There are many problems in today’s world and one problem is the much talked about entitlement mentality. And this is a mentality that is seen amongst people of all ages and backgrounds.
Two people who have this mentality could be observed and what they believe they are entitled to may vary. And this is because the entitlement mentality exists on a spectrum and therefore different people are going to believe that they are entitled to different things.
But what this mentality comes down to is the fact that one will believe that they deserve to have what they want or what other people are having. And because they want it, they believe they should have it and it won’t matter if they have earned it or not.
In their eyes, the fact they exist means that the world should give them exactly what they want and whenever they want it. And although this mentality is dysfunctional, it is often seen as normal and this is because it has become part of the fabric of society.
There is an understanding of how destructive this outlook is and at the same time, there are certain sectors of society that support it. For if this support wasn’t there, this outlook wouldn’t be as common as it is.
And due to how widespread this outlook has become, it is clear to see that it is a social problem. It doesn’t just relate to a few people in or to a certain part of society, it is much bigger than that. It is an outlook that has infiltrated just about every part of society; with western countries or countries that have been influenced by the west, having the biggest problem.
When someone has to work for something they are likely to appreciate it more than if it was given to them. And through working for something, one will learn how important it is to work hard, to be patient and to delay gratification.
One will also realise that they won’t always get what they want and that it won’t always be possible for them to have what they want straight away, but if they put the work in that is necessary, they may well attain what they want. And this is going to allow them to develop personal power.
However, if one is given something without having to work for it, they won’t have the same level of appreciation. They are also not going to learn how important it is to be patient or to delay gratification.
Ultimately, they are going to be kept in an infantile state and expect things to just appear in their life without them having to expend any kind of effort. It is also not going to be possible for one to develop their personal power.
Through having an entitlement mentality one will be able to receive certain things without having to do anything. But even though they might get some things without having to work or without giving anything n return, they are unlikely to get everything they want.
And when someone feels entitled to something and then doesn’t get it, they could feel compromised, violated and that they have been victimised. It won’t matter that their sense of entitlement is nothing more than a delusion; as based on their outlook, they are only asking for what they deserve.
So, if one was to imagine how someone would feel if they were to work for something and then not receive it, they might get an understanding of how someone feels who doesn’t get what they feel they are entitled to. When one has worked for it and doesn’t get what they deserve, they are entitled to feel enraged.
But if one hasn’t worked for something and they end up feeling enraged when they don’t get what they want, they are experiencing feelings that they are not entitled to feel. If one was to say to someone who has worked hard that they don’t deserve to have what they worked for, they would disagree. And yet, if one was to say the same thing to someone who hasn’t worked for what they want, they might also disagree.
During the first months of one’s life, they will have felt as though they were not physically separate from others. Their sense of empowerment and control came through seeing the people around them as extensions of themselves.
And during this time, one wouldn’t have had the ability to delay gratification; so if they wanted something, they would have wanted it straight away. To wait for something would have been incredibly painful. This would have related to the need to be fed and held for instance.
At this age, just about everything they wanted would have been provided by their caregivers and it wouldn’t have taken long for them to provide it. And as one was completely dependent, they would have been entitled to have what they needed from their caregivers.
If one received the right nurturing from their caregiver/s they would have started to realise that they are physically separate from others. Through this, one would have internalised the sense of empowerment and control that they experienced through being attached to the people around them.
They would then see that they don’t have complete power or control and sometimes they will experience no control or power. And while their caregiver’s would have provided everything they needed and whenever they needed it in most cases, they would realise that this is not always how it works in the real world. One will then come to see that they won’t always get what they want straight away and that at times, they will have to go without.
As they can’t always have what they want straight away, they will realise how important it is to delay gratification and to handle frustration. And although one was entitled to what they needed as a child, as an adult, they will realise that they are no longer entitled to have what they want.
The Real World
The above is just rough a guide of what will happen if one is given the right nurturing and is therefore able to grow out of their entitlement mentality. However, while the above is the ideal, it is not something that always takes place.
And then due to a lack of nurturing, one will physically grow up but their level of emotional development won’t really change. So if one feels like a child, and hasn’t emotional separated from their caregivers and realised their sense of personal power, then it is not much of a surprise that they still believe they are entitled to have whatever they want.
Their perception of themselves and others hasn’t changed since they were a child, and so they are still going to expect the same treatment from others. If they received the nurturing that they needed growing up, then they might have grown out of this mentality.
The entitlement mentality is then something that can appear in people who didn’t receive what they need to receive while they were growing. And as this mentality is supported in today’s world and there is very little, if any, focus on ones emotional development, it is unlikely to end any time soon.
If one is in a position where they feel as though they are emotionally stuck, then it might be necessary for them to seek the assistance of a therapist or a healer.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.