The Trap of Entitlement
What’s the difference between your self-esteem and ego? The answer may not be absolutely clear at first glance. Healthy self-confidence, when taken to an extreme, can turn into shortsightedness. Perspective and humility are important ingredients for balancing out a strong sense of self-esteem.
Psychologically, entitlement can be defined as the belief that one deserves preferences and resources before others. We have all felt a sense of entitlement in various parts of our lives – it’s normal and nothing to feel guilty about. It only becomes a problem when you are not aware of it.
The effect of entitlement
Many children are brought up being told that they are great and smart at whatever they’re doing, regardless of the work put in. Children should be encouraged to learn and explore; however, it’s important for them to understand that the outcome depends on the effort. Otherwise, they grow up craving the feeling of success, but not having the means to earn it.
To combat entitlement tendencies in relation to others, practice perspective taking. The next time that you’re annoyed at someone, take a pause to think about their agenda and where they’re coming from. Instead of focusing on the personal inconvenience to you, consider that they have their own priorities. Sensitize yourself to others’ failures and successes, and you will be able to better understand why things are happening the way they do. Social psychology research also tells us that promoting and sharing successes has a shared positive impact on both parties.
Know your self-worth, but don’t allow it to overshadow your work ethic and openness to others. Remember that there is no successful person who has not gone through hardships on their journey.