There is no single generation or that has a monopoly on entitlement.
Exaggerated feelings of deservingness and superiority are fair game for anyone. It’s human nature. We all get greedy from time to time.
Grubs conducted the premier study on the topic. He defines entitlement as an unrealistic, unmerited or inappropriate expectation of favorable living conditions and favorable treatment at the hands of others. His research demonstrated that if a person finds themselves in this perpetual loop of distress and repeatedly feeling frustrated, unhappy and disappointed with life, it’s possible they have an entitlement complex.
Believe me, I’m just as guilty as anyone. The amount of times I have prioritized trivial comforts and pleasures for myself over basic needs of others is downright embarrassing.
But the lesson that life keeps trying to teach me is, there are distinctions. Nuances in our attitude and behavior that can help us understand how entitlement negative impacts our relationships with others and, ultimately, our own happiness.
Here’s list of several of those distinctions. Accepting you’re probably no saint yourself, think about which of these examples apply to you.
We are entitled to all of our feelings, but the world does not automatically owe us any reward for having them.
We have a right to whatever emotional experience our mind and body decides to produce, but we are not more deserving of care than anyone else.
We should take steps to make our dreams a reality, but we shouldn’t believe that anyone owes us anything intrinsically.
We should believe in the power of an abundant universe, but we should remember that the world is under obligation to give us what we want.
We are entitled to have our boundaries respected, but we don’t have the right to step across the line of others.
We invest our energy in desiring and planning and trying, but without making the psychological mistake of having expectations.
The study also found that the two traits which help protect against the distress associated with entitlement are humility and gratitude.
And so, anytime we catch ourselves bemoaning what everyone else gets away with, demanding that the world reciprocate, we take pause.
We give thanks for what we have and where we’ve come. We accept whatever startling limitations we’re up against in our lives.
And rather than complain about what isn’t here that we want, we take steps to create something that is.
That’s not being entitled, that’s being empowered.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Do you use the word deserve as a way of justifying the unfair?