Next, to survival, the human brain at its most fundamental level is designed to reduce pain and increase pleasure. Often times this understanding about the pleasure over pain principle is misinterpreted for the belief that our sole purpose in life is to be happy. Actually, our sole purpose in life according to nature is to survive and reproduce. At its most basic instinct the brain associates pleasure with increased survival. Because of this, some beliefs can be addictive.
This is why people who are experiencing serious issues tend to be prone to addiction, such as food, alcohol, drugs, sex, and beliefs.
Yes, beliefs can be addictive. Arguably the most addictive of beliefs I witness people suffer from is the delusion of entitlement. To understand how entitlement works and why so many people fall for believing that they are entitled, you have to understand how scams work.
Scams are probably one of the most profitable crimes against humanity and sadly the easiest to execute with little risk of getting caught. This is because, in order for a scam to work, you need the victim’s consent and collaboration in engaging in wrongful behavior. They do this because they believe they will profit. When most people discover that they have been scammed, they understandably experience fear and embarrassment. As a result, they are reluctant to inform the authorities. This is usually because they would also have to confess their own willful participation in wrongful behavior.
The problem with the entitlement belief
When people come to believe that they are entitled, they are convinced that they are deserving of a certain privilege or benefit, just because (insert irrational reason here). People who have come to believe that they are entitled usually experience poor anger management or deep depression. The difference between the two being that poor anger management is an outward expression of anger, while depression is anger turned in on one’s self.
Why do entitled people experience chronic anger? It is because of their routine confrontment of the reality of life experiences that contradict their belief of entitlement.
Further, these people struggle to change their beliefs, because their beliefs of entitlement have led to them become ill-prepared for dealing with disappointment and preparing for life’s hardship. As a result, people with a false sense of entitlement routinely find themselves stuck in a never-ending loop of their expectations never being met, being poorly prepared to deal with the disappointment and blaming others for things not going their way.
A tried and true therapeutic approach to helping such persons is to guide them towards embracing humility. When people are readily able to admit their flaws without shame, they hold themselves more accountable for their decisions, they are willing to do the extra work to collaborate with others to solve problems and they become more emotionally accepting of disappointment.
There is a popular saying in the 12 step community, “expectations are like premeditated resentments.” People experience more peace of mind when they learn to preference their expectations.
Ugo Uche LPC is a psychotherapist and owner of Road 2 Resolutions PLLC, professional counseling and life coaching service in Tucson Arizona. If you are struggling with anxiety, ADHD or other difficulties do not hesitate to call or fill out my contact form and click Send. If you are outside Tuscon or cannot make it to my office consider online therapy.