Give and take process in a relationship

give and take process in a relationship

The Social Exchange Theory is an interesting term, used to describe the relationship between two people as an exchange process. The give and take approach. Every relationship that works has the the way of give and take. It takes an amount of give and take to have this. For the record MOnEY has no bearing on what. “Give and take” is a mechanism inherent to all personal relationships – you cannot expect to receive something if you don't offer on your own.

You'll need less from any one friend when you feel supported by several. When you have a friend whose shoulder you can cry on, you can better appreciate the other friend who simply makes you laugh. The best way to feel more full? Receive from more women! This is especially true if you feel that one friend keeps disappointing you. It's your responsibility to build a circle of friends around you, not her obligation to be everything you need.

Acknowledge that balance doesn't mean being identical. We not only give in different ways, but we also give at different times. Going through my divorce, I monopolized more than 50 percent of many conversations with friends.

And the roles have been reversed at various times. Additionally, I have one friend who impressively always invites and schedules time with my husband and me. I don't reciprocate evenly in that area, but I've provided her coaching, held her heart through pain and been a safe place to process life out loud with someone who cares. Bask in the ways you receive. So you give a lot. Make sure you notice what you're receiving, too!

She may not be great at remembering your birthdays, but does she love in other ways? Why were you drawn to her initially?

give and take process in a relationship

Make sure you take time to look for all the ways she might be giving that you don't initially see. Pull out a pad of paper and list everything you can think of that she does for you. This includes things like easily forgiving you, brainstorming your business with you, encouraging you to be an individual, standing up for you, making you laugh, remembering to ask about your mom, etc. Be sure you're receiving what's being given!

Continue to give your best. If you're good at scheduling time together, then do it. If you're good at listening longer, asking better questions and validating feelings, then give and do it freely. If you're the one who remembers birthdays and buys presents for her kids, then do it with joy, harboring no resentment. If you're able to pay for meals together, tell her that it's your privilege to give to the friendship in this way.

give and take process in a relationship

Love on her in the ways that are easy and natural for you, knowing that is your contribution to the friendship you share. Learn how to give and take more meaningfully. Knowing that we all tend to give in the ways that we most wish others would give to us, look for clues about what matters most to your friends. We certainly have love languages that are most natural for us, but for the people we love, we should also try to give in the ways that seem to matter to them.

give and take process in a relationship

With close friends, we can also tell them what they do that means the most to us. We can use our energy more efficiently and effectively if we can increase our awareness about what speaks to our hearts the most. Learning to ask for what we need from those around us is a skill worth practicing.

And we may be desperate or unwilling to receive. Likewise, taking can range from grateful acceptance of a kind offer to coercive demands.

Both give and take can hence be positive and negative in intent and involve corresponding positive and negative emotions. The equation of reciprocity The way we behave in balancing give and take is driven by the personal and social need for fairness.

Relationships extend this to work through the force of reciprocitywhere there is a strong obligation to repay what you are given. If one person owes too much to the other, resentment and conflict may arise and the relationship may consequently fall apart. An exact balance is not always required as trust acts to make this a 'sloppy' system.

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The greater the trust, the more negative the balance can become before concern about repayment arises. If I trust you then I will give a lot before I seek to take in return, confident that you will repay me at some time in the future. In each relationship there is a bucket system of 'social capital' where we make deposits and withdrawals from the bucket.

The exact currency is difficult to define but could perhaps be approximated with the formula emotion x time. If you spend two hours helping someone, and they spend an hour helping you, then, if the emotional exchange is equal, they still owe you an hour. Emotional complexity The problem in balancing the books of social exchange is that emotion is a complex variable.

If you help me for an hour and I am very grateful, then I may feel a need to help you for three hours doing something in return.

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Gratitude is hence a powerful driving emotion in social exchange. When I help you, it is your gratitude that is the deposit in my account that motivates you to repay me, not just the fact that I helped you. Other emotions complicate the situation. For example if I help you and expect you to be grateful, then my feelings of expectation will give me the impression that I have earned a certain amount of social capital, and that my bucket is a little fuller as yours is a little emptier.

Yet if you are not that grateful, you will not think you owe me that much. In fact if you did not need or want my help then you may think you owe me nothing.

give and take process in a relationship

And if you see my help as an intrusion or an attempted 'robbery' in forcing me to owe you in return then your feelings of resentment will tip the balance the other way as you believe I owe you some reparation for the wrong done. In this way positive and negative emotions have opposite effects on the social capital bucket, and the stronger the emotion, the bigger the effect.

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If you hurt me in any way, then you owe me. If you help me then I owe you. Love and hate are enduring emotions that have a big effect on give and take. If I love you then I will give much. Even if you do little in return, I will feel good for having helped you and hence effectively reward myself with good feelings rather than expect things from you.

The extreme form of this is unconditional love which, as the name suggests, expects nothing in return. Love can also complicate the bucket when it leads to lower expected reciprocity. My expressions of love for you may make you feel that I expect little. This can cause resentment and anger that results in recriminations that erode the love, effectively 'killing the golden goose'.

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Hate is often based in the belief that the other person owes a great deal, which justifies attacks that take much from them. When others refuse to repay what we believe they owe us then our emotions become negative and hence motivate harmful action. Just as unconditional love does not consider what is given, blind hate is not concerned with what is taken. Both can upset the bucket and confuse the social capital account, though each is likely to beget itself.

Love very largely creates love and hate mostly creates hate. Love results in much reciprocal giving while hate leads to battles of blow-by-blow taking.

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The wider effect While give and take is important in individual relationships, its broader power is in the creation of society. As relationships deepen and trust increases, we may take from one person and give to another. For example a person in a happy relationship will be kind to others, effectively sharing the social capital gained from their relationship partner.