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Tolerance and Entitlement: Are they Compatible?

Updated: Jan 27

by Dawn L. Billings, Founder

Entitlement and tolerance are often seen as incompatible due to their contrasting attitudes and behaviors towards others. Here are some reasons why entitlement and tolerance may be incompatible:

  1. Focus on Self vs. Consideration for Others:

  • Entitlement: Individuals with an entitled mindset often prioritize their own needs, desires, and rights above those of others. They may expect special treatment or privileges without considering the perspectives or needs of others.

  • Tolerance: Tolerance involves accepting and respecting diverse perspectives, beliefs, and behaviors. It requires a willingness to consider and understand others' points of view, even if they differ from one's own.

  1. Lack of Empathy vs. Empathetic Understanding:

  • Entitlement: Entitled individuals may lack empathy, as they may be less attuned to the feelings and experiences of others. Their focus on personal entitlement can lead to a disregard for the impact of their actions on others.

  • Tolerance: Tolerance is grounded in empathy. It involves recognizing and understanding the diversity of experiences and viewpoints, even when they differ from one's own. Tolerant individuals are more likely to consider the feelings and perspectives of others.

  1. Intolerance of Differences vs. Acceptance of Diversity:

  • Entitlement: Entitled individuals may be intolerant of differences that challenge their perceived entitlement. They may resist or reject perspectives, beliefs, or lifestyles that differ from their own.

  • Tolerance: Tolerance embraces diversity and acknowledges that people can have different beliefs, backgrounds, and lifestyles. Tolerant individuals appreciate the richness that diversity brings to communities and are open to coexisting with those who are different.

  1. Conflict and Hostility vs. Peaceful Coexistence:

  • Entitlement: Entitlement can lead to conflicts, as individuals may seek to assert their perceived entitlement at the expense of others. This can create a competitive and hostile environment.

  • Tolerance: Tolerance promotes peaceful coexistence by fostering understanding, acceptance, and cooperation. Tolerant individuals are more likely to engage in constructive dialogue and seek common ground, reducing the likelihood of conflicts.

  1. Inability to Share Power vs. Collaborative Engagement:

  • Entitlement: Entitled individuals may resist sharing power, influence, or resources with others, viewing these as exclusive to themselves. This can hinder collaboration and mutual benefit.

  • Tolerance: Tolerance involves a willingness to share power and engage collaboratively with others. Tolerant individuals recognize the importance of inclusivity and equal participation in shared spaces.

  1. Erosion of Social Harmony vs. Building Inclusive Communities:

  • Entitlement: Entitlement can contribute to social disharmony, as individuals may prioritize their own interests over the well-being of the community. This can lead to divisions and exclusionary behaviors.

  • Tolerance: Tolerance contributes to the building of inclusive communities where diverse individuals coexist harmoniously. Tolerant societies are more likely to celebrate differences and work towards common goals.

In summary, entitlement and tolerance are incompatible because entitlement tends to be self-centered, exclusive, and resistant to diversity, while tolerance is characterized by empathy, acceptance, and a willingness to coexist peacefully with others. Embracing tolerance involves a shift from a self-centered mindset to one that recognizes and appreciates the value of diverse perspectives and experiences.

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