Tips & Advice

From Dr. Liz Herself

November 25, 2019
What is the opposite of gratitude?
Grateful Woman in Field of FLowers

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”

When do you think this quote was originally said?

What is the opposite of gratitude?

Last year I wrote a blog about the health benefits of gratitude, which are well-established at this point.

Now it has become more common and popular to talk about gratitude and how it is good for the giver and the receiver.

Because so much is being said about gratitude, I wanted to think of something different to say on the subject.

I got to thinking: What is the opposite of gratitude?

Here’s what I came up with:


Definition of “entitlement”: the fact of having a right to something; the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment.

My husband and I have three kids between us, ages 18, 21, and 34. I also employ in my practice two young women in this age range.

Everyone nowadays accuses people at these younger ages of having a “sense of entitlement”. In other words, they are accused of not being appreciative of the privileges they enjoy. The author of the quote above would clearly agree with this assessment.

I am finding parenting young adults very challenging right now, so rather than give you answers, I have some questions that I really want to hear your thoughts on.

  • First, how do you teach gratitude? By taking something away? This is difficult if not impossible with young adults, as compared to younger kids.
  • Also, how do you encourage appreciation? One way is to model it (as long as it is authentic – I admire young people today for their very sensitive B-S detectors).
  • Last for now, do you agree with the quote I opened with? Even a little?

Do you know who said it?


That’s right. Socrates said this over 2000 years ago.

Rather than dismissing younger people as having the sense of entitlement described in this quote, we now have the challenge of actively expressing gratitude and appreciation in ways that others want to emulate.

Please share your thoughts and comments below.

And have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

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