Avoiding the Disease of Self Entitlement: 3 Symptoms and Cures



(photo: cast from the film, American Psycho)

I see it all the time, twenty and thirty somethings ingrained with the idea that they deserve what they deem desirable, whether it be a new wardrobe, apartment in a trendy city, new luxury car, a monstrous new kitchen, the latest Smartphone, and/or a 6 bedroom home in a privileged suburb.  Let me break the news to you in a subtle fashion: Dear Twenty or Thirty Something, You don’t deserve anything!  It doesn’t matter if you’ve lived a privileged life in the past or attended the finest universities where high-brow culture and aesthetics are taught alongside neurobiology and philosophy, when it comes to self entitlement you might as well be begging on the street because what you desire isn’t always what you should or can get!

I see less of the self entitlement disease in the offspring of recent immigrants and amongst the working class set, but there does seem to be a trend amongst middle class adults (whether young adults <Gen X and Y> or burgeoning teenagers) to want and acquire what hasn’t been earned or deserved.
Let’s look at a few examples of specific symptoms associated with the self entitlement disease and how an average, middle class, twenty something can rid him/herself of the early symptoms and, in turn, find a cure for the larger, possibly life debilitating, disease:
1.  Symptom: Yearning for gadgets and services with monthly, auto renewing, fees.  

Often the young adults will look around and notice peers with $200+ Smartphones like the iPhone, HTC, Droid, etc, and crave not only the hardware but also the data, phone, and text plans.  The same adult also needs his or her own DVR (like Tivo or add on from the cable company), unlimited cable stations, Netflix subscription, game console, and an open door policy on iTune purchases.  

How to cure the symptoms: Stick with a basic phone with a bare bones monthly plan (and use you work computer and home or office land line for calls).  Use your personal workstation for viewing free shows on the web and rent movies for free from your local library.  Your local library will also find any new music you may want to listen to, so just pick up the CD from your local library.

2. Symptom:  Yearning for a new car with all the bells and whistles via monthly lease.  

How to cure the symptom: The adult has to first get it in his or her mind that it doesn’t matter what type of car one drives.  Thereafter, the adult should buy a use vehicle with basic safety features and good reliability and low cost of vehicle ownership.  There’s plenty of time to maybe one day own a nice vehicle (if that sort of thing is important, but folks between the ages of 18-45 should focus on building real wealth and not German nameplates and leather seats).  

3. Symptom: Yearning for an apartment in a big city or big home in the suburbs.  

How to cure the symptoms: As we all now clearly see not everyone can afford a home or, more specifically, an ideal home.   If you’re 25 or so and suddenly want a 5 bedroom home in a quiet street in the suburbs because you grew up in that sort of environment or because you have that image in your head, that’s not good enough.  If you want to own your own home, then you’ll need, at the least, a 20 percent down payment, ability to spend lots of money and time on home improvement and necessary maintenance, and the ability to build wealth along side paying your mortgage and property taxes (that is to say, if your total housing expenses exceed 20-25 percent of your take home pay, then you are in over your head and aren’t doing other things with your money).

In addition to self entitlement being bad for the individual, it also sets up unnecessary desires, beliefs, and wants in the children of the self entitled class.


  1. Sorry but this is one of the worst articles I’ve ever read. Please do us all a favor and educate yourself in social psych or whatever topic you choose to pontificate upon before opening up your pie hole again, thanks. Blogging as a career, sheesh.

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