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Ep. 88 Entitlement

by Claudine Sweeney
August 4th 2021

Entitlement is one of those characteristics that we can see in someone that isn't the most attractive, right? Someone who thinks others "owe" them something. Sometimes that entitlement feeling can ... More

you're listening to the Rise up and Shine podcast with Claudine and Ashley as an empty nester and a mom with young kids. We have both shared very similar and very real struggles from chaos to coaches. We now help other women live an authentic and meaningful life. So tune in weekly for girl talk and tips on how you too can rise up and let your light shine bright. This is the Rise up and Shine podcast. Welcome back listeners to the Rise up and Shine podcast Today, I have a couple questions for you first. Do you often feel discontent? Do you feel envy resentment over the blessings others seem to have. Are you often disappointed with life? Do you often unfavorably compare yourself and your situation with that of others? If you've answered yes to any of these, you might be struggling with entitlement. Today's topic for our podcast.

And entitlement is easy to recognize in others, but often hard to identify in ourselves, right? Because if we're entitled, we already believe that we're entitled. And so the definition for entitlement when I have, I know I think you're going to share another one. Ashleigh, but when I have is an unmerited or inappropriate expectation of a favorable condition or treatment at the hands of others. So I want to read this passage from this article on strategic renewal says Entitlement place itself at the center of one's universe, relationships, circumstances and engagement with life are usually interpreted with self focused expectations as the primary point of reference and I am sure that we all have, as you said, come across somebody in our lifetime where we have been able to point that out. I you seem entitled. Obviously we don't say that to their face, but I'm sure we thought that had people we've interacted with maybe family maybe at work, um maybe a past relationship where you feel like, gosh, this person just really acts entitled.

And like you said, it's easier to point it out and others than in our own hearts, right? Because that's one thing about being deceived. We don't know we're being deceived, right? So then it's hard for us to recognize certain things and if we have a heart that feels entitled, then we're pretty deceived because frankly we're not we are not entitled. Well, the problem with entitlement is how we treat others, right? Because the expectation is from others about how we should be treated or what we should get or what we should have. I mean, others either in our life for God, even we can feel entitled with God. Well, I deserve this. I mean, the prodigal son, his brother really in a certain way, he was entitled, right? I'm like, I've been here the whole time. Where's my where's my share? And the father is like, well, you've always had it, right? So we see examples of entitlement in the scriptures. And the problem is how we treat others, it doesn't make them feel very good. Certainly not a christ like attribute and then how do we behave when we don't get what we want because that's where it can get sinful.

Really? Oh yeah, well, and just like what you said, how we expect others to treat us or you know, basically have things given to us to us with no effort put into it. Um, I know one situation has been feeling like for myself, I've been feeling taken advantage of in certain relationships, you know, like I always need to be available to help you out. And it felt there was a sense of entitlement there because if I wasn't available and I'd have to say no, then there was chaos, you know, there was frustration on the other end because it was like, well I expect you to do this, not that it was said, but the behavior, you know, the reaction to it and that that can happen, that can happen to any of us being on the receiving end of that, or it can also happen in our own hearts, you know, I know even with myself, I can think of a point of feeling entitled towards my Children, I do so much for you. You know, you can do something around the house, You could, you know, and I can feel like that.

Well, hold on feeling a little entitled here. And yes, there are certain expectations. We all live under this roof. They need a kitchen, but to a point where I'm like overreacting, then that's coming from the heart of, you know, being feeling entitled and it's not, doesn't necessarily make you an entitled person, but those things can creep in those little habits or behaviors can creep in. Yeah, and it's not attractive. Those are an attractive habits or behaviors. So that's why we're talking about that today because we really want to rise up and shine, we want to have great relationships, we want to be the light of the world and it's hard to do that with an entitled attitude. And recently I was in a conversation with someone that came across incredibly entitled. It was rather shocking for me. I was like, whoa, it was so blatant. Like even the words were like, you owe me, you know, and it wasn't something that is normal. Like the other person didn't really owe them that it's not a normal thing to expect from someone.

Yet person, a really felt like person b owed them this rather large. They believe they believe, believe they believed it and they wanted it, but they weren't willing to earn it themselves. And so I look at myself in my own heart in my twenties, I certainly struggled with entitlement. I think it is part of youth to a certain degree as we get older and we mature were like, oh yeah, the world doesn't owe me everything, you know, I can go out and work for it. Um, but certainly when I got married, I expected a certain lifestyle had grown up in a way, and was surrounded by a lot of wealth from my school that I went to private girls school and thought, well then when you get married, that's the lifestyle you automatically get, well, guess what? You don't automatically get that when you marry an out of work actor, not the lifestyle, there's the hope of potentially, but at the time really what you're, what I married was a waiter. That's a very different lifestyle than the one I was expecting and felt entitled to. Which is funny because I really believed I deserved it.

I don't know why, like, I look back down like why did I believe I deserve that because other people around me had it because I worked hard in school. I don't know, I just thought I deserved and that's the part of entitlement, I deserve this because it's not that I expected, expectations is one thing, but the entitlement is I deserve it and I really don't want to work for it. Yeah, I want someone else to give it to me or do it for me. That's the tricky part of entitlement, right? Yeah. So you think about entitlement, it really stems from, you know, life, you know, in childhood too. So it's your experiences, you've gone through its how you've been treated your view of authority even. Um and I want to read this quote out of the psychology today article that I found that was just a brilliant way of describing it. Especially, you know, when we think about raising Children, right, we try not to raise spoiled Children because they become entitled adults.

So, um, this was a really well said in this article that said the entitlement epidemic usually begins with over parenting, overindulging over protecting, over pampering over praising and jumping through hoops to meet kids endless demands. Today's generation of parents are overly invested in their child's happiness, comfort and success. And when I read that, I was like, oh my gosh, so easy to try and make life so comfortable for our Children because we want them to be happy. And that stems from many reasons it could stem from we want them to like us. Yeah, I really want a good relationship with our kids. It also stems from we want to feel comfortable and we do not like being around uncomfortable feelings. And so when there's animosity, you know, towards us from our Children because they're upset about something, they're frustrated and they're yelling at you, You know, we want to avoid that at all costs, right?

That's uncomfortable. We don't want to feel that our brain wants to be comfortable and safe. And so we're going to, you know, go to whatever extremes to make that happen. And so when it comes to our Children, we want our Children to have have it easy, basically, you know, in one way to even ask yourself to self reflect is do I say yes to my Children all the time, you know, you're in line at the grocery store and they have very strategically placed Lagos and candy and all kinds of things that kids want right there in the little ill and those little quarter tubes of Pringles, I've noticed they charged a dollar something for those. I'm thinking the full can just five aisles down, it's like almost the same price. So I know when we go through those, especially when the kids were younger there, I want this, I want that. I remember the day they went to school and I can go to the grocery store because it was so hard for me to say no because of those uncomfortable feelings and I did not respect boundaries, my own boundaries, I didn't have boundaries then, but it was very hard for me.

I wanted to, I wanted my kids to be happy. And so I feel like, oh yes, yes, yes. And I remember they were telling me before every time you say um we know it's a yes, like I'm thinking about it and they say you tend to say yes. And so I really had to take a look, you know, in myself at am I really setting my kids up for success? And one thing we started doing was chores allowance. Um so they have their own money to spend because now if they happen to go to the store with me or if they want to buy something when we're on a vacation or something, they have their own money, they can spend and we can say yes, because it's their money, it's coming out of their pocket, right? And it's giving them good tools of looking ahead, saving money and just money management, right, for the future. But other other side note, but really it really comes down to looking at how, how we are acting towards our Children, our spouse, other relationships are we are we really guarding our hearts.

And also there's as well, right, That's a great point. I mean that's a great lesson for moms with young Children. You know, we saw a movie called yesterday. Oh, I love that movie. It was cute. We just constantly asking for it. Yes, yes. And I thought how cute. Now that would have been effective for me because unlike you, I was not saying yes to my Children all the time I was, the other way I swung the pendulum the other way is like, no, no, no, no. You know, a lot of times, because we couldn't afford it, but other times I was like, I think I had such fear that I would raise a spoiled child that I swung way the other way, Probably not the most healthy sense, but they did have to earn things, they had chores from an early age and although I wasn't disciplined enough to keep track of all their stars and chores, but we would just go, oh yeah, you've been really good for a few weeks. I go get a toy now my daughter who has a three year old and one year old, three year old, they just started a star chart a few weeks ago and apparently he's got seven stars and when he gets 30 stars he earns, you know, some toys, some appropriate toy for a three year old.

But I love the fact that she's already teaching him, he has to work really hard, you know, be really good. His little chores, he has chores at three, has to put his toys away and I don't know what else his chores are, but he has some of three which is interesting is pitching in, he's pitching in. That's right. So and learning how to share with his one year old sisters important important characteristic. But yeah, I mean young, right, It starts really early, it does start young. So I don't feel that I spoil my child, but my Children, but in Thailand also can come if you've had a really hard childhood or you really didn't have much of anything, then there's this sense as an adult, I deserve this because I've already suffered and paid the price. Right? And so there's this expectation of my childhood was unfair. Are full of challenges and trials and now I'm entitled to a smooth and easy life going for another sense of entitlement can come from a personality disorder like narcissist or some kind of disorder where they just have a warped sense of self and others and so it just everything self centered, you can't even see beyond yourself.

And so those are some of the ways that entitlement can come, you know, and we don't spend a whole lot of time talking about why things are, but when we have something, how can we overcome and what are some practical that we can use to help overcome that and be in healthier place? So that's what we're talking about today. Entitlement, it's not pretty and especially not pretty amongst christians, it's very unattractive and on christ like, but yet we find examples of entitlement in the scriptures like I shared about the prodigal sons, brother, but even the Pharisees, they were like this is my place of honor and I deserve this and I deserve that and jesus really came hard on them a lot of times, entitlement can come also from pride, we have to check our heart, you know, it's the pride, like, well I deserve this and uh and even sometimes feeling like I've earned it. I know I certainly struggled with that when my kids were teens, I felt like they should be in a different place in their own walk with God because I had put in all the work, like we did all the family devotionals, I did all this and I felt very entitled to specific results.

So it was very difficult time for me to really sort through my own heart and my relationship with God and you know, see, okay, wait, he doesn't owe me anything right? He doesn't and just look at my efforts and I did them because I wanted to, not because I wanted to get something out of it, but a lot of times, that's what we do, we do things because we want something out of it. Not necessarily that's wrong, but if then we don't get what we want. It's a problem. I think one reason why or how we can get to a entitlement heart is a lack of gratitude. I know I have felt when those moments come up and I recognize, oh my gosh, I'm acting kind of entitled right now, my behavior. Um I realized I'm not being grateful for things. I'm not really taking the initiative to practice gratitude on a daily basis, even a weekly basis. Yeah, let's be honest, I can get too wrapped up in my life circumstance, what's going on responsibilities demands and that's so easy to do and we feel like, gosh, when we put in so much work or we're doing things, you know, we should pay off, it should be paying off.

So I think that's even a sense of entitlement to, you know, I felt like especially with being a stay at home mom not earning income, right? I'm working inside the home unpaid, I love that. I thought, you know, I gotta stop saying a stay at home mom because it makes it seem like I'm on vacation and I'm not, I'm a working mother in the home that is just unpaid. So but really feeling of all the blood, sweat tears I put into it, you know, you almost feel like I should get something out of this I should get. And what happens as a quote unquote stay at home mom or in the home, working mom is that we feel like we do put a lot of stuff, put a lot of effort, time energy into giving to our family, taking care of the house, you know, managing things that need to be done and we, you know, not much appreciation, not much gratitude, not many thanks and we can kind of get stuck in that mode of like, gosh, nobody cares even of all I'm doing, you know?

But really, that's my own belief that can creep in and not be true. It doesn't mean that they are taking me for granted. It just means that, you know, I need to practice a little bit more gratitude. I'm not doing it for the praise of others or to get something out of it. I'm doing it because this is what I want to do, this is what I chose in my life, right? And so I think recognizing that too, and on the flip side of being on the receiving end of someone who I felt can come across entitled and um feeling like I need to be available at any moment to help out. Um that was a big challenge for me and I had to leave a lot of boundaries for that, you know, and that it's not a self reflection of me, it's just this is where this person is at and I'm allowed to have boundaries, boundaries is not an entitlement thing. Self care I want to put out. There is also not an entitlement thing. Um I think we can feel like it's selfish of us to have boundaries. It's selfish for me to say no, it's selfish for that was a big challenge for me, but really what I was doing, I was basically enabling this person to their entitlement, you know, and treat me a certain way.

So it's really important to distinguish those differences as well. Um yeah, you're so funny because you you will give in to someone who is entitled and when someone comes to me and I feel they're entitled, I do the opposite, I shut down, I'm like, yeah, you're not getting anything from me. It's so funny, like I'm like, you know, I don't like that, I won't say anything, but all of a sudden I'm unavailable. Just don't like that. Like don't we all react differently, react differently. I take it very different, very differently, but whatever way we respond, the point is entitlement is not attractive, right? We don't need to be doing it ourselves. Certainly we don't need to raise Children that are become entitled. And you know those around us, We need to help if they are being entitled, help them see, you know this maybe not the best thing. I'll ask questions. So what have you done to earn that in that situation I was in? That's really how I pointed it back. I redirected it to So what, tell me what you've done to get what you want Because this person really wanted something.

They wanted someone else to give it to them. And it was, it went back to what, what have you done to earn that? You know? And they couldn't answer it because they hadn't done anything. They wanted it Unmerited right? They didn't want to earn it. They wanted it, give it to them. And that's the hard part for me. I have a really hard time if someone just expect something from me that I haven't communicated that I want to give even our kids. It was funny when our oldest daughter, when she turned 16, we helped her by car. I think we bought the car entirely for her And her grandmother helped pitched in. So we got her car. Then the other three kids all turned 16. All of a sudden they want a car. Well we were in a financial position, nor did we think that was a given. We had never communicated that they were all getting cars. Our oldest did get a card 16 because she helped me, she was taking all those Children all around like she turned 16 all of a sudden I had a helper, she became the family, she became the family drive. Okay. Take your kid can take your brothers and sisters to school. Oh they have sports or can you pick this one up. And she really helped me by the time the others were 16 Or a driving age we were fine.

We didn't need that extra help and luckily they didn't, it wasn't over, they weren't too bad. I mean again they weren't super spoiled but they did kind of expect it but we just explain the situation then they were fine with it and they all earned their own cars. I mean even our youngest, he didn't get a car until he was 21. But his first one he earned like he had to go out and do it all by himself. So we didn't help in that regard. But yeah, I don't, I respond very differently. That is really interesting. Oh yeah, well it came down for me that it was a worthy issue. You know, feeling good enough, you know and I felt like and that goes way back into other issues but just the people pleaser in me, you know and I thought I was doing it out of love but I was doing it out of fear of rejection and you know, upsetting the person and yeah, we do, we take it very differently and it can feel like an attack on us, you know, if the other person is coming across entitled, but again, boundaries, boundaries, boundaries and they have an episode on this, boundaries are so important.

Um you know, we don't we don't need to subject ourselves to that, but also again on the flip side in our own hearts, very important, we don't want to be that person, right? We don't want to be that person that people think are entitled. And so it's very good to self reflect always. You know, I mean always self reflect and be, gosh, am I, am I living the life I want, am I being who I want to be, am I being who God called me to be, am I happy with myself and my you know, do I feel like I'm the mom that I wanted to be, or the wife I want to be or you know, any of that stuff is just at curiosity, make sure do not judge yourself, don't be harsh on yourself, be kind, but just out of curiosity. So, Ashley, let's talk about some practical um like you said, first thing is just awareness, we have to see if there's any presence of entitlement in our heart and I asked some questions at the beginning, so if you answered yes to any of those, that could be a sign that there's a little bit of entitlement, right? Um and the second thing is to ask questions like what areas of my discontent in why and what do I really want?

And then another one is what actions do I need to take to get what I really want. So those are some questions you can ask yourself, I can add one. Yeah, I add one. What are your expectations of others? Yes towards you. Yeah. If you're expecting someone else to get you what you want, no one is what I've noticed of this entitlement issue is do you expect other people and you kind of touch on this to make your life easy, right? You know like I've I've experienced a situation where someone has taken on too much and it is totally overwhelmed and stressed out. But this is the situation where I felt taken advantage of you know over time because I would always say yes and I put myself in that position, let me just clarify, I allowed it, but I would say yes yes yes all the time and it wasn't reciprocated and so I started kind of catching on but then also I realized hold on this isn't my responsibility to make their life easy, you know it's because they decided to add more on their plate, they can they can come up with the solutions, you know I'm not I'm not the person to be the fixer, I don't need to fix your stress in your life.

You know, you kind of major bed and lay down in it, right? You created this life so you take responsibility. It's not my job. And that was that was part of going with the boundaries I had to learn. I was gonna say that's boundaries. We have a whole episode on balance. Yes. And then lastly, and you touched on this is have an attitude of gratitude. If you're grateful for what you do have, it's really hard to feel entitled to what you don't have. They just don't go hand in hand. So if you really reflect on all that you do have all that I have when I sit there and reflect on all that I have. It's really hard to feel entitled and expect more given to me because again, entitlement isn't it's fine to have desires. We talk about that too all the time. We have desires and dreams and goals. That's all good. The differences when you're expecting someone else to do it for you or God or the universe, you're like, it should just I should have it. Yeah, I'm owed, someone should do this for me. I should just have this. But when you were grateful, we come from a place I have everything I need.

I'm grateful for everything I need. It's such a different place. We really won't struggle with entitlement, right? Yeah. And one last thing to just as far as the parenting aspect. Um again, like when we want to make our kids life is easy? It's not reality. You know, it's to keep them from feeling any pain, discomfort, frustration, hard times in their life, which I know is a tendency for parents. We want to try and make life so comfortable and easy for Children, but it's not reality and it's not really setting them up for success to experience the world really is, right? So then they go into the world as teens adults with this fallacy, that life is easy, right? Life is easy because everything was taken care of. It is not easy. It is not. Yeah. Yeah. So one thing that I do as far as the kids is, I make sure they pitch in, right? We talked about having them do chores, um, practicing saying no at the store. No, we're not going to get that today.

No, we're not going to get that today. No, we're not going to get that today over and over and over. Um, we went to Lowe's yesterday and my son just wanted a lollipop, right? It's only 99 cents. And my nature is like, oh, it's only 99 cents. I did not say. Um, yeah, I just said no, not today, but not today. Not today. We only came for one thing. It's not today and it's hard. I know it's hard because we want our kids to be happy, but it's in the long run. We really have to focus on the long run what's the better outcome? What's the better lesson here? Right, Oh my gosh! So I have to share that story reminds me of our grandson. So about a month or so ago he went into a store of his mom and he wanted this dinosaur toy and she said no, you know we don't buy things every time we go into the stores. So he was really upset. You do mom? She said he threw a fit and was crying which was unusual for him but he was very upset that he's going to have this dinosaur toy. So that next day when we talked to him the first thing out of his mouth is granny and I are you going to buy me a dinosaur toy?

And we were laughing because we thought it was so funny and she told us the whole story and then every day for two weeks that was the first thing you're gonna buy me the dinosaur toy when you come, when you come visit the green dinosaur and we, it was so cute and we're like of course we're going to buy him the green dinosaur. Of course we are. Whereas grandparents that's what grandparents do, they spoil the child Mom and dad can say no all day long but granny is going to get him this green dinosaur. So when we got into town that at night the next day we sure went and we couldn't find it at first and I was panicking, I'm like, oh my gosh, two weeks every day. I talked about this green dinosaur, but we found it so granny and I, and that's what he calls my husband. We got him in the green dinosaur. So hopefully he won't grow up into an entitled, was your daughter that she knew, she knew and he had to be good. And then actually like a few days later, Dick, he earned it by his good behavior. But then a few days later he did not behave. And so he lost his green dinosaur. I was very sad because he had waited patiently for this toy from us.

And so anyway, it was really cute. But it reminds me that, you know, as a grandparent I say yes, a lot more as the grandparent than I ever did. Oh my God, it's a mom. So I know this is not quite a fair comparison, but it's kind of true. You know, we have a young dog and we're training him and we give them treats. Right? So one thing I've read about what training dogs is, even when you give them their food, don't give it to them, just hand it to them, right? Make them do something like sit for it. They have to work for it basically. Gosh has so much like Children, right? Just don't hand out things for free. Oh yeah, you can have, Oh yeah, you can have, Oh sure. And that's one of the problems, you know, that can cause that entitlement epidemic as that article said and making things so easy for them and just always buying stuff. But okay, let's earn it. Right? So we did that, we did those charts for kids and it was different. Like one child might want money, one child might want a toy. So it's okay, let's earn it. Let's do some things.

And I even one thing we did on our recent vacation, we offered up some extra jobs around the house that the kids could do so they can earn extra spending money so that they can go and on our vacation if they want to buy souvenirs or two games or by treats, then they have their own money that they worked for. And because I know the tendency like the temptation for me is just it's vacation. Just let loose. Sure you want that, sure you want that shirt and wipe swipe, swipe, no joke. Our kids thought their school lunches were free because the kids just go and type in their lunch. I said, oh no, their parents get a bill. It is not free because what I was doing, I was giving them cash to turn in if twice a month we let them buy lunch and so they would give the cash, but they're like, but it's free. Everyone's putting in their lunch numbers and so totally misunderstanding the whole idea. But yeah, it's really true. Just making sure the kids are pitching in in the house is really important.

Taking responsibility for cleaning up their stuff, helping do dishes, those little things chores and the last thing to it goes for any of us is just be serving, be serving, having the attitude of gratitude and also being serving, having a servant like heart, right as jesus did and teaching our kids to serve others as well. You know, that could be they all need to clear all the dishes after dinner or make cards for someone to get well or whatever it may be anything something that gets to focus off of them onto what can I do for somebody? This huge those are cute lifelong lessons that will have, those are some great practical. So if you or someone, you know struggles with entitlement, hopefully these have been some helpful hints and just remember you don't have to be entitled, you are capable, you can do hard things, you can do the things you need to do to get what you want yourself until next time. All right, everyone, thank you for joining in on our conversation today here on the rise up and Shine podcast.

If you haven't already, please take a second to hit that subscribe button. So you never miss an episode and while you're at it, share this episode with a friend who you know, it can bless today if you want to visit us as well on our websites, you can catch Claudine over at Clotting Sweeney dot com and Ashley at Mind over chaos dot com Are links are in the description. We also have some free resources there for you as well. So remember, ladies, no matter what you are facing in life, it is never too late to rise up and shine and live your best life. Yeah, yeah.

Ep. 88 Entitlement
Ep. 88 Entitlement
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