I think it is no secret that there are many people around us who feel entitled to something. Children are being raised that way because their parents don’t say no or don’t teach them that you have to work for things and can’t just have everything you want. Many adults feel the same way and just expect help and assistance non-stop. It seems that more and more don’t learn that we need to work for the things we have and want, and we can’t just expect others to hand it to us. If you are a teenager and think you deserve to have all kinds of fancy technology and things, think again. Your parents have to work really hard for the things you have and they give it to you because they love you, not because you deserve it simply by gracing them with your presents. 😉
That being said, the above is actually not the entitlement I am writing about. For the past few days I have been thinking a lot about this issue and I have noticed how we all feel entitled to certain things. It seems that if you are a Christian and belong to a church community we have certain expectations of how those around us should be and what they should do for others. It seems that we expect so much that those around us can never fully satisfy us because it will never be enough. There are some really good quotes out there:
It drives me nuts to see how high expectations are from one Christian to another. It blows my mind that some people think just because you go to church it must mean you have to help no matter what and just can’t say no because if you say no it means you are not a good person. I think what we seem to forget is that we are all people with families, work and hardships and we can only do so much. Family members should always be the first to help and to ask for help, but that isn’t always possible especially if you don’t have family around. If you have wonderful friends they will take over being a family, and they will be there for you, but we should never take advantage of them.
I learned that a few years ago when I was trying to get into acting and I needed childcare, sometimes on a super short notice. I realized quickly that this wasn’t fair on any of my friends because they felt obligated to help me (since they were my friends) but they had enough stuff going on in their lives. I realized that I had to make sacrifices too and I couldn’t just rely on those around me, especially since it was a cheaper option. So we had au pairs/ nannies for a while and that worked out great. I was able to do what I wanted to, and I didn’t have to bug my friends all the time to help me out. Of course that doesn’t work out for everyone, but we can’t expect, expect, expect and almost demand help simply because we are in a difficult situation. We need to really think about how the other person might be feeling and not try to guilt-trip or be offended when the answer isn’t the way we would like it to be.
It is not easy to not be hurt because we do feel abandoned and unloved sometimes when we feel a loved one (family or friend) should do something for us and they won’t. But we should always think about them too and how they might be feeling and if we are not too demanding. Every person is different. Some people are amazing and they seem to be able to juggle family, business and helping others without a problem (however, even there we need to be careful because we don’t know what is really going on behind the scenes), but others can only do limited things and still feel overwhelmed. Helping others should come from the heart, from the person offering it, and not because they were forced, volunteered or guilt-tripped into it.
A lot of people also don’t like to say no and so they either find an excuse eventually, forget about it or push themselves too much. As someone who struggles with depression, I learned that I have to worry about myself too and that I just can’t do everything other people might expect of me. I am the only one who can tell what will be too much for me and nobody can make that decision for me. I am sure a lot of people are like that and it doesn’t mean they are bad people or that they don’t want to help, but simply means we have our limits and we are not going to push ourselves over it because our families or our own health will suffer.
This is something we all will have to work on every single day because that kind of entitlement is real and shows we are human. Asking for help isn’t easy and of course we should ask for help when we need it, but we also need to understand that the other person has their reasons why they do or don’t do what we think they should. Maybe it’s because it is too much, maybe it’s because they already have something going on and maybe it is because we have asked them too many times and they feel taken advantage of.