I was listening to another of my favorite podcasts the other day and the word “entitled” was discussed. The podcaster said that this is a word that carries with it a lot of ill feelings in our world today. I think a sense of entitlement can be arrogant, self centered and mostly undeserved of the person that has the sense of entitlement. It brings to mind a petulant and spoiled child stomping their feet and yelling to be heard.
At any rate, she was saying that sometimes we need to feel entitled.
I think there is a fine line there.
A couple of years ago someone I was fond of borrowed almost $1000 from me to have her tooth repaired. She said, “I’ll pay you back before you leave to go home.” and I haven’t seen a penny of that money since.
Recently I read that she was standing at the checkout counter in a supermarket and had taken more items than she could afford. She was embarrassed and shuffling around trying to decide what to put back, when she spied someone she knew standing in line a few patrons back. She wrote that this was someone she called “a friend”. It would seem the friend wasn’t interested in giving her the money to cover her grocery bill though. She was incensed and lamented that times were hard for everyone and this person really should have stepped up and assisted her by paying.
I read this and wanted to shout at her.
When did she become so entitled to everyone else’s money?
I think we are all entitled to taking care of ourselves. We are allowed to sleep enough hours in a night and to put ourselves first so we remain healthy in our minds and in our bodies. I believe this.
I do not believe we are to put those people around us at our mercy and to use them for whatever we can get, just so our selfish and extravagant needs are met.
I also believe that the Universe provides for those that don’t take advantage of others, which is proven by the grocery checkout story. That woman has always been selfish and greedy. She has taken money from more folks than just me. Karma is making the rounds there.
So what does entitlement feel like?
The definition is pretty straightforward. You feel you have a right to something. You feel that you deserve it. Usually this is about special privileges and luxuries. You can also feel entitled to have certain feelings or to have feelings returned to you by someone else.
Feeling entitled isn’t about softness or demure posture. Feeling this way is a demand. You demand that this is made so. I see nothing wrong with standing your ground on some matters, but I think under any circumstances at all, whatever you feel entitled to should be something you have earned.
The next time you find yourself in a position of feeling like you’re owed something, ask yourself if this is something you feel you’ve earned, or if you simply want it because you feel entitled to it.