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The Reactor Factor: How to Handle Difficult Work Situations Without Going Nuclear by Marsha Petrie Sue

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Chapter 2. Spoiled Brats

Entitlement, Blame, Accountability

No, I'm not talking about German sausage gone bad. A spoiled brat, as defined by the dictionary, "is a child that has been spoiled by his or her parents" (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spoiled_brat). Psychologists may describe spoiled children as "overindulged, grandiose, narcissistic," and even "egocentric-regressed." But this definition applies to people who are well past their "growing" years. There are countless spoiled brats in the workplace today—people who are steeped in the attitude of entitlement. They feel that the business or job they are in "owes" them for one reason or another. But you can't respond to difficult business situations if you are acting like a spoiled brat or a victim of circumstance.

Many people have fallen prey to this behavioral tendency. Some blame it on generational differences; others claim that it's the result of society gone soft; and still others declare that there is a disappearance of the work ethic. Truly, it is a combination of all of these. Layer "entitlement attitude" on top of that, and you will be sucked into the vacuum of the spoiled brat.

Consider the following statements, and use them to determine whether you've begun to develop any sense of privilege yourself; that is, if you've begun to believe that your business, colleagues, and employers "owe" you certain things.

Entitlement Detector

  • I expect fairness from others.

  • My good work should be recognized from my boss with a thank you.

  • When I ...

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