A participation trophy is an award given to someone who has made a significant contribution to something or completed an event with a high level of success (Gatrel et al. 143). These trophies are usually given out to boost participants’ self-esteem and encourage them to work harder. Trophies are widely used in the sports industry. Non-participants are stimulated or encouraged to be active in order to receive trophies through the rewarding system. Trophies can be earned individually or as a group. The trophies bestowed upon one or a group provide a sense of accomplishment as well as a variety of benefits.
People’s overbounded or undeserved expectations are referred to as a sense of entitlement (Cohen et al. 449). Often, individuals expect to be treated differently or have favorable conditions of living as distinct from others. The characteristic is common amongst people who have received trophies or rather awards. They rottenly feel obligated to receive better treatment than others. They also expect to have better living conditions denoted with class or social status. Sense of entitlement trait is always identified with endless demands, with aim of getting more opportunities or bettering living styles. Some trophies received are accompanied with several favors and the recipients are entitled to claim them under the law. However, some misuse this opportunity by asking too much and flirting all over in social media platforms.
Participation trophies increase the sense of entitlement amongst individuals (Cohen et al. 50). This can get to the extreme, causing negative impact on both the owner of the trophy and their subjects. The newly acquired character alters a person’s normal way of life. For example, when one receives or get a reward and as result of becoming famous, they develop an authoritative character, forcing people to do what they want, their own way. They badly treat those who fail to comply with their instructions through beating them up, gossiping amongst other range of punishments.
According Germain, trophy recipients often feel they should be accorded first priority over anyone else (4). They feel more important and undermine the less fortunate ones. This is characterized with activities such as not adhering to queuing situation rules while lining up for a service or products in a supermarket or banks and disrespecting other people’s rights and freedom. Force is often used by this people to access what they want. Trophy owners can do the unspeakable only to get what they want at the expense of others.
The number of cases reported by police concerning law defilement amongst trophy owners is great (Buonamano et al. 273). Arrogance is the “new thing” common amongst this group of people. As a result, they commit crimes knowing that they will get away with it, citing their ‘superiority’ nature. This is possible because they use money or their power to get rid of the criminal cases filed against them. The vice of corruption is therefore introduced to a society and consequently justice is not practiced, all attributed to the trophy-enhanced individual culture.
According to Merryman, self-centeredness and pride is common among trophy owners (2). They do not engage in negotiations that are not to their favor (Buonamano et al. 273). Majority of them love attention and will do anything for it. Different habits are developed as a result. They also expect to be respected at all times, even when they are on the wrong side. Respect is a virtue which is not given to arrogant persons, but they still insist in getting it, putting their subjects in awkward situations.
Trophy owners feel superior to the others due to their achievements (Buonamano et al. 273). As a result they undermine other people. A bias set is developed, making this group of people to demand good things or services for themselves at the expense of others. Such people also feel the need to be involved in everything and often control decisions made in group without considering the rest of the member’s opinions. Since they see other people as competitors, trophy owners try as much as they can to suppress them so as not to be replaced.
Parents who fall in this category, feel like their children owe them and have certain expectations (Gatrell et al. 143). As a result people struggle to acquire wealth in order to satisfying their demanding lives. Children are also compelled to succeed like their parents. Insecurities also arise due to fame brought about by the participation trophies earned. They are perceived to be wealthy hence become a potential target of robbery or theft activities. Victim mentality is therefore developed amongst them, fearing for their lives and property which forces them to hire body guards, a psychological creation which is sometimes unnecessary.
Trophy owners often feel that they should be protected by institutions or the government in charge (Buonamano et al. 273). As much as they deserve protection or rewards, they should not exhibit high expectation since sometimes they are not likely to receive these privileges. Generally it has been noted that such people take too much than they give in relationships. As a result they break old friendships thinking that their friends, lovers or relatives are taking advantage or are after their money
Generally contribution trophy increases one’s sense of entitlement (Gatrell et al. 143). People have altered their characters or behaviors after achieving trophy or something which enhanced their fame. Due to the fact that such people feel special than the others people resent them. They talk evil about them and alienate themselves. Rumors and gossips also trend all over televisions and social media, tainting the trophy owner’s name or reputation.
Trophies come with various rewards such as money (Buonamano et al. 273). Due to sudden increase in wealth, management becomes an issue. Some people misuse the wealth, by the increased expenditure not knowing what awaits them. A few remember to invest and since trophy earning is not a recurrent income they are likely to experience financial instability in the future. Some well-known people have been reported to become financially challenged after reckless expenditures, therefore turning into laughing stocks. With their ego elevated, some despise those who were once close to them before, such as family and friends, instead engaging in new unhealthy relations which destroy their lives.
Due to the constant general rejection by fans, trophy owners develop psychological problems (Cardinal et al. 50). Gossips and propaganda which taint trophy owners’ name, cause too much stress to them which may lead to depression. Children born out of such families are forced to follow their parent’s path. This deprives them the chance to pursue their dreams. Most trophy owners like to brag and show off their property, making them vulnerable targets of criminal activities and as a result their insecurity risks increase.
From my view point, participation trophies should be done away with as also asserted by Merryman (2). This is because the negative effects override the positive ones, rendering the trophies useless. Most of the changes have a negative impact to the recipient and their relations as well as social surroundings. It is therefore prudent enough to eradicate the participation trophy issue in order to avoid related menaces.
Buonamano, Roberto, Alberto Cei, and Antonio Mussino. “Participation motivation in Italian youth sport.” The sport psychologist 9.3 (1995): 265-281.
Cardinal, Bradley J., Zi Yan, and Marita K. Cardinal. “Negative experiences in physical education and sport: How much do they affect physical activity participation later in life?” Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance 84.3 (2013): 49-53.
Cohen, Nancy J., James C. Coyne, and James D. Duvall. “Parents’ sense of “entitlement” in adoptive and no adoptive families.” Family Process 35.4 (1996): 441-456.
Germain, Marie-Line. “Introduction.” Narcissism at Work. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham, 2018. 1-6.
Gatrell, Caroline, and Cary L. Cooper. “A sense of entitlement? Fathers, mothers and organizational support for family and career.” Community, Work & Family 19.2 (2016): 134-147.
Merryman, Ashley. “Losing is good for you.” The New York Times (2013):2.