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The Entitlement Cure: Not Everyone Gets a Trophy

Updated: Jan 15, 2020

Basketball is Psychology IV


Psychologist Dr. John Townsend defines the attitude of entitlement as the belief that I am exempt from responsibility and am owed special treatment.

Entitlement is an attitudinal disease.

This disease can come in many different forms.

Entitlement is refusing to accept responsibility.

Entitlement is thinking I am above the rules.

Entitlement is thinking I am the victim.

Entitlement is thinking it’s not my problem.

Entitlement is thinking it’s not my fault.

Entitlement is thinking I should be appreciated just for showing up.

Entitlement is believing I deserve.

"Whatever the cause of the sense of entitlement, the end result is that the person believes that he or she doesn’t have to play by the rules of responsibility, ownership, and commitment.” (Dr. Townsend)

This Disease Has a Cure

Entitlement is an attitude, which means it’s a habit of thought, and you choose your thoughts. Although entitlement gets blamed on this generation, it is not a new problem. Entitlement has been around forever and we all struggle with it to some degree.

Many believe they deserve a trophy, deserve more playing time, deserve a scholarship, and deserve to take more shots in a game -- all without having to do the hard work to earn them. Parents, culture, and experiences may influence someone towards entitlement, but they don’t create it.

Entitlement is a choice.

Instead, adopt the attitude that we are responsible for our own lives, and no one owes us anything. The solution to entitlement is doing life the hard way. Dr. Townsend defines the hard way as the habit of doing what is best, rather than what is comfortable to achieve a worthwhile outcome. Dr. Townsend offers 4 solutions that all focus on doing hard things the right way to achieve a worthwhile result.

Make no mistake, there is no easy way. There is the hard way and there is the harder way. The harder way (entitlement) takes shortcuts that catch up to you in the long run.


The Four Solutions to Entitlement:

1. Understand the Power of Words

Words matter. Words reveal your thoughts. It is physically impossible to say something you haven't first thought about. Words affect our feelings, behavior, relationships, and emotions.

The first step to curing entitlement is to remove the phrase “I deserve” from your vocabulary, and replace it with