How to recognise an entitled partner

Has your partner’s life taken over yours? Have you become their secretary? Are you the one fixing their problems? Do you have to plan their meals?

Chances are, your partner is entitled.

An entitled person acts like they’re owed things; by you, by life itself. They feel, or believe to be superior to others, and therefore they deserve more. They’re irresponsible, and they expect other people to come to their rescue.

Entitled people tend to be abusive, of various levels, simply because they don’t think about other people’s needs. They’re so self-absolved that without meaning to, they hurt people around them. There is no space for others.

Being with an entitled person means you are the one who needs to find a solution for everything. Do they need to go the doctor? You’ll book the appointment. Does their low libido affect your sex life? You’ll do research to improve it.

Of course there is a difference between asking for help and demanding help. When you’re entitled, you don’t want to take responsibility and expect other people to fix things for you. Someone I knew had to take an exam to continue practicing his job as a teacher. He kept postponing it. He said he’d do it before their holiday, then he’d do it on the plane. Finally, he went on holiday and couldn’t go out with his wife because he had to study. His wife and her family spent their holiday helping him with it. It’s not a surprise that when his wife asked for a divorce, his reply was “how can you divorce your sick husband?”

A person with a healthy self-image takes responsibility, they just need some help with execution. The latter shows a mature view on one’s abilities and a realistic view on the situation. The former shows immaturity and irresponsibility.

Similarly to people with Narcissistic Personality Disorder, but to a lesser degree, entitled people can’t take criticism. In their mind, they’re perfect. It’s very common that they use projection when faced with criticism, they blame you for the way they feel, “you’re so weak, you’re not well”. They might also flip the blame on you. If you say to them, “I wish you were there for me when I needed you”, the response will be “you’re being so dramatic and needy.”

They perceive criticism as an attack on their ego. They exhibit high self-confidence, but it’s delusional and fragile. Any criticism feels like an attack.

So they never take responsibility for their actions, because that would mean that they would lose part of themselves.

Being considerate is the opposite of being entitled. A person with a healthy image of themselves can admit they have flaws, that they’re mistaken - and this doesn’t lead them to deconstruct their whole idea of who they are. They have humility, and to quote C.S. Lewis:

“humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking about yourself less”.

A good compass of entitlement is how susceptible they are to new ideas. Entitled people want to seem like they always know everything. A compassionate person is open to new concepts.

When I first heard about “cultural appropriation”, I was very confused, it wasn’t clear to me. I researched it, found examples and ended up getting it. It was an act of compassion – I wanted to be able to understand what my Japanese colleague was talking about, how she felt about people wearing kimono.

An entitled person will simply not go through that effort. They already have their own opinions, and they’re great, they got really far in life; people’s sensitivities are a bit too much and they should calm down. Putting effort into understanding other people’s feelings is something that simply doesn’t make sense to them, because they don’t have much to gain from it.

Self check in:

• Do you find yourself rescuing your partner and taking over their responsibilities?

• Does your partner neglect or ignore your needs?

• Does your partner make you feel like he deserves more than you?

• Do you exhibit entitlement?

• Has there been a recent incident when you could have shown more humility and compassion?

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