In my last article, we read that reciprocity is very important in relationships. We also saw that we have the tendency, in our relationships, to take an automatic position that results in lack of reciprocity.
Lack of reciprocity leads to frustration, dissatisfaction, conflict… and unhappiness.
How can we prevent this? By being attentive to 3 types of behavior or attitude we produce, normally without realizing what they are telling us: reciprocity is missing!
Something went wrong or just did not fulfill our expectations and we keep – in our head or with others – blaming who was involved in that situation.
The point here is that we are not proactive. We maintain our dissatisfaction by wasting our energy in blaming.
Believing that we are giving more
This is a very common bias: we tend to overestimate our positive contributions and to underestimate the effects of our eventually mistakes or lacks of attention. But we do exactly the opposite with the other persons: we may be over aware of other people mistakes and taken for granted what they do positively.
The point here is to be aware about how many times we give our self credit (for example “how good I’m”) and how many time we criticize other people for not doing enough or not doing more.
Believing is other’s fault
This is also a very common bias. We are very good in spotting out when a friend is behaving wrongly with us, but we are not so good in noticing when we are acting not so correctly.
The point here is that we are very attentive when other people treat us “unjustly”, but we can neglect very easily when we do so.
How do we restore reciprocity?
By taking actions! For examples:
- clarify what did happen with the person involved
- expose our frustration or the pain we experience, being aware that the other person may experience a very similar situation
- give more of our time to a friend, chatting or sharing an activity with the intention to have a nice moment together
- apologize for our lack of attention or whatever mistake we may have done
- let it go – we are all humans, we all make mistakes… And we can all learn from that.
Contact me if you need support in taking actions!
Picture of Michelle Sabatini – Arte Sella