The Worst Time to Take Advantage of Someone
(One of the 83 quick and practical life & work lessons from Sh*t Sandwich: Quick & Practical Success Lessons for Practically Anyone.)
Taking Advantage of Others
I’ve often said that the worst time to take advantage of someone is when you can. Moreover, I’ve always tried to live by these words.
“The worst time to take advantage of someone is when you can.” – Steve Stauning
Of course (for those of you who’ve already done the math in your head), you might think this means you should never take advantage of someone. You would be correct.
As hokey and as old fashioned as it sounds, traits like honesty, integrity, truth, fair play, and hard work should matter to you (even if they don’t always matter to those around you). In the end, your word and your reputation are all you will have. Everything in this book was written to help you succeed in life and in your career; however, achieving your dreams by taking advantage of others – your fellow human beings – would be a hollow, short-term victory, at best.
The funny truth about taking advantage of people is that the one taking the advantage often believes the other person will never catch on. To the contrary; most everyone eventually figures out your dishonesty, and they tuck that away in the emotional “file” they keep about you. These negatives build over time until they simply cannot understand why it is they dislike you so much – but, they do genuinely dislike you.
Of course, even if the poor, unsuspecting sap never caught on, you would know. You would know that you took advantage of another person at the worst time. And although on the surface you might relish this as a win, deep down you’ll know this was a shitty move and you are less of a person because of it.
The shit sandwich you must eat here is to put aside your greed, lust, or whatever is driving you and understand that taking advantage of others is a form of stealing. While our ancestors likely survived by pulverizing the guy in the next cave when he was most vulnerable; we are no longer in caves and we are not our ancestors. Preying on the vulnerabilities or weaknesses of another human being is easy… and disgusting.
It’s not a “win” if there was no competition.
The worst time to take advantage of someone is when you can.
Live by these words and you’ll never regret the choices you made on your road to success.