Think You’re Entitled? – Think again…
Have heard about the latest disease that is creeping into our society? It is very contagious and is reaching almost pandemic levels. Sufferer’s symptoms include a true belief in their own hype with feelings of extreme resentment if rejected or let down, a deep sense of expectation…somehow without any evidence of earning. There can be a chronic arrogance leading to an overall sensation of entitlement. This disease is so prevalent that I am calling it WOMAL syndrome, which stands for the ‘World Owes Me A Living.’
You might have noticed people with symptoms of this disease and really you should steer well away, as breathing the same air can cause no end of problems as victims of this can also exhibit mass self indulgence, talking endlessly about how hard done by they are, leaving the poor listener and well meaning sympathiser with their ears well and truly chewed off!
In the old days these poor deluded individuals might have been nothing more than spoiled brats, but somehow in today’s society where ‘competitiveness’ is non-existent and everyone ‘wins’ we are losing our natural need to achieve. I have even heard that in school sports days there are no losers! Well there are, the bloody teachers indoctrinating this rubbish. A sports day is about competition, compete to win, a sack race is a race, and the egg and spoon race is a race! The clue is in the name, someone must win or lose. You compete for jobs, you compete for positions and promotions If you don’t come first or get it then get over it, have another go and try harder, improve…
It is important to compete for those things we need, want and aspire to, that way they are earned fair and square. Perhaps you are applying for a job and expect to be interviewed, because you feel your experience ‘entitles’ you to it. Maybe you are thinking it is time that your manager noticed you and promoted you, or gave you a pay rise because what you have delivered makes you feel ‘entitled’ to it. You may even feel ‘entitled’ to some answers if you are in a relationship with someone who is doing something you don’t agree with. Well as the bearer of bad news, you are not entitled to anything. You are not owed a thing. Jack shit. When people earn, compete and work for the things they desire, then these people become ‘rewarded’. Attached to these ‘deserved’ ‘worked hard for’ and ‘earned’ things is a true sense of achievement and appreciation.
One key source of this disease can be poor managers who show favouritism to others, creating resentment in other team members, therefore stimulating the WOMAL gene! The same managers can also create unrealistic expectations in people’s minds, later to manifest unfulfilled employees. Managers should be very clear in what they expect from their teams and be sure they can reward in a way that is deliverable or even affordable to the business. Nothing pollinates the WOMAL gene like a broken promise.
Sadly another source of WOMAL are teachers and lecturers who continually tell students that their qualifications will stand them head and shoulders above other people applying for roles and will therefore almost guarantee them not only an interview, but probably the job and even worse that they will get a whopping salary too! Resulting in a poor deluded candidate applying for a job, and when asked for salary expectations, throws a random number like £50K into the mix for a junior role!! It isn’t their fault that they contract WOMAL but it is their problem they then don’t realise quickly that it is important to ‘earn’ in this world not get everything ‘handed to them on a plate’. Oh and don’t get me started on parents. Listen up Mums and Dads, you children might be your most precious things, but give them that sense of entitlement through over praise, polished ego and general mollycoddling and you have yourself a fully infected WOMAL victim, ready to unleash their sense of entitlement onto the population.
So what is the prescription for WOMAL? First and foremost, expect nothing. I am not saying do not have a dream or any aspirations, I am saying manage your expectations. What is achievable? Think about your own personal value, what do you really give and how can you improve and be better. Be humble about your abilities, sell yourself when you have the chance, evidence what you have achieved and delivered in a measured way, e.g. before the situation looked like that, now it looks some much better and here is how I did it. Remember the old saying that ‘respect is not given, it is earned’? Well the same can be said about anything you feel ‘entitled’ to. You are not actually entitled to anything, you have to continually strive, work, earn, achieve and sometime reinvent. In return you will be recognised, rewarded and appreciated.