The term “entitlement” carries some pretty negative connotations. Entitled people can be stereotyped as greedy, self-centered, or spoiled. However, entitlement can also be associated with confidence, which is often considered a positive character trait. So, how exactly does one walk the line between confidence and entitlement? Here are a few tips to help you navigate this touchy subject.
Pair Confidence with a Side of Humble Pie
Especially when talking about female character traits, confidence is often in short supply. That being said, confidence can be perceived in the wrong way when showcased incorrectly. At its core, confidence is assuredness. To be confident means you know you are capable and qualified to face something. That said, bragging about your capabilities screams conceited, not self-assured.
However, that’s not to say you should lose confidence. Instead, pair your confidence with an amount of humility. For instance, if you’re accepting an employee-of-the-month award, you should accept it confidently. That said, when congratulated, you should exude an air of humility, showcasing that you know you are hard-working and therefore deserving of the award but that it’s truly an honor to have received it.
You should never diminish your capabilities, but rather, you should always make sure you rely on a touch of humility to ensure your confidence doesn’t cross over into smug conceit.
Make Sure You Can Back Up Your Entitlement
Entitlement, again, sounds negative but actually goes hand in hand with confidence. Entitlement is synonymous with simply feeling that you deserve something.
However, you should always detect hints of your own entitlement before putting that vibe out there because when you’re wrong, it is quite embarrassing. For instance, let’s say that there is a community service-related recognition award. You have dedicated hours to charity work; you will most likely feel entitled to that nomination, and you’d be correct. On the other hand, if you only spent one weekend working with a local charity and feel equally entitled to recognition, there would be a dissonance between what you think you deserve and what you actually deserve.
When in doubt, you should make sure you can back up your entitlement. If you feel you deserve something, create a list of reasons why and then review them. If you’re looking at a list of feelings, you’re likely undeserving. If you’re looking at a list of qualitative reasons backed with data, you likely are deserving. Just make sure you can discern the difference.
Entitlement Shouldn’t be the Result of Circumstance
On occasion, a feeling of entitlement arises because of who you are as a person. This can mean anything from your skin color to your family’s wealth and your political beliefs.
As a general rule of thumb, entitlement should only come from a place of effort. For example, if you have family members that attended a particular higher education institution for centuries, you may feel entitled to an acceptance there, regardless of how much effort you put into your application. However, the truth is, you’re only entitled to that acceptance if you’re actually worthy of it.
Know the Difference Between Deserving and Wanting
Finally, it’s important that you understand the difference between deserving something and wanting something. When you feel entitled to something, it should be because you deserve it. However, some individuals feel entitled simply because they want something.
If a conference is giving out prizes to individuals that are the most attentive, the person that attends every seminar and participates in all of them is more deserving of the prize than the individual that attends every seminar but sits silently in the back. Both may want the prizes equally, but only one is actually deserving of it. When you can discern this difference for yourself, you’ll be on the right side of this issue.
Being sure of yourself and believing in yourself are positive qualities, so long as they are displayed in the right circumstances. These tips will help you ensure that you’re showcasing your best qualities at all times.