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Thread: How can someone have a sense of entitlement/selfish AND low self-esteem?

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    keith515
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    How can someone have a sense of entitlement/selfish AND low self-esteem?

    I think it's pretty certain that my ex had a sense of entitlement (self-centered) and yet I know she also has low self-esteem. She would get depressed at times and had a poor self-image of her body.

    What I don't understand is how can you have both? It seems to me if you have a sense of entitlement then you have an OVER inflated ego, not the other way around.

    The main reason I want to know so in future relationships, I will have a better idea of looking for the red flags.

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    pinkelephant
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    I think most people have both and it's the reason why they have both.


    I probably should only speak for myself, but I've been pretty much brought up to think my * * * * don't stink. My entire family has that kind of thinking.. It helps in life, it makes me have confidence and ambition, but when you think you're that great, you feel like you deserve greatness in return and that's where people fail.

    They start to have unrealistic expectations of other people and also of themselves. Then, when reality does not coincide with this image they see in their minds, they begin to feel insecure and develop this polar opposite feeling/image about themselves.

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    Crazyaboutdogs
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    Often people with low self-esteem don't function well unless they are catered to and adored. They are needy and rely on the attention of others to help build their self-esteem. It makes them feel very important when they are controlling and bossing others and making demands that others run around to fulfill. If someone defies them it cuts to the core of their self-esteem which is tied in with how others perceive them, so they fight back and get angry and harsh at the person who will not bow down to them. They use intimidation to get what they want.

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    honeyspur
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    A sense of entitlement usually goes hand in hand with loss/neglect/trauma. Your girl experienced this and in order to get the things she wants, she developed this sense of entitlement. But it is a juvenile state - meaning her experiences left slightly stunted emotionally.

    Entitlement/Selfishness won't show up unless you experience it, i'm afraid. But some things that can show up right away. Does the girl seem to have everyone doing everything for her? Are they unusually afraid to do simple things/try simple things? Do they often express that they don't want to take risks because they "could get into trouble"? even though they are no longer a kid? Does it seem like they are never alone/always attached to cell phone - even if they are just going from their car to your house? Are they particular about material objects or how often you give them things? Do they still look to their parents for an ok to go ahead on things like who to date/what career to go after/if they should settle down, etc? Are they constantly judging people based on things/clothes/type of friends they have/type of music, etc?

    Entitlement and low self esteem do relate because it means they feel unsafe/unsure/unable to make solid decisions. They feel outside forces are responsible for their happiness. They rarely own up to things that they are obviously responsible for. They still feel like a kid - like they are not responsible for things because everyone seems more powerful than them.

    The point is - entitled people are usually quite damaged and experienced being scared a lot. So on some level - they need care - not avoidance. They fill their time up so they don't have to sit around and be scared. They act tough and righteous in order to mask the daily unease and appear powerful. They easily dismiss you and your feelings because they believe you have not experienced the level of trauma they have. They were never really acknowledged by the people in their life and are dead set on getting that acknowledgement now. But they will abuse you because they too were abused and feel that is how people get what they need.

    Good luck - on some level you need to forgive your ex - you will find moments of entitlement in every well adjusted person - including yourself. It is a common behavior.

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    keith515
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazyaboutdogs [Register to see the link]
    Often people with low self-esteem don't function well unless they are catered to and adored. They are needy and rely on the attention of others to help build their self-esteem. If someone defies them it cuts to the core of their self-esteem which is tied in with how others perceive them, so they fight back and get angry and harsh at the person who will not bow down to them. They use intimidation to get what they want.
    While, I wouldn't say my ex used intimidation, I would say that she would easily get hurt if I didn't do what she wanted me to do.

    Ex) Here is the original thread but the summary is below:
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    We had spent 5 of the last 6 days together and she wanted me to come over and work out with her on the 7th day. She lives about 20 miles away and I declined because I didn't want over spend my time with her and I already told her I was on the way to gym by my home. I felt if she said "jump" I should say how high. When we had the talk, she used this as an example as to why her feelings changed towards me. My response was "I should be able to say "no" sometime. (I ALWAYS would come over if she wanted me there.) She didn't seem to agree with my assessment. Her reaction seemed to be I am upset with you because you didn't bow down to me.

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    keith515
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    Thank you for your insight.
    I believe she has experienced some trauma. Her original dad left her and she lived with her grandma for some years. And she doesn't seem to have a good relationship with her step-dad despite him being her father for all those years.

    It definitely seems that she feels others (external forces) are responsible for her happiness. And I've been told and have seen it, that she doesn't take responsibility for her actions.

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    pumpkinmoon
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    I think for people with low self esteem, they get to a point where they need to convince themselves and other people otherwise. Instead of dealing with it head on and getting to the cause of it, they create this persona for themselves. One that makes them come accross as very confident and out going, even to the point where they become arrogant. They love to believe that others love them and think they are great, they also believe it to too some extent, but it's just a blanket to cover what is underneath.

    These sorts of people don't deal with rejection very well in my opinion.

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    keith515
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    Quote Originally Posted by theshoefairy [Register to see the link]
    I think for people with low self esteem, they get to a point where they need to convince themselves and other people otherwise. Instead of dealing with it head on and getting to the cause of it, they create this persona for themselves. One that makes them come accross as very confident and out going, even to the point where they become arrogant. The love to believe that others love them and think they are great, they also believe it to too some extent, but it's just a blanket to cover what is underneath.

    These sorts of people don't deal with rejection very well in my opinion.
    I can definitely agree with the above statement. I could NEVER say "no" to her and if I did she got extremely hurt.

    I can't be in a relationship with the other person is so insecure I have to cater to them all the time. It's as if I did everything she wanted 364 days out of the year but I disappoint her that one day, she would be re-think the relationship and think I didn't love her.

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