Do Feelings of Entitlement Lead to Anger at God?

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According to 2013 study in Psychology of Religion and Spirituality anger at God is tied to entitlement. The study, titled I Deserve Better and God Knows It! Psychological Entitlement as a Robust Predictor of Anger at God, was conducted by Dr. Joshua Grubbs and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University and the University of Georgia.

They argue that people get angry at God in response to negative events like natural disasters, diseases, and deaths of loved ones. While these experiences differ in important ways, they have a common trigger. According to Dr. Grubbs and colleagues, “Perceptions of divine injustice are often associated with anger at God, as are perceptions of being wronged or unfairly victimized by a deity.” Such anger is not unimportant as it is associated with depression, anxiety, and poor physical health.

They predicted that anger at God would be tied to psychological entitlement, which they defined as “the belief that one deserves or is entitled to more than other people.” In fact, that is exactly what they found with anger at God being associated with psychological entitlement. As for why, they write that “entitled individuals carry with them an attitude of deservingness. This predisposes them to greater perceptions of being wronged when they are denied those things they think that they deserve.”

For other research on anger at God, see Anger at God.

By Ryan C. Martin

Tuesday Tip: Know Your Triggers

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Triggers are those situations, people, places, etc. that tend to set people off. Everyone has a trigger or two and being aware of them is important. You don’t want to avoid your triggers, necessarily (though, sometimes that might be smart). But you do need to be aware of those situations that may require greater patience. When you do, you’re more likely to get through those situations unscathed and anger free.

A goodbye letter (that’s full of secrets) to our graduating psych majors

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Dear graduating seniors,

I wanted to drop you all a quick note to congratulate you on your exceptional accomplishments.  You have all done very well and I’m proud of you.  Forgive me if I get a little too sentimental here.  I just have a lot of feelings.

I’ve been thinking a lot lately on our time together… reflecting on some of the highlights.  Classes we’ve had together, bowling with the student orgs, how on Wednesdays we wear pink, and other grool moments. I think my favorite was the research methods poster session, though.  I always thought it was so fetch and was impressed by your hard work, your dedication, and your thoughtfulness.  You may think there’s a limit to how impressed I was… but the limit does not exist.  I realize some of you didn’t enjoy it as much as I did and some even wanted to leave early.  I remember thinking, “I will keep you here till 4:00 if I have to.”

I wish I had been able to get to know you all a little better.  I have about 60 advisees (I can’t help it that I’m popular) and that makes it difficult to get to know students as well as I would like.  Plus, sometimes students just aren’t interested in getting to know me.  I can tell these things.  I’m kind of psychic.  I have a 5th sense.  It’s like I have ESPN or something. What’s just as bad, though, is that sometimes my advisees can be a little long-winded.  I remember one meeting I had with a student where she went on and on, telling story after story like how she’s totally rich because her dad invented Toaster Streudels and how one time she met John Stamos on a plane (and he told her she was pretty). Anyway, I found out after about 30 minutes that she doesn’t even go here!

I realize I’m rambling a bit so let me just conclude with this.  As you embark on your next adventure, some of you may feel overwhelmed about what’s ahead.  You may think, yeah, I can’t do this. You’re gonna be havin’ a lot of urges.  You may wish to get back to the way things were.  You may even wish that you could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles and we’d all eat and be happy.  Just don’t do it. Promise?

Sincerely,
Ryan Martin
Math Enthusiast/Bad Ass M.C.
847-555-2148

PS. I should probably stop trying to make fetch happen. It’s not going to happen.

Tuesday Tip: Avoid the Angry Email

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I’ve written before about avoiding the angry email, but it’s worth repeating.

Sending an email when you are angry is almost never a good idea.  You are very likely to write something you don’t really mean or to exacerbate the original problem by bringing your anger into the situation.

Instead, wait until you have calmed down and maybe even go talk directly to the person instead of sending the email at all.