The Therapy is Dandy Guidebook to having a Narcissist for a Parent. Chapter 21 (now legal in 50 states and Puerto Rico).
An ongoing survival guide.
Entitlement—what is it? Well, for me, entitlement should be the new 4-letter word not acceptable in polite company, or at least in dandy company anyway.
Entitlement is often associated with narcissism. It’s the expectation of deference, preference, exclusive treatment, the VIP room suck up just for being themselves. Which, as you should well know by now, is sort of a con job. There is very little that’s real there. It’s projection, it’s self defense, it’s a lot of blowhard acting in order to cover up a feeling of insecurity, numbness—a void-y emptiness, actually.
Entitlement distilled down to an essential meaning when it comes to narcissism could be: expecting to put oneself first, ahead of others, with no expectation of consequence or price—unless others pay the price, of course.
Entitlement in terms of an emotional context is often a subtle situation where the narcissist validates or focuses on their feelings rather than yours. Your feelings may be co-opted by the narcissist as an extension of their feelings and experience, but it still isn’t nice. But you can get accustomed to it. The other thing that may happen is that your own experience of your emotional state is not attended to. You are not encouraged to be you, in other words. And when your emotional state, developmentally is not attended to, you may start to hide your feelings, to pretend that you don’t have them, or even become dissociated from your own feelings. The list is pretty long, actually.
The list is so long, I got tired just at the thought of typing them all out. (It’s Monday and I’m a little sleepy.)
Let’s tie this back into entitlement.
Growing up with a narcissist, entitlement is not only something you may know very well by sight or experience, but you may also dabble in a little of it yourself.
Because you have been exposed to it. You are used to people behaving in entitled ways. And that may even include you. Coming from a pack of narcissists it isn’t that surprising that it can get into your bloodstream a little. Sit down for this one. It is about you (and me).
Being entitled can cause problems with your own emotional state of being, and that more than anything is what I want to talk about.
Potential problems with entitlement and your emotional state of being:
- Expecting others to take care of your emotional state(s).
- Not being in touch with your own emotions; living in your head too much.
- An inability to empathize with the feelings of others.
- When your own emotions are felt, or experienced, or disturbed, you seriously lose your shit because you aren’t used to dealing with these emotions.
- The negative experience of #4 causes you to push emotional subjects even further away as an attempt to feel safe.
- Number 5 is the lie that intellectualizing tells you when you want to believe what you are doing makes you safer, but you don’t feel safe.
- It is very easy to fear whatever dismisses our own understanding of the world and our lives even if it is the truth.
So, what the hell do you do about it?
No one can give you what your childhood lacked. Your childhood is over. No one can magically reset your wounds. Except you. By living a life that is protective and still flexible. By identifying and owning your own needs. By talking to the wounded parts of yourself. The parts that maybe didn’t get the attention they deserved, or experienced neglect of some kind. Even if it was a benign neglect, something about you was missed. And that may have changed a lot of things for you, emotionally speaking.
Next time: No one wants to be a fluffer.