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Sense of Entitlement – Meaning, Signs, and Ways to Overcome

Sense of Entitlement – Meaning, Signs, and Ways to Overcome

Updated on Jul 07, 2023

Sense of Entitlement – Meaning, Signs, and Ways to Overcome

Have you ever met someone in your day-to-day life who appears too confident and seeks special recognition and privileges without doing anything in return? Probably, you have met a person who has a higher sense of entitlement than they really are.

The person with such tendencies suffers from grandiose feelings. They seek privileges that they do not deserve and tend to appear too confident, arrogant, and extra optimistic about who they really are. These individuals suffer from chronic disappointment and feel frustrated whenever things don’t fall in pace as they have expected.

Let’s learn about the chief signs that show their grandiose tendencies and what they can actually do to overcome these negative attributes.

Sense of Entitlement – Meaning, Signs, and Ways to Overcome
Sense of Entitlement – Meaning, Signs, and Ways to Overcome

What is Meant by a Sense of Entitlement? 

A sense of entitlement refers to a personality trait where people believe they deserve special treatment or recognition they did not earn or deserve. They think that the “world owes them”. 

They show a tendency to expect special favors and special privileges. In return, they do not assume any reciprocal responsibilities. Regardless of what they have, they always believe that they deserve more. If someone has a problem with them or does not agree with their actions, they will try to make others feel guilty. Entitled people cannot accept disagreement or refusal from others.  

Entitled behavior can stem from the feeling that the person is the center of the universe. Everything around them seems to have the common purpose of making them happy, and anything out of that order feels like an attack on them. Such thinking directly points to a narcissistic character.

Less is known about the probable causes of this sense of entitlement. There is an inherent belief that this world’s resources are theirs to take, without any responsibility of giving back. Taking people around for granted is a common trait.

Recent researchers have found that adolescents and young adults tend to believe they are entitled. This brings about social maladjustment in their lives. However, less is known about the causes of self-entitlement. 

Recent research has begun to explore the possible dimensions of entitlement in Adolescence. Studies also aim at identifying the domain-specific manifestation of the sense of entitlement in adolescents.

This article attempts to explore the signs of a sense of entitlement, the impact of a sense of entitlement, and how to overcome such tendencies when dealing with other people.

10 Signs of a Sense of Entitlement 

Entitled people think that they deserve special treatment. They expect to get preferential treatment and special favors in life.

Some signs of a sense of entitlement include: expecting preferential treatment, feeling entitled to certain resources or opportunities, demanding respect without earning it, feeling entitled to success without putting in the effort, blaming others for one’s own failures, and feeling entitled to others’ time and attention. 

Additionally, those with a sense of entitlement may have difficulty accepting criticism or feedback. They may feel entitled to control or dominate others. They may also have a lack of empathy and disregard for the feelings of others. 

Here are some common signs people with an entitled mindset show:

1. Pervasiveness

They have a sense of entitlement about money, possessions, or friends, i.e. almost every aspect of their life. This sense of entitlement tends to be pervasive across their life.

They will take everything for granted. They will not appreciate or show gratitude towards anything. 

2. Placing unrealistic demands 

Entitled people tend to impose unrealistic demands on family, children, friends, acquaintances, lovers, employees, and employers. They do not consider the impact of such unreasonable demands on others.

3. Being Narcissistic

They believe that they deserve the utmost happiness. Sometimes they can go to extreme lengths to ensure that happens. Usually, they make things happen at the expense of others.

These people are deeply convinced that they are the most important people. and they only look out for themselves. They are more concerned about their own needs and desires than anyone else. 

4. Self-pity

They start feeling sorry for themselves if things do not work out as per their will. This may result in creating a scene, victimizing others, and blaming lousy luck or outside forces.  They believe that it is other people’s responsibility to improve their lives.

5. Lack of empathy

A person with a sense of entitlement disregards what others feel about their course of action. They fail to show compassion toward what others think. They end up making others feel disappointed and hurt.

6. Being ungrateful in most situations in life

They will not appreciate others. Nor will they show signs of appreciation for what they already have. This is because they believe it is their right to have everything. So they do not value or show respect for anything.

7. Punishing Others

They punish people when people do not comply with their demands. These people give others silent treatment, like ignoring and spreading rumors.

self-entitled people are also aggressive towards others, like shouting and verbally abusing others, or physically abusing someone is not uncommon for them.

8. Being always competitive with others

They are always competitive. They constantly see other people as competition or “threats.”

9. Attention-Seeking

They always crave admiration and adoration. They demand attention and praise from others. Their sense of entitlement emerges from their narcissistic tendencies. They are focused on only thinking about themselves. Demanding praise and attention from other people makes them feel good.

10. Difficulties in negotiating or compromising

When someone does not agree with their demands, they will create a big scene. They may be very dramatic when something does not go their way. It is best to avoid them when this happens. Otherwise, they will try to make themselves look better by bringing others down.

A person with a sense of entitlement may appear arrogant and overconfident. However, deep down there, they may cover up for underlying insecurity. They may also harbor the fear of not being admired or noticed. 

Types of Entitlement Tendencies 

Individuals with a strong sense of entitlement may have difficulty understanding or empathize with the perspectives and needs of others. These people may become frustrated or angry when their expectations are not met.

At times, they may also struggle with accepting personal responsibility for their actions. They may blame others for any failures or setbacks they experience.

The following section deals with examples of Entitlement Tendencies:-

  • Expecting that the same rules that apply to others should not apply to you. 
  • Not entertaining when others ask for help or favors from you. But when you ask the same from others, it is just a done thing.
  • Expecting people to be more interested in you and your affairs and prioritizing your interests over that of others. You always view your goals and aspirations as more valid or important than others.
  • Disregarding rules that are meant for the majority. 
  • Taking more from friends or acquaintances than giving. Entitled people do not value reciprocity.
  • Not getting bothered even if your action causes inconvenience for others. For example, you cancel appointments or reservations repeatedly without considering that your friend may have organized other plans around fitting you in.
  • Thinking that it is okay to upset or offend other people. 
  • Pitying people who comply with your demands. Considering people who make peace with you to be weak. 
  • Always trying to be the leader or get the most credit for any task while working in a group. 

Impact of Sense of Entitlement 

Entitled people believe that they are entitled to better treatment than others. This faulty mentality makes them suffer in the long term. The following section deals with how much an entitled mentality may jeopardize all aspects of their lives:- 

A sense of entitlement can have a negative impact on both individuals and groups. On an individual level……………

  • Entitled people are more concerned about their self-image. They show a tendency to focus more on goals related to self-satisfaction. This leads to conflict with others. 
  • Entitled people think themselves to be superior. They are not able to accept any worldview challenging them. They show defensiveness and anger when challenged. This creates a vicious cycle. The more society’s limitations challenge them, the angrier they become at these perceived injustices.
  • People who feel entitled may also have a harder time accepting constructive criticism or taking responsibility for their actions 
  • Entitled people are more likely to experience disappointment and unmet expectations. They may feel depressed, insecure, and isolated. This puts them at risk for both psychological and social harm.
  • People with an entitlement mentality often see themselves as superior to others. Inevitably, this way of thinking affects their interpersonal relationships. Strained and unhappy relationships result.

At a group level………….

  • A sense of entitlement can lead to conflicts and resentment among members. 
  • It can also contribute to a toxic work or social environment, where some individuals feel they are entitled to special treatment or privileges. 
  • A sense of entitlement may lead to poor performance and a lack of motivation for people. 
  •  It can also lead to a lack of empathy and understanding towards others which can cause conflicts in personal and professional life.
  • Entitled people take up leadership roles because of their confidence. However, they often lack team spirit. They avoid problem-solving in the workplace. Most of the decisions an entitled person makes are self-oriented. Their co-workers may not like or accept such decisions.  

Overall, a sense of entitlement can create a number of problems for both individuals and groups.

Tips for Overcoming the Sense of Entitlement 

Overcoming this sense of entitlement is not always easy. But such people can overcome this feeling. They must adopt new behaviors to be more independent and flexible.

There are many ways to improve the quality of your life. The quality of lives of others in your life will also be benefitted. Here are a few suggestions to overcome a sense of entitlement.

1. Recognize the feeling of entitlement

Try to recognize your mentality of entitlement. If you have difficulty recognizing the emotion, think about the times when you felt entitled. Notice how much that feeling resembles what you are feeling now. Refuse to let it impact your life

2. Develop more self-awareness  

Try to be aware of what you think, feel, and do. Otherwise, you will not be able to progress very far. Write down your thoughts, feelings, and actions in a diary. Journaling is a great way to develop more self-understanding. This can genuinely help you to get rid of your entitled mentality. 

3. Identify what you expect from others and the world 

Entitled people often have unhealthy or unrealistic perceptions about what they expect from others. They feel entitled to expect every time from others. You may not even be aware of such expectations consciously. Hence try and identify your expectations. Think whether such expectations are justified

4. Understand that you are not entitled to anything

The world does not owe you anything. Life is unfair and inevitable. Try to make the best of what you get in life. Stop complaining about what you do not have.

5. Learn to let go of things

Stop imposing your beliefs, ideals, or expectations on others. Stop believing that everyone will comply with your will.  Learn to let go of things. Practice forgiveness. Allow things and people to be the way they are naturally.

6. Start showing compassion and empathy

Enquire others about how they are doing and feeling. Start thinking about matters from others’ points of view. Pay attention to the happiness and joy of others. Sharing happiness helps to multiply happiness. Asking others helps to broaden the mind. You can learn to think in new ways. 

7. Be thankful

Be thankful for what you have earned or got in life, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem. Also, be grateful for the people in your life. It will highlight the importance of everything and the people before you.  Take a moment out. Be thankful for everything that you own. 

8. Focus on what is under your control 

You can only control your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Stop focusing on other people’s actions or how they respond to situations. Focus on changing the things that you can control. 

9. Stop expecting anything in return

Start thinking about how you can serve others without expecting anything in return. Make your services unconditional at times. 

10. Learn the difference between needs and wants

People with a sense of entitlement struggle to distinguish between needs and wants. Focus on what you truly need in life. Cut out what you want.

11. Think about how your sense of entitlement affects others in your life

Consider whether you have unintentionally made people feel guilty or resentful because they did not meet your expectations. Acknowledge and accept that other people have their own lives and feelings. 

12. Admit your mistakes and shortcomings

Self-entitled people do not want to accept new opinions. Nor do they admit their mistakes. They are convinced that what they think is right and essential. If you want to rid yourself of too much entitlement, you must be willing to let go of your false perceptions. Accept wisdom from other people. 

It would help if you learned to admit your shortcomings. Do not be blinded by self-pride. You are a human, just like everybody else. Committing mistakes and having deficiencies is normal. Start acknowledging your shortcomings. Be humble. Develop a balanced outlook toward life. 

13. Understand that the universe owes you nothing

The universe is large. We are temporary elements floating in this vast universe. Neither does it revolve around you nor owe you anything. The universe treats you in the same manner as it does everybody. Spend your time in this universe as modestly and humbly as possible.

14. Be more open to growth 

Some people derive their entitlement from the feeling that they have already reached the epitome of greatness. This perception of grandeur reinforces their privileged sense of self. To overcome this kind of entitlement, be always open to growth. It will help you accept that you still have more to learn and grow.

15. Show humility in success

Sometimes, too much success can make us arrogant and feel entitled to this world. We believe that because we are successful, then it is natural for the world to give us more privilege and reverence. 

You, indeed, deserve to live a good life. But it would be best if you keep your feet on the ground. Show empathy and understanding to those who are not as successful as you are. Accept the fact that other factors besides yourself have contributed to your success.

16. Maintain reality contact with the world

Do not get entangled in your delusional world of grandeur. Expose yourself to the real world more. You will discover that everyone does not get the opportunity to live the experiences and resources you are enjoying. 

The more you immerse yourself in this reality, the more you will learn to accept that life owes you nothing. To thrive, let go of your sense of entitlement. Start believing that you have reached your place through hard work and resilience. There is no shortcut to success.

This will help you recognize that you are not always right. Accept and acknowledge that others have valuable insights to offer too.

Slowly work on such changes. Cultivate self-love. Focus on practicing self-care. Treat yourself with compassion. It will be too hard at the beginning. But keep trying and pushing yourself. Changes will not come overnight. If you have dedication and willpower, you can develop a healthier sense of self. 

17. Take care of yourself

Be kind to yourself. Nobody will understand you better than yourself.  Being kind and compassionate to yourself will help you recalibrate yourself. Attend these areas. 

18. Practice and be welcoming to changes

Do not stop trying or leave things unfinished. Put in consistent efforts to change your ways. Be careful not to overindulge in self-criticism. Do not be harsh to yourself. Expect yourself to bring about the changes required. 

Observe what happens when you curb your entitlement tendencies. Understanding such changes will reinforce and motivate you to bring about changes.

Summing Up from ‘ThePleasantMind’ 

It is important to note that having some of these traits does not necessarily mean someone has a sense of entitlement. However, when they are exhibited in excessive or maladaptive ways, it can become a problem. 

Being proud and confident about yourself is not bad. However, one should not feel oneself to be too entitled. One should stop expecting unreasonable privileges from the world. No matter who we are or how far we have gone, we should always keep ourselves grounded in reality. 

We must remain aware of our deficiencies and limitations and we should value and acknowledge the presence of others in our lives too.

sometimes, it is best to keep a humble and modest profile in life.

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