Daily Health Headlines

'Entitled' People May Be Pursuing an Unhappy Path

👤by Alan Mozes 0 comments 🕔Friday, September 30th, 2016

THURSDAY, Sept. 29, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- "Entitled" individuals who feel superior to others often end up unhappy when reality fails to match their expectations, new research shows.

"Entitlement is a broad construct, but basically it refers to a desire to get something for nothing," explained study lead author Joshua Grubbs, assistant professor of psychology at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

According to Grubbs, entitlement is a personality trait where a person has an exaggerated belief that he or she is an exception to the rule -- much more deserving of life's blessings that others.

But the new review of more than 170 studies on the subject suggests that entitled folk are also especially vulnerable to disappointment.

And when disappointment strikes, it can mean anger, blaming others, social strife, collapsed relationships and depression, Grubbs' team said.

That's because entitlement is "really an attitude of 'deservingness', without any consideration for earning those things you want," said Grubbs, who conducted the review while a graduate student in psychology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. "I often describe it as someone saying, 'I exist, therefore I deserve whatever I want.' "

He said this outlook doesn't necessarily hinge on wealth. "We observe it across cultures and economic status," he added.

But no matter its source, "entitlement has long been known to be associated with negative emotion and distress," Grubbs said.

Along with co-author Julie Exline, a professor of psychological sciences at Case Western Reserve, Grubbs set out to examine why entitlement can be such a problem.

The review of the data uncovered a common three-step pattern of pressures and behavior that often plague entitled individuals.

First, there's the burden of living with the constant threat of failed expectations, Grubbs said.

Next comes emotional instability when an expected path or goal fails to materialize.

Entitled people often muddle through these emotional minefields, but not by admitting that perhaps they aren't so special. Instead, Grubbs said, adversity tends to cause them to lean even more heavily on an inherent sense of superiority.

However, this just perpetuates a cycle of disappointment, unhappiness, frustration and social turmoil, he said.

Grubbs stressed that there's a big difference between entitlement and healthy ambition.

"Ambition, drive and high standards are not necessarily symptoms of entitlement at all," he said. "You can want to be successful and have high standards for yourself while still being humble and grateful. Many of the world's greatest, most-accomplished leaders have been truly humble people."

That notion is seconded by Jean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University.

"I agree, it's important to distinguish entitlement from other characteristics," she said. "Entitlement is not the same as ambition. Someone who is ambitious but not entitled knows he will have to work for what he wants. Someone who is entitled expects it to be handed to him."

That said, Grubbs stressed, "there are always exceptions to the rule," and not all entitled people will end up miserable.

Also, he said, "disappointment is not always the result of entitlement. Some people with very low levels of entitlement might still end up disappointed, because life has given them a truly -- objectively -- raw deal."

So if any of this seems familiar, is there a way to get yourself out of the entitlement trap? Yes, said Grubbs, who advocates for introspection and what's known as "active" gratitude.

"What I mean by 'active' gratitude is making a point to be grateful to others throughout your day and your life's experiences," he said. "I also mean this in a deep way -- it's not just saying 'thank you' to the barista at Starbucks, but actually taking time to reflect about how much you are grateful for, how much others have helped you become what you are, and the ways you can express that gratitude."

For her part, Twenge said there's much that parents can do to raise kids without a sense of entitlement.

"The best thing parents can do for their kids is to emphasize the importance of hard work," she said. "The world doesn't owe you anything. But if you put in the effort, most but not all of the time it will pay off."

Grubbs and Exline published their findings in a recent issue of Psychological Bulletin.

Article Credits / Source

Alan Mozes / HealthDay

Alan Mozes wrote this story for HealthDay. HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCES: Joshua B. Grubbs, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of psychology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio; Jean Twenge, Ph.D., professor, psychology, San Diego State University; Aug. 8, 2016, Psychological Bulletin

View More Articles From Alan Mozes 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Mental Health Articles

1 in 7 Young Teens Is a Stalking Victim: Survey

1 in 7 Young Teens Is a Stalking Victim: Survey0

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 23, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- About one out of seven children in 6th and 9th grades has been a victim of stalking, potentially boosting their risk of substance abuse, dating violence and other dangers, a new U.S. survey ...

Sexism Could Harm Men's Health: Study

Sexism Could Harm Men's Health: Study0

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Men who have "playboy" attitudes and believe in power over women may face a higher risk for mental health trouble than men who don't, a broad new research review suggests. The finding on sexism, and ...

Troubled Preschoolers Not Getting Effective Treatment: Report

Troubled Preschoolers Not Getting Effective Treatment: Report0

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Most preschoolers with mood, behavior and social disorders would benefit from non-drug therapies, but few receive this type of help, a leading group of U.S. pediatricians reports. As many as one in 10 ...

Violent Media Often Give Rise to Nightmares

Violent Media Often Give Rise to Nightmares0

TUESDAY, Nov. 22, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Watching violent movies before bed might drag some dark images into your dreams, giving you nightmares, a new study suggests. The study found that those who viewed violent media before bed were 13 ...

Teen 'Choking Game' Played Solo Points to Suicide Risks

Teen 'Choking Game' Played Solo Points to Suicide Risks0

MONDAY, Nov. 21, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- About 4 percent of U.S. teens surveyed admit to trying the "choking game" -- a potentially deadly game of temporary strangulation. And new research suggests that kids who "play" the game alone are much ...

View More Mental Health Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!