8 signs you’re dealing with someone who has a major sense of entitlement

by Brendan Brown | March 9, 2024, 12:00 pm

We all meet different personalities in life, and sometimes, we encounter those who think the world revolves around them.

A sense of entitlement is when someone feels they deserve special treatment or privileges without a valid reason. They expect more from others and often believe they’re above the rules.

In this article, we’ll pinpoint 8 signs that can help you identify if you’re dealing with an entitled individual.

1. They rarely acknowledge others’ efforts

One of the most telling signs of an entitled person is their inability to genuinely recognize and appreciate the efforts of those around them.

Whether it’s a favor done for them, hard work by a colleague, or a kind gesture from a stranger, they tend to downplay or outright ignore it.

Instead of expressing gratitude, they might behave as though they were owed the favor or effort.

This attitude can make those around them feel undervalued and taken for granted.

2. They believe exceptions should always be made for them

Have you ever met someone who consistently believes the rules just don’t apply to them?

Whether it’s a deadline at work or a simple community guideline, they’re convinced that they should be the exception.

I once knew a person who, no matter the occasion or setting, always found a reason why they shouldn’t wait in line like everyone else. It was as if the world’s timelines revolved around their convenience.

When others are consistently bending or breaking rules for them, they see it as their due, rather than a special favor or privilege.

3. They’re often generous – but with strings attached

At first glance, this might seem counter-intuitive. Entitled individuals can, in fact, display acts of generosity.

However, their kindness often comes with unspoken expectations.

Their gifts or favors usually have strings attached, whether it’s expecting something in return, leveraging it for future favors, or using it as a tool to remind others of their ‘generosity’.

It’s not genuine giving; it’s an investment they expect returns on.

So, the next time someone offers you a favor and you get that niggling feeling that it’s not just out of the goodness of their heart, trust your gut.

It might just be a sign of underlying entitlement.

4. They interrupt or talk over others regularly

People with a pronounced sense of entitlement often feel that what they have to say is more important, valid, or relevant than what others are expressing.

This manifests in their communication style. For instance:

  • In a group setting, they might frequently cut someone off mid-sentence to share their own viewpoint or story, even if it’s unrelated.
  • During a meeting at work, they might dismiss a colleague’s idea only to present a similar one as their own later.
  • In a casual conversation, you might find them constantly shifting the topic back to themselves, their experiences, or their opinions, without giving others the space to share.

Such behavior is not only disruptive but also indicates a lack of respect for others’ thoughts and feelings.

It’s as though they believe their voice should always be the loudest and most heard in any room.

5. They believe their time is more valuable than others’

Entitled individuals often operate under the belief that their time is inherently more valuable or important than that of others.

This belief can lead them to be consistently late to appointments or events, expecting others to adjust or wait for them. They might cancel plans last minute without a genuine reason, assuming others will simply understand.

Fun fact: A study from San Diego State University found that individuals with a heightened sense of entitlement are more likely to believe that they are destined to achieve great things.

This overblown self-importance can translate into them devaluing others’ time, priorities, or commitments.

Their actions, in this regard, send a clear message: “My time matters more than yours.”

6. They struggle to handle criticism

Entitled individuals often find it challenging to accept feedback or criticism, no matter how constructively it’s presented.

They typically perceive themselves in a highly favorable light, and any suggestion of imperfection can be seen as a direct attack on their self-worth.

Instead of viewing criticism as an opportunity for growth, they might become defensive, dismissive, or shift the blame onto others.

This inability to handle criticism gracefully can often make personal or professional relationships challenging, as it hinders open communication and mutual growth.

7. They’re surprisingly insecure

It might seem counter-intuitive, but beneath the facade of superiority, many entitled individuals harbor deep-seated insecurities.

While they may project an image of unwavering confidence and self-assuredness, their need for constant validation and recognition reveals a different story.

They might fish for compliments, get overly upset when they don’t receive praise, or become competitive over seemingly minor things.

This counter-intuitive blend of appearing superior while feeling inferior can lead to unpredictable behaviors and reactions, making it challenging for those around them to gauge their true feelings or intentions.

8. They frequently play the victim card

People with a strong sense of entitlement often position themselves as the victim, regardless of the situation. This tactic allows them to evade responsibility and gain sympathy or attention.

For example:

  • If they fail to meet a deadline or produce subpar work, instead of owning up to their shortcomings, they might blame external factors: “The instructions weren’t clear,” or “I was given too many tasks this week.”
  • If a friend or partner raises a concern about their behavior, they might twist the narrative, saying things like, “You always make everything about you,” or “Why is it always my fault?”
  • When they face the consequences of their actions, such as not being invited to a gathering due to past inappropriate behavior, they might lament, “Everyone is against me,” or “I’m always the one left out.”

By consistently framing themselves as the victim, they manipulate situations to appear blameless and elicit sympathy from others, diverting attention away from their entitlement.

Wrapping up

Being around someone who displays a strong sense of entitlement can be challenging.

By recognizing these signs, we can better understand the motivations and behaviors of such people. 

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