The next time you are angry with the world, ask yourself if you’ve really been dealt the wrong hand, or just maybe, were you expecting a bit too much.
Entitlement. I feel like it’s all around us and growing faster and faster. Ok, I’m no psychologist, but hear me out on this topic. I think we could end up having a really good conversation about how envy leads to entitlement. The other word that comes to mind is pride (the bad kind of pride that convinces you to pursue your own desires, no matter the consequence or who gets hurt).
So, here I go with a really hard question: Do ever feel entitled to certain things? Be honest with yourself.
Honestly, I think we all have an issue with this in one way or another.
I think when we let envy or feelings of entitlement into our hearts, we are quickly on our way to becoming frustrated and unhappy. Maybe we want something that we don’t have but feel that we have a right to. Or maybe we feel like we worked really hard and life owes us something. When reality falls short of our expectations, the anger can well up inside pretty quickly. Jealousy, pride and entitlement all lead to anger. And when we’re really feeling that anger, our ability to empathize with others short circuits. We are only able to focus on ourselves.
Please don’t misunderstand me. There are things worth fighting for, but it’s a very fine line with many different perspectives.
There are many different avenues of entitlement.
Here is a small example that we can all relate to:
Every year we celebrate birthdays for ourselves and our kids. Every year most of us get a gift (maybe even two or more), a favorite dessert, etc. What would happen if this year we didn’t acknowledge the birthday of a spouse or child? What would their reaction be? Most people would be frustrated, annoyed and upset because they feel entitled to being served and showered with gifts on their birthday. “Where’s the love?!? It’s my birthday!”
When we want or are expecting something but don’t get it, we have a choice in how to react. This takes a lifetime to practice by the way! Somewhere deep inside us lives an idea that if we work hard or do something good, we deserve something good in return. And when we don’t get what we want, we begin to have tunnel vision and get stuck and all those thoughts of, “When do I get mine?” slowly start to sink in.
I’ve thought a lot about this, and the reality is that life just isn’t fair. There are a lot of hard working people out there that deserve so much more, but life just doesn’t dish it back; not because they’ve done something wrong, but in reality we don’t always get what we want when we want it.
We have to be vigilant and anytime we feel ourselves moving toward a jealous or envious mindset we must stop and remember that our happiness has nothing to do with the happiness, or possessions of our neighbor. We can discipline ourselves to put that thought out of our heads and replace it with a positive thought. A little gratitude goes a long way!
Being self-aware and caring for each other walk hand in hand This is how we can all be more prosperous, be in tune with what’s important, have more focus and be more at peace. Less comparison, more encouragement! That really says it all.
When we find ourselves using someone because we feel that we are owed something, remember that life owes you nothing. Sometimes we find ourselves suffering through the hardships of life and wishing for an easier road or the seemingly easy life of another. In those times especially, it’s important to accept your history and also accept the work ahead of you. Also, remember that everyone has various challenges at some time or another.
Image via nickylaatz
It’s always important to work hard, to put our best foot forward and reap what we sow. But it is also important to be honest with ourselves when it comes to expectations and goals. If we’re doing that then we’re already being rewarded with strength and growth. Don’t always think that getting ahead financially or becoming famous is what’s best.
When we expect everything to turn out our way (regardless of effort and circumstance), we’re bound to be disappointed eventually.
People with a high sense of entitlement are never satisfied. Good is never enough. The bar is set too high and repeated disappointment leads to suffering.
When we embrace our challenges, find the gold in our own backyards, and remember to be grateful for everything we receive, life can be a wonderful journey. We are all in this together.