Earn the Right to Be Heard
Hey Hey it is Monday again! Thank you for making your way to my blog, I write for YOU and your development. And, lucky for me, I experience development through sharing my thoughts with you! So thank you for listening and please give me feedback if you have it.
As I was considering what I wanted to write about this week, something that came up for me was the sense of entitlement that is pervasive in our culture. We are so quick to justify a nasty attitude or response because we feel entitled to it through justification. As the week went on, I let these opinions marinate in my head and as I thought about it, my heart broke a little when I remembered I am guilty of justification and entitlement as well. I apply my sense of entitlement to so many different areas of my life, but one very real example I will share is that I feel you should listen to me and read what I write simply because I am writing. I write, therefore you listen (er, read). I believe a lot of us struggle with this sense of entitlement, and we do not even realize it.
I call this type of entitlement Reactive Entitlement. We expect to be treated a certain way and when we are not treated in that way, we react. Unfortunately all that reaction does for us is display our character flaws, not necessarily the problems of the other party. Sorry kids, just because we do something does not automatically mean we get respect for doing that thing we do. We must earn the right to be heard.
“You have to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was”-Abraham Lincoln
Hand in hand with entitlement is justification. I find that I justify my actions because of my entitlement. I justify being unkind to someone because they were rude to me and therefore I am entitled to return the nasty attitude. Or, here is another fun one, I justify that treat or snack because I did a hard workout and I “deserve” it. Yikes, don’t do that. Eat a treat because you want a treat, don't eat it because you feel that you deserve it. (Obviously this requires a bit of a disclaimer, I understand that there is a lot to think about when considering whether or not to enjoy a treat. My general practice is to, sparingly, enjoy a treat because I choose a treat not because of influence or justification.)
As I grow in my development, I have come to realize that the things we sometimes feel most entitled to are not what our soul truly needs. If you are feeling lonely, you do not need chocolate cake to combat that loneliness. We need to dig and find out why we feel lonely in the first place.
My suggestion for today is that you listen more. A good way to figure out if you are feeling entitled or justifying your actions is to become more aware of yourself and the way you interact with others. Listen to yourself, listen to how others respond to you, and please listen some more. An increased amount of self-awareness will make you a better human being which results in a better life for you and those around you. Yay for not being an a-hole, right?
It is important to remember that most of the time, if we are being our healthiest, our behavior does not need to be justified. I have never heard of anyone who has felt the need to defend or explain why they reacted with kindness or love in a life situation.