It is almost difficult for anyone to live by themselves, but we all must learn to live for ourselves and be happy for others to do the same. Relationships should be about knowing your place in people’s lives and being satisfied with the fact that they are also responsible for others. You must not get too comfortable that you abuse privileges. If someone can be kind to you, they also have the right to be good to others. The fact that they relate with you in such a way that it feels like you have a stake in their lives should help you tread with caution. You have to remember, people change, and it is better to preserve a good relationship by knowing your limits than abusing it.

Sense of entitlement has been the death of so many relationships because people do away with caution. No matter how close you are to someone, you must always remind yourself of how you met them and draw the line on that note. There is no doubt that bonds grow over time and someone that was a stranger yesterday could be a brother overnight. As emotive beings, we would sentimentally appeal to emotions. This could be as a virtue of what that person has done for us or the sacrifices we have made for them. However, realistically, the fact that someone is like a brother does not make the person your brother. In a similar context, your brother’s wife is first your sister-in-law before she is your sister. She has an obligation to her husband to hold you in certain regard, but she has more duty to her sibling. Your brother’s marriage to her may have given you more access but it has not given you certain rights.

I have realized that a lot of us get lost in how smooth a relationship runs and forget where we stand. The outcome of this in most cases either ends in disappointment or making quiet enemies. Disappointment may come to play when you have raised your expectations beyond the reality of the friendship and just believe whatever the person has done is normal. No, the fact that someone went out of their way for you doesn’t mean they owe it to you. Unfortunately, most people wouldn’t know this until the person chooses not to do it for once. The sense of entitlement envelops their heart and disappointment abide within. No matter how many times you may enjoy it, you must learn to differentiate privileges from entitlements.

Making silent enemies in another case comes from unconsciously bragging about your place in a person’s life around the ones that have the right to be. The fact that someone wants you around doesn’t give you a stake in their lives. If you get comfortable and let your guards down, you will make mistakes, in words and acts. Most of these, of course, won’t be intentional. Yet, these are the things that could infuriate others and make them ask,

“Who does she think she is?”

“He is not even part of this family.”

“Now, he is taking advantage of things.”

Before you know it, the people who have more rights to the privilege, you are getting comfortable having will easily make it a duty to zone you out. In no time, you begin to lose relevance, not because you are a bad person but because you just didn’t know when not to overdo it. Other times it could even be out of your goodwill, but certain battles aren’t yours to fight, you just have to focus on yours.

When it comes to friendship and professional relationships, you can’t be satisfied with the privileges you are enjoying. Such relationships are bound to thrive better when the third parties involved have no form of insecurity about you. No matter how good or loyal you are, if you give one person a reason to question your credibility, your integrity risks being trampled upon. Everybody eats, everybody wins. Don’t be so captivated by the privilege you enjoy from someone that you forget that others are watching with different motives. Know your place in people’s lives; avoid being ridiculed. Get close but keep a distance!