Could it be that you are not as humble and satisfied as you think? The truth is you could be harboring a sense of entitlement.
I’d like to think that I’m a balanced human being, despite the fact that I struggle with many forms of mental illness. Do I have a sense of entitlement? Honestly, I’m sure I display it from time to time. It could be that I don’t even recognize many of these symptoms. This entitlement is closely related to the unhealthy aspects of narcissism. It more or less rates on the egotistical side of the narcissistic spectrum.
Yes, feeling entitled is hard to recognize because of this correlation, and can mask its true identity underneath feelings of humility. There is also no age preference for this feeling either. You can feel entitled as a young adult, and you can feel just as entitled at the ripe old age of 75. In case you don’t understand what feeling entitled means, here’s one definition:
In psychology, a sense of entitlement is a personality trait that makes someone feel as though they deserve more than what society gives them. These are sometimes unrealistic and unmerited demands for better living conditions or treatment.
9 Signs That You Have a Sense of Entitlement
In case you’re wondering if this is you, if you have a sense of entitlement, then there are signs that throw up red flags. A red flag is a warning of something, and it’s usually pretty spot on. So here are a few indicators that you may have fit into this entitled group.
While at face value, you might not think you feel superior, there could be a bit of “better than the rest” mentality dwelling between your ears. I’ve noticed this in myself at times, and it’s usually after someone has pointed it out and I’ve gotten angry. My anger revealed my guilt, you see. Feeling superior to others is easier than you think, and so you must always be aware of this trait. This is one facet of entitlement.
2. Unrealistic expectations
You may often feel like someone owes you things, or you feel cheated. This is considered unrealistic expectations from others. This is a sign that you believe you deserve more than you do. Most of the time, this feeling comes from past mistreatments in relationships or by neglect from your parents. It could even come from being let down by your best friend or fired from a job where you were previously praised.
Your sense of right and wrong can quickly get crossed and damage your trust…thus, creating this unrealistic demand mentality. This sign is noticed when you start feeling like nothing will ever go the way it should.
Yes, people are unfair, and they can hurt you for no real reason at all. Self-pity can start from here, right where an unwarranted wound happened. The right thing to do in these situations is to take the hurt and learn from it, growing into a stronger person. But if the wound is not tended to, self-pity will grow, then it will mature into a ridiculous sense of worth.
I’ve done this myself before. Once, I was hurt so badly that I expected everyone else to recognize the hurt and feel sorry for me. It didn’t work out the way I thought it would, and eventually, someone told me to grow up. It was harsh, but they were right to let me know.
Those who feel entitled are prone to bullying others. It starts with low self-esteem, which then causes you to lash out at others to bring down their self-worth. The objective is to vault yourself above others by using them as your stepping-stones.
But you must keep in mind, those you step on will experience the same low feelings, and if they aren’t strong enough, they will also bullying others. You’re not just responsible then for bullying people, but you can potentially start a negative pattern that could ruin many lives due to self-entitlement. So, if you sense you are being a bully, you are guilty of a worse mentality than just being mean.
5. Double standards
Another sign that you may have a sense of entitlement is that you use double standards in life. For instance, it might not be okay for your adult son to get drunk, but you think it’s okay to do the same thing when he’s not around. It might be okay for you to leave your clothes lying around, and yet you yell at your husband for leaving his things out all the time.
Do you see the pattern? Living like this is pretty obvious to others, so keep in mind that they know you are unfair, and basically, a hypocrite. Maybe you should check for entitled standards you’ve made for yourself.
6. No compromise
Did you know that effective communication means compromise? Especially, if you are in an argument. If you feel like someone owes you something in life, you will hate compromise. I’m not sure, but I have set standards and morals, and sometimes, I hold them so tight that I refuse to compromise with others.
Now, I’m not saying that your standards or morals aren’t important because they are. What I am saying is that somewhere, somehow, you will have to compromise with people you care about. Otherwise, they might not stick around for long. So, if you aren’t even willing to compromise at all, then you have a problem, and no, it’s not the other guy. It’s you!
7. Attention, praise, and admiration
If you feel you are above the rest, you will crave the spotlight. There is never enough attention for you. You always fish for compliments and post everything you purchase on social media, which makes you struggle all the time just to hold onto the same level of admiration from the day before.
In your eyes, others owe you all the love and comfort now because you’ve done your share of good deeds. For every negative thing that you endured from the past, there’s certain retribution and, what’s worse is all the attention in the world is never enough.
8. Using punishments
Another sign that you could have a “surprise” sense of entitlement is that you use punishments. I don’t mean you punish your children for disobedience, as some do. I mean you punish other adults for not giving you exactly what you want.
Here’s an example: Say your best friend doesn’t come to visit as much as you think she should and you get angry. Well, you decide she deserves to be punished, and so you stop answering her calls or texts. When your best friend does come to see you, an attitude greets her at the door.
While this might seem like nothing to some people, it’s actually a negative reaction driven by the need for entitlement. You feel entitled to her attention and love. While in truth, you are both equal and deserve the same amount of respect. Non-toxic actions are when you give your friend the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she doesn’t come because she could be too busy to come to visit.
9. Everyone is a threat or competition
Remember, a sense of entitlement means no one is your equal, right? Well, this means that everyone is either a threat to your wellbeing, or they are a competition that you must constantly keep an eye on. Even your closest friends aren’t allowed to go through this veil of doubt and mistrust. You keep them close, but far enough so they have little access to how you really feel about them.
Entitlement means jealousy, hatred, and gossip. All these things come with insecurities and the dislike of others.
Are You Secretly Struggling with a Sense of Entitlement?
Sometimes the things you do that seem normal could, in fact, be a bit toxic. I had to learn this the hard way after hurting people or being told that I was acting entitled. But this is no witch hunt, no.
Every person on the face of the earth is imperfect. We all have skeletons in our closets, crosses to bear, and quirks that we cannot even see. When we cannot see these things, we perceive our lives as fair and good. The objective is, however, that we learn more and more every day about how to be better people. We analyze ourselves, check on how we treat others, and just strive to be good at every opportunity.
If we want a better world, guess what? It starts first with our own changes. We have to see our sense of entitlement for what it is and change a little at a time. Why should we change slowly? Well, because it’s not fair to be too hard on ourselves, any more than it’s okay to be hard on others. I want you to remember that. So, take your time and be honest with yourself. This is the only way to make those permanent improvements.
I believe in you, and that’s because I’m imperfect too…and I do believe I can do better as well.
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