ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Relationship Problems | Give and Take

Updated on September 12, 2012
Giving and giving back can fill our lives.
Giving and giving back can fill our lives. | Source

Rules of Reciprocation

Stop for a moment and reflect on your favorite people. How did they come to hold such valuable real estate in your heart? Chances are, your reasons involve reciprocation. On the other hand, if you feel jaded or embittered about relationships, it could be due to not recognizing how important reciprocity is for maintaining them.

Gifts, compliments, and favors all communicate something about how the giver feels about the recipient. Social psychologists have long acknowledged that reciprocity is a form of social currency. It "buys" affection, loyalty, and admiration when we give back to those who have given to us. Negative reciprocation, or vengeance, can harm our relationships with others.Today the idea of reciprocating kind gestures has lost some of its importance.

We are taught to give gifts without expecting anything in return. While noble, this altruistic concept can hide a basic truth: people who care for us want us to care for them, too.

When a gentleman kindly pays for his date's dinner, he doesn't expect her to take him out to eat and pay the bill next weekend. In fact, he might believe that men should pay for dates. Period. Nonetheless, if he continues to pay for dates and his lucky lady doesn't do anything for him, he's going to believes she's taking advantage of him. Nobody, including our generous gent, wants to feel used.

If she bakes him cookies or buys a book she thinks he'll enjoy, he'll feel appreciated. She will have reciprocated his efforts without mimicking him.

Too Much Taking, Not Enough Giving

Stale relationships involving individuals who feel as if they're being taken for granted typically involve a partner's failure to reciprocate well. Often, we mistake gifts and compliments as being altruistic rather than recognizing the giver's emotional needs for reciprocation. Men and women are equally guilty of letting their gratitude slide, and it can show up in many ways:

- A lackluster sex life

- Frequent arguments about who does more in the relationship

- Lower self-esteem in one or both partners

- Depression

- Lack of affection

Fortunately, reviving a lackluster relationship is pretty easy once you get past the hard part - recognizing our own ingratitude. To test whether you're highly skilled at reciprocation, ask yourself these questions:

1. When someone does something that benefits me, do I say thank you?

2. After thanking someone for a compliment or gift, do I make it a point to follow up with actually doing something equally nice for them?

3. Do I make sure not to let my efforts get derailed by distractions?

If you answered yes to all three questions, you're doing terrific. Even one "no" response means your relationships may be suffering. Being proactive about positive reciprocation can help you improve family interactions, your social life, and even also have a positive effect on customer relations and friendships.

Here are some ideas of things you can do to start showing your appreciation for another person's gift or something nice they've done for you, but this list is just a starting point. Making reciprocity a daily part of your life will result in many other ideas.

- Take them to lunch or dinner.

- Send them a "thank you" card, even if it's your spouse.

- Bake them a treat or prepare a nice meal for them.

- Purchase an item they will like.

- Compliment them publicly. Often.

- Write a poem that honors them.

- Take care of a chore they dislike doing.

- Hire someone else to do something you know they don't like to do.

- Hire someone for something they'll love - a babysitter so they can have a night out, a painter to paint their front porch, or a local teen who can mow their lawn or shovel their sidewalk.

- Send flowers to their work site.

- Purchase a gift like the ones shown above that's on par with what they've done for you.

Comments

Submit a Comment

  • jellygator profile image
    Author

    jellygator 5 years ago from USA

    Thanks, Ebonny! I'll send good wishes your way.

  • Ebonny profile image

    Ebonny 5 years ago from UK

    Having read this I need to think more about getting my own house in order before I jump to being disgrunteld about someone else not showing their appreciation etc.

    I'll keep your list of reciprocity ideas handy. Thanks for sharing. Thumbs up etc.

  • jellygator profile image
    Author

    jellygator 6 years ago from USA

    No kidding! I know when people have done things for me that they thought was being nice, I've sometimes felt they were just trying to get credit for doing what they wanted to!

  • alocsin profile image

    alocsin 6 years ago from Orange County, CA

    Excellent hub and I think the key is doing something or giving them something that they'll like, rather than what you like. Voting this Up and Useful.

  • jellygator profile image
    Author

    jellygator 6 years ago from USA

    Thanks very much!

  • sgbrown profile image

    Sheila Brown 6 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

    I think this is a great hub! I agree completely. Voted up and awesome. :)SHARING too! :)

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)