The Psychopathology of the Spoiled Brat Syndrome

Just because you’re accustomed to something doesn’t make you entitled to it.

When you hear of a “spoiled brat,” that’s the idea. A spoiled brat is treated well by others. When, for whatever reason, the good treatment pauses or stops, the spoiled brat expresses outrage. The outrage implies, “I’m entitled to keep getting the good treatment, without so much as a pause.”

If the good treatment were an entitlement, that would be one thing. And sometimes it is, as in cases when you pay for a high-end service and are entitled, through your payments, to keep getting it. But most of the time, that’s not the case. Most of the time, the “brat” feels a sense of false entitlement. Hence the outrage. If the false entitlement were not present, the response would be more like, “What happened? Is everything OK with you?” or, “Oh, well. It was a gift while I had it. I’ll have to live without it, or perhaps figure out a way to provide it myself.” Rarely, if ever, do you find those responses, because false entitlement is a rampant problem in relationships, families — and, as we’re witnessing, in entire societies.



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