Reciprocity refers to a system of distributing goods or services to others in return for something. An exchange may be voluntary or involuntary. Social interaction is the fundamental basis of reciprocity.
A person who freely gives others may become a target for similar generosity from those who take items for free. Reciprocity is essential for social interaction to occur, and it is one of the three basic types of social psychology.
This is a simple truth, but you cannot fail to enjoy the highest state of fulfillment if you can learn the lesson. It involves the fact that whatever you think, or whatever you do, returns to you. It is called reciprocity.
If you dislike a person, then you will be opposed. If you like someone, then you will be appreciated by others. If you do good deeds, you will realize good as your reward. Therefore if you do evil, evil will be your charge and penalty.
It would be wise to apply this truth to yourself immediately; all it takes is your concentration. It is an unbreakable law throughout time, as obedience will bring joy and success if you permit it by following its principle.
Therefore, we now know that the Golden Rule is retroactive, that is, “As you do unto others, others will do unto you.”
It might not always appear instantly valid as real evil may seem to return for good, and unkindness and thanklessness the reward for deeds done well. But this is just temporary. As good continues, undismayed, it will sneak slowly into our consciousness that has been deceived and tricked by evil, oppression, and lack of understanding. That awareness will be awakened, will respond, and react, and you reap the rewards two-fold, for a brave new soul will have come to realize the power of good over evil always.
Suppose we permit unselfish love to control our moments. In that case, we can move forward wholly confident that whatever we do will bring back to us the rewards of love.
Evaluate yourself. Test your thoughts, ideas, and deeds. Are they lightening the burden of care? Are those thoughts producing optimistic new hope and courage where misery may threaten? What is your gift to humankind? What spark do you fan into the flames? What do you give in joy, pleasure, encouragement, and cheer?
We cannot live for ourselves alone. Life is an essential, growing entity. It grows as we give to it, responsibility or neglect, love or hate, misery or happiness, “as we sow, we shall reap.” Reciprocity allows flow.
As we actively live according to the highest principles and concepts, we will flourish and achieve. We will discover that below all of it, what is pretense, and guilt, has no roots in the long-lasting and the good. It is a pretty reasonable exchange.
Reciprocity has three different forms. The most widely recognized form is exchanged; the second is direct interchange, and the third is non-reciprocal favor. Exchange is the most recognized form of reciprocity. In this type of social psychology, the giver gives value to an object or person; then, the receiver reciprocates by offering the same value to the giver in return.
Reciprocity in this context does not require the recipient’s approval. A person who gives his best friend a cup of coffee may feel obligated to provide him with another cup if the friend gives him a thank you gift in return. However, the coffee cup’s social value does not dictate that the friendship should be reciprocated. The mere act of sharing is a form of reciprocity, whether or not the giver or recipient feels obligated to do so. This is known as the “value-added” reciprocity norm.
The indirect reciprocated norm considers that we may not always have the ability to control the actions of others. When someone gives you a favor, you don’t always feel obligated to reciprocate, even if you would like to.
For example, suppose a stranger gives you a cup of tea as a gift. In that case, you probably will not feel obligated to return the favor, even if it means taking up the tea for yourself. However, if you get a blessing and kind enough to take the tea, you would probably feel obligated to return the favor partially.
Reciprocity helps us evaluate our social relationships, as well as others. The giver might respond negatively to your not reciprocate their social favor. However, you will still feel obligated to reciprocate to some degree because you perceive that others feel obligated to return your favor. You may choose to give a social gift only when you want something in return, or you might give it out liberally, depending on the relationship. Reciprocity also allows you to “stick” to your word and to plan so that you can get what you want when you want it.
The theory of reciprocity can also help to explain why it is OK to give a social favor to others when you can get the same acceptance in return. For example, many couples do not realize that it is appropriate to buy their loved one’s flowers. Or on their anniversary or buy their tickets to a special event if they cannot attend.
Even when you pay a higher price to buy something such as a higher-priced diamond, you should not feel guilty about it because it is your money and gift. It shows that you are conscious of the social norm of reciprocity. You have demonstrated that you value the social feelings of the giver. By doing so, you have made yourself better perceived by the social system.
It may seem that the giver is more important than the receiver in all this time. In theory, they are correct, but there is often an imbalance of reciprocal influence in practice. In social situations, it is not always the case that the giver will receive something in return. They may believe that they have done enough good to deserve it and feel no need to reciprocate. On the other hand, others have been offended at the giver’s lack of social niceties, such as excessive touching or holding of the hand.
An excellent exercise to use when thinking about reciprocity is to think about how you would react if you received a compliment from a stranger. What is your initial reaction? How do you judge their ability to be good communicators and to make others feel good about themselves?
Would you tell someone that they are too self-centered to give a compliment, or would you take the time to listen to them and try to understand what they were trying to say? Reciprocity, indeed, is an important key to open up communication and harmony within a relationship.