People Who Act Entitled

This is the first of a two-part series. Click here for part two

Dear Neil: I have an adult stepson who is 37. He and his wife have 3 kids (6, 5 and 3). Since I retired in 2012 they assumed that I would be their on-call babysitter. One day he brought his daughter over to my house first thing in the morning for me to babysit, without calling or asking me first. I wasn’t feeling well, and told him so. He got angry and left with his daughter—and I didn’t see them for 2 years, even though they live 10 minutes away from me. Now that I am retired, no one is entitled to my time. When they discovered that their emotional blackmail wasn’t working, they have come back around.

Time is My Own in South Carolina

Dear Neil: I had a spouse that acted like it was my life’s mission to afford her as much spending money as she wanted. After I became ill and had my colon removed, I cut down on work—and she cleaned out the house of all furniture and belongings and left. When we divorced, she expected me to surrender my entire engineers paycheck to her, and she requested lifetime alimony/maintenance, which was denied by the court. She then demanded that I co-sign her new mortgage. It this doesn’t illustrate an attitude of entitlement, I don’t know what does.

Expected to Work Till I Drop in Michigan

Dear Time and Working: People who act entitled often believe that they are the center of the universe. They are demanding—obsessed with their own needs and desires to such a degree that frequently they ignore the wishes of others—or treat the desires of others as much less important. They are not very sensitive to someone else’s feelings, wishes and aspirations. They are takers, not givers.

Here are the behaviors of someone who acts entitled:

  • They are controlling, manipulative or bullying in order to get their way.
  • They will make demands or ask for sacrifices of others, which are essentially designed to benefit them.
  • They are extremely impatient.
  • They get angry easily—and show it.
  • They will act punishing of people who oppose them or who attempt to interfere with what they want.
  • They will often be critical of you (and others), because they do not tolerate disappointment well.
  • Their happiness and well-being comes first.
  • They take more than they give.

Acting entitled is alienating to almost everyone, and it insures that the entitled person will have unhealthy relationships with others. I will address what you can do, or how you might respond to someone’s sense of entitlement, in next week’s column.

One comment on “People Who Act Entitled

  1. Entitled people are difficult to deal with. I found this article quite helpful. I work in the service sector where the customer is always right. I don’t know who coined that phrase but it’s completely wrong. I have customers who are sweet and are appreciative. Then I have the ENTITLED customer. It may be they think this because they are paying so that makes them automatically right , they may think this because they are successful in their job thus always in control of a situation or maybe it’s because they’ve been born into money so money buys everything and people say yes to money.
    Respect goes both ways. Entitled people don’t generally respect anybody but themselves. So if you are a customer whether you are rich or poor, amazing at your job and at the top of your game or just you reckon you should be treated like a god because you’ve declared to spend you’re hard earned pay check. If you don’t treat the person serving you with respect you shouldn’t get it back. There’s a way a good way to ask for something, sometimes you can’t have it, I’ve got a good reason why I can’t do it for you. Having a tantrum still won’t gets it for you. You think you’ve been not served well. You’ve looked entitled and a bit of a tool. You still don’t have what you want. If you look deeply inside yourself you may see the nice person/child you may have been before you thought the world owes you something.

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