I read an article the other day on Forbes of all places that talked about how “relationships without reciprocity are no relationships at all.” While the article was focused on business relationships as well as personal ones, it got me thinking about how clearly it invalidates a relationship that has no reciprocity. We always talk about giving our best in a relationship without expecting anything in return, being all in, 100%, but this particular article comes around to basically say: “Wait a second! Do we even call it a relationship if there’s no reciprocity?”
I’ve always been a huge believer in unconditional love, in giving with all my heart and I’ve definitely been burned by that once of twice before I figured out my boundaries, before I understood that there are people who will never give back, but will always take and take.
Glenn Llopis, the writer of this article, mentions at some point in the article something that got me thinking about the value I bring to the world and the value I want from the people around me.
“Building mutually beneficial business relationships is more difficult than people think. It’s not just about whether you can trust someone anymore, it’s whether you can expect the other side to add substantive value.”
Interestingly enough this past New Year’s Eve, I was talking to some friends about exactly that as I had decided that the people who not only don’t bring value to my life, but only take at every opportunity had no place in my life. As a result some people that I used to call friends have found their way out of my life, but the most amazing thing happened. New people, people who can bring immense value in my life have showed up and have showed me that we never really have a relationship with someone as long as there’s no reciprocity.
When you look at your life, do your relationships (whether business or personal) have reciprocity? Do they add value to your life and are you bringing value to the life of the people around you? If the answer is no, then maybe it’s time to change things up.