Entitlement (Noun): "the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment." Or, the word that every older generation loves to slap onto Millennials, even though the stereotype usually isn't true. Either way, it's not an amazing way to be. But a new study has revealed that entitled people suffer from chronic disappointment throughout their lives at a much higher rate than their less annoying peers.
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio analyzed over 170 academic studies and papers, and found that people possessing a certain character trait — entitlement — were often thrown into "a perpetual loop of distress," featuring a three-step nightmare cycle. And when it comes to triggers, well, honestly... life, like actual reality, tends to do people in.
"Often times, life, health, aging and the social world don't treat us as well as we'd like," said Josh Grubbs, the primary author of the paper, in a press release. "Confronting these limitations is especially threatening to an entitled person because it violates their worldview of self-superiority."
The study, published in the Psychological Bulletin, notes that, at extreme levels, "entitlement is a toxic narcissistic trait, repeatedly exposing people to the risk of feeling frustrated, unhappy and disappointed with life."
So what does the entitlement cycle look like? Here are three easy steps to chronic, lifelong disappointment and frustration. (Note: In all seriousness, everyone experiences variations on these feelings at one point or another, but if you truly begin to sense a pattern, it may be time to do some serious, clear-eyed, honest soul-searching. Reach out for help if you need it. It's OK. We're here for you.)
Step 1: Expect The Best For Yourself, Always, 100 Percent Of The Time
Not necessarily because you work harder, but because you are inherently, in some unquantifiable way, better.
Step 2: Translate "Things Not Going Your Way" Into A Personal Offense
The world is deeply unfair and out to get you, specifically.
Step 3: Tell Yourself You're Above All These Losers Anyway As A Method Of Consolation
JUST KIDDING. Don't do that, as tempting as it may feel.