My understanding of "having a sense of self-entitlement" is, in layman's terms: "feel like everything I get, I deserve it. And if anything goes wrong in my life, it certainly isn't my fault"

I have the opposite attitude. "I don't deserve anything if I don't earn it. And if anything goes wrong in my life, it is most likely my fault.

So, what is the antonym of having a sense of self-entitlement?

It can't be as simple as "having no sense of self-entitlement" or "don't have a sense of self-entitlement", or it can?

1 Answer 1


There are a few opposites I can think of. The first is having humility. An entitled person is likely prideful and expects a great deal because they think they are something special. An appropriately humble person will not feel entitled. This aspect focuses on how the person feels about themselves.

Sometimes we will talk about people like this being very down to earth, which emphasizes that their expectations from the world are realistic or modest.

If we are talking about how they interact with other people, we might use a word like unassuming. This emphasizes that their interactions with other people don't convey that they feel entitled. On the contrary, they at least interact with others in a way that conveys respect for them. This is a word about how they behave superficially, they may feel inwardly entitled but they don't show it. It's often used when we expect people to feel entitled because we view them as higher than us, but then they interact in a pleasing, humble way.

You can also say that someone doesn't have or doesn't convey a sense of entitlement.

  • I edited the question: Antonym of “having a sense of self-entitlement ” Does it help you to narrow down the choices?
    – Tang Ho
    Jul 1, 2020 at 7:19
  • It doesn't really change things. Overall the closest opposite I can think of is humility but the others could be reasonable in different contexts.
    – farnsy
    Jul 1, 2020 at 15:38
  • en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humility: Humility is the quality of being humble. Dictionary definitions accentuate humility as a low self-regard and sense of unworthiness
    – Tang Ho
    Jul 1, 2020 at 19:32
  • I think I have to agree "have a sense of humility" is the opposite of "having a sense of entitlement" because unworthy is an antonym of entitled
    – Tang Ho
    Jul 1, 2020 at 19:38
  • Note that in centuries past, the word "humility" was frequently used in a negative sense (similar to humiliation). In current English, it is almost always considered a positive trait.
    – farnsy
    Jul 1, 2020 at 19:56

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