If you’ve made it this far in my Blog Series, then you have already read about Basic & Essential Life Skills. In this post, we will first discuss self-entitlement and then begin to discuss ways to both prevent & undo the damage.
What is Self-Entitlement?
When an individual perceives themselves as deserving of unearned privileges, the belief that life owes them something; a reward, a measure of success or a particular standard of living, this is self-entitlement.
Narcissism is the key component. The exaggerate self of self, self-importance coupled with a lack of regard or empathy for others.
There is an unbalanced sense of ownership in that they believe they have access to whatever they want, but are unwilling to share with others.
There is a belief that they have the right to start at the top of the ladder. They deserve the best, not because they have worked for it, earned it, but because they want it. This bottom-up approach infuriates those that struggle to climb rung by rung.
Self-entitlement and self-awareness are opposites. Self-entitlement lacks accountability and will seek excuses and blame when confronted. Self-awareness demonstrates a high level of accountability and empathy; an ability to see different perspectives.
Extreme anger when confronted, often fits of rage; physical or verbal aggression, or passive eye-rolls or a death-glare are all signs of self-entitlement.
When the anger does not help them reach their goal, they may resort to the “poor me” game. Self-pitying behaviours coupled with manipulation and attention-seeking will follow the dominant, aggressive behaviours. They are likely to punish themselves, but make it appear as though you are punishing them. There is a strong victim mentality.
What is behind all of this negative behaviour?
This person is lost, lonely and longs to be admired. They are not happy with themselves and lack the skills to express that effectively. Instead they lash out at the people they blame for their own misery. There is a constant need for validation, and they attempt this by demanding respect. The level of insecurity is frightening and they are unable to fully acknowledge it, so they project it onto those around them.
They lack the essential life skills to navigate the world on their own and this frightens them to their very core. Therefore, they try to ensure that others will pick up the slack by demanding, arguing, lashing out and disrespecting those they hold dear.
What can we do to help?
Depending on the age of the person, this can be a long road; but it is possible.
We first must accept that no-one is born self-entitled. We create this mess by giving them what they want before we give them what they need. They wanted new headphones – they needed to earn the headphones.
In order to effectively undo the self-entitlement, we must first look at ourselves. This child is merely reacting to the environment the parent has created. A child needs boundaries, structure and expectations. If we as parents, do not have our own boundaries in place, it is very difficult to teach our children to have boundaries.
Your children will become who you are, so become who you want them to be. ~Virginia Satir
Demonstrate the behaviours you wish to see in your child. Your actions must line up with your words. Yelling at a child to be quiet – is a mixed message.
Our children need role models – someone they watch intently. A role model will teach our children which behaviours are acceptable & which are not.
There are plenty of exemplary role models out there – Oprah, Dwayne Johnson, professional athletes, even movie stars. Your child is not interested in any of this. They want & need to be exactly like you. You are their Hero. You are who they are striving to be. You are the one who, through your own actions, will teach them how to navigate this world. They will gain their own sense of self, by watching you. They are not learning by listening, they are learning by watching.
Back to the Basics
Go back to the Basic & Essential Life skills. Assess yourself, do you have all of these skills? Do you effectively regulate your own emotions, or have you been known to fly off the handle? Do you have a strong sense of connectedness; to family, friends, groups or teams? Are you patient? Are you accountable?
It is possible to learn these skills at any age. You may not have learned them as a child, but you can still learn all of them, if you want to.
It is not our job to fix our children. It is our job to teach them how to fix themselves. ~ Andrea Scarborough
Teach your children how to fix themselves, by allowing them to witness your own journey of healing.
Your past is not your fault. Your future is your responsibility.
This is what I know of you so far:
- You are aware there is an issue. – We first must acknowledge the problem before we can begin to correct it. You are on the right path!!!
- You are seeking change. – The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over & over again, expecting a different result each time. You are willing to make changes!!! Congratulations!! You’re off to a great start!!!
- Ghandi said “Be the change you wish to see in the world” – You are trying to do that!! I’m proud of you!!
- You have everything you need to succeed. You have all the tools, knowledge, wisdom & experience you need to make the changes you need.
- If you have read this far, you are willing to go farther. You are ready to do something different, BE something different!! This is what makes you an amazing person & parent!!
I’d love to have a strategy session with you, to create simple, effective strategies you can begin to implement and see amazing results.
This session is FREE and you will gain valuable insight into helping your child create a life they are proud to live!!
Schedule your FREE Parent Strategy Assessment Session NOW!
Join our Solution-Focused Parenting Group to receive helpful hints, support & encouragement through your parenting journey.