Signs Someone Is Self-Entitled And 4 Best Ways To Deal With Them

Self-entitled people think the world owes them something.

You may have come across a person like this in your life, one who thinks they are better than everyone else and they deserve things more than others. Most people who have a high sense of entitlement believe they deserve special treatment or privileges that others do not have.

It’s possible that they tried to cut in line in front of you or someone else, rather than waiting like every other person behind them had done. Or maybe they are someone who tried to get a table at a crowded restaurant without a reservation and were upset when the hostess told them it wasn’t possible.

In this post, we’ll look at what self-entitlement is, in addition to what it isn’t, and signs someone is self-entitled and how to spot self-entitlement in others, and what you can do to make interacting with them a little easier.

Self-entitled people are hard to get along with. The fact that they rely on their “you owe me” attitude when interacting with others can wear on their relationships, whether it’s their family members, friends, or coworkers.

Dealing with a person with a strong sense of entitlement can be a challenge, but there are few things you can do to make it easier on yourself.

What self-entitlement IS

Self entitlement begins when a person thinks they deserve special treatment, recognition, or privileges from others.

Whether this is in a work setting, perhaps this person is at the same level as you within the company but feels like they shouldn’t have to do their equal share of the workload for one reason or another.

Likewise, as a friend, maybe this person regularly stands you up when you two have plans and expects you to understand and be patient with them. But if you treated them the same way, they will be furious with you.

Those with a sense of self-entitlement often have bad tempers when things don’t go their way. They don’t like to compromise because they believe the world owes them a personal favor.

This type of personality is hard to get along with, so someone who goes through life with a sense of self-entitlement will end up having a very small social circle. They have high expectations of others that are often unrealistic, and this behavior causes them to navigate their relationships with others in a strained and unhealthy way.

What self-entitlement IS NOT

A little bit of self-entitlement is a good thing.

To know your worth and what you deserve is not a completely negative personality trait. Self-entitlement is often pinned on those who are aware of their expectations and know when they are being exploited for one reason or another.

Self-entitlement is not laziness.

For example, in the workforce, let’s say a person knows that they have the right experience, education, and work title at their previous company, yet they are still getting underpaid. To speak up about this, especially because it has concrete reasoning behind it, is not a sense of entitlement, though some may think so.

It’s OK to prioritize your own needs or your own interests. There’s nothing wrong with thinking you deserve the “best,” no matter what that entails. It’s how you treat others and work for the best that distinguishes a sense of entitlement from confidence or a sense of self-worth.

Signs Someone Is Self-entitled

Key indicators that someone is self-entitled

Sometimes you may be unsure if you’re dealing with a self-entitled person or if you just don’t understand their behavior and how they navigate the world.

Here are a few key points that will pinpoint a self-entitled person:

1. They don’t know how to compromise

Self-entitled people often have a strong sense of self and this will sometimes transform into feeling like their opinion matters more or holds more weight than others.

They may lack understanding for others and won’t compromise on even the simplest of things, such as choosing where to eat or which movie to watch. 

2. They want what you have and what they have to be theirs

Self-entitled people are in constant competition with others because they view them as a threat. Therefore, if you know a person like this, they may exhibit behavior that makes it seem as though nothing you do is ever appreciated or enough.

They also have a lot of double standards set for their friends. Remember the person earlier who would be furious if you bailed on them, even if they’d done it countless times to you before?

Self-entitled people don’t care about the inconveniences they cause others, only that it works better for themselves. The golden rule, “Do not do to others what you do not want them to do to you,” does not apply to them. 

3. They don’t accept loss or failure

With a superiority complex, you have to be on top to fulfill your own expectations continuously.

Self-entitled people see each day as climbing the next rung on the ladder. There’s no going back down.

Often, this behavior stems from childhood.

Superior treatment as a child, some would call this “spoiled,” but it can result from passive parents who tend not to say ‘no’ to their children.

This attitude can carry over to adulthood when they think the world revolves around them. They set unrealistic expectations of others and react when things don’t go their own way.

4. They are manipulative

To get what they want, people with this personality may use manipulation tactics on others.

This includes convincing others they are deserving of better treatment than them, “punishing” those around them by making them feel guilty or giving them the silent treatment when they don’t comply. Such people attempt to control their friends or co workers.

5. They genuinely think they are better than most people

Again, self-entitled people tend to have a superiority complex that makes it difficult to be around them.

They think of themselves as a person who deserves things and to stand out from the crowd. They crave praise and their feeling entitled of certain privileges makes them believe that they are above the rules – free from the emotional responsibility of their actions.

Of course, no one wants to feel less worthy of respect, friendship, or praise than anyone else. But this attitude from a self-entitled person is usually so prevalent that it makes it hard to be around them.

6. They don’t have great relationships with others

Because of some of their negative traits and how they treat others, they are often viewed in a bad light when it comes to their peers.

Self-entitled people are not great at being a part of a team or considering others’ feelings and opinions.

When a coworker is acting entitled, it’s especially challenging to complete tasks because they want to prioritize their own thoughts and ideas, then set unrealistic expectations on others.

Some self-entitled people’s careers suffer because of their inability to get along well with others and to consider someone else’s needs.

7. They are lonely and unhappy

With such a strong personality and countenance toward others, it’s hard to find people who genuinely enjoy being around people with self-entitlement issues.

Suppose they put themselves in competition with their peers regularly. In that case, this can strain many of their relationships and lead them to isolate themselves unintentionally.

Additionally, when those around them don’t meet their high standards. Their unmet expectations often lead to general irritability and unhappiness in their day-to-day life.

How to deal with self-entitled people

Being around self-entitled people can certainly take a toll on your mental health. It’s important to establish boundaries with them upfront in order to avoid some of their toxic behavior and make it easier to be around them.

Here are a few tips to help:

1. Try to understand where they are coming from

If anything, the compassion and empathy you can show others proves that you, yourself, are not a self-entitled person.

Often, entitled people’s personalities stem from a deep-seated feeling of inadequacy. To deal with these feelings, they overcompensate and make themselves seem more significant, better, and more important than they really feel, so that no one would be able to tell how they feel on the inside.

Entitlement can be nerve-racking, but sometimes it’s helpful to look at from a different point of view, one that recognizes that although they may act like they have it all together, they are probably dealing with more than they let on.

2. Treat them equally

Don’t fall for treating an entitled person differently just because they deem it so. Don’t bend the rules for them or make them feel special. You also deserve happiness as much as the next person.

This belief is what fuels their entitlement, so be careful with fueling their desired expectations.

Signs Someone Is Self-entitled

3. Make them feel included

Sometimes, shunning an entitled person can make their demand for privilege worse. You can try to invite them to things with other people to make them feel more like a part of the group, rather than someone who stands out or above.

Feeling the positive effects of teamwork can do wonders for their personal growth and lessen some of the insecurity they may feel that makes them act out.

4. Separate yourself from their self-entitlement

Sometimes we just have to take a step back and create healthy boundaries. If the entitled person who we are dealing with is unbearable, or it starts to weigh on your own mental health as you navigate their personality, the best option is just to leave them behind or create distance.

Often, they have more going on than we can fix. The healthy way to deal with people who don’t respect you or your feelings is just to leave them alone or avoid interactions with them as much as possible.


Self-entitled people almost always expect preferential treatment and has an inflated sense that the world owes them everything.

People with a sense of entitlement are arrogant, manipulative, and believe others should show them the utmost respect, even if they don’t return the favor.

If you know a self-entitled person, you may know them as someone who doesn’t compromise, who doesn’t have a great relationship with the people in their lives, and who doesn’t accept loss or failure or the word “no.”

They may treat you terribly, only to get upset with you when you return the favor and treat them the same way.

If you find yourself dealing with a person like this, you can try to combat some of their behavior by treating them equally. This way, you don’t feed their expectations of you.

You can also try talking to them about their ways, and how it may affect others, this is especially important to consider if you’re a manager who has an employee with a strong sense of entitlement. Speaking out about how they handle themselves can make it easier for you and the people around them during your day-to-day interactions.

Encourage them to practice gratitude and patience with others so they can have better, longer-lasting relationships with themselves and others.

However, it is important to note that a self-entitled person may not be able to see that anything is wrong with them and may in fact react badly to feedback, even if you are just trying to help them. If this is the case, create some healthy boundaries and reduce your day-to-day interaction with this person. Ensure that you prioritize your own health and wellbeing.

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