If someone feels entitled, they probably have a long history of acting like the universe revolves around them. Sadly, many people today possess this sense of entitlement, and we really can’t blame them for it.
We grow up believing that the world owes us something in large part because of today’s parenting and teaching styles. Everyone gets a participation trophy, teachers pass students even if they failed, and in general, no one thinks they should go through any suffering or hardship to earn anything.
So, it makes sense why we have a world full of entitled people. Studies indicate a rise in narcissism in western cultures, likely due to an increased emphasis on individualism and social media use. This correlates strongly with a sense of entitlement because narcissists believe that the world revolves around them, and they deserve everything under the sun.
Parents and teachers foster this mindset as well when they make children believe they should always win or always get the latest toy. While children need love and support, they also need to know that others matter and that people don’t have to cater to their needs all the time.
So, with that said, let’s get into the signs that someone feels entitled, and how to encourage people to develop a sense of empathy.
“Entitlement is a delusion built on self-centeredness and laziness.” – Unknown
Here are ten red flags someone feels entitled:
They only care about their own needs/wants.
Those who feel entitled will always put their desires first. They don’t care what it takes to have their needs fulfilled. Indeed, hey will not stop until they have been satisfied, and that gratification will quickly wear off. Furthermore, they can’t seem to stop the vicious cycle of getting what they want, feeling empty, and needing even more than before to keep them satisfied.
They won’t show much concern for what others need or want, and will not have a problem stepping on other people’s toes to actualize their desires. A red flag of a sense of entitlement involves a supreme sense of superiority and belief that the person should get their way 100% of the time.
They continuously seek attention.
People who feel entitled will likely spend a large portion of their time seeking attention and compliments from others. Whether they spend most of their time on social media or showing off their latest accomplishments to friends or family, they can’t seem to get enough attention. Social media fuels their addiction to social acceptance because no one can stop them from posting selfies or making videos, and they can garner the attention of potentially millions.
If someone in your life shows these signs, they probably feel pretty entitled.
People who feel entitled love to throw pity parties.
If they don’t get their way, a person who feels entitled will let you know it. They will complain for hours on end about how someone cut them off in traffic or how their latest business deal didn’t work out. They don’t ever look for solutions. Instead, they like to fixate on their problems. It gives them quite a shock when the world doesn’t cater to their every need or when something doesn’t go according to plan, so they have no coping skills to deal with it.
They will cry, scream, and pick fights until they’ve gotten enough of throwing a temper tantrum, and usually, an empathetic person will come to their aid. Sadly, empaths and highly sensitive people tend to attract narcissists like a moth to a flame due to their giving, caring nature.
They believe they always deserve happiness and often hurt others to get it.
Those with a strong sense of entitlement will knock others down just to make themselves feel better. They don’t care if people get hurt as long as they achieve their end goal. Narcissists have an inflated sense of self and somehow think that their happiness matters more than that of other people. They will stop at nothing to make sure their wants get fulfilled.
If someone feels entitled, they will belittle others and gaslight them if they don’t get what they want.
Another red flag that someone feels entitled is that they will make others feel crazy for not catering to their needs. They may make others feel guilty for not doing exactly what they asked, and the person will likely fall for it (especially if it’s a significant other). Watch out for this type of behavior, as this can become dangerous and mentally harmful over time.
They cut others off to ensure their success.
They want the big prize and can’t stand to let anyone else have it. The person who feels entitled won’t allow others to become successful if it cuts into their profits or fame. They may sabotage any attempts for others to reach the top so that they can claim that spot for themselves. They want to win all the time and will act like a sore loser if they don’t achieve success.
Entitled people take more than they give.
A classic sign of entitlement involves taking more than giving for the person who thinks the world revolves around them. They don’t care what others need but will have a long list of needs themselves. If others give them the cold shoulder, they will throw a big pity party and, like others have done them wrong. They have a huge double standard about how others should treat them even though they don’t follow the golden rule themselves.
They don’t know how to negotiate or compromise.
If their needs haven’t been met to a T, they will not be satisfied. A person who feels entitled will not feel complete if they can’t check every desire off their list. They don’t know how to meet in the middle; with them, it’s all or nothing.
People who feel entitled need lots of validation and flattery.
Another narcissist trait, the person who feels entitled, will need a lot of compliments and praise to get by. They feel empty and worthless if others don’t notice their success or accomplishments.
In general, they believe they are more important or better than others.
Finally, a red flag that someone feels entitled is that they will just feel superior to others. They’re the hottest thing on the block, obviously, and they expect everyone else to agree and acknowledge that.
How to overcome the urge to feel entitled
Now that we’ve gone over the red flags that someone feels entitled, we want to go over ways that someone can get over this entitlement complex. Now, we don’t want to give the impression that everyone should act perfectly. We know that almost everyone struggles with something, whether it’s low self-esteem, feeling entitled, or not feeling necessary. However, a sense of entitlement has the potential to hurt others as well as yourself.
So, if you or someone you know shows the “entitled trait,” here are some ways to combat it:
- Develop self-awareness. If you find that you think about yourself and your needs the majority of the time, try to extend empathy to others as well. Simply getting in the habit of checking in with your thoughts can reverse this sense of entitlement.
- Identify deeply rooted ideas about how you perceive your existence. In other words, do you feel that others should cater to you all the time? Do you think the world revolves around you? Often, this belief begins in childhood, so some inner child work can help undo this belief.
- Accept life the way it is and don’t always think you need something else to feel satisfied.
- Celebrate the successes of others, and feel gratitude for the relationships in your life. Remember that no one really knows what they’re doing here, and we’re all just trying to make it. Develop compassion for others, and try to see them as an extension of yourself.
If someone feels entitled, you’ll most likely know it within a few minutes of meeting them. They will probably talk about themselves most of the time and not show much interest in your own needs or wants. They will also cut others off and do whatever it takes to get to the top. Entitled people may have a narcissistic personality disorder, or just have traits of a narcissist.
When dealing with these types, you need to remember to set boundaries and perhaps even cut off ties with them if needed. No one should ever make you feel guilty for not catering to their every need, and if they do, they have serious work to do on themselves. A sense of entitlement often begins in the early stages of life, but with inner work and perhaps the help of a therapist, they can develop empathy and compassion for others.
“Man is not, by nature, deserving of all that he wants. When we think that we are automatically entitled to something, that is when we start walking all over others to get it.” – Criss Jami