Thursday, November 19, 2015

How to Communicate With an Entitlement-Diseased Person

Warren Dunes State Park, Michigan
After you have addressed your own entitlement issues you may be ready to have that difficult talk with your friend or family member who has the entitlement disease. John Townsend recommends beginning with a vulnerable conversation. (The Entitlement Cure, 80) "Being vulnerable means getting past your frustration and anger so that you can express your feelings of care for the person, as well as your exposure to pain because of their behavior." (Ib.)

Clearly state how you have experienced the entitled behavior of the other person. "Let them know how you see their behavior. They may have no idea that they are like this, or that others perceive them as being this way." (82)

People with the entitlement disease need to understand that they have the disease. "Someone has to say something. Otherwise, how can they change?" (Ib.)

Then, move to a "consequence-based conversation." Townsend says this has seven elements.

  1. You are “for” him: “Brandon, I care about you and I want you to succeed.”
  2. You are concerned about some negative attitudes and behaviors: "It's not OK that you are still living at home with no job or no school."
  3. You yourself have been part of the problem: "I haven't been clear and firm with my expectations, and I've waited too long to press the issue. I'm sorry about that."
  4. You are establishing definite criteria for change: "You have sixty days..."
  5. There will be consequences if no change occurs: "If this doesn't happen, then on day sixty-one I will have your things packed."
  6. You want to hear them out.
  7. Once again, you are "for" him: "I'm sorry this has been a difficult talk, but I care about you and I hope you will make the right choice." 
 After this, expect all hell to break loose. Townsend writes: 

"Be ready for anger, escalation, resentment, and tirades. Remember who you’re dealing with. Entitlement does not recede quickly! But just as God is engaged in “de-entitling” his people, so you are part of that process too."

Don't take this personally. The entitled person is angry at reality, "angry that he can't be a little god." It's not really about you.


Most Entitled People are Dependent People