Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have a “strong sense of entitlement”, by definition. But what does that mean? Here are a couple examples from my own experience. Paying attention to the source of the behavior will help to recognize the behavior as it’s happening, to not accept it as normal, to not except it as “maybe a bit eccentric”, and most important – to not take it personally.
Example 1 – When we were married, we walked into a Brooks Brother’s store. My ex was looking for a new suit. As a narcissist, he has to portray a particular image to the world – and the words “genuine” and “real” don’t really cut it for him. Within a few minutes, he is aggravated. “Why isn’t anyone helping me?” he complains. “Well, maybe they figure most people just want to look around themselves first.” I reply. He gets more aggravated. “Don’t they know I’m here to spend $2000 with them? They should be greeting me the minute I walk in the store”. At that point, I didn’t realize the source of his behavior, and I commented back “Oh? Are you wearing a sign that says you want to spend a lot of money and need their help?”. We left a few minutes later, with his sense of entitlement driving us out the door because they neglected to care for him the way he expected. I mean really… “Don’t they know who he is??”
Example 2 – We relocated for my job once. He was fired from his, and I had us move so that I could keep mine. Moving is, well, an adventure in patience, as anyone who has moved knows. There were various things broken along the way. He was pissed, to say the least, that the movers would have the audacity to not treat his stuff with extra care. He did nothing to help (he’s entitled to not lift a finger, ya know), and when things were misplaced or broken… he yelled at me: “How do the rich people do it?? I bet they don’t put up this lack of quality! What are they (the movers) going to do, break a baby grande?”
Example 3 – This example is a mix of being entitled and a sense of “grandiosity”: My ex has been fired from every job he’s every had. He’s an ivy league graduate for both his undergrad and graduate degree’s, but for some reason, he can’t hold a job. However, he always manages to get a new one – as the ‘grandiosity’ sense of his disorder means he can portray how great he is and inflate his accomplishments to extraordinary, unfounded levels with such remarkable ease. Oh – and as a sidebar – this isn’t really lying – he really thinks he’s this great and did all the wonderful things he speaks about.
In negotiating for a new job, he can completely rationalize how he should except nothing short of a $300,000 income. Now, mind you… this is an individual who hasn’t made more than $100k ever, and his argument is not at all based on how his contributions to the company will make it worth it to them to pay him $300k. Why $300k? Because he’s entitled to it.. it’s his right. Right?
Example 4 – CUSTODY. Even though he did nothing as a parent to our children (see other posts on parental behavior before and after separation), he is entitled to legal custody of our children and time with them. He IS their parent. It is his LEGAL RIGHT. ‘Nuff said….