Entitlement is a hot topic, everybody wants to talk about it. The older generation talking about how the younger generation is so entitled, you have business people talking about how customers are so entitled, you have rich people complaining about how poor people are so entitled, you have poor people complaining about rich people and how they’re so entitled. It seems a lot like everyone has an unhealthy sense of entitlement when you look upon the world and hear all the noise.

Entitlement is a disease is something that needs to be dealt with and understood. It is something that should be, although likely never will be, eradicated. It’s also a matter of perspective. When you have from your perspective somebody in your world that acts as the world owe them something, from your perspective that person is entitled. They have an unhealthy sense of entitlement. 

An unhealthy sense of entitlement – What does that really mean? 

There is actually a great deal of psychological study that’s been done on the sense of entitlement. So what does a sense of entitlement really mean? A sense of entitlement is a personality trait that is based on a person’s belief that they deserve privileges are recognition for the things that they did not earn, did not do, and did not achieve. In simplistic terms, people experiencing an unhealthy sense of entitlement believe that the world owes them something in exchange for nothing. They believe that they don’t have to provide any value in the value exchange. 

Many things can cause or create a sense of entitlement. For example, children that are given everything they could possibly ever ask for without learning how to earn those rewards, without learning hardship, without learning how it feels to go without often up with some sense of entitlement as they become adults. there are also personality disorders that can, potentially, create a sense of entitlement. Somebody with a narcissistic personality disorder, for example, may end up with an unhealthy sense of entitlement.

Entitlement often is created by the people around the individual

The thing with entitlement is the person with that unhealthy sense of entitlement isn’t completely responsible for the creation of that feeling. I mentioned moments ago that children that have been given everything without ever had having to ask, without having to earn it, or without having to do anything in exchange often grow up to become somebody with a sense of entitlement. That sense of entitlement is put upon them. It’s not really their fault. Yes, they have to take responsibility for it when they become adults and they go out into the world, but the creation of those feelings are not really their fault. That is the fault of the people around them. 

If you look into the celebrity world, into the music industry specifically, you will see that people have spent years and years making music and have had many years of success. They often develop a sense of entitlement because they are surrounded by people that will never say no to them. 

Yes men gas you up and create an unhealthy sense of entitlement

Those people around them mostly just say yes to them because that’s what they’re paid to do. But other people play into that as well. Other people meet them and treat them like they can do no wrong like they’re not even human anymore. And over a long period of time that creates an enormous sense of entitlement. And then you, the average person, looks upon them with disgust and disdain when you see flashes of that sense of entitlement. 

Regardless of where that feeling comes from, the responsibility for doing something about it lines with that person and that is, to a point, quite unfair but it is also tough. Welcome to the real world, that’s just what life is. So when you’re that person who is surrounded by yes men and has been spoon-fed everything for your entire life, it is down to you to take a stand against the way you think and the way you feel. It is down to you to take responsibility for your actions, for the things that you say, for the way that you act, and for the image that you portray. 

Sense of entitlement is a disease and it’s dangerous 

It, long term, pushes people away. Nobody wants to be around somebody who thinks that they’re better than everybody, who thinks that they no longer have to provide any sort of value, they should just be given things, that they should just have life handed to them on a plate. Nobody wants to be around that. So when you’re no longer flavour of the month, you’ll end up alone with nobody. You will also lack the capacity to make new connections new friends and form new relationships because you will have that letter level of expectation, that unrealistic and unhealthy level of expectation, that comes with a sense of entitlement.

When you start your business and you bring people with you because they are people that you care about. You give them positions within your company but those people don’t really do anything. They don’t really contribute anything. You just have them around because you love them and you care about them. That’s what we do for the people that we care about, we bring them with us.

Sometimes your good nature is what creates that sense of entitlement in others

That creates in those people an unhealthy sense of entitlement because they believe that your success is their success, and that’s not true in the real world. You are responsible for your own success, just like they are responsible for theirs. So that creates that unhealthy sense of entitlement. That sense of entitlement then leave leads to friction, it leads to problems that are created or problems that could have easily been resolved but weren’t, because of that person. All of that leads to feelings of betrayal and resentment.

You’ve given them the impression that they don’t have to do anything. You have given them the impression that no matter what they do, you are going to continue pulling them along and bringing them with you. The choices you made have given them the impression that they have built something when they didn’t. Your actions have given them the impression that you owe them something and the rest of the world owes them something.

Who owes what and who to

Nobody owes them a goddamn thing, just like nobody owes you anything. That sense of entitlement that is created can often result in big public fallouts. Fallouts can be damaging to your reputation, your business, and your own feelings of self-worth. Because, they can make you look inwards, “What did I do wrong?” 

Is it your fault? Yes, it is to some extent. You created those feelings of entitlement in that person, but it is down to that person to take responsibility. There will be other people that you brought along as well that are just grateful to be there, who put the work in, they contribute, and they don’t feel like you owe them something. They feel like they owe you something, specifically loyalty. To show their loyalty they continue to positively input into your business and your life. 

Entitlement is everywhere and it is growing

Entitlement is a disease. It is something which is becoming more and more prevalent in the world.

A friend of mine used to run a business, they sold snacks, fizzy drinks, and so on. He used to have a business partner and that business partner was somebody who contributed very little to that business. The business partner was there from the beginning but it was my friend that did all the work. It was my friend that built up a customer base, built up a network of suppliers, and build a solid reputation for their company. The partner spent most of their time complaining about how hard it is and how much work he had to do. He complained about the workload without ever actually doing any of it.

An unhealthy sense of entitlement is just the beginning of the struggle

One day, he decided that he wanted to buy his partner out of the business, partly because he was sick of doing everything himself, and partly because he wanted to offer that person some freedom. By this point, their business at that time was worth a fair amount of money. He made an offer, a generous offer, an offer that was over the market value of his partners half of the business. He made him an offer, but also an offer of income for three years after the sale. 

The business partner became very angry. He could have just said no to the offer and that would have been that. Instead, he decided that he would blast my friend all over the media, contact suppliers and instruct them not to do business with him, and he talked to customers about my friend negatively. 

The outward effects of entitlement run deep

As a result of that poor choice of actions the business suffered. The business suffered so badly that it ended up being worth just under a quarter of its value before that situation. My friend was devastated, he had put his heart and soul into the business and his partner had torched it. When the value of the company dropped so dramatically, the partner then tried to blame that on my friend. He tried to put the blame on him. The partner was adamant that it was my friend’s fault. 

In the end, my friend ended up selling his shares of the business so that he could get out. He sold his share of the business to his partner, who ran the company into the ground. My friend was driven out because of his partner’s sense of entitlement. He has since started another business that is thriving. He has done so without a partner this time. In fact, he’s quite jaded about the idea of having a partner because of the sense of entitlement that his previous partner had and the pettiness that is created. 

So when you bring someone with you, make them work, make them earn their place, because that sense of entitlement leads to bitterness, distrust, and all sorts of negative feelings that you don’t need. Entitlement is a disease.

It is never too late to get a hold of the problem

When you identify an unhealthy sense of entitlement in the people around you it is time to implement some boundaries. I have talked before about implementing boundaries with your clients (which can be found here https://mybizacademy.co.uk/boundaries-implement-them-before-its-too-late ) but what I didn’t discuss in that article was setting boundaries with the people in your world that are not clients.

Friends, colleagues, partners, and so on are the most likely to end up with an unhealthy sense of entitlement. They are the people closest to us and the people we most wish to please and support. If you fail to provide them with boundaries, how are they to know that they are overstepping?

It is time to get in a room with those people and have a hard conversation with them. Set explicit boundaries and inform them of the consequences of not adhering to them. You may not want to because you know it will be a hard conversation to have but you are saving yourself, and them, from a world of hurt later down the line.

The boundaries you set are not up for negotiation. They are designed to protect you and the other person from the pain that comes with a fallout. If those people genuinely care about you then they will happily accept them, even if it does take them a little while to process.

If you are too scared to have those chats then you may benefit from some 1:1 time with someone who has previously done exactly that. Think about people in your world, who fits the bill? If you don’t have anyone then you could book yourself a 1:1 with me if you would like to. Does that sound like what you need? Then you can send me a message here https://mikethebizguy.co.uk/Contact 

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