1.10 The Don’t Suck At Life: The Entitlement Culture

This past week, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about a former friend of ours; we’ll just call him The Entitled One.  Basically, he was giving me updates on The Entitled One.  To give you some history here, The Entitled One has not been working for 5 years, is 40-something, living out of his parent’s house, and is engaged to his fiancée (he proposed with no ring, if that matters).  My friend was telling me that The Entitled One said “I’m not taking a job lesser than what I had because that’s taking steps BACKWARDS.”  I did mention that The Entitled One has been out of work for around 5 years, right?

This whole Entitlement Culture is foreign to me.  I grew up in a middle income household.  My parents made sure I had the bare essentials to skate by with; nothing ever extravagant.  My parents always told me that I had to do well in school, work hard, and you will have to earn everything in life (don’t expect anyone to ever give you anything).  I wake up everyday to that mantra and believe that only I can control my destiny by the things I do today and so forth.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some people that have helped me along the way and I am super appreciative and thankful.  However, it is never expected for the world to help me.

This Entitlement Culture is not limited to Millennials.  Janet Mantler, Carleton University psychology professor, states that “she’s found evidence to suggest entitlement is going up across the western world, among every age group.  It’s just that the people conducting the studies tend to only measure it in youth.” [Culture of entitlement not limited to youth].  I’ve seen my fair share of entitlement amongst all age groups with my own eyes.  Besides The Entitled One, I recall being in a car with a coworker who was a senior in High School.  She was complaining that her parents were cheap because they didn’t want to spend “just” $20k for a new Acura Integra for her.  I almost guarantee most of American do not have that amount in their bank accounts right now.  According to Liz Smith, “Of the Americans who have savings accounts, the median savings account balance is $5,200.”

Where does this entitlement come from?  I personally blame parents and society.  Katelyn Fagan, author of The Problem With Entitlement Begins With Us, states that “When we as parents reward ourselves with buying something we don’t really need, perhaps when we can’t really afford it, and for really no reason at all, is it any wonder our children think they should be given what they want at any time …”  Let’s not forget that sometimes society rewards you just for showing up.  “In a world where every kid gets a trophy just for showing up, or labour-hungry companies buy warm bodies with hiring bonuses, the result is a kind of false feedback loop that distorts our conception of what we truly deserve … so when we reap rewards for literally being in the right place at the right time, we interpret it as confirmation we are innately extraordinary. We don’t think we need to earn rewards, we just expect them.”

How do you know if you are entitled?  Aletheia Luna, 16 Signs You Have a Sense of Entitlement Complex, specifies 16 signs, but I’ll paraphrase the 11 important ones.

01.You impose unrealistic demands onto everyone.
04. You believe that you deserve happiness and go to great lengths to ensure it at the expense of others.
05. You punish people when they don’t do what you want.
08. You tend to exhibit double-standards in regards to behavior (ie. I can <insert action>, but you cannot).
09. You take more than give in friendships and relationships.
10. You tend to look out for yourself 100% of the time.
11. There is no such thing as compromise.
12. Your priorities always come first even at the expense of others.
14. You think that you are better, or more important, than other people.
15. You crave admiration and adoration.
16. You like to assert your dominance or superiority over other people.

Conclusions:

    • If you coddle your children, your children will be entitled or a 40 year old living in your home.
    • Remember, your children learn from YOU.
    • If you have 3 traits out of those 11, don’t bother adding me on social media.  You suck at life!
    • The biggest reward is working hard and earning that rewards yourself.  Yes, it’s nice to get handouts, but you should never expect that for the rest of your life.
    • We are all hunters in life.  Those that cannot hunt don’t eat; and perish.

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