“Spoiled” Isn’t Actually A Thing You Can Be
Ester Bloom
3710

It seems weird to lean so heavily into the literal definition of a word that has a clear colloquial meaning. We use words like obtuse to describe people and know that we’re not characterizing them as angular. So I don’t think that’s the approach to take to critique the label.

Someone else mentioned that when we talk about spoiled children we are talking not about the child but rather the parents, which I think is a good point and distinction. Having just had a conversation with a friend who is worried about her son being spoiled — or I guess entitled if you want to split hairs — I think that there is good reason to talk about it in terms of parents. Some of them derive a lot of pleasure and status from spoiling their children, for lots of reasons related to their own unresolved “stuff,” so maybe it’s not fair to criticize the children who take on all that stuff rather than the adults who put it on them in the first place.

So, yeah, spoiled is totally a thing you can be, but it’s not always your fault if you are. Still, we all have to be responsible for our own baggage, no matter why we have it.

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