A new study confirms that those who feel more entitled than others ultimately end up feeling the most unhappy.
Me, Myself, and I
Entitlement is a term that connotes a degree of selfishness. It’s a state of thought and behavior where an individual feels he/she deserves better than others. Standard rules don’t apply to the entitled.
This particular attitude is not just about deserving more “things” or money. It exudes a tad of narcissism; it’s a me-me world, which is all about what I want. And, I should get what I want—because I’m me!
We’ve all observed a person who believes he/she is an exception to the norm. They are often the person who complains the most, the loudest, or blames others for their own unmet expectations.
A lot of times that individual expects something for nothing.
But we know the world doesn’t operate that way. That person may annoy us—or even make us feel envious (because a lot of times they do get what they want.) But new research out of Bowling Green University in Ohio shows that the “entitled” more often experience disappointment. They basically set themselves up for disenchantment and distress.
Don’t Whiney, Be Happy
The lead author of the study, Joshua Grubbs, explains that along with a sense of entitlement, there is a void of pride in earning. When we work hard and receive what we desire, we feel a sense of satisfaction.
Taking it a step further, we can feel satisfied by the smallest of accomplishments on a daily basis. We even have the ability to feel happy for the things we already have. That falls into the category of gratitude.
The study reviewed over 170 separate studies on the theme of entitlement. One discovery, which was a pervading theme, was the entitled person’s level of disappointment. Because he/she created a level of expectations (that were often unmet), the individual became angry and depressed. Those emotions bled into social and personal relationships, and life overall, did not hold much joy.
Ambition vs. Entitlement
As we are learning, entitlement is often synonymous with negativity and unpleasantness. Ambition, however, can be healthy if approached properly.
A strong drive and motivation to achieve is a positive model for attaining goals. Working hard and setting standards are realistic modes of meeting one’s own expectations. “Many of the world’s greatest, most-accomplished leaders have been truly humble people.”
Truly, the world doesn’t owe us one thing. Perhaps that’s a good reason to be thankful for the things we do have. How positive it must be to teach and model for our children behaviors that display best effort and genuine gratitude. After all, isn’t the thing we want most for our children is for them to be happy?
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