Apart from respect and trust, reciprocity is an essential element for living a healthy relationship. It would be to give back everything we are given, to maintain a certain balance.
In any form of relationship, whether in love, friendship, family or professional, trust and respect are two essential aspects.
Yet, according to some specialists, another element is essential to the well-being of any relationship: reciprocity. “It refers to the exchange of resources between people,” says psychologist Kelly Campbell at the My Domaine site .
Why is reciprocity essential in all relationships?
Reciprocity means that a relationship must be balanced, especially for the exchange of services or gifts. This is essential to maintain a good level of satisfaction and commitment necessary for a healthy exchange. And just because you are more understanding in an intimate relationship does not mean that you have to take it for granted.
“If one person makes donations all the time and the other never makes donations, the relationship is unbalanced and becomes more risky in terms of dissatisfaction, infidelity or dissolution,” says the psychologist. And of course, this can relate to the relationships we have with parents , friends, office colleagues or partners.
“What you give to others is under your control. However, if you find that you are given too much or not enough, you must be able to discuss it with the person, to establish new rules and thus respect a some balance, “adds Kelly Campbell.
If nothing changes, you may want to think about breaking up this unhealthy relationship since “the healthiest relationships are where the two meet the needs of the other.”
How to set up a balanced relationship?
Since each relationship is different, the manual is obviously different each time. However, depending on the links that link you to others, you can determine on which point you should prioritize your reciprocity.
For example, in families , nothing is established in advance since everything will depend on the rules inherent to yours. It is therefore important to know what your family members think about reciprocity and to know their expectations. Indeed, if a brother or sister lends money to others, but no one ever does him any service, the relationship will inevitably be unbalanced. This is why we must speak calmly, before the situation escalates.
With friends, things are a little different since everyone can have different ideas. Your best friend is very strict on the reimbursement of money while your childhood friend likes to leave things lying around. So you need to talk about it with others to determine what they expect from you and what they are willing to give you. If it’s not about money, you can also discuss the time allotted or emotional support, for example.
In a couple , reciprocity is essential, but the repayment time can be much longer, since these are the most intimate relationships. Love is the essential resource which needs to be regularly exchanged and which must absolutely not be unilateral. It can also relate to support, mutual aid, etc. For the rest, everyone chooses to establish the rules that suit them.