The Concept of Reciprocation
In the realm of social psychology, the term of reciprocation is used quite often. Basically someone what it means is that when you do something for someone, they will do something for you a well. This is more often the case when you help others, they will naturally want to help you back. This is pan cultural, from gift exchanges during Christmas in western countries to red envelope in certain east Asian countries. It’s expected.
But not required.
And that is where the danger lies.
You see, you can give and give and give and expect to receive something in return based on this concept of reciprocation, but that reciprocation could never come because as kindness often reigns, people can be real cruel bastards as well.
And just like a car crash, it takes just one to screw us over (clean way of putting it.)
The Problem With Sharing Knowledge
So when you share your knowledge as an example and the other party has received all the knowledge they need to obtain their objective. What is to stop them from kicking you to the curb?
That is a serious possibility.
It may not be so blatant as telling you to leave, but rather the communication gradually becomes slower and less frequent until there comes some excuse to stop communicating all together.
Do you want that to happen to you? Do you want that to happen to you with someone you need.
Don’t Count On Relationship Equity
You may think you have built up a ton of relationship equity with someone and you can cease putting more in for some time and everything will be aces. But that is not how the world works. People are selfish by nature and we are hard wired to strive to take care of ourselves first for sheer survival. So when someone feels they are not getting anymore value out of you, the incentive is there to get rid of you.
Don’t give them that incentive. Many people resist it, but some don’t. And do you really want to be putting yourself in that position of weakness?
(A) solution? Keep making yourself useful to that other person. Do not relinquish that leverage and by extension, power. In other words, give them a reason for keeping you around.
Make them (constantly) needing you.
Kingston S. Lim
April 22, 2021