The curse of entitlement

Human egocentrism is inherently costly to your relationships and to your finances. Is a sense of entitlement costing you? Hamm explains how patience and selflessness are financial virtues. 

Chris Helgren/Reuters/File
A piggy bank branded with the logo of the English Premier League soccer club Arsenal is seen in a souvenir shop in London. Hamm explains that patience and selflessness are financial virtues. Is a sense of entitlement costing you?

All of us feel a sense of entitlement sometimes.

We feel we have a right to the best medical treatment. We feel we have a right to a better position at work because we earned it. We feel we should have the larger bedroom because we’re the one who put in more leg work to find the apartment. We feel we should be seated first at the restaurant because the two of us arrived before that party of seven. We deserve that special treat because we’ve worked so hard lately.

Of course, we should be able to expect fair treatment from those to whom we provide our business and to those we choose to spend our time with and our energy with. 

However, human nature is egocentric. We tend to see things mostly from our own perspective and we expect that we deserve things handed to us.

We’re sick, so we deserve the full focus of the doctor, regardless of the other medical issues that doctor is handling at the moment.

We worked hard, so we deserve the promotion, regardless of what others might have done and what the specific requirements of that job are.

We found the apartment so we deserve the big bedroom, regardless of whether our roommate might actually have a reason to have the larger space.

We made it to the restaurant before that large party so we should be seated right now, regardless of the fact that only a few tables in the restaurant can actually fit this large party.

We worked hard all week and deserve that special treat, regardless of the cost of it and how that cost will affect our finances.

That sense of entitlement has costs.

Someone who demands immediate care for their relatively minor ailment might be treated by a distracted doctor who is thinking more about the care needed by that very sick child down the hall. By waiting a bit, that person might very well get a more attentive appointment and more appropriate care.

Someone who demands a promotion even when the job makes more sense for someone else can end up being perceived in a pretty poor way by management and will likely be overlooked for other opportunities in the future.

Someone who demands the larger bedroom without a good reason or without a fair way of determining who gets the room might very well find themselves without a roommate.

Someone who demands to be seated immediately might very well find themselves pushed to the back of the list by the host.

Someone who demands a special treat for their efforts might find that the expense of the treat ends up costing them over the long run.

Someone who regularly makes demands of others might find that people aren’t there for them when they truly need the help.

The world does not revolve around your immediate needs.

If you feel that it does, you’re likely to spend money needlessly. You’re likely to push people in directions they don’t want to be pushed. You’re also likely to not end up with what you “deserve” on a somewhat frequent basis.

You are not entitled to wealth. You are not entitled to happiness. You are not entitled to success. You are not entitled to a special treat.

Those things are the natural reward for hard work and effort and consistent good choices. They will happen naturally if you step back and let them happen.

You don’t need to spend and push and demand. While those things might get you a small reward in the moment, they generally cost you.

You no longer experience the natural reward that comes from work and effort and good choices. Entitlement disconnects that.

Instead, you simply demand and expect those things, and when people begin to demand and expect things, they become less and less pleasant to be around.

Right now, stop and ask yourself what you feel entitled to. Do you feel entitled to immediate service? Do you feel entitled to regular treats? Do you feel entitled to the most comfortable seat?

What are those entitlements really costing you? Are they worth it?

The post The Curse of Entitlement appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.
Real news can be honest, hopeful, credible, constructive.
What is the Monitor difference? Tackling the tough headlines – with humanity. Listening to sources – with respect. Seeing the story that others are missing by reporting what so often gets overlooked: the values that connect us. That’s Monitor reporting – news that changes how you see the world.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to

QR Code to The curse of entitlement
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today