Narcissistic Entitlement: Psychopaths Say the Darndest Things
Psychopaths can be so difficult to identify that even when they tell us who they are, we still can’t see it. By projecting their camouflage into our minds, they can hide in plain sight. Their sense of entitlement is their camouflage. It emits from the narcissist’s inflated ego, disguising their shame and their vulnerabilities. Initially, entitlement is a beautiful lure that radiates brilliantly. Once we’ve swallowed the bait, it explodes and contaminates us with the narcissist’s by-passed shame, which it had previously disguised.
Entitlement is for Infants
A few weeks after I left the ex-Psychopath, I read Sandy Hotchkiss’ illuminating book, Why is it Always About You? The Seven Deadly Sins of Narcissism. This was the first place where I saw narcissism described as a condition of emotionally arrested development. According to this theory, the narcissist is still experiencing their emotional life as they did when they were infants. It seemed inconceivable that an intelligent, walking and talking adult is still feeling the way they did when they were in diapers.
Then I read in the news about a Florida man who was scamming women into believing he was mentally incapacitated so that they would bottle feed him and change his diapers. He easily convinced them that he was disabled because the truth was beyond their imagination: A psychopathic predator was sliming people with his dirty diaper for no discernible reason.
The news article revealed to me that the theory of arrested development was more than metaphor, it was factual. Whatever intellect a narcissist may acquire, is used in the service of maintaining their sense of entitlement. They feel entitled to be given everything they want and in return, they give others the responsibility for their shame. We would hope that most people would easily recognize diaper-man as a psychopath, but later I read that another predator had repeated this scam in New Hampshire.
According to the theory, we all have a little narcissism left in us from our infancy. That memory creates the attraction we feel when we see a little – or a large – narcissist displaying their entitlement.
Of course, not all entitled people will demand to have their diapers changed. But many of them will tell you exactly what they do want: Everything
Psychopaths like to show and tell their entitlement.
For instance, “Fred”, the Psychopath’s minion, out of the blue told me, “Everyone should care about me and I shouldn’t have to care about anyone.”
That wasn’t a completely surprising statement coming from Fred. I already knew that he was a psychopath, he doesn’t have a very convincing mask. His cluster A, B and C disorders make up his entire persona. He has so many symptoms it oozes out of him. I just never expected him to be so literal and forthright about his overblown sense of entitlement. Though I should have expected it, since he had previously described himself as “just like Ted Kaczinsky, the Unibomber. Living in the woods and plotting world domination.” One day he even announced that he had oppositional defiant disorder. I told him he was scaring people.
Another psychopath phrased it differently. She said, “I’m just selfish, I’ve always been selfish. It’s just the way I am.” That wasn’t news to me either. A few years later though, it took on a more sinister tone, when she said, “Everyone’s evil. It’s okay to be evil.”
Knowing that she’s not the brightest bulb, I tried to find another way to interpret her meaning. Perhaps she was referring to the fact that nobody’s perfect and we’re all sinners? I was in denial. If she had meant that, she would have added that we must repent and do better, not that we should embrace it, Ayn Rand style.
Her psychopathic husband had also flat-out told me, “We like that you’re always doing things for us, but we’re never going to do anything for you.” She just stood there and smiled.
Entitlement is Dangerous
One might think that being selfish only has an upside for the narcissist, but their overwhelming sense of entitlement can be a danger to themselves as well as to others. A few years ago, the same woman, (I’ll call her the it’s-okay-to-be-evil-psychopath), was standing on a sidewalk trying to cross the street, but the light wouldn’t change. The T-shaped intersection was unusual. She saw a crosswalk but she didn’t see the button to press for the walk-light. How would she ever get across? That’s when her sense of entitlement kicked in.
“There’s no button, they HAVE to stop” she announced. Then she proceeded into the street despite the four lanes of traffic heading toward her. I screamed. She immediately turned and ran back to the safety of the sidewalk.
In this situation, entitlement was less obvious. Trying to understand her behavior, I had focused on the first part of the sentence, “There’s no button.” This led me to believe that her confusion caused the near accident. It took me a couple of years to realize that the second part of the sentence was the important part, “They HAVE to stop.” Her entitlement creates her reality. The cars must magically obey her will – except when they don’t.
Her entitlement may seem obvious now, but at the time I couldn’t see it because it’s so overblown that I’d never imagine anyone having that mindset. I simply can’t relate to the assumption that reality should bend to my will just because I’m me. This is a situation where entitlement denies reality and creates a clear and present danger to people.
She’s been in two separate parking lot accidents where cars have backed into her. It’s never her fault (of course) but I can’t help but think that she places her car in the path of the backing cars because she thinks, “they have to stop.” She can’t ever yield the right of way when her sense of entitlement takes over, no matter what the consequences. And the consequence was that someone else had to pay to fix her car. Maybe entitled people just shouldn’t drive or walk the streets.
My ex-Psychopath usually prefers the psychopathic tell when he divulges his entitlement, but one statement he made was very similar to Fred’s.
“I should just get to play and other people should pay me.” he informed me. I thought he was referring to the arrangements he had with his millionaire friends who paid him to fix their aircraft, teach them to fly, design and build mechanical toys and lead them on grand adventures. What he was really saying is that he can do what he wants and never take responsibility — like an infant.
By using equivocal statements, he knows he can later backtrack and say he meant something else, that it was my fault for misunderstanding him. Most psychopaths use this excuse or else they say, “I was only joking. You have no sense of humor.”
Psychopaths will rarely drop the mask completely, until after they’ve been outed. Then it’s a relief to express their entitlement which they’ve kept under a mask their entire lives. They hated that they had to stay silent about their true identity as the princes of darkness and they look forward to revealing how special and smart they are to the entire world.
After he was arrested, Gary Ridgeway, the Green River murderer, when asked what made him different from other people, replied, “It’s that caring thing.” Indicating that he lacked it.
Before his execution, Ted Bundy described himself as “The meanest son-of-a-b**ch that ever lived.”
In another tell, my ex-psychopath once said, “The polar bear is the meanest animal on the planet. It kills just for the pleasure of killing. It kills even when there’s no reason. You’d never want to meet a polar bear.”
I couldn’t imagine why I would need that tidbit of information. Where would I meet a polar bear? The zoo?
But, years earlier, he had offhandedly remarked, “I’m not like other guys, I have no ego.”
Knowing how psychopaths love to brag and that that’s how they often get caught, he was differentiating himself because he brags through psychopathic tells, changing the words so he can equivocate, if necessary. Eventually, I put the two together, even years apart, and I realized, he’s the polar bear.
In fact after I left him he said, “I’m something – I mean – someone, you’d never hope to meet again.” The equivocal statement’s meaning is that he is special, but in what way? Like an infant? Or a polar bear?
Nearing the end of my discard, I asked him why he would do some of the egregious things he’d done.
His answer: “Because I can.” This is a common reply from psychopaths when they’re feeling especially entitled.
Those three words are the heart of entitlement. They succinctly refer to a lack of conscience. He was telling me that other people are prevented from offensive behavior by their conscience, but he doesn’t have that limitation, which he views as a weakness. Like Ayn Rand, he believes that a lack of conscience is his strength.
Entitlement is a Package Bomb.
From these many examples, one would think that it’s pretty easy to see entitlement in a person, especially when they flat-out tell you. But entitlement is a package. It doesn’t just come out in words, it’s also part of the narcissist’s performance. That’s why their boundary-crossing charm is so effective, it’s accompanied by self-confidence. Their pity ploys and their rage are filled with conviction. They believe their own lies and they believe they have special status. We don’t perceive their entitlement as coming from a false-self because it seems so real. We believe it’s justified entitlement.
I saw a clear example of this entitled-to-create-reality package when I asked the okay-to-be-evil-psychopath what she was going to tell her therapist about her medical problems.
Her vehement response was, “I’m going to tell the TRUTH! The truth I made up.” I had a WTF? Moment right before I began laughing. So much for therapy, right?
What I’ve noticed is that she sounds the MOST convincing when she’s lying. That’s because she’s working so hard to believe it.
She tells herself what the character George Costanza on the tv show Seinfeld said to Jerry Seinfeld, “Jerry, just remember it’s not a lie, if YOU believe it.”
Psychopaths Exude Entitlement.
Psychopaths are People of the Lie. They convince themselves first so they can convince others. We see their confidence and we believe them – because why else would they feel that way if it wasn’t true? They are well aware of how their body language affects us. Because humans mirror each other, their confidence creates confidence in their audience. It soothes our anxiety and that’s how the package is planted. When baby is happy, everyone’s happy.
Unfortunately, the real reason that psychopaths seem so confident is revealed in the words of the Green River murderer, “It’s that caring thing.” They’ve convinced themselves that they don’t have to care about anyone, but everyone should care about them. When you don’t care — ever — about anything, you don’t feel anxiety and you appear cool and relaxed. Psychopaths, long ago, developed a technique for flying off to Never-Never Land at a moment’s notice, if reality becomes uncomfortable. This is a place where they decide what’s real and true. They reign there, so why should they care about reality? Denial works fine until you see that reality is a car zooming toward you.
Their goal is to bring you with them to Never-Never Land. You can fly Wendy, you just have to believe! And you never have to grow up. Then they throw you under the proverbial bus.Entitlement can seem very attractive, that’s why it’s the perfect lure for the narcissist’s human prey. We all would like to think that we’re special and powerful, or at least competent. The psychopath assures us his entitlement is merited and that we won’t be left holding the diaper bag. Someone else will. That’s the beauty of entitlement.
But the psychopath’s entitlement package eventually turns ugly when it needs a sacrifice, then it becomes entitled rage. If you accept the package, you can expect it to blow up eventually and you’ll be mired in the psychopath’s shame. Someone has to be the scapegoat for his shame.
Remember that entitlement is a Pandora’s box, beautifully gift wrapped and delivered. Or alternatively, it’s wrapped in brown paper and innocuously left, appearing harmless, at the doorstep of your mind. Once you accept it, you’ve started down the path of idealize, devalue and discard because the entitled narcissist is always looking for sacrificial victims. They’ll eventually need a scapegoat and entitlement is the hook, the line and the sinker for recruiting scapegoats.
The late poet, Maya Angelou, famously said, “When someone tells you who they are, believe it the first time.” Then why don’t we? There’s nothing wrong with our eyes and ears, it’s just that we refuse to acknowledge the ugly truth about entitlement. Like a car barreling toward us at 80 mph, entitlement is fraught with danger. When you finally do allow yourself to see it clearly it, you’ll know you’ve been in the presence of a psychopath.
The psychopath’s shamelessness is another reason we may be tempted to overlook entitlement. We’re afraid that pointing it out would embarrass everyone. It’s like the emperor with no clothes. Who would want to point to something so shameful?
See if you can feel the entitlement in this video. When the shamelessness is pointed out, the shame seems to bounces right off the narcissist. But notice that one man refuses to accept the package.
The book Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men, by Lundy Bancroft has an excellent description of entitlement.
Share your story of the darndest thing you’ve heard a narcissist say, in the comment section below.
Copyright © 2012-2018 Skylar
From my mother after I said no to her asking me to prescribe her something that I felt was dangerous for her: “This has nothing to do with ETHICS, I’M YOUR MOTHER.”
After throwing a severe temper tantrum at me the evening before I had major surgery: “I thought I only had to be good AFTER your surgery”
It’s jolting when we first realize that we have to explain right and wrong to our parents, but then they still don’t get it.
Your second example reveals how much it bothered her that you were entitled to special attention for being sick. She was trying to even it out by getting attention before your surgery, since you were going to get the attention afterwards.
It’s mind boggling. They have to have all the attention.
what triggered her tantrum was the fact that she wanted me to burn off a wart on her finger when she arrived the evening before. but she didn’t listen to me tell her what time she needed to leave in order to miss traffic, and she was an hour late. I did not want to wait for her in my office because I had some spiritual work I needed to do that evening in preparation for my surgery. she became enraged that I did not want to wait for her. so I did, and missed something I had wanted to attend. she was still hateful and venomous towards me. yes, very much so, it was her entitlement that fueled all of that, and her inability to be nurturing when it was necessary. this incident triggered divorce #2, all over a wart.
the other point about this incident is the way they always wait until you are most vulnerable to pull their biggest stunts. she waited until I needed her and would not be able to find anyone else to help me with my surgery. then she threw her tantrum because she knew she could get away with it and I would not tell her to piss off. my ex did this to me too. he waited until I was completely dependent on him to become hateful and mean, and demanding of my humiliation, knowing that I would feel trapped. this is why I think we have to be very careful of the whole mindset about “forgiveness”. It was this concept that to be spiritually advanced, I needed to forgive, that made me take my mother back after divorce #1. If we think that people should be forgiven and given a second chance, this is what the spaths take advantage of in order to keep tormenting us. We have to be very careful about these second chances. Forgiveness is one thing, but like you said, once they show you who they are, it’s important to believe them, and not take risks with your heart and your life.
For the longest time, I would analyze the triggers as if they were the cause, when in fact, they were the symptom. Envy is always the cause. When someone else is getting attention, it triggers the drama so that they get the attention.
Think about it, warts don’t grow overnight. How long did she have that wart before the drama erupted?
Yes, they know when their prey is cornered, don’t they? They set up an expectation in you then they pull the rug out. You never get what you expected, especially if it involves compassion.
You don’t have to forgive, it’s an illness, a contagion on humanity. You have to protect yourself from it using a variety of methods. Especially educating your self and others about this “Ebola”. The more people have it, the more likely you will get contaminated.
Some can be cured, some refuse. You have to accept the treatment, which requires growth on our part and letting go of the hurt. The disease is a disease that transmits pain. They want you to have their pain and when you hold on to anger, they’ll know they’ve wounded you. Don’t let them win. The correct response is, “haha! you missed me!” (metaphorically, of course)
Lucy with the football….. and Charlie Brown, the empath, fell for it every time.
I am still trying to let go of the hurt. I’m done with my mother, but not with my ex. My son still bears the emotional scars that I am still dealing with. I don’t know if he is a time bomb waiting to go off. Thank you for putting it in perspective. My ex’s mother, the trustee, has asked me to forgive him. But I can’t tell her that he was so morally corrupt that it’s not even a question of that. The way I have thought of it is that I don’t think there is anywhere in the bible where we are required to forgive Satan. He wasn’t really human in the sense that forgiveness is even a logical thing to consider. If you are bitten by a snake, do you struggle with whether you should forgive the snake? The problem is when all of society thinks that it’s an important thing to do. Imagining that, shines a light on how ridiculous it all is. Like the belief that he was a decent person was a mass delusion. That is exactly how I experience it. As a massive disconnect. Somehow, society as a whole needs to come to understand the world the way it is, the way we have seen it. We need to have a way to communicate our experience. But it’s like we are the only ones who speak the language. it takes a major paradigm shift for people to understand. The Lie is too powerful. Half our country is mesmerized by it.
I’ve been asked, by a couple of people, “When are you going to get revenge on your ex-psychopath for poisoning you?” My answer is, “I get revenge every day, not just on him, but on ALL psychopaths.” How? With this blog.
Every time someone out there in the world Gray Rocks another spath, I get revenge. My ex wants people to suffer, he doesn’t care how. All spaths enjoy others’ pain. So when another innocent victim escapes from a spath, all spaths lose. The revenge is particularly sweet knowing that it’s because of my ex-spath that I’ve been able to share the truth about spaths. And therefore, it’s because of him that so many spaths will lose their victims. Ironic isn’t it? What sweeter revenge could there be when his evil toward me has backfired so spectacularly by saving so many from suffering?
I encourage all people to get this type of revenge. Study them and share your knowledge, share links to this blog and to other blogs about spaths. One by one, we will dry up their supply.
yes, I have learned so much from your blog, it helped me a great deal when I was just figuring things out. do you ever write about apaths? the problem with my ex was magnified and solidified by his recruitment of an apath who would not defend me from him, and by that position she validated him and made it impossible for me to protect myself or my children from his threatening behavior. she was my family member so it just looked really bad that she wasn’t defending me. I still look bad to his family because I will have nothing to do with the apath, who is a successor trustee. he left behind so many “cult members” who continue to torment me indirectly, not realizing that he set that all up to continue after his death. I’ve been “grey-rocking” the trust but ultimately that doesn’t serve my kids because it’s their inheritance.
Actually, each of the spaths I mentioned in this article, with the exception of my ex-psychopath, is or was a minion for him. The woman was also his minion without knowing it because he sent a proxy to engage her. They are what you would call apaths, but I just call them all psychopaths.
You see, these minions have no empathy. If they thought they would get away with it, they would be serial killers too. They just lack the balls. That’s the only difference between him and them.
Believe me, they don’t think he’s a good guy, they just think that “it’s okay to be evil”. It makes them feel good, so it’s “okay”. Victimizing and scapegoating is so much fun for them, they won’t give it up unless they have to.
If you won the lottery and no longer cared about the inheritance, they would look for a way to take that too because they are addicted to torturing you. You have become their drug and your ex makes it possible. With his air of confidence and his sense of entitlement, he gives them the confidence they wouldn’t have on their own.
The only thing you can do to take their fun away is to gray rock them. Don’t seem depressed or angry over their behavior, you must seem too distracted to care. Your new interest is pokemon, or collecting tea from all over the world. The less attention you give the issue of the trust, the more they will bring it up. Let them.
Just keep acting like you’ve moved on and have no interest.
I would also recommend that it not actually be an act. Your kids should find ways to make themselves successful in this world without the trust. They will be better prepared to make their way in the world and if, the trust ever becomes theirs, so much the better. It will be a pleasant surprise.
my apath is not a sociopath. she is a buddhist and at one point was a nun in training. she believes in the goodness of all people and was completely brainwashed by the spath to think I am the bad one. these people believed that he had turned over a new leaf and was a wonderful father. I knew he had molested my son, and was gagging in the bathroom at the memorial service while they were all fawning over what a great father he was.
his mother avoids talking to me about the trust. I ask her about it and she ignores me. I hope that my kids won’t ever need it, but it’s a different world out there than when I was young and my kids have more problems than I did as a child. I am disabled and my son is likely to be also. They need that safety net and it was cruel of him to set it up so that they would not have access to it until they are 35, as if they did not have my family mystery illness hanging over them, as if my son was not special needs. it was rude and invalidating to them as human beings. Trusts for special needs children should not be set up the way he did it.
I just recently met a buddhist spath. He said “love is for all people”. He gave me a ride to a meeting and kept changing the route, then said he had “other plans”. He asked me to wait for him about 30 miles from where we were supposed to be, while he finished his plans then was going to shower and attend the meeting with me. I gave him the slip and took the bus to the meeting. He arrived later, not showered. Silly spath.
The religious spaths have great masks. They spend hours on their knees praying. Some attend church twice a week!
Spaths come in all shapes and sizes.