Reciprocity Factor in Relationships

The reciprocity factor is a key ingredient in ALL types of relationships. Whether it’s business, friendships or personal relationships reciprocity is a foundational aspect. Hell, even in conversation it’s key, because really if I have to carry the conversation we won’t have another one. Not because I can’t but because it just isn’t fun to always carry it.

It has been several weeks of brilliant conversations showing up for me and the common thread is that they were ALL reciprocal and engaged. I’m a little tired so writing and this morning’s listening meeting where I got to be intuitive observer are nice breaks. Too much of one will lead straight to burnout, at least for me, and I’m a great listener but also a pretty vocal speaker. It’s about always coming back toward the line of balance without getting caught in one extreme or another.

A little over a year ago I divorced my former business connection. It got to a point that once I saw it, all I could see was the glaring fact that it had become a completely one sided relationship. And that imbalance in any relationship form is just not going to work for me anymore.

My accountant noted that I literally took everything, threw it out and said I’m completely starting over and rebuilding every aspect of my life. She’s insightful. She’s also my new accountant after I released the prior one….so she’s not inaccurate.

Reciprocity is NOT about keeping score. It’s NOT about conditional love, acceptance or connection. If you’re a score keeper, get thyself away from me right now. Or I’ll remove you myself but that will likely be more harsh and painful for you.

Reciprocity is about give and take. A dance of back and forth, giving and receiving that when it arrives is breathtakingly beautiful.

I am so grateful to have this gift in so many relationships both professional and personal. It just feels good to have SO many people in my life with connections founded on mutual trust, respect and that are just naturally reciprocal.

In a meeting yesterday I was seated next to a friend and our whispered conversations repeatedly had me following her thoughts and filling in the gaps. When leaving she laughed and thanked me for following (and understanding) her non linear thought processes. I reminded her that she does the very same thing for me at times. Sometimes we’re giving and sometimes we’re receiving.

The receiving aspect of this has been a steep learning curve for me. It’s been a process to learn to  allow people to love, support and give to me what I need in any moment. It’s also still a process to ask for what I need. I don’t always get it right and sometimes kick myself for how I screwed it up. Totally my own loudest critic.

Reciprocity speaks to exchange and that does not mean it’s always equal. There are times when we’re more in need of receiving and times we’re more fully capable to give. Ebb and flow, yin and yang, there’s a duality to all things in this life.

With clients the biggest factor in reciprocity is communication. I need to be able to get to you when we need to discuss things. I need to hear from you at decision point moments and also as we walk the journey in the form of feedback and questions. Likewise I expect to be available to communicate with you as we go.

I’ve had and experienced all kinds of relationships where reciprocity simply didn’t exist and those are simply not welcome in any area of my life anymore.

Personally, there was a time from May really through most of June this year when I was literally emotionally overwhelmed. There were several things unfolding that were totally out of my control and dug up some really intense emotions that I didn’t know what to do with, how to handle, express, or allow them to flow.

Yet I had people around me that I trust without an ounce of doubt and had to lean on them in ways that weren’t natural for me. Without exception they responded and surrounded me with loving (and really funny) messages and loving energy. The offers of wine and company also didn’t hurt. They’re my “new normal” soft places to land squad and I adore them.

At one point I was sitting on my kitchen floor just crying uncontrollably. I reached up for my phone and texted a friend who replied with EXACTLY what I needed to hear in order to breathe just a little more deeply.

Reciprocity in relationships is not an optional ingredient. And even for those of us who tend to lead so strongly with helping, there’s also value and beauty in opening up to also receiving within all of our relationships. In not just seeing but also being seen. I’m learning that and it’s a process.

Not everyone will earn the right to witness your mess, but the ones that do earn it? They tend to show up with buckets of grace, compassion and empathy that arrive exactly on time.

To ALL of my Sherpas: thanks for having my back just as fiercely and lovingly as I always have yours. It’s an honor to know you and SO DAMN FUN to walk this messy human experience journey together. My life experience is infinitely richer thanks to your presence and I’m grateful always.

Copyright©2018 by Diane McDermott, All Rights Reserved, “The Reciprocity Factor in Relationships”

The content of this blog is the original content of Diane McDermott, NC Residential Real Estate Broker in Charlotte NC, Heartfelt, Empowering Real Estate in Charlotte NC



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