Everyone wants it. To be given it is priceless. One way of thinking of privilege is being used to having it and expecting to receive it, thereby taking it for granted.
It is often associated with status roles. It seems that, when someone acquires status through money, power, size, skin colour, gender, good looks, etc., others are inclined also to give such people the benefit of the doubt.
On the other hand, not having the benefit of the doubt makes everything harder.
It comes down to the stories we tell ourselves about others. Often, those stories are grounded as much or more in assumptions as in an accurate assessment of the trustworthiness of the other person.
Thinking about why we give the benefit of the doubt to who we do, and whether it’s justified or a lazy default – and thinking about why many of us often assume others should give us the benefit of the doubt, even when we haven’t done anything to earn it is – is a useful exercise. Humans are not nearly as rational as we like to think we are.
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