Why many people mortgage their self esteem for petty gains from others?

Often some people in one's social circle, may be relatives, friends, neighbors or even acquaintances occupy some position where they can render some benefits to others. Suppose an individual is working in some company manufacturing FMCG products or electrical/electronic appliances. Now people in his/her social circle will expect to milk certain advantages out of his/her position like some discount, freebie or any such other petty gain. Though the gains may be of insignificant value, but the people keep on cajoling/flattering the spouses of such individuals to derive some advantage on the strength of their relationship.
Why many people mortgage their self esteem for petty gains from others?