Entitlement Schema

Individuals who experience confusing, inconsistent or impaired limits may develop one or more of these two schemas: entitlement, and insufficient self-control.

We all may occasionally feel entitled to special privileges based on how hard we have worked for something or take dislike with certain rules that we perceive as unnecessary or not applicable to ourselves. If you have developed the entitlement schema, you may experience a persistent sense that due to particular attributes, you may deserve special entitlements, rules, are superior to others around you or get to make your own rules according to what you desire. This schema may also be reflected in a desire to obtain wealth, power, fame or success as a means of becoming superior to others.


When activated, this schema may understandably put strain on your interpersonal relationships as you grapple with trying to balance your needs with the needs of those around you. It may also lead to excessive competitiveness, often at a cost to your own wellbeing. The true need behind this schema is truly feeling the value of social relationships and acceptance of who we are as people rather than identifying ourselves in terms of relative superiority.


Here are some questions to think about if you are considering whether the entitlement schema resonates with you:

Do you find yourself frustrated when bound by rules that you do not find applicable to you?

Do you enjoy achieving power over others?

Do you see yourself as superior based on some of your attributes, achievements, or otherwise?

Do you dislike being trapped or held back?

Do you get impatient with people you perceive as less educated, intelligent, or capable than you?

Do you consider yourself highly competitive with others?

Do you struggle to accept no as an answer when you want something?

Do you perceive your contributions are more valuable compared to those of other people?


If you generally answer no to most these questions, you are unlikely to have developed the entitlement schema. If you think the entitlement schema applies to you, start observing how it manifests in your daily life. Recognition is key to changing patterns that stop you from achieving your goals.

To find out more about your own personal schemas, book a consultation with Dr. Terrighena on (852) 2715 4577 or e.terrighena@mind-balance.org.

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Dr Esslin Terrighena - Psychologist in Hong Kong

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