Entitlement and Attention

Lots of the social issues I’ve been having lately break down into two things: either the individual in question feels entitled to something they don’t deserve, or they want attention. Way too many issues can come down to this. It’s unnerving, really.

I’m used to the attention thing. Everybody wants attention, it’s a very comforting thing. No one gets the amount they want, though. Ever. So basically, we have a huge group of people competing for way too little attention. In short: economics. Attention is just like a free market economy, you get to spend your attention anywhere you want, but there is excess demand, so you’ll never fulfill that need. Plus, you need your own supply of attention, and you can’t give it to yourself (sadly). It’s a little like running a business, I guess.

Because no one gets enough attention (on some level, anyway), they have to develop ways of dealing with it. The obvious way is to externalize, or get more attention in any way possible. This is really, really common. Many people have their own ways of seeking attention: jokes (using one of mine first), fucking around, starting arguments/fights/etc, stealing attention (complicated but common, through a variety of methods), or acting. The last two are generally related to competing to have the worst problems. If your problems aren’t that bad, you still think they’re worse than someone else’s, because you’re living them.

So that’s pretty basic and obvious, and most people notice it. The entitlement thing is something I’m just starting to learn about now. It’s actually kind of interesting trying to learn about it. Basically, we all think we deserve whatever we want (within some semblance of reason, of course), and can’t understand why reality won’t let us have it. Reality often includes other people, in this respect. This one varies from person to person, based on personality. The amount of stuff you think you deserve might be more for some people and less for some others.

There’s probably a happy medium somewhere, but the people who think they deserve a lot are often insufferable. They tend to never understand why they can’t get it, and will often react poorly when they don’t get it. Let me say to all of you, and especially those who “deserve” a whole lot: you don’t deserve anything! You are no better than anyone else, and you certainly don’t deserve more because you want more (or are louder about wanting more). I don’t really want to go into specifics. I’m going to start paying attention to this theory, though.

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