of double standards and are amoral. It is not okay for you to disrespect them but okay for them to disrespect you.
They often play the victim in situations where their entitlement is exposed.
They are also prone to passive-aggressive behavior.
Examples of entitlement behavior.
Samuel got an assignment to deliver in two weeks. He however believed that he is smart and will easily do it in the last two days to the deadline. When the two days elapsed, the assignment wasn’t done.
He convinced himself that, unlike others, the teacher will not refuse to give him more time to finish it. When he asked the teacher, his request was denied. He instead insulted his teacher for refusing to grant his request.
Samuel’s entitlement is shown when he believes that, unlike other students, he deserves more time. It is also shown when he attacks his teacher for denying his request. He believed he was entitled to a yes from the teacher.
Sharon insulted her husband for not picking up her call. Her husband was in a very important meeting when she called. He, however, returned her call as soon as he got done only to be insulted.
When you call someone, you are not entitled to an answer. Your call can be picked or rejected.
Julie wants her girlfriends to organize a big birthday party for her yet she only sends a birthday greetings text to them on their birthdays.
Causes of the entitlement mentality
Being raised by parents that provide everything to the child without teaching him or her how to work for it.
Personality disorders like a narcissistic personality disorder.
Societal influence. Common with millennials who are influenced by celebrities who do not show them the hard work behind their success.
Laziness and procrastination make one want to do little to get too much.
Desire to get rich quick and a bad attitude towards hard work.
Entitlement in a relationship.
Being in a relationship with an entitled person is very daunting and sometimes toxic. Be it a friend or spouse. People with an entitlement mentality often think of themselves as superior to their partners.
They hence expect special attention and treatment that is never reciprocated. It is of course required to give attention and special treatment to your spouse. However, it has to be reciprocated.
An entitled partner will not give you the same attention and treatment you give him/her. They will not even appreciate you for it. He/she will often make demands that will make you feel like you are not doing enough yet in the actual sense you are going out of your way to meet their demands.
Conflicts are very common in a relationship with an entitled person due to selfish and unending demands.
Both the entitled person and his or her partner are at high risk of depression. The entitled person can easily get depressed because of the unmet needs. His or her partner can easily get depressed because of the emotional abuse and high demands one is subjected to by the entitled person often subjects.
Entitled people often have strained relationships with their bosses and colleagues at work. Their high false sense of self gives them inflated confidence that makes their employers trust them so much yet they cannot deliver.
Consequences of having an entitlement mentality.
Disappointments from people for not meeting your demands.
Unhappiness, due to the unrealistic sense of self that people around you do not accept.
Emotional instability due to easily finding offense
Failure to deal with rejection.
Loss of social capital and trust from people.
Mismanagement of personal finances to meet unrealistic and useless needs.
How to overcome the entitlement mentality.
Fortunately. The entitlement mentality is not a hereditary behavior or attitude. It is something you developed from societal and personal experiences. If you realize that you have an entitlement mentality and wish to change it, you can do it.
With consistency and intention, you can change from an entitled resented person to an empathic loved, and admired human being. Here are the six things you need to do to cut the entitlement attitude.
- Maintain the golden rule.
Treat others as you would want them to treat you. That is the golden rule. Entitled people often care less about how they treat others yet want others to treat them well.
Before you demand that people specially treat you, treat them in the same way first. If you want kindness from people, be kind to them first.
2. Ask yourself these three guiding questions.
Do I deserve what I want?
What is supposed to be done to get what I want?
What have I done so far to deserve what I am asking for?
Take for instance, if you want an A in math. Ask yourself genuinely if you deserve an A in math. Then write down what is supposed to be done to get an A in math. For example, practice, attending classes, doing your assignments, etc). Then ask yourself if you have done enough to be deserving of an A in math.
If you are genuine and honest with yourself, you will be able to curb your entitlement by truly understanding that you have not done enough to claim an A in math.
3. Develop empathy.
Other people have demands and needs like you. They suffer, get rejected, have rights, life and want to be loved as well. You were not made of anything special to be deserving of anything at the cost of anyone’s peace, life, or health.
Empathy is the ability to recognize other people’s feelings, needs, emotions, and subtle communications. Do not act indifferent to what others are feeling. Empathy is developed through listening, compromising, and kindness.
4. Capitalize on your past mistakes.
We all make mistakes. We are humans. Never perfect. But a mistake done many times ceases to be one. It becomes an intention. You will catch yourself acting selfishly sometimes. That doesn’t mean you are evil.
You are human for as long as you make it a lesson to learn from. Making mistakes and putting in the effort to correct them or not repeat them us better humans.
5. Develop self-reliance.
Entitlement attitude makes one think that people have to do things for them. No. No one owes you anything you didn’t give them. You have to invest in people to expect from them.
Even still, expecting itself is not reliable enough unless there are some legalities involved. However, there is one person you can rely on. That person is you.
Develop the value of self-reliance to enable you rely on yourself for anything you need. This requires you to strive for physical, mental, emotional, and financial strength.
It also requires you to develop basic skills to do the things that you often find yourself asking other people to do for you. If you find yourself asking your friends to help you record information in an excel document, take a class and learn to do it yourself.
6. Hold yourself accountable.
Like Dr. John Townsend author of ‘’The entitlement cure’’ says, change from ‘’I am exempt’’ to ‘’I am responsible’’. Entitled people are only accountable for positive attributes and achievements. If it’s something good, they are accountable.
If it’s something bad, someone else is responsible even when they are accountable for it. Do not run away from your mistakes, problems, responsibilities, and challenges.
Hold yourself accountable. Denial and scapegoating do not serve you in the long run. You may get away with it today but will definitely make the same mistakes again. It is from holding ourselves accountable that we can be able to improve or change for the better.
How to deal with an entitled person.
Entitled people are very hard to deal with. They have high unending demands and never appreciate anything. Unless the person is making effort to change, they will never understand your side of the story or opinion.
Do not, therefore, try so hard to make them get the point. If you are sure the person is entitled, just do what you have to do as long as it’s the right thing.
With time, it will sink into the mind of the entitled person.
State your expectations and make them clear.
Do not let them cross your boundaries. When they do, hold them accountable and confront them for it.
If you let the entitled person do as they wish, he/she will turn you into a pushover.
In case the entitlement mentality becomes unmanageable to you, distance yourself or take the person to a psychotherapist.
The entitlement mentality is an attitudinal disease that makes a person skip the efforts, sacrifices, and patience involved to get what he wants. It deludes one to think they are too special to do the work. Disabuse yourself of the notion that the world owes you anything. You owe the world something for everything you want. The universe has everything you need. All you need to do is put in the work or effort needed to get it. If it’s love you need, give it first. If it’s wealth, invest diligently. If it’s respect, respect others first. That way you can genuinely be entitled and the good news is that you will be given what you want without even asking for it.