Entitlement Is Its Own Punishment – Life After Narcissism
By Vaness Benjamin
I recently had a “come to Jesus moment” with a friend of mine who has some serious entitlement issues. Now, I am no stranger to feeling as if things should be handed to me on a silver platter. I am a recovering Narcissist; it’s what we do. It was such an interesting and eye-opening experience to get a taste of my own medicine. I remember telling my therapist how I really believed that people owed me something in life, which was shocking to even admit and even more shocking realizing the absurdity of that statement even as I said it out aloud.
I just spent an intensive three months living with my Godmother who just so happens to be my therapist and the author of one of the first books for the layman on personality disorders called “I Thought I Was the Crazy One” (Side Note: I WAS the crazy one). All the while I was with my Godmother, I was also enrolled in her online class called, Singularity: A Course In Transcending the Duality of the Ego, which whipped my entitled, arrogant, narcissistic ass into shape.
Now narcissism doesn’t always come in the classic forms we are all familiar with (insert clip of interview with Kanye West saying “ I JUST TOLD YOU WHO I THOUGHT I WAS, A GOD!”). Yes, we are all Gods who are a part of infinite source. In fact, we are instruments of this source and can do nothing without its power, which is something I say to remind myself so as to not let my head get too big.
Everyone has that friend who asks you to drive them many miles to a destination, then, upon arrival, expects you to drive them all the way back, assuming you have nothing better to do, and that you will just wait for them to finish what they are doing, never offering to pay for gas. Or that family member who comes over starving, excepting you to cook AND serve them, and after finishing their meal, never even offers to help clean the dishes they’ve dirtied. God forbid you should ask them to clean the pots and pans used to cook their meal, or even worse, clean the cook’s dishes out of gratitude and appreciation. This was my M.O. for years and I had no shame.
A person who expects others to give to them without working for it or who does not reciprocate kindness to others are generally miserable people. Why? Because people who walk around with an entitlement begging bowl will always feel unfulfilled. In fact you can NEVER do enough for entitled people. They will always be in need, and their ingratitude will inhibit their ability to see the many blessings in their life and the countless forms of abundance provided to them. Entitled people are almost always lazy and expect things handed to them without lifting a finger. This means that they will never know the pleasure of experiencing the joy of working to earn what they have, nor the self-esteem that comes from this independence. It goes without saying, those who are entitled generally have co-dependency issues as well.
What I have also noticed within myself and others, is that when an entitled person does not get what they want from people or from life, they instantly suffer. They feel angry, sad, depressed, and/or “victimized” because they feel as if they have been denied what they are owed. Although I know this feeling all too well, I know the relief of accepting the truth that no one owes me anything. So when I don’t get what I want or if I run into a roadblock, it doesn’t hurt as much because there are less expectations. Moreover, realizing that no one owes me anything has allowed me to truly appreciate what others do for me and to see the miracle in the generosity of others, which in turn makes me want to give the gift of service and kindness back to another.
The other funny thing is that entitlement really impedes problem-solving. I have seen myself and my friend, fail to see very simple solutions presented to us when something goes wrong or when we don’t get what we want. The reason is that anger or other negative emotions interrupt critical thinking and logical common sense associated with the frontal lobe and Neocortex. This keeps a person stuck in the Limbic or emotional center of the brain that sits right above the primitive reptilian complex of the brain related to survival and the automatic response. It’s not surprising that most often these common-sense solutions require that we actually do something for ourselves or work for what is needed or desired.
It was not easy for me to let go of feeling entitled. In fact, it was only after hitting rock bottom multiple times, burning many bridges, and the prospect of being perpetually unemployable due to laziness that I realized entitlement was no longer serving me. I also noticed that those who live a life of gratitude and appreciation get further in life, have more fulfilling relationships, and actually have and maintain more abundance in their lives. It’s a universal spiritual law that those who practice gratitude receive more from life, and of course, there is that saying of “God helps those who help themselves.” It is just common sense that those who really want to get what they want out of life, which always equates to happiness, would ditch the entitlement and get with gratitude and services to others.