I have to fight for my rights! I deserve to get this as an employee! (or as a spouse, friend). I am not paid enough! My friend forgot to call me on my birthday! Are these the emotions you experience often across different areas of your life? If so, you may have entitlement mentality (to some degree).
So whats wrong in expecting to be treated fairly and getting what I think I deserve? Shouldn’t people be held accountable to be fair towards me and meet my reasonable expectations? Won’t people deprive me of fairness if I am not watchful and don’t consistently point out their side of the duty? Not really – my experience has almost been exact opposite. Here’s how.
When we expect something we send energy that creates a sense of obligation in another. Many years ago once a friend told me – “Oh you don’t call me anymore” and immediately got a feeling that – this particular friendship was weakened by the sentence. Of course my thoughts were – “you could have called me too”, “you don’t know but I was really in some tough situations — and here you are thinking about just whats important to you” and so on.
Moreover, when I thought of calling him next time, the sense of joy was not there… it felt somewhat like a duty or compliance. The joy of giving and joy of making a choice is dampened significantly for the other when we expect.
Goals = Future / Expectations = Past
Expecting and after the fact communicating dissatisfaction is not useful to anyone. That is simply a situation where both can’t win – one ends up losing in some form or the other. On the other hand if we discuss goals in advance we can together plan an approach where both parties can win.
Let’s take example of the matter of ‘Salary Raise – Performance Appraisal”. If I work for a year in a manner that I believe is good and hope for say a 20% raise. It is possible I will be disappointed if my boss does not value my work the same way as her expectations may be different. May be long hours is not valued by her as much as taking more responsibility or ownership.
If we believe the world owes us – and ofcourse we can justify and vehemently defend it – we are likely to keep the resentment and fight on – try to convince others instead of channelizing our energy positively towards understanding “how” we can get what we want. A 20% raise may require you to take more responsibility and do it consistently over a period of time.
If we have been a situation where “demand was higher” for what we did we are likely to feel like kings and when the market reality, and expectations around us change we can end up being resentful and feeling entitled.
In the end – whether it is a friendship, love relationship or employment, our focus first and foremost be on delivering value and the rewards are inevitable. Even if you occasionally run into people who don’t value you appropriately, you will never have problem finding people who do. In the end you always win as you have made a habit of delivering value and that will never go out of fashion or never need to be defended.