Posted by: Judy | July 29, 2015

Schema 10…

10. ENTITLEMENT / GRANDIOSITY – The belief that one is superior to other people; entitled to special rights and privileges; or not bound by the rules of reciprocity that guide normal social interaction. Yes. Kind of funny how I’m able to feel “Oh, so superior” and at the same time feel worthless. This was a flaw I noticed in myself early in life and have worked hard to overcome.

Funny how this one is so difficult to write about. Why? I’m truly ashamed of this attitude. I’m even more ashamed of the fact that I still, in truth, struggle with it.

My love for words is a bit of a stumbling block. I don’t use the easiest words in my writing, even though I’m given that advice over and over and over. Many times I read an article about good writing, one of the rules is to keep the words simple. I’ve a wide vocabulary range, and I use it. I’ve studied French, enough I was able to communicate on a very basic level when I visited France. I learned Thai and used it for a year and a half. It’s true: Use it or lose it. I only remember bits and pieces now. I studied Spanish. I learned American Sign Language and used it briefly as an interpreter. I learned piano; yes, it’s a language of its own. I studied Latin for my medical work. There are things I like about all of them, and things I don’t. When I lived in England my uncle asked me if I could speak the King’s English. I shifted in my head. His surprise and declaration I could very well pleased me enormously. What I love most about English is the ability to find the exact right word. Now you know something about me I don’t usually talk about. Because I feel like a snob when I do.

I’ve been re-reading Tarnished Knight as I write the next book in the series, Reluctant Knight. I’m embarrassed by the fact that I still thrill at the words and turns of phrase. They draw me into the story, and then I remember the admonition to simplify. And yet, I can’t bring myself to change it. I’m endeavoring to simplify a bit with Reluctant Knight, but I suspect I’m not. And isn’t that arrogant? To think that simply to me is still too fancy? This is a rabbit hole I could easily disappear into and never come back.

It’s only been the last few years that I’ve been learning how to reciprocate. I still make mistakes. For example: Someone gives me a ride, and I often forget to give them money for petrol. I struggle with money, but I also appreciate not having to pay insurance, repairs, etc. The least I could do is offer a few dollars for gas.

What steps am I taking to improve?

First I have to recognize what I’ve done, and then it’s practice, practice, practice making different choices. Some of my friends won’t accept money for a ride, but I endeavor to offer anyway.

I endeavor to be aware of the opportunity to simply give surprise gifts, paying for a meal, a gift certificate, picking up something I see that I think someone will like. I have to remind myself it doesn’t have to be grand or expensive, in fact, it’s better if it’s thoughtful, cognizant of what they like.

My counselor gave me a homework assignment to do something for someone else every day, the 5/50 project. It couldn’t take more than 5 minutes and couldn’t cost more than 50 cents. I was also required to write about how I felt when I did it. I always felt like I hadn’t done enough. That wasn’t the point of the exercise. I was supposed to be aware that “I am a good person.” I missed the point.

I was able to expand the homework assignment. I didn’t limit myself to 5/50. I did change the way I perceived the parameters: Time/Meaningful Gifts. Yes, I’d find good buys on the discount shelf, but I don’t simply buy anything there. It has to be something I think the person will like, but I also have to be okay with them choosing to give it to someone else. It’s theirs to do with what they will.

Maybe this is a lifelong lesson.


  1. I wouldn’t describe your pleasure at your ability to write well “superiority”. You should be proud of your accomplishments! Do you look down at others for their lack of fancy turns of phrase? I suspect not.

    • True. I love finding a good turn of phrase. If it’s in paperback, and I own it, I put a star by it. I always take a moment to savor it. 🙂

  2. I agree with Judith, taking pleasure in words is not superiority. It would be like saying because I enjoy taking pictures I am acting with superiority. Sadly this was the way we were put down. We were socially punished for being good at something. To me, Grandiosity would be saying you will write 10 books and not do it. However, you did that and more. I see this way differently.

    • Hmmm… Maybe the difference is between “I love writing a good turn of phrase” and “I write a turn of phrase better than anyone else.”

      • Or maybe it is “I write a superior turn of phrase to make they other person look stupid and that proves I’m better than they are.” You might recognize that one.

        • Yep, I recognize that, and nope, I don’t do it.

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