Monday, February 04, 2008


In psychiatry we use the term "sense of entitlement" to describe the outrageous attitude of some of our more narcissistic clients who believe that the world "owes" them and they want to collect NOW. Patients with this type of attitude always want more. Whatever you do is never good enough for them, and they also generally show no gratitude or express any thanks--even when someone goes out of their way for them. Like the most spoiled of royalty, they merely expect that they should be the center of your world at all times.

This attitude is normally seen in toddlers, who want what they want and they want it now. Every parent has had to deal with this kind of whining. When you see this attitude repeatedly in an adult, then you know you are dealing with psychopathology. Many adults whimper at the slightest inconvenience, delay, or restriction. Why? Because, like toddlers, they are convinced they deserve what they want when they want it. They are "entitled" to it.

Siggy has an unbelievable video posted that visually demonstrates how this sense of entitlement has seeped into the culture; and, the psychopathy it engenders is not a pretty sight. There's a lot of blame to go around, starting with parents unwilling to set limits; as well as the entire worthless "self-esteem" movement that hypes self-esteem at the expense of self-responsibility and accountability.

All these factors have led to a culture of entitlement which encourages dysfunctional and highly antisocial behavior where the only concern is for one's own needs of the moment and their gratification. Many other factors in our culture reinforce this behavior and even reward it directly.

I finally watched an episode of American Idol the other day at my daughter's request, and was absolutely fascinated to watch the reactions of many of the contestants who were not given a ticket to Hollywood. They simply could not accept the verdict that they had no talent for singing and were outraged that the stupid judges did not see how wonderful they were.

The thing is, it was clear to ANYONE listening that many of these people should have had at least some doubts about their so-called singing abilities. But they didn't have a clue. They were so steeped in self-esteem from the constant narcissistic grooming they received in their environments, that they were completely unable to see reality--let alone accept it.

Instead, they focused their anger, bitterness and in some cases, rage, on anyone who dared to call their genius into question. All in all, it was a rather stunning display of entitlement and all the most unpalatable aspects of narcissism--a wonder to behold.

Just like the Paris Hilton-style sociopathic girls in Siggy's video. The world owes them and they can do whatever the hell they want. They are the center of the universe and their needs and desires must always come first. Because they're just so special.

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