A Sense of Entitlement


Anyone watch Brazil versus the Netherlands in the World Cup Last night?

Did you notice the change in attitude of the Brazilians when they first conceded but especially when the second went in?

Someone I follow on my twitterfeed nailed it when he called out Brazil’s attitude as caused by the blow to their Sense of Entitlement.

I’m seeing a lot of this recently.

My way or the highway

I used the Spoiled Children aren’t to be trusted in a recent post. That was as a response to the ongoing entitled reactions by technology writers and geeks whenever Apple release a product or do anything which didn’t match their expectations. Entitled to any innovative technology, but >on their terms.

Yesterday Stilgherrian fulminated at the ABC on the Australian Technorati’s expectations that, after the recent Prime Ministerial change, both the Minister and the policy would change. Over the past 24 hours the reaction of a number of commentators was interesting to say the least. Missing the point was the key thought in my mind, but ideas like Political Parties not being allowed to choose their own ministers when they enter government were also being bandied about. They must submit each one to my vote was perhaps the expectation. Entitlement.

You don’t deserve me

Other recent examples include when Big Media complain about online journalists ‘stealing’ their work or when advertising agencies get called out for bad campaigns.

Football, Advertising, Technology, Politics, News Media. Nice Keywords. But a broad range of industries. And while many of these examples may seem tenuously related at first glance, they are among those populated with or commented on by the new spoilt children. Though perhaps they, we, are everywhere?

People with an overstretched sense of entitlement, once reserved for spoilt children, now prevalent throughout western Society. A Society where less than 4 days after you purchase a piece of computer hardware you commence a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer of the product when it doesn’t work the way YOU WANT IT TO.

Where football teams are taught to expect to win and are not able just to manage situations when they lose – but can’t even handle the situation in a grown up manner when they go behind in a game.

I can do no wrong

Where criticism or disregard in the workplace or online is called bullying at the drop of the hat and where large organisations used to dominating their industry are all of a sudden being undermined from the least expected source and behave like Spoiled Children to get their way.

Surely it has something to do with the lack of criticism when required for bad behaviour or being unused to being told “no”  in response to their demands. Where social embarrassment must be avoided at all costs and where no-one is ever at fault or responsible for anything.

I will leave this to the Psychiatrists and related profession to describe examples with a little more expertise.

Whatever the cause, it’s odd to watch so many grown men and women behave as spoilt children often do. Entitled to everything without first earning it. Earning the entitlement and then using it to dictate.

It’s time for us all to grow up.

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9 thoughts on “A Sense of Entitlement

  1. Absolutely.
    You can see this pervading our lives in so many capacities. Road rage and other rages come from an expectation that my way is best, get out of my way, i deserve to be where i need to be already, or my life / time is more important, and I deserve to not have to wait behind others.

    The nonsense that surrounded the #crowdspanking of Virgin that I covered in my post
    http://www.darrylking.com.au/2009/11/14/all-that-glitters-is-not-gold/ was this belief that just because of an email suddenly People should have been compensated for rights they believe they had, without any earning of it.

    At times over the last 14 years as an employer I have watched it seep it’s way into our culture, whereby the completion of a degree somehow means you are due a massive income without learning any real life practical experience to back it up.

    Everybody should be due their share in any capacity, but somewhere along our ‘self development’ stages over the last 40 odd years we have created (or accepted) this unrealistic belief set which is frightening to watch.

    Maybe as you say it is the fact we just simply need to grow up emotionally. Maybe the fact that there has not been any harsh reality deliverance that our grandparents got in the depression era leaves us with the emotional age of a late toddler where we see the world only in the context of our view, and how it totally revolves around us. Maybe we have just had it too good for too long, and haven’t developed the context to handle the great parts of our modern abundant society. I have no idea, like you say maybe the shrinks can put a better light on it

  2. Great summary of the zeitgeist. Is this inevitable in a culture that demands to express itself in shorter and shorter soundbites, with less and less time to reflect before speaking?

    Not to mention the mindset of “everyone gets a trophy day” – my uninformed “reckon” should be listened to by all.

    • The ‘everybody gets a trophy day’ = the ‘all the kids get a present at birthday parties” experience I’m still stunned by. Kids need to learn to manage failure and bad experiences. These small examples show how they never will.

  3. I think the Apple iPhone example is pretty weak. The class action seems to be more about lawyers being opportunistic than individuals having a sense of entitlement.

    Besides which, the antenna placement in the iPhone seems to be a genuine design flaw. Holding the phone, especially with your left hand, in a natural position reduces the quality of reception due to the location of the antenna within the unit. Frankly, if i purchase a $1000 phone, i would indeed feel entitled to a device which doesn’t fail under normal use.

    • “Fail”? Independent tests show the reception and network performance is BETTER than previous versions.
      And yes, perhaps the example is more one of Opportunism. But it reflects the sense of Entitlement if someone joins a class action, even if it is more logical to just return the device to the store and buy something else.

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