No one exists and succeeds in isolation. It is contrary to human nature. In fact isolation is a form of punishment, hence imprisonment is quite a part of our human system to address misconduct and vile behaviours in our society. Isolation is not good for humans, to destroy any man’s confidence, guts and gusto, isolate him. It is tough to have any reason and motivation for living when you’re all alone in this world. It is repugnant to our human nature. That is why it is natural and essential for us to exist in family and societal formats. To have villages, communities, states, countries and nations. We are wired to do things together as mankind. Critical as this is to mankind, it can be very demanding, stressful and at times destructive relating with other humans. Human beings are the most difficult creatures to deal with on earth. Their intelligence, power and ability to choose makes it pretty tough dealing and relating easily with people. Hence as important as it is to relate with other humans, you must employ the needed wisdom, intelligence and tact required for successful and fruitful interactions. Human beings can deceive you, derail you, betray you, deny you, distract you, debase you and even destroy you. If you lack what it takes to cope with humans, you may fail woefully in life – your intelligence, capacity and hard work notwithstanding. To truly achieve your dreams, vision, ambition and purpose on earth, you must handle people as required. Heartbreak, treachery, rejection, abuse, falsehood, pretence, lies, deception, manipulation and oppression are some of the very negative and painful experiences you may go through in the hands of people no matter how careful. Worst still, you hardly suffer all these from the hands of total strangers, its always people who are close, people you have a form of relationship with, friendly people; people with access to you and your life and your heart. They are the ones capable of messing you up so badly and at times beyond total recovery. To avoid falling into difficult and painful situations with people, it is wisdom to occasionally measure exactly where you stand with all the different people in your life. One of the weaknesses of mankind is their inability to completely hide their true thoughts and feelings towards other people. No matter how we try to pretend or cover it up, it will once in a while come to the fore either as a remark, a reaction, a comment, a body language, facial expression or behaviour. Truth is every now and again, people show and tell us the truth about how they feel about us; we are not just paying enough attention to decode the message. At times it’s obvious but we choose to believe different, assume they were joking or they didn’t mean it that way. We get too emotionally involved with people we really want to be with to the end that it shuts our eyes and mindsights to how they see us and what they could actually do to us. When they eventually manifest their true inner intentions, we become badly hurt, broken and distraught. In our depression and regret, we then begin to recollect statements, remarks, behaviours and attitudes that signalled the possibility of what they eventually did, we would then begin to feel really foolish. We’d say in regret, we should have known. Dear friend, if you really value yourself, you need to manage yourself well. You must endeavour to protect yourself from hurt, pain and abuse as much as you can. To manage yourself well, you must manage your relationships well. To manage your relationships well, you must research, review, and measure your worth every now and again with all the people in your life. Your worth with people, what you mean to them; if you matter to them will determine how they would treat you and if they would eventually hurt you or not. Dear friend, don’t be fooled thinking people that are good and kind to you today are naturally good people. Let’s face it, human beings by nature are selfish and at times wicked. If anyone is still good, kind, considerate and loving to you, it’s purely tied to what you mean to them. It’s about how they value you and how you matter to them. If you don’t see this, if you don’t see why you matter to them and why they value you, it’s possible you take the factors for granted and eventually dismiss them, then this best friend could suddenly become a nasty enemy. Why? You’ve unknowingly terminated the gain and reason for being your friend. Now, these factors or gains may not even be tangible, like money, gifts or any form of material benefits. It may be attention, care; the pride of being friends or related to someone important, successful, rich or good looking, could be the affection, lust or the fact that they can use you. It’s not always about monetary gains or material benefits. Whatever they see as value in that relationship, once you compromise or withdraw it, they become a silent enemy. They will punish you. Dear friend, before you get into trouble with any of your friends, contacts and connections, take the time today to think through your relationships with everybody. There is always a reason behind a friendship, relationship, connection and/or intimacy. People always want you for a reason. Only the almighty wants you for no reason at all. How do you do this? 1. Pay attention. In conversations with friends and acquaintances there is general information, general gist and from it you can draw particular facts. Pay attention to the facts. Matters of fact from friends and relatives convey a lot. 2. Evaluate their worth to you. Every great relationship must be mutually beneficial. You must be giving and gaining as well. What are your friends sincerely willing to do, give, surrender or sacrifice for you? Evaluate your gains from all these people in your life, you may just realise you’re carrying so much weight and liabilities; wasting your time, energy and resources on people who are too eager to take but unwilling to give anything back to you even if they could. 3. Become selective. Begin to think up ways of gradually easing out people who only want to take but are unwilling to give from your life. Become more selective; build mutually rewarding relationships. Energise and get energised. 4. Grow your value. For those people in your life adding value to you in a way or another, creatively try to grow your value and worth to them as well. Give them a good reason to want you in their life and their circle. 5. Lastly manage your supply. Too much of everything is not good. When you’re too available, you become cheap and your worth begins to dwindle. Enhance your worth and value through reasonable scarcity. Remain dear and valuable to your friends and connections. Dear friend, destructive relationships exist within the family, amongst friends, social groups including churches and mosques, at work, in business and your neighbourhood. Measure your worth today. Please enjoy your day.