The current cultural climate didn’t develop overnight. And it developed for several reasons. For one, we have lived for a while in a time of plenty. We not only have a lot but we’ve also come to expect a lot. Accordingly, we often take much of what we have for granted. And for another, we live in “disconnected” times. Sure, we enjoy constant, instantaneous electronic communications. And we make lots of superficial connections on social media. But when it comes to a sense of community and how we all need and impact one another, it’s another story. We simply expect things to work with virtually no sense of how or why they do.
Have you ever met someone who seems to act like the whole world owes them? Someone who is not satisfied unless their own needs are being met?
Usually showing off traits such as being pressed by simple things like a delayed reply, unrequited love, a rejection, unreturned call, or too opinionated about how other people live their lives/spend their money, who they love, taste / their preferences and interests; – that my friend, is what we refer to as ‘Entitlement’.
There are several examples of symptoms of Entitlement, as we shall see. But in summary, this is a trait in which one makes everything to be about themselves, in regard to being deserving of all the good things in life, a work place, or community, society, and that they are superior to everyone else. The “Me! Me! Me!” attitude is another way we can refer to this sense of self entitlement; where one presumes the world is supposed to revolve around them and that they are inherently deserving of certain privileges or special treatment.
In essence, a sense of entitlement is established and upheld by the belief that we are the center of the universe, and if the universe doesn’t meet our needs and desires, all hell will break loose.
It is an enduring personality trait that is usually driven by exaggerated feelings of deserving and superiority and that others do not.
While entitlement can, in some cases, be justified it more often than not comes down to a selfish idea of reciprocation, and the expectation that your environment will provide for your needs and desires (regardless of your input).
This narcissistic mindset is often the result of failing to learn as children and young adults that we are not so special, and that the world (or your partner, friends, family or children) other people don’t merely exist to serve our needs, wants and heart’s desires, and therefore owes us nothing.
The mindset that the whole world owes us something could be due to one or more reasons. Reasons can include wealth, scholarly capabilities, good looks and more. The thing is others around you might not necessarily agree with your thinking that everyone else owes you favors, admiration and even respect. “The toxic culture of Entitlement” is about the fact that: it is key to be patient, sometimes to mind less about other people’s business, knowing your positions in people’s lives and your boundaries when it comes to how you treat/ expect folks to treat you, respecting people’s feelings/ interests/ preferences and letting them be.
Be it what excites them, their measure of success and accomplishments; all of it. Let them be. Because the world doesn’t owe you and I anything. Everything in the world and whatsoever is under it isn’t always about us. This mentality is top tier entitlement. Though we deserve to have our needs met, we are not entitled to having those needs met by the world or anyone else. We alone have the power to ensure that we get what we need from this life.
A sense of self-worth/ self-esteem, belief and confidence is usually confused with entitlement. The opposite of entitlement is humility. When people are humble this means that they understand that everyone has equal rights and opportunities. People who display humility celebrate their own successes as well as the success of others.
These people realize that there will be differences in our lives, and they respect these differences rather than use them as an issue to create conflict or havoc. Humble people have learned to live and let live without making unreasonable demands on themselves or expecting others to support their lifestyles.
But what is more unfair is that policymakers often hit the weakest in society to curb this flawed mentality because they are the easiest targets. Single mothers are often depicted as scroungers when the real scroungers are those who exploit their political connections to get benefits that they are not entitled to. When people give more importance to what they believe they are entitled to rather than what they have earned the need for cultural change becomes critically important.