Edgewood Blog

Are We Living in an Entitled Culture?

Posted on: September 23, 2014

If you’re in charge of hiring at a place of business, work with high school or college kids, you may have found that there is a certain arrogance that they may display at times that one would say wasn’t present 20-30 years ago. This arrogance does not come off as mean or malicious, but rather, entitled. How? For example (real): A hiring manager is interviewing job candidates, and during the interview, the prospective employee seems disappointed and debates what the working hours are because that ones that are proposed do not fit into that person’s schedule and therefore cause an inconvenience. Entitled.

Recently, an article was written by Dr. W. Keith Campbell from the University of Georgia entitled ‘Are We More Narcissistic Than Ever Before?’, which addresses these phenomena in simple ways. He points out that social media has given rise to narcissistic behaviors, and therefore the entitlement behaviors that are displayed are really ways for individuals for compensate for their own lack of self-esteem. He uses the popular Ice Bucket Challenge as a way to make his point; he states that ‘it has been revealed that less than half of those doing the ice bucket challenge are actually donating (to ALS research). So, for some, is it really about awareness for ALS or self-promotion?’

Further, he states that Narcissism scores on personality inventories are much higher than they were in the 1980s, further evidencing that individuals are more insecure and into themselves than in past years. Social media, buying things that we can’t afford, are easy ways to elevate self-esteem and make us feel better than we actually do. How do we address this? By creating environments where failure is acceptable, to push ourselves to be accountable for what we do and how we do it, and knowing that in many cases, our best can really be good enough. But in the end, that can only work if we feel secure in ourselves.