Handling A Highly Entitled Person

Libby Shively McAvoy
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What is a highly entitled person?

It is defined as “an unrealistic, unmerited, or inappropriate expectation of favorable treatment at the hands of others.”

Whether it is an unruly teenager, your partner, a co-worker, or a parent, we have likely all encountered someone who feels the world revolves around them.

Not all entitled people are narcissists, but all narcissists have an inflated sense of entitlement. A highly entitled person is all take and no give, which makes for a very difficult relationship.

Just as we all have narcissistic traits, we also have a slight sense of entitlement. The difference is that a healthy person understands we do not always get what we want and can cope with disappointments. A healthy person can give to others, see concepts from multiple perspectives, and treat others with empathy.

Entitlement begins when we forget that our extracurricular activities and things that we have are privelages, not expectations. ~Author Unknown

Traits Of a Highly Entitled Individual

  • They treat others as if they are inferior.
  • They are selfish.
  • They are combative.
  • They have an exaggerated sense of self-worth.
  • They feel they deserve VIP treatment.
  • They cannot admit wrongdoing or apologize.
  • They are poor listeners.
  • They think the world revolves around them.

The previous article I published describes similarities and differences between someone with complex post-traumatic stress syndrome and a narcissist. The person with CPTSD has a low sense of self-worth, whereas the highly entitled person has an extremely high sense of self-worth. Interestingly, it almost seems like a false facade because entitled people are never satisfied.

A highly entitled person drives friends and family away with rude behavior and demands. This lack of supply to feed their ego leaves them with unmet needs, and they become angry and depressed. They end up throwing temper tantrums like young children.

What Causes Someone To Become Highly Entitled?

  • Mental illness is thought to be the leading cause of entitlement.
  • Growing up with parents or caretakers who never said no, or who gave into the child’s wishes when they threw a tantrum.
  • Children who were neglected and never got what they wanted or needed.

The highly entitled person wants praise at all costs. They will put others down, manipulate, and place blame to make themselves look and feel better. They truly believe they deserve the best, and it should be handed to them. Why should they have to work? That is the mentality.

How to Save Your Sanity

  • Set firm boundaries.
  • Get comfortable saying no.
  • Do not engage in arguments with them.


Be prepared; when you say no to an entitled person, they will not like it. They will spew harsh words and throw their fit. They can be verbally abusive. Refrain from responding. It will only drain your energy. Their words and actions have nothing to do with you. Consider giving them time to cool down and then revisit the conversation.

They have such an inflated ego and zero ability to see things from other people’s perspectives. If you do not assert yourself, set boundaries, and say no to the entitled individual, they will continue to gain power and control.

No matter how much you give or what the entitled person has, it is never enough. The only thing that can change their behavior is therapy to examine the root cause of what drives their desires.

If you are involved with a highly entitled person, take care of your energy and self-esteem — it is not selfish. It is necessary. You may have to walk away if they do not respect your boundaries and treat you the way you deserve.

Peace & Light,

Libby Shively McAvoy




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Libby is a Personal Development and Relationship coach specializing in emotional intelligence. By blending motivational speaking, leading yoga and wellness retreats, and writing, she has mastered the art of living her best life while helping others.

Cincinnati, OH

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