Entitlement and Narcissism in the Workplace

Entitlement and Narcissism a Growing Infection to the Workplace

Entitlement predicts chronic self-image goals. These chronic self-image goals predict chronic relationship conflict and hostility.

Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can do for your country….JFK

And now, we have professional athletes – role models to thousands of youngsters, refusing to stand for our national anthem – and entire NFL teams to support them.

What has happened?

I believe the answer to be an abysmal atmosphere of entitlement – the wiifm mentality  – whats in it for me.

Entitlement is asphyxiating to a healthy psychological being. The “nothing is good enough”, “what is the world going to do for me” attitude is creating a slow death to respect, humility and to the ability to ever feel joy or happiness.

Expecting everybody to give to us – what everyone else can do for me – where is the community in this? We belong to many communities – or as we call it in the animal kingdom a pack – and a community functions by participation from all of its members.

Although President Obama condoned Colin Kaepernick’s grandstanding and disrespect to the anthem and flag, saying it was a privilege of democracy…..I would like to present a few studies on the psychological fall out of entitlement. My goal is to bring back respect, a sense of community and belonging, and yes sounds like a stretch now…….cut back on anger and conflict  in this world.

A 2009 study by Scott J. Moeller, Department of Psychology, University of Michigan

“Creating Hostility and Conflict: Effects of Entitlement and Self-Image Goals”:

Key findings: People who feel entitled to admiration and respect from others do not make good companions. Entitled people adopt self-image goals (goals that aim to construct and defend a positive self-image), which then lead to interpersonal conflict and hostility. Entitlement predicts chronic self-image goals. These chronic self-image goals predict chronic relationship conflict and hostility.

And stated in this study oh so succinctly…..”Compassionate goals vs self-image goals have important implications for creating or undermining interpersonal relationships. Compassionate goals involve supporting others and contributing to their well-being; these goals foster social support and trust. Conversely, self-image goals involve constructing, maintaining, and defending a positive self-image; these goals undermine social support and trust”

Enter Narcissistic personality: “Narcissistic people should be especially likely to adopt self-image goals as an interpersonal strategy because they are concerned (if not downright obsessed) with obtaining admiration and respect from others (Baumeister & Vohs, 2001). Narcissistic people hold grandiose self views, an inflated sense of entitlement, and an interpersonal style marked by exploitative attitudes and low empathy (American Psychiatric Association, 1994).  ….And because narcissism and entitlement continue to rise among today’s young adults, compared to previous generations (Twenge, Konrath, Foster, Campbell, & Bushman, 2008), understanding how narcissism contributes to negative interpersonal outcomes becomes increasingly important.”

entitlement in the workplace Best In Corporate HealthEntitlement and narcissistic tendencies are problematic in the workplace. Again, entitlement is defined as an expectation for preferential treatment or rewards but in the workplace, this attitude definition presents itself to include without  having earned the accolades, the rewards should be handed out regardless of performance. HR professionals and managers have to deal with the entitled perception of being treated unfairly. And of course this breeds counterproductive workplace behaviors dragging down energy and ambience. In more dramatic cases of counterproductive workplace behaviors can become vengeful, employees going out of their way to harm the company which can include bringing down morale of others, theft, finding more and more ways to be unproductive.

Some of the suggested ways of dealing with workplace entitlement are:

  • trying to emphasize employee equality
  • Assigning projects that will highlight the strengths of the person
  • Creating an ambience of equality amongst employees….by setting out clear expectations
  • Reinforce and appreciate rather than “you are the best” mentality – which feeds into the image issues
  • Rewards should be unpredictable – so they don’t become rote and expectations

Our Best in Corporate Health method: programs that work on Compassionate Goals vs. Self Image Goals.

Remember:  We reap what we sow.  Managers receive the behavior they have rewarded and allowed to slip by.  And…modelling is everything.  Compassionate goals from management in response for good work is modelling – still the best respected form of behaviour modification.

We are social beings. Very often our lives become robotic, which has deleterious effects on health, happiness, productivity and stress. A work life balance requires contribution from both work and personal lives. …Corporate symbiosis for the Corporate Happy Place!

Corporate Health Programs – What an Incredible Way to Make the World A Healthier Happier Place…..so we make them affordable to EVERYONE……


We look forward to customizing your employee wellness programs!

Shira Litwack, Corporate Program Designer
Shira Litwack, medical fitness professional, Cancer Exercise Specialist , Medical Exercise Specialist, Holistic Nutritionist, Corporate health designer and coach, Health and fitness educator

Chief Health Enthusiast – Best In Corporate Health

Employee Wellness Toronto, Ontario – But offered worldwide!

  • Shira is regularly consulted by Naturopaths, oncologists, health coaches on cancer exercise and exercise adherence.
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Articles featured in: ezines, ArticlesInk, European Registry of Exercise Professionals, The National Post, Investment Executive Magazine, Directory of Greater Toronto, Canadian Leukemia & Lymphoma Association, Prostate Cancer Canada, Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, Anytime Fitness, Today’s Black Woman, Today’s Seniors, Medical Fitness Network, FORCE (Facing Our Risk of Cancer Empowered), Willow (Breast & Hereditary Cancer Support),

Cancer Exercise Training Institute, Urban Poling for Breast Cancer, ROW – Recovery on Water for Breast Cancer

Shira Litwack, Medical fitness professional |Cancer Exercise Specialist|Personal & Corporate Health Coach | Fitness For Disease Recovery| Industry Expert Cancer Exercise

Director of International Relations Cancer Exercise Training Institute Master Trainer

Radio talk show host/Guest/Producer Health & Fitness Radio

BSc Psychology & Chemistry| Medical Exercise Specialist|Holistic Nutrition| Addiction Recovery|Total of 18 exercise designations