“Me, me, me. Mine, mine, mine.” It starts at a very early age, and if left to itself, this polarization and entitlement can expand and grow, like a cancer, infecting our society. With 7.4 billion people on our planet, we should start to find ways to coexist with less conflict.
You might be able to recognize the adult signs of polarization and entitlement and choose to be part of the solution for a better world.
I am the victim
“You don’t understand, I am the victim, here.”
When you see yourself as the victim of some kind of abuse, mistreatment or lack of respect, you polarize yourself away from the subject (person, place or thing) that has “wronged” you and greatly reduce the ability to resolve the issue without conflict. You have drawn the proverbial line in the sand and declared war on the situation.
Any further conversation or negotiation from this point forward will be in the form of debate. You post up and ready yourself for battle and start building your case to establish your affirmative position while imposing your view of how you have been harmed or disrespected. You are ready to fight.
You don’t know me
“You have no idea about who I am, or the life I’ve lived.”
To assume that no one understands me, my plight or my perspective, implies that it makes a difference. Of course, it is actually impossible for m to actually see anything from your perspective – you might be able to give me clues – but it is simply not possible. All of us are completely unique. Though we may share some things in common, no person can truly see anything from anyone else’s perspective (unless we can figure out how to do the Vulcan mind-meld) and at times, we all feel like a Stranger in a Strange Land.
Don’t trust anyone
“I don’t trust you. I don’t trust anyone.”
When I was young, I trusted people. If I’ve learned one thing in my life, it’s that you can’t trust anyone – I don’t care who you are – I cannot, and will not, trust anyone ever again, as long as I live.
Everyone is out to get me
“People are always trying to find new ways to put me down.”
Rarely does a day go by (or a moment, for that matter) that someone doesn’t disrespect me, falsely accuse or belittle me. I am an adult, I have rights and I demand to be treated fairly.
Sense of entitlement
“You owe me. I demand to be taken care of.”
Whether it is being respected, heard, vindicated or to exercise vengeance, my expression must win out and any and all resources available can be called upon to satisfy my basic needs, desires or initiatives.
The idea that everyone should be the same; treated the same, the world is somehow responsible for catering to your every need or whim and your knowledge of how to manipulate the system to get you what you want (for the most part) satisfies your basic need(s).
If you want to live a full and free life, full of happiness and satisfaction (with a little disharmony thrown in for flavor and personal growth) you must stop polarizing yourself against others.
Once you hold fast to the idea that it’s me versus them, you have created an impossible situation that feeds the victim mentality and breeds discord.
It is not until we can wrap our heads around the idea that we are more the same than we are different. Instead of demanding our differences be recognized and respected, realizing – we are all human beings, sharing what resources are available, each making our own way, doing the best we can with what we have – we are all the same, and I love and respect you as much as I’d like to be loved and respected.
Sure, we love those things that create our own uniqueness and celebrate our individuality among the rest of us. We all have the right to our own ideas, ideals, philosophies, beliefs and those characteristics that make us different, but to impose them on anyone else would be disrespectful. Can’t we all just get along?
Tolerance suggests that we all have the inalienable right to think or believe whatever we want, as long as it doesn’t interfere with anyone else’s right to the same.
Barney said it best:
I love you
You love me
We’re a happy family
Until we can love and be loved – allowing each individual their right to their own perspective, without having to defend it – will we see true harmony in our society and/or the world.