Today you’re going to learn how to recognize that the world owes you nothing, overcome entitlement dependence syndrome, and start taking charge of your life.
Many people believe that because of what they’ve been through or because of who they are, the world owes them something. Their fair share in life for instance.
They think they’ve dealt with their share of problems in life and it’s their turn now to have good things happen to them.
Entitled Dependence Syndrome
Entitled dependence syndrome is a condition that describes a person who depends on others in an exaggerated way.
Although dependence is a human characteristic, when it exceeds the limits, it becomes problematic and turns into unhealthy entitlement.
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7 Entitled Dependence Syndrome Signs
Common signs of people with entitled dependence include:
- They blame others for their circumstances
- They are constantly angry and resentful
- They expect others to meet their unrealistic demands
- They are rarely grateful
- They lack empathy and usually hold double standards for themselves and others
- They have a tendency to manipulate and control others
- They are unhappy
Why Do We Feel The World Owes Us Something?
Whether it’s someone who has been through unfortunate circumstances and thinks he deserves something to make up for it, or it’s simply someone who thinks he’s better the others around him and deserves to be rewarded for it, some people behave as if society is indebted to them.
And the truth is, while it’s easier to notice this trait in other people, we’re all guilty of it sometimes.
We all feel entitled at one time or another, but we often fail to recognize it in ourselves.
Rights and privileges often get confused. Instead of working hard to earn the privilege of becoming successful, people believe that it’s their right to be successful without putting in the effort.
People who are deep in debt, are usually thinking that they deserve to buy all the good things even though they can’t afford them.
Then they see their bank statement and think about how unfair life is for them to be this deep in debt.
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The Problem With Entitlement
An entitlement attitude prevents you from working hard to earn the things you want.
You’ll too busy complaining that you’re not getting what you’re owed that you’ll have little time and energy left to work hard.
You won’t be able to take responsibility for your life when you’re expecting to have things based on what you’ve been through.
It’s hard for you to contribute to your relationships in a meaningful way because you’re focused on making unrealistic demands of people around you.
When you’re always demanding to be cared for and loved, you’ll have trouble offering the same kind of love and respect you’re seeking.
You’re likely to end up feeling bitter and somehow victimized. Instead of enjoying all that you have and that you’re able to do, you’re too focused on all that you don’t have and all that you can’t do.
3 Ways To Overcome Entitlement Dependence Syndrome
Believing the world owes you something isn’t healthy.
However, you can learn how to stop feeling entitled, stop complaining about not getting what you deserve, and start focusing on how to become mentally stronger.
#1. Develop Self-Awareness of Your Sense of Entitlement
Try to become more aware of your sense of entitlement by examining any underlying beliefs you might have that the world owes you something, such as:
- I deserve better than this.
- I worth more than this.
- Good things should come my way.
- There has always been something really special about me.
While affirming yourself is important to reach your goals and boost your confidence, it shouldn’t be confused with entitlement and believing that the world owes you something.
Keep these truths in mind:
– You’re not the only one with problems. There are likely many people on this earth that have overcome worse than what you’re going through.
– You have a choice in how you respond to anything that happens to you. You decide whether to face your problems and deal with your circumstances or develop an attitude of a victim.
– You aren’t more deserving. There is no reason that you shouldn’t have to work hard to have good things happen to you.
#2. Focus More On Improving
Instead of focusing on what you think would make things fair, try the following:
– Focus more on your effort rather than your importance. When you’re too busy thinking about how overqualified you are, you forget that there’s always room for improvement.
– Accept criticism gracefully. It’s hard to be open to criticism when it’s different from how you perceive yourself.
Be willing to evaluate any feedback you get and determine how accurate it is regardless of how you perceive yourself. It can be a great opportunity for improvement.
#3. Decrease Your Sense of Entitlement
In order to feel less entitled try the following:
– Acknowledge your flaws. When you recognize that you have flaws, weaknesses, and insecurities, you’re less likely to develop an inflated self-perception.
However, be aware not to use these weaknesses as an excuse to demand more from the world.
– Consider others’ feelings. Taking the time to think about others’ feelings will help increase your empathy and decrease your sense of entitlement.
– Don’t keep score. Whether you’ve been through unfortunate circumstances or have been helping people around you.
Don’t keep score of all your good deeds and unfortunate experiences, because it’ll increase your sense of entitlement and you might end up feeling victimized.
Insisting that the world owes you more than you already have in life, isn’t going to help you.
You’ll be wasting so much energy and time that could have otherwise been directed toward achieving your goals and earning more.
Only when you stop demanding what you’re not willing to put in time and effort to earn, that you’ll be able to enjoy what you already have without feeling bitter.
Can Entitlement Be Healthy?
Healthy entitlement, on the other hand, is about having the right to want certain things, even if you might not get them.
These needs may include: getting support be it emotional or logistical, being treated with respect, etc.
In other words, when you have a healthy sense of entitlement, you’re thinking, “I have a right to want these things.”
Without that healthy sense of entitlement, you’ll have difficulty asking and receiving basic needs and you might end up becoming a people pleaser, especially when you don’t allow yourself to say no when you need to.
- Portions of this article were adapted from the book 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do, © 2013 by Amy Morin. All rights reserved.
- A Status-Seeking Account of Psychological Entitlement – PMC (nih.gov)
- Sense of Entitlement | SpringerLink
- Entitlement Mentality: Causes, Symptoms, and More (webmd.com)
- The Psychology Behind Sense Of Entitlement (betterhelp.com)
- Entitlement – Wikipedia
- 9 Types of Entitlement Tendencies and How to Overcome Them | Psychology Today
Hadiah is a counselor who is passionate about supporting individuals on their journey towards mental well-being. Hadiah not only writes insightful articles on various mental health topics but also creates engaging and practical mental health worksheets.
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