Never look a gift horse in the mouth is age-old, undefeated wisdom. You might end up without a free horse and a ruined relationship to boot. Unfortunately, entitlement is a feeling more powerful than common sense or basic human decency and the internet is rife with stories of beggars who insist on being choosers and get pretty unhappy when things don’t go their way.

An internet user shared her bizarre encounter with a particularly entitled woman. After a friend had to cancel, she had a free ticket to the ballet that she, very charitably, offered online for free. Imagine her surprise when the person who came to claim it showed up with her husband and demanded another ticket.

A free ticket seems almost too good to be true, but it’s somehow not enough for a specific type of person

Image credits: cottonbro studio  (not the actual photo)

A woman recounted a time she offered a free ballet ticket online, only for a person to show up and demand one more

Image credits: Michael Afonso (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Anna Shvets (not the actual photo)

Image credits: marchmain-13

Image credits: August de Richelieu (not the actual photo)

Entitlement and self-confidence often go hand in hand, to the dismay of everyone else

On the surface, entitlement is somewhat comical, as it demonstrates such a clear disconnect between ability, power, or resources and what the person thinks they have. Imagine walking into a store and then trying to leave with a cart full of items without paying. Now, theft is one thing, while morally hard to excuse, at least the psychology makes some sense. In contrast, if the cause is entitlement, the person actually believes these items are theirs, by some imagined right, and they are just picking them up. Setting aside these logical leaps, this is the exact mentality that many people have to deal with when selling or literally giving away free things online.

The one, somewhat admirable part of an extreme sense of entitlement is the powerful self-confidence these people have. While it borders on delusion, confidence is a useful motivational tool and appears attractive to many people. Research shows that good self-confidence has measurable impacts on professional and academic performance. And to drive it home, a lack of confidence is correlated with self-sabotage, which tends to undermine productivity and effectiveness in multiple spheres. However, as one gets more life experience, it becomes clear that confidence is like fiat currency and isn’t necessarily backed by anything tangible at all.

Image credits: Andrea Piacquadio (not the actual photo)

It’s unclear where a sense of entitlement truly comes from, but personality disorders are often to blame

As a result, there are people who live in a fantasy world where other people’s things, they imagine, actually belong to them. The origins of entitlement are somewhat unclear, as it doesn’t exactly have some sort of evolutionary advantage. Not being able to understand material reality is mostly a disadvantage in many scenarios. In some cases, it could simply be a result of a personality disorder, an unfortunate side effect of an unhealthy mind. Another harder-to-measure cause could be some psychological fallacies that we engage in. Certain people can build confidence very easily, by selectively remembering times when they succeeded. When something good happens, we are more likely to attribute it to ourselves, while bad outcomes are the fault of external factors. “Defeat is an orphan,” as JFK said in relation to the failed Bay of Pigs invasion.

This story was particularly interesting (more for readers than the woman on the receiving end) as the “choosing beggar” not only wanted some additional free item, they did not care that it would have come at the expense of another person. Had they given her another ticket, someone in the friend group would have had to go home. It also demonstrated all the usual stratagems used by such people, like guilt-tripping, i.e. “It’s really rude to sell only one ticket,” which also somehow demonstrated that she was not at all aware of the situation she put herself in. Then she tried to strong-arm the others, hoping they were more weak-willed than OP, until she finally tried the incredible strategy of claiming the ticket was stolen. While she at least did not gain entry, the unfortunate reality is that she probably didn’t learn a thing from the experience.

The comments were full of people expressing their confusion and disbelief at someone so stuck up

Some shared similar tales of particularly egregious choosing beggars