This is my latest piece from the HuffPost - I thought it would be good to share being that we are in full holiday season swing! Remember to set expectations accordingly!! Happy Thanksgiving!! Someone once told me reciprocity was the most important element in a relationship. That someone was wrong. Reciprocity? Really? As a mother, and as someone who works everyday to help others enhance their relationships, I can unequivocally say that reciprocity is one of the least important elements in a relationship.
I love my children more than anything on this planet, the joy they bring to my life is impossible to explain. I work hard to give them the life I want them to have. Education, activities, and social engagements are only the tip of the iceberg when raising our children today. Having an expectation that they are going to “pay us back” for it is ridiculous and unrealistic.
I give to my children with the expectation that they are going to be grateful, kind and upstanding human beings. I have zero expectation for anything else.I will not keep a list of things I’ve purchased for them over the course of their lives, I will not hold that over their heads when they are adults. Instead, I will love, encourage and support them.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a relationship, a business transaction, hell, it could be a dinner party -- you will be setting yourself up for disappointment if you have any expectation of the outcome. I know a few people who expect “pay back” for their generosity and when they don’t get it, they hold a grudge. One thing I say frequently is to have zero expectation with whatever you’re about to do -- this way there’s a good possibility you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the experience.
Reciprocity is a funny thing. It comes up often in my conversations -- one person is not getting what they need or want from the other, yet when I question why, often the answer is associated with communication, or lack thereof. Ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t have the single most important element of ANY relationship in place, it doesn’t matter where reciprocity falls.
Communication my friends, that’s where it’s at.
I will preach about it until I’m blue in the face. Talk to your people, people! How is your partner (or child) supposed to know how you’re feeling if you’re not expressing it? None of us are mind readers!
What’s worse is that in some cases, the lack of communication lasts for years, causing anxiety and strife, until it ends up exploding! Meanwhile, the entire situation could’ve been avoided if communication had prevailed.
If you operate with the idea that you’re owed something every time you give you’ll end up hurt. Every. Single. Time. Change your mindset. Give because you want to, not because you have to. Give because it feels good to make others smile. Give because you want to enhance someone else’s life experience. Give because it’s the right thing to do.
The world opens up much wider when you have a generous heart. You won’t be worried about getting paid back because you’ll be fulfilled by the responses you receive.