Laws of Relationship: The Law of Reciprocity

Michael A.T. Stewart

Relationships, as so many other things in life, are run by natural laws.  Today’s law is the law of reciprocity.  This law is a very interesting law.  Reciprocity is the inclination that one feels to repay an act or deed in like manner. If someone is treated badly, that person is tempted to repay that bad deed with a bad attitude or behavior.  Let’s say that one day you are short of money but you have an urgent bill to pay.  You have no idea how you will get it paid, but, much to your relief, someone pays the entire bill for you.  It is likely that if that person sometime after ask you for a lift in your car to go to a destination which may be off your route, you would likely be willing to oblige the request.  You will be reciprocating the person’s original good act towards you. That’s how this law of reciprocity works.

This law also operates in the reverse.  If someone treats you badly, you may hold thoughts of resentment and tempted to repay evil for evil. Good begets good. Evil begets evil. 

In relationships this law operates and works for or against you. Speak to your spouse harshly or in loud tones, elicits a matching response.   The good book says a soft answer turns away anger.  That is so true. Speak softly and tenderly to your spouse and you increase your chances of getting the same returned to you. Whatever you wish to receive, give it first.

I am strongly suggesting that you make it a lifestyle attitude to only “serve what you can eat.”  Spend quality times with your spouse, speak kind words, send positive vibes and signal happy moods.  The law of reciprocity will work in your stead. 

Who should begin the cycle of reciprocity? You of course.  Do not wait on the other person to do it.  Make it your personal development goal to do good.  You have nothing to lose.  Of course there are some that will make every excuse and will provide myriad of reason why they need to teach their spouse a lesson, or to complain “why can’t he/she treat me good first. Why must I do it?” Well my answer to that is, “I have never met the couple that boast how happy they are by practicing the waiting game on their spouse to treat them special first before they begin to do so.”

Relationships go through turbulence and war because couples breach this basic law of reciprocity.

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