Reciprocity Expected, Fact or Myth?

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reciprocity expected

Reciprocity Expected, Fact or Myth?

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Is reciprocity expected? Do you have espoused values that guide you for each favor or do you often expect something in return? A future favor paid back?

It might be generational, but likely it is more about community.

Communities pop up everywhere. It is not just the borders of a small town or urban street block. Communities are about people.

There are communities on social media, there are like-minded people doing things to help others in the name of religion. There are also generous people who just enjoy helping someone who needs a hand.

What about reciprocity?

Reciprocity Expected

Are the concepts of reciprocity developed in childhood or as an adolescent? Does it come from parental guidance or is it hard wired from birth?

When someone lends you a hand, are you obligated to return the favor? For many people, this is the expectation or the guilt, whichever side you fall on.

Of course, you can’t forget about the psychological or even the sales factor connected to this.

As many would quickly recognize, giving something often solicits an expectation of receiving something in return. It is sales trick number 4.

If you have ever felt that you’ve been snookered by a rather crafty salesperson reciprocity may have been involved.

Perhaps what is better for your community, your workplace, close friends and family, or your neighbor is to simply give. Lend the hand, be generous, and expect nothing in return.

Generosity is something to be proud of, do the kind of work and be the kind of person that others admire and respect.

Give reciprocity a rest.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and culture expert. He is a five-time author and the founder of Appreciative Strategies, LLC. His business focuses on positive human performance improvement solutions through Appreciative Strategies®. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553.

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