We live in an age of entitlement. Entitlement is the belief that you deserve preferences, resources, and special treatment that others do not. Entitlement is like the alphabet, “I” comes before “u”.
Here are seven ways to know if you are entitled.
- You practice double standards.
You have higher standards for others than you do for yourself. It’s alright for you to be late, but the moment somebody else shows up late, you let them have it and make them aware that they have inconvenienced you.
- You see other people as competition.
You have the need to be above others. People are not a blessing to you—they are an obstacle. The entitled person struggles with collaboration because they don’t want to share credit and are obsessed with being better than others.
- You impose unrealistic demands on people.
You deserve much without earning it so you set unrealistic demands on others. These unattainable demands create disappointment for you and anxiety for others.
- You think any constructive criticism given to you is a personal attack.
You will get feedback in life. Some solicited and some unsolicited. All feedback to you is unfair criticism and a personal attack on you.
- You believe your anger is just.
The same right you have to things and people and recognition is the same right that allows you to believe your anger is valid and appropriate. You are angry because other people didn’t listen or follow-through or meet your perfect standards and this is not your problem—they are the ones who messed up. So you are right to be angry.
- You desire admiration and accolades.
Approval and appreciation from others is essential for you. It’s not only important for you to be on top, but to have others know that as well.
- You have a hard time compromising.
You don’t compromise because why should you? You deserve. You are right. You don’t need to give into other’s demands.
So I haven’t convinced a single person they are entitled. Entitled people can’t see their character and behavior flaws. But I can convince non-entitled people to avoid of the slippery-slope of participating in the age of entitlement.
Here are four things you can do to fight entitlement.
- Practice gratitude.
Be appreciative. Don’t take things or people for granted. Say “thank you” often and mean it. Keep a list of your joys and blessings and things you are grateful for. Revisit it and add to it frequently.
- Request. Don’t demand.
Entitled people demand. Grateful people request. With kindness and patience. Requesting means you value the other person’s time and energy as much as your own.
- Value the wisdom of others.
Embrace that you can learn something from anybody. Ask for advice and feedback. Develop partnerships with others.
- Celebrate when others succeed, achieve, and are blessed.
Being happy for other people’s joys and accomplishments allows you to believe and practice that other people are as important and deserving as you. And that’s a good thing.
So, yeah, we live in the age of entitlement. But you don’t have to participate.
Watch my sermon on prayer where I talk about prayer, gratitude, and entitlement.