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When people have a sense of being special, spoiled, or entitled, dealing with them can be a nightmare. However, it’s even worse if those entitled feelings are your own. In this episode of The Brain Warrior’s Way Podcast, Dr. Daniel and Tana Amen discuss the Special, Spoiled, and Entitled Dragon, referenced from Dr. Amen’s new book “Your Brain is Always Listening”. Learn the importance of letting go of feelings that the world owes you, and why taking responsibility can be a game changer.
For more info on Dr. Daniel Amen’s new book, “Your Brain is Always Listening”, visit https://yourbrainisalwayslistening.com/
Daniel Amen, MD:
Welcome to the Brain Warrior’s Way podcast. I’m Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen, BSN RN:
And I’m Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
The Brain Warrior’s Way podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.
Welcome back. We are fully engaged with the dragons. Today we’re going to talk about the special, spoiled and entitled dragons. Boy, do we see a lot of this just in society these days and I’m super interested in talking about this. But before we do, please let us know what you have learned at the end of this, take a screenshot, tag us. We love to answer questions. This is really important to us. We would love if you would leave us a review. You can go to brainwarriorswaypodcast.com or you can leave a review on Apple or Stitcher or wherever you listen from, whatever platform.
And we would be so grateful and we’ll try not to act special, spoiled or entitled.
This is a very common dragon and people don’t ever want to admit that they have this dragon, but it lives in a lot of us and it causes such stress.
And there’s a myth. There’s this myth that it’s relegated only to certain socioeconomic statuses. Not true. This pervades pretty much, it crosses all races, socioeconomics. It’s really more about your attitude about what you deserve in life and who owes you.
The origin of the special, spoiled or entitled dragon is if you were the golden child. Say your parents couldn’t have children and you’re an IVF baby, in vitro fertilization.
And you grow up always hearing about how you are a miracle.
If you’re a miracle baby, if your parents. And I know for you, you actually tried to have Chloe for a while.
Yeah, I thought I couldn’t have kids.
You thought and then you could. And so they become so special. If you’re the oldest, if you’re the youngest.
And let’s be clear. It’s okay to make your kids feel super special as long as they also learn responsibility and the world doesn’t owe them something.
Well, and the favored child.
I’m Middle Eastern so I’m just going to say it, we see this a lot in our culture. I certainly saw it in my family.
Well, and I did too, given I was the second son. My older brother, the oldest boy was clearly the golden child.
Right. My mom was actually the opposite of favored. She was totally not special because she was the only girl.
Which is interesting Because she worked.
She was the one who worked the hardest.
And I was totally not special. And I am probably the hardest worker.
Right. My mother, it was so interesting. My grandmother would just, she was constantly putting her down, which I thought was super interesting. My mother is not only worked the hardest, she is by far, not even by little, the most successful, even though she started with the least and all she ever heard, I remember growing up, always hearing, “You not like the boys.” She was just constantly coming down on her for not being like the boys. She was mad at her for not finding a man to take care of her. She couldn’t do anything right. It was very interesting.
The pop stars I’ve seen.
The idol worship.
Because people treated them as if they were special.
And so not all of them, some of them I’ve seen, have just been amazing. But they just wouldn’t show up for their appointment or they’d show up four hours late and expect you to just drop everything and still see them. What triggers this dragon? When you don’t get your way. When others try to make you take responsibility, when you don’t feel as though you are not treated as special.
Now I have a couple of family members that fall into this and it has nothing to do with socioeconomics, let me tell you. It has to do with the world owes me and you should be taking care of me just because. Because I exist.
You wonder where that came from. It’s they try to deflect responsibility.
Yeah, zero responsibility.
And so how this dragon causes you to react is you have low empathy. You’re not thinking about things from the other person’s point of view. Other people don’t matter and so it’s easy to cut them off. Tantrums, rudeness, needing attention, a sense of injustice, outrage. You owe me.
You know who I’m thinking about.
I deserve, it’s their fault. This dragon causes all sorts of trouble. There’s not much upside on this dragon.
No, because you can scream those things all day long and the only person that it hurts is you. You might feel like they owe you, the world owes you, it’s their fault. Guess what? It’s not hurting them, it’s hurting you.
What I wrote in the book is feeling special and having a cheering section can help your self esteem as long as you don’t get a big head.
As long as you balance it.
And use it against other people.
As long as you balance it with responsibility. You now. Personal ownership.
And sometimes I have this dragon. It’s like, well, I’m special. And I’ve done all of these really cool things. I’ve really had to tame it so if somebody asks me to speak at a big event, I want to be humble and not go.
You don’t live that.
You should treat me better.
No. I would not live well with someone like that. You do not live there. I wouldn’t not live well with someone like that. You may have those thoughts, but you do not behave that way. You do not live your life that way, because we would not be together if you did.
How do you tame this dragon? If you recognize some of yourself. Take responsibility. And I always love what you’ve taught me, responsibility is not about blame, it’s just about your ability to respond in the situation.
And take ownership.
Work to promote the success of others. And that’s what good leaders do. They don’t have to go, me, me, me, me, me. I did this. I did that. If you’re like that, that usually means you’re struggling with the abandoned, invisible or insignificant dragon, but promoting the success of others helps to tame this dragon.
I think that’s a sign of maturity as well, because I think a lot of times we have that. I certainly did when I was younger. But then once we sort of grasp this idea that a rising tide floats all boats, it’s like when my team does better, I do better. When my kids do better, I do better. If my parents do better. You start to think a rising tide floats all boats. If you can change that paradigm a little bit.
Catch yourself justifying your spoiled actions, like your tantrums and ask, “What can I do to make this better?” Your marriage will be so much better. Your relationships at work will be so much better. If you just go, “What is it I can do that’s better?” I do an exercise with the kids and parents I see and the couples I see and that is, I often start with, “What do you do that makes your wife angry? Or what do you do that makes your mother crazy?” Nothing. And I know they’re lying to me. And when I get them to think about what we do that makes the situation worse, then I go, “What do you do that makes it better?” Just to show them, teach them, you have ways. I clearly could make you very unhappy quickly.
Yeah, if you acted like that you could.
And I know because I intentionally for years and that gives me a sense of power. Of can I get what I want by acting in a certain way? And what I want is good. I want to have a kind, caring, loving, supportive, passionate relationship with you. And when I feel powerful, when I feel like, well, I can make it better or I can make it worse, but I choose to make it better, that helps us.
Yeah. One thing I learned and I love this from our friend Joseph McClendon. It’s than using statements, this just happened to me. They did this to me, switch it around, look in the mirror and go, what is my opportunity here? What’s the opportunity for me to do something? You instantly now have taken control of it. You’re empowered.
The movies, the special spoiled and entitled dragons like cruel intentions. The Wolf of Wall Street, Devil Loves Prada, 10 Things That I hate About You, Mean Girls, The OC, Beverly Hills Housewives, Housewives of Beverly Hills.
I can’t stand that show.
Housewives really of any city. Affirmations to calm the special, spoiled or entitled dragons. I am special, but so is everyone else around me. I am responsible for my own happiness. I encourage the success of others. I see things from other person’s point of view. Acting spoiled spoils my own happiness and joy.
Oh boy. I was just thinking, I wonder if I’ve given our daughter Chloe a complex because you remember when she was little and she’d come in, “It’s not fair,” and she’d do the whole storming in. And I would look at her and go, “Life’s not fair. I don’t know whoever told you life was going to be fair. Fair is a place with bad food and farm animals. What are you going to do to make it better?” I probably gave her one of these dragons.
The should and shaming dragon.
Well, but she has to be very careful not to be the special, spoiled and entitled dragon.
Because she’s growing up.
She’s your only child.
And she has a very charmed life. We do have to be careful with that. I’ve always tried to put the responsibility back on her.
And she’s growing up to be a wonderful human being.
But it’s just occurred to me.
But this dragon can pop its head up periodically.
Oh yeah, but with all of us it can.
What did you learn? Write it down, post it on any of your social media sites. I would dearly love if you got a copy of, Your Brain is Always Listening. You can go to Your Brain is Always Listening, it’ll teach you how to pre-order or order the book and then how you can download the gifts we have for you. And this book makes a great gift. It’ll just benefit so many people. You can also find out what your dragons are, go to knowyourdragons.com. Stay with us.
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