Taking advantage of certain rules that provide you with perceived benefit can prove to be detrimental.

Why Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean You Should

You’ll sometimes find yourself possessing an advantage in certain aspects of life as you go through it. There will be openings to attack others, take advantage of them, and act in ways to take advantage of them. When we find ourselves in positions of power and see ways to take advantage of others, it’s sometimes hard to fight the urge to follow through. Laws can be set to protect us, and rules can exist to give as an advantage. Your actions can turn out to be fully acceptable in the legal and professional sense, but the fact that you’re taking advantage of others is still a reality.

This article aims to convey the message that even though certain rules in life allow you to benefit over others, you should try to not take advantage of them. Examples of this can be the fact that your employees are exempt from overtime pay, your entitlement to a certain number of paid days off work, or your ability to withhold your tenants’ security deposit based on a small technicality. Though it may seem that taking advantage of technicalities can benefit us, perhaps sometimes the better thing to do is not utilize the certain advantages you possess.

People Aren’t Worried About Rules, but of the Ones Who Wield Them

The ones before us created many rules. People being born today are thrust into a world tied together by copious amounts of limitations, standards, and regulations. Their lives will be subject to being controlled like no one’s prior, and they’ll find themselves bound in red tape should they ever step out of line in life, at work, or in business. This isn’t inherently a bad thing, as the rules and regulations set around us serve to keep life as fair as we can manage to make it. However, there are times when the parties on either side of a specified rule know of the potential unfair advantage it provides. The ones who are in a position of power will be enticed to take advantage of such rules, and the people they take advantage of will grow ill will towards them.

As you attain and attempt to hold onto your position of power in life, be weary of using technicalities to give you an advantage over the ones you lead. Sparing others on these technicalities will provide you more benefit than reaping the rewards they provide. Allowing others to understand that these technicalities exist but that you won’t utilize them will restore their faith in humanity. Most people find rules that serve to give them a disadvantage in life as unfair. Should you implement these rules, the ones you implement them on will feel that you are taking advantage of them notwithstanding what the rule-book says. Should you spare others in such instances, you’ll be considered as being empathetic to their feelings of being in a position of disadvantage. We respect those who spare us in life, and those you spare will be encouraged to go past the technicalities of their own role in your life.

Whether you’re their boss, their partner, or their landlord, the people you spare will also tend to adopt a lenient mentality towards you. You’ll notice that your employees will be more willing to stay over time and finish work out of their respect for you should you not take advantage of their exemption to being paid, for example. People will attach their role in your life to a positive emotion towards you, rather than merely operating by the specification of their role. Think of sparing others as a step which leads to them developing a certain respect for you which didn’t exist prior.

Be Careful of ‘Unactionable’ Hatred

Let’s assume that you were to take advantage of certain technicalities which give you an advantage in life. The people you take advantage of will not be able to reciprocate, as your actions would be fully aligned with the law and regulations in the setting you’re in. They’ll feel like their disadvantage in a certain situation has been exposed and pried open. They will feel vulnerable and would be reminded of the power that you wield over them in that context. This will all amount to birthing negative feelings toward you. You can call it hate, or can simply call it disappointment.

Their negative feelings about the situation will not have an outlet. They can either begin to search for technicalities they can take advantage of themselves, or let their disappointment ferment into disgust and then hatred. Be careful of disappointing people who have no outlet for that disappointment. They will begin to search for weaknesses they can pry open for themselves, in an effort to get even in their minds. Even though you may have fully acted within the bounds of the laws in place, the people you implemented those rules on may not care. People are very sensitive to perceived lapses in fairness – even if they’re unsubstantiated. Our competitive juices bubble when we perceive others to have an unfair advantage over us, and we yearn to balance the scales.

Book Recommendation: 

The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt

Disclaimer of Opinion:
This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.