Friday, June 16, 2017

Three Destructive Entitlement Attitudes, and The Cure

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Fallen flower, on our back deck

Psychologist John Townsend, in his new book The Entitlement Cure, says there are three attributes someone with an entitled attitude has, all of which destroy your health.

#1 - Denial.

Instead of "search me, O God, and know my heart," the person in denial turns her back on reality."She refuses to admit her flaws to herself or anyone else, which eliminates any possibility of deep and satisfying relationships." (p. 64)

Denial keeps her from growing, changing, and transforming.

The person in denial doesn't confess, because the problem is with others, not her. (See James 5:16.)

#2 - Perfectionism.

The perfectionist "beats himself up for failures, minor or major. His standard for performance is perfection, and he offers himself little grace when he stumbles. He constantly scrutinizes and condemns himself, and never makes it to a point of self-acceptance." (p. 65)

#3 - Narcissism.

Narcissists have grandiose views of themselves. Self-grandiosity hides their flaws, "which usually lie buried under deep shame and envy. He is so afraid to see himself as he really is that he reacts in the opposite direction, toward the “I’m special” stance, in which he becomes arrogant and selfish and has difficulty feeling empathy for others." (p. 65)

The entitlement attitudes of denial, perfectionism, and narcissism are accompanied by pressure, stress, and emptiness. 

The Jesus way, on the other hand, is hard because you have to actually face yourself. Townsend writes:

"But his yoke becomes easier (see Matthew 11: 30) because you can then experience his grace, and the grace of others, to bear and relate to your real, authentic self — negative aspects and all. This self can then be loved, forgiven, graced, and helped to become a transformed individual, full of grace, forgiveness, and mercy for others." (Ib.)