What is it called when someone expects you to act or do something a certain way, that they consider "right" or "acceptable", but does not act or do what they expect from you, to you in return?

Is there another word or term other than "self-entitled", if that is even a fit, itself?

It's been driving me crazy trying to pin point a word that fits this description.

  • 2
    Rather than self-entitled, the adjective self-appointed might be what you're thinking of, which carries a negative connotation of having (often informally) appointed oneself as an authority or having presumed an authoritative role (on morals, values, or behavior, for example). Such a phrase typically implies a lack of endorsement or support and may secondarily imply a lack of qualification -- in which case, the subject would indeed be a hypocrite. May 30, 2017 at 16:44

5 Answers 5


With respect to @Max I wish to add that "hypocrite" is a noun, while you can also use the adjective "hypocritical". Also notice that this word carries an offensive degree.

I know you are looking for a single word, yet I wish to add that there is an idiom:

Usually in combination with "talk the talk"

  • talk the talk ... walk the walk - If you say that someone talks the talk but does not walk the walk, you mean that they do not act in a way that agrees with the things they say.

A phrase to mean the same thing would be "He doesn't practice what he preaches"

In Russian we have the word "противоречивый" - inconsistent that means: if a person says that something should be done in a certain way but doesn't do it himself, or says one thing but does the other, or claims for a certain behavior toward him but expects another. In this case he's inconsistent, or his actions are inconsistent, or his words are inconsistent, or even both.

  • 3
    +1 for not practicing what is preached. Such a person might be fond of saying "Do as I say, not as I do.".
    – Ketura
    May 30, 2017 at 19:15
  • @Ketura You've almost quoted Phil Collins, Jesus, He Knows Me song, "Do as I say, don't do as I do". May 31, 2017 at 6:34

You might be looking for hypocrite.

someone who says they have particular moral beliefs but behaves in way that shows these are not sincere:
He's a hypocrite - he's always lecturing other people on the environment but he drives around in a huge car.
(Cambridge Dictionary)

I'm not entirely sure what "self-entitled" means. Perhaps entitled to yourself? I think the word you're thinking of is simply entitled, which has a few different meanings. I think the one you might be think of is the following. Note that it doesn't seem to fit.

entitled adjective (usually disapproving)
feeling that you have a right to the good things in life without necessarily having to work for them
• He's so entitled!
• The college attracts both the entitled children of wealthy parents and a large number of scholarship students.

  • 8
    Self-entitled is a neologism that is a portmanteau of self-absorbed and entitled. It's usually used to refer to people who the speaker thinks should 'know their place' but who are acting uppity re:human rights, so 'entitled to oneself' actually is a kind of humorously accurate translation much of the time but not one which the speakers would approve of. The intended meaning is a combination of self-absorption, vincible ignorance, and a groundless sense of entitlement, however. May 30, 2017 at 6:06

If you are not of equal social status:

Hypocrite (or self-entitled) isn't the right word here. Take a king for example, he expects you to bow before him, but he won't bow before you.

If you are of equal social status:
The person might still not be a hypocrite. Think of a smoker that tells you not to smoke. It's a good piece of advice, but he isn't following his own directions.

Just because someone doesn't do what he is preaching doesn't make the advice is bad or the person is a hypocrite (or self-entitled).

So to conclude everything, you could say his ratio of giving advice (or having expectations) vs. following own advice (or fulfilling the expectations from another man's perspective) is bad. But there is no word for it that I know of.

  • 1
    While this is true, it is more of a comment on the other answer than an answer in its own right.
    – Chenmunka
    May 30, 2017 at 9:40
  • in this case, feel free to supplement the answer given, with my information. Since I don't have the rep in this subforum to comment, I did an answer with another answer as refrence.
    – anyone
    May 30, 2017 at 12:13

Someone who calls the scorched kettle black, and is meanwhile scorched black themselves, is a pot.

As in the expression, "the pot calling the kettle black":

"The pot calling the kettle black" is a proverbial idiom that seems to have been of Spanish origin, versions of which began to appear in English in the first half of the 17th century. It is glossed in the original sources as being used of a person who is guilty of the very thing of which they accuse another and is thus an example of psychological projection.


What about Pharisee?

A Google search gives as second definition:

a self-righteous or hypocritical person

Wikipedia give some more explanation here:

Because of the New Testament's frequent depictions of Pharisees as self-righteous rule-followers (see also Woes of the Pharisees and Legalism (theology)), the word "pharisee" (and its derivatives: "pharisaical", etc.) has come into semi-common usage in English to describe a hypocritical and arrogant person who places the letter of the law above its spirit. Jews today who subscribe to Pharisaic Judaism typically find this insulting and some consider the use of the word to be anti-Semitic.

Note the last sentence, though...

See also Matthew 23:3

So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.

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