If you're like me, and the comment's directly about You, you might get a little defensive. "No, I'm not!" Consider that an emotional response - defensiveness, in this case - implies an attachment, a fear that indeed what has been said may be true. The following story will illustrate one example of correcting a faulty definition.
"She's not spoiled!" I automatically responded, closely followed by, "Okay, yes, she is. But she's also very well-behaved, and incredibly sweet and loving." And then I thought, "She's like me! Very well cared for, but sweet, and generous, and ... aha! Not at all bratty."
Now wait a minute... What is the meaning of "being spoiled" anyway?
The following paragraphs were copied from Wikipedia:
"Although it is not an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the spoiled child syndrome was identified and described by Bruce McIntosh in 1989. The syndrome is characterized by "excessive, self-centered, and immature behavior". It includes lack of consideration for other people, recurrent temper tantrums, an inability to handle the delay of gratification, demands for having one's own way, obstructiveness, and manipulation. McIntosh attributed the syndrome to "the failure of parents to enforce consistent, age-appropriate limits", but others, such as Aylward, note that temperament is probably a contributory factor.
It is important to note that the temper tantrums are recurrent. McIntosh observes that "many of the problem behaviors that cause parental concern are unrelated to spoiling as properly understood". Children may have occasional temper tantrums without them falling under the umbrella of "spoiled". Extreme cases of spoiled child syndrome, in contrast, will involve frequent temper tantrums, physical aggression, defiance, destructive behaviour, and refusal to comply with even the simple demands of daily living."