Entitlement thinking and how it keeps us stuck
Have you ever been stuck on a situation and couldn’t let it go because, in your mind, the whole thing did not play out the way you expected?
You had this different idea of what should have happened instead, what the other person should have done or said to bring the whole issue to a resolution and to your full satisfaction…
Yep, it is called a sense of entitlement.
When someone does something hurtful or behaves in a manner we do not approve of, we have this expectation of them 1) realizing their wrongdoings and 2) eventually giving us what we think we deserve, want or need.
No matter what is happening, we may stubbornly refuse to see the whole picture and the whole ‘truth’. Instead, we may choose to focus on our own perception of the things, what we tell ourselves and a desired outcome that is usually aimed at meeting our hopes and expectations.
When something uncomfortable happens, we get stuck on it thinking we deserve a better outcome because we are so darn great, loving, and wonderful.
Because we are so giving and loving we now expect ‘a better ending’. We deserve a better ending because that would validate our shattered ego and fragile self-esteem. We just cannot bear to having it all ended NOT on our terms.
Veronica from Minneapolis writes:
“He dumped me out of the blue 6 months ago, but I still cannot let it go. I think I deserve some kind of explanation, don’t I? …When I play it all back in my head, trying to figure out where it went wrong, nothing comes out. If only I knew why he left, it would give me peace… He won’t talk to me, won’t explain anything, and won’t return my messages. How inconsiderate! ...I may contact him again. I need an explanation”
Because of the sense of entitlement we just won’t let it go, especially if there is a teeny-tiny chance of changing ‘the ending’.
This involves a crazy amount of thinking, energy, slow playing of different scenarios back and forth, and elevated hopes.
Calling them and calling, begging for answers in attempt to re-write the ending, is nothing but a way of saying: “I do not accept the situation because that’s not what was supposed to happen”
I do not mean to be rude or inconsiderate, but who do you think you are? Why is your way of seeing things or ending things more important than theirs? Have you been in their shoes? No? Then why do you think you know better?
Because of the way they ended things and us not consenting to it or signing on some dotted line we now feel defeated, powerless, humiliated, crushed, disappointed and angry. “They owe me – we scream – they owe me the sense of resolution. They owe me because that’s what I DESERVE”
Cut into shreds, lying on the floor, we beg God for fairness and a more satisfying conclusion.
THIS IS what makes us stuck.
We keep reworking and reworking back and forth multiple scenarios, hoping for one more chance to talk to them, one more chance to yell, cry, to make a point or to change the outcome that would be less humiliating to our wounded ego. They may even agree with our terms, who knows? We will never know until we try.
And so we keep trying and trying, endlessly obsessing over the bitter and uncomfortable end we believe was given to us unfairly. That nagging sense of a cliff-hanger… we just cannot let it go so unresolved and unfinished.
Sadly, this kind of thinking results from our own sense of self-worth. We falsely believe that behavior, actions, and words of other people are directly tied to who we are. So, by demanding the ‘right outcome’ from others, we hope to validate our ego and boost our sense of self-worth.
It is like we do not know how to feel OK without external sources supplying that “I am OK” feeling.
If we were self-content and had other (internal) means of emotional security, then the behavior of other people or some random unfortunate events would not have that much power over our mood and sense of well-being. We would not be stuck, agonizing in pain, demanding validation from external sources.
We should not tie our identity to external happenings.
Once we rely on an internal source to feel happy, the external events won’t have that much power over us. We won’t be as sensitive and vulnerable. We will be more in control. It just does not make sense to be this emotionally volatile, like a feather in the wind that changes directions constantly. The world is full of stupidity. You need a protective shield!
It is no wonder that entitlement thinking causes a lot of pain. It is painful to us, and it is painful to the people surrounding us. I really love the following quotes. Hopefully, they make sense to you too:
“We are the ones who choose to be offended by others, and ultimately, it’s only ourselves that we are hurting” – source Adaption.com
“You make yourself and others suffer just as much when you take offense as when you give offense” – Ken Keyers, Jr.
“Taking offense where none is offered, should be a trigger for self reflection” - source quotesgram.com
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