Ololade Ajekigbe: 4 Unwritten rules you must not break

by Ololade Ajekigbe


This article was inspired by a football match I watched last weekend – The Manchester United vs Everton English Premier League game. Belgian and Manchester United striker, Romelu Lakaku scored a goal against his former club, Everton. What had me intrigued was how Lukaku didn’t hold back in celebrating the goal against a side he was still a part of a few months ago.

Ex-players of a club (especially one they recently left) tend to show respect to their previous employers by not overly celebrating when they score against them even though there’s no rule that forbids or compels them to do this. A high-profile case in point would be Christiano Ronaldo who played for Manchester United “eons” ago but chooses to put a lead on celebrating on every occasion he has scored against the club.  As far as I know, Lukaku didn’t exit Everton on an acrimonious note, so I was wondering why he was so eager to prove a point to his former employers.

Let me say that I am aware that for any rule, there’s an exception. There are few absolutes in life, and oftentimes, apart from the law of nature which is beyond humanity’s control, the rules that have to do with culture and social relationships, in general, are man-made and subject to change.

The advent of social media has broken down the walls that once guarded the things we once held sacred. Now, there are positives and negatives of this development. But it’s hard to ignore the negatives as we now have a generation who are oblivious to what should be kept private and what can be put in the public space. We have couples who fight dirty over the internet, employees railing against employers on Twitter, children speaking ill of their parents on Youtube, and intimate details of the “other room” being shared on Instagram.

This post is about what I consider to be rules that are not cast in stone but are nonetheless worthy of adopting as they enhance relationships, rather than mar them. Even in the cases where they cannot improve them, at least they do not diminish them.

And so whether it’s a relationship between an employer and employee, lovers, friends or even strangers, there are the unwritten rules you shouldn’t be flouting if you intend to be mature and fair in your dealings with others;

Do not Reveal details of a private chat: These days, people are quick to share conversations they have had with others without stopping to consider how the other party would feel. I think it’s is not only childish, it’s against everything that represents decency. So what if they said something you weren’t particularly pleased with? So what if as a lady, a guy you have never said a word to thinks it’s a good idea to “get fresh” with you in an obnoxious way? That’s why there’s a “Block” button on virtually all social media platforms. A cyber nuisance can become history to you with just a click of the button. It’s far more honourable to do that than to share the details of what was supposed to be a private conversation. Except you’re certain you are dealing with a con artist or one who’s a threat to your life, you really should do better and keep private conversations private.

Never Make Uncomplimentary remarks about a former employer: The relationship between an employer and an employee is a symbiotic one. The individual offers a service which is paid for by the organisation. At some point, things may go awry in much the same fashion one would find in a relationship between 2 people. Except you have been wrongfully accused of something as reputation and career damaging as fraud then you shouldn’t be found speaking ill of your former employers. Might be a little dissimilar, but I believe this mentality is the same one some footballers adopt when they score against a former club; especially one which they left upon mutual agreement.

Never “Kiss and Tell”: I have been amused, shocked, bewildered and downright disgusted with the way some erstwhile couples wash their dirty linen online. It’s the same old story – Boy meets girl, they hit it off, fall in love (or at least believe they did) and all is well and good until something happens that throws a spanner in the works of their smooth sailing relationship. Somebody cheated on somebody. The guy is probably married to someone else. The lady is into other men. Their once blissful castle of “love” comes crashing down. One party hurts like hell, and what do they do? You guessed right – They start to share all the details of what went down in that relationship. What’s more, they don’t choose to share these “secrets” with a counselor or psychologist, but on social media where people who are all too happy to feast on another scandal gobble up the gist and even go ahead to twist the narrative to their own version for good measure. I have never understood the rationale behind this sort of move. Doubt if I ever will.

Don’t Date a friend’s ex: If my friend is no longer dating this guy why can’t I date him, I can hear you ask. Well, the reason is obvious. He dated your friend. Not your acquaintance. Not your colleague. Not someone you only met once or twice; your friend! You were aware of their relationship. You probably accompanied her to his place on one or more occasions. You have the same circle of friends, and you still think it’s okay to date this person? I think not. Except you’re absolutely sure your friend wouldn’t mind and in which case you wouldn’t have to feel awkward about the new order of things, then you’ll be breaking the friendship code.

For any of these, there are no hard and fast rules. No one will have you arrested if you scoff at them and choose to do your own thing. You are not bound by law to obey them. They are just a product of what this writer believes demonstrates decency and emotional intelligence.

So tell me, what are your thoughts? Where do you agree or disagree?

Op–ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija


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