How Entitlement Is Making You Broke
When you believe that life somehow owes you something, anything, just because you are you, then you have an entitled mindset. When you use this type of justification to explain your poor or selfish behavior, your mindset is negatively influencing your life and, likely, the lives of those around you. Learning to control your entitled mentality, and to stop making excuses for why you don’t have the things you want in life, is the first step toward fulfilling your dreams.
How Feeling Entitled Affects Your Life
What exactly does it me to feel entitled? In short, entitlement is the belief that your needs and wants should be met in life, and if they are not, you are allowed to engage in poor behavior to get your way. The simplest form of this is a toddler throwing a tantrum for not getting an ice cream cone, but many adults regularly engage in entitled behavior when they don’t get their way, as well.
Those who feel entitled believe that they are somehow so special, unique, or deserving that their needs are more important than anyone else’s. This type of narcissistic thinking is a form of self-love that ultimately can have negative effects on the life of the entitled as well as everyone for whom they care. No one exists to serve your needs, and you are not any more special than the next person. If you did not learn this as a child or adolescent, you are likely to grow into an adult with an entitled mindset.
Signs You Have An Entitled Mindset
Here are a few behaviors that could indicate that you struggle with this way of thinking.
- Do you tend to feel sorry for yourself when things don’t go your way?
- Do you try to gain attention from others for your misfortunes?
- Has anyone ever accused you of being a bully or manipulative?
- Do you believe you deserve to be happy, even at the expense of others?
- Has someone you care about accused you of making unrealistic demands upon them?
- Do you think that others are threats or somehow in competition with you?
- Do you exhibit behaviors yourself that you deem as wrong in other people?
- In a given day, do you think about yourself and your needs a vast proportion of the time?
- Do you feel good when you assert your authority or dominance over someone else?
The behaviors described above may indicate that you feel entitled to success or happiness. An entitled mindset can lead you to act in selfish and hurtful ways, to treat others poorly, to focus on what is missing from your life, and to dwell on the negative.
How To Overcome the Entitled Mindset
The first thing you need to start telling yourself every day is that you are, in fact, not any more special than every other person on the planet. Yes, you deserve happiness. So, does everyone else. The only way you can achieve that happiness is through your effort and determination, not because you are somehow “owed” a happy ending.
Start being a cheerleader for other people. Learning to recognize the accomplishments and gifts of others is a great way to stop thinking so much about yourself and start considering others. For the next month, focus on propping up the others in your life and don’t do anything to promote your own accomplishments.
Practice listening to and paying attention to other people. When you are entitled, you often care more about talking than listening, about getting what you need than helping others. Every day, focus on at least one person in your life and help them by listening, supporting, and encouraging their hard work.
When you start focusing more on others, what happens to your relationships? Pay attention to how others act and react differently when your attention is not focused so squarely upon yourself. Knowing how your entitled mindset is affecting others can help you change to more positive habits.
When you find yourself justifying your entitled behavior, catch yourself and try to stop it. Turn your entitled behavior into something more productive and selfless. Becoming aware of your behavior is the first step, but changing it is the most important thing you can do.
If you have an entitled mindset, you are likely holding yourself back from achieving success as well as straining the relationships in your life. Learning to accept that your happiness will depend on your talent, hard work, and dedication, rather than occur as something owed to you, will help you learn to appreciate your accomplishments even more.