People who feel entitled often exhibit these 7 behaviors (without realizing it)

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We all have our quirks, but sometimes those quirks are indicative of something deeper than we’d like to admit.

You might look at your interactions and fail to see the subtle signs of entitlement or feel unsure if what you’re exhibiting is normal or not.

How do you know if what you’re showing is a real sense of entitlement, or just the typical assertiveness that most people display?

After observing my own behavior and the behavior of those around me, I put together a list of 7 common behaviors that often suggest an underlying sense of entitlement. If these resonate, it might be time to take a step back and reassess your approach.

1) Always being the first to speak

It’s natural to want to share your thoughts and opinions with others, but when does it cross the line into entitlement?

One of the common behaviors of those who feel entitled is a tendency to always be the first to speak in discussions. They may interrupt others, dismiss their opinions, or steamroll conversations entirely.

The underlying belief is that their thoughts, experiences, and ideas are more valuable than anyone else’s. This is not just about being assertive or outgoing. It’s about an inherent disregard for the perspectives and experiences of others.

If you find yourself always leading conversations or unable to hold back your opinion even when it’s not asked for, you might be exhibiting this sign of entitlement. It could be time to take a step back and give others the space to express themselves.

2) Feeling upset when not praised

Who doesn’t like a bit of praise every now and then? It’s a natural human desire to be acknowledged for our achievements.

However, those who feel entitled often have an excessive need for recognition. They may feel upset, slighted, or even angry when they believe their efforts have gone unnoticed.

At its core, this behavior stems from a belief that they are inherently deserving of praise – not just for exceptional achievements, but for everyday tasks as well. This is not just about wanting validation. It’s about expecting it as a given.

3) Difficulty accepting ‘no’ for an answer

We all experience rejection, disappointment and the occasional closed door. It’s a part of life and learning to handle these situations gracefully is a mark of maturity.

However, individuals with a sense of entitlement often have a hard time accepting ‘no’ for an answer. They may react with anger, resentment or even try to manipulate the situation to get their own way.

At the root of this behavior is a belief that they have an intrinsic right to any opportunity or resource they desire. This isn’t just about being persistent or ambitious, it’s about feeling that the world owes them something.

4) Displaying a lack of empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, a cornerstone of human connection.

Interestingly, research suggests that those who feel entitled often display a lack of empathy. They may struggle to relate to others’ experiences or dismiss their feelings as insignificant.

Underlying this behavior is the belief that their feelings, experiences and needs are more important than anyone else’s. This isn’t about being self-centered from time to time, it’s about a consistent disregard for the emotional well-being of others.

5) Believing they are always right

Every one of us has been wrong at some point – it’s a universal human experience. We make mistakes, we learn, we grow.

Yet, those who carry a sense of entitlement often have a deeply ingrained belief that they are always right. They may dismiss others’ opinions, refuse to accept constructive criticism or persist in their viewpoint even in the face of compelling evidence to the contrary.

At the heart of this behavior is a fear of being wrong, which they perceive as a personal failure or weakness. This isn’t about holding strong convictions or being confident in your knowledge, it’s about an inability to accept the possibility of being mistaken.

6) Always playing the victim

Life can be challenging at times and we all face hardships. However, how we react to these challenges can say a lot about us.

Interestingly, those with a sense of entitlement often see themselves as the perpetual victim. They may consistently blame others for their problems, refuse to take responsibility for their actions, or feel that the world is against them.

At the core of this behavior is a belief that they are exempt from the normal challenges of life and when these challenges occur, it’s someone else’s fault. This isn’t about occasionally feeling overwhelmed by life’s difficulties, it’s about a persistent refusal to take ownership for one’s life.

7) Having unrealistic expectations

We all have dreams and aspirations, and setting high expectations can often motivate us to achieve our goals.

However, those who feel entitled often have unrealistic expectations. They may expect others to cater to their needs, demand perfection from themselves and others, or believe they deserve success without putting in the necessary work.

This behavior stems from a belief that they are special and therefore, ordinary rules or standards don’t apply. This isn’t about being ambitious or striving for excellence, it’s about expecting unreasonable outcomes without considering the realities involved.

Understanding the roots of entitlement

One common root cause of entitlement is early life experiences. Kids showered with praise may think they’re special and deserving, while those neglected or abused may develop entitlement as a defense mechanism to regain control and assert importance.

But hold up, it’s not just about childhood days. Cultural factors also play a significant role. We live in a society that often encourages and rewards entitlement.

Social media, for instance, has created a culture of self-promotion and comparison, where worth is often measured by likes, followers, and external validation.

Now, let’s not bash entitlement completely. A healthy sense of entitlement can help individuals stand up for their rights, assert their needs, and strive for what they deserve. It’s when this belief becomes inflated or unbalanced that it poses problems.

The key is to find that sweet spot in how we see ourselves – appreciating our worth without putting others down, expressing our needs without ignoring theirs, and craving acknowledgment without relying solely on it for our self-esteem.

Lucas Graham

Lucas Graham, based in Auckland, writes about the psychology behind everyday decisions and life choices. His perspective is grounded in the belief that understanding oneself is the key to better decision-making. Lucas’s articles are a mix of personal anecdotes and observations, offering readers relatable and down-to-earth advice.

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