by David Ologan
It is difficult to experience true peace and joy when all you do is sit down in a corner and expect ‘more’ from people who give far less than what you feel you deserve.
I expect little from people. When I get what I expect I am happy and grateful. When I get more, I am really surprised and very grateful. This approach ensures peace of mind and happiness.
When I get little acts of love from friends and family I am happy. When I get an avalanche of TLC from them and from unexpected sources, I get high. In all scenarios, it’s a win-win situation for me. I try to make sure I do not put myself in a situation where my yearnings and cravings are at the mercy of the actions of an individual or his/her inaction. This, for me, is a reasonable decision. Human beings are fallible. We fail, fall and disappoint even ourselves. We change from bad to good, get worse and sometimes some of us just shuttle between the good and the bad.
We are dynamic, largely unpredictable and just human. It is safe to guard your joy by ensuring that you do not put your hope and trust in fellow mortals. You will fail others and others will fail you. We are largely unreliable. This is the truth. Entitlement mentality gets in the way of the acceptance of this truth.
Entitlement mentality makes you expect more from people and in some cases it makes you demand more from people. It is difficult to experience true peace and joy when all you do is sit down in a corner and expect ‘more’ from people who give far less than what you feel you deserve. The individual who goes about demanding ‘more’ from everyone around will irritate many and eventually get frustrated. Have you noticed that respect does not come to those who demand it? Only those who command respect, get it. To command respect, never ask for it.
Many got angry when they got a last-minute invite to their friend’s wedding and turned down the invitation because they felt they deserved more. Other’s get mad whenever food is served and what they get does not match the plates on other tables at the party. A strange few actually cause a scene when they do not get those plastic hand-fans shared at some ‘owambes’. In all of these, the embarrassing role of entitlement mentality cannot be overstated.
Entitlement mentality gets in the way of gratitude, robs you off your self-esteem and puts you at the mercy of others. Many can never be grateful because they will always feel they deserve more. Confidence is non-existent in some because they feel unworthy as a result of the many entitlements they were denied.
I must confess, entitlement mentality shouldn’t be totally discarded and it is even almost impossible to achieve that but it must not play a major role in determining our actions and reactions.
A decent sense of entitlement keeps us close and connected with friends and family. I am not advocating for an individualistic approach to life or narcissism. I believe we are created to relate and co-exist with mutual dependence. All I am saying is stop expecting MORE from people (no matter how close) because no one is obliged to meet all your needs and even if he/she is indeed obliged, he/she cannot meet your needs forever. He/she will fail you at some point because he/she is just human and entitlement mentality won’t prepare you for this reality.
And the worse part for that person is that, instead of showing understanding and appreciation, you will judge and condemn him/her for failing you all because of your Entitlement Mentality.
David Ologan blogs at www.davolog.blogspot.com and tweets from @davolog
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.