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  • Writer's pictureCristian Duque

A powerful weapon to get along with people

Updated: Jul 17, 2023



As social beings, humans thrive on building relationships and forming bonds with others. Reciprocity is a powerful tool that helps us create positive connections by exchanging something mutually beneficial.


It's so ingrained in our nature that we often feel compelled to return a favour when someone does something for us. Marketers take advantage of this by offering freebies to trigger our innate desire to reciprocate. Offering free trials, special gifts, and other incentives can help build trust and fairness, a proven technique to create more effective customer relationships.


On the other hand, we can use reciprocity to foster deeper, more meaningful relationships that benefit our well-being. Strong social bonds strengthen the immune system, reduce the risk of depression and anxiety, and improve our mental health.


But reciprocity doesn't have to be limited to simple give-and-take interactions. The best way to view this positive action is to give without expecting something. Remember, voluntary giving can be even more rewarding and inspiring to others.


As you learn something new, you may encounter individuals who genuinely want to share their knowledge and resources without expecting a reward. By embracing reciprocity, we can broaden our horizons, gain valuable experiences, and contribute to making the world a little better. This act of generosity is truly powerful and can open up new perspectives.


Furthermore, we can view love and relationships as a constant exchange of kindness and support that creates a sense of flow and engagement in our lives, providing us with purpose and meaning.


Another benefit of reciprocity is that it can help us acquire good status through cooperation:

"When one individual helps another, it benefits the recipient and may also gain a reputation for being cooperative. This may induce others to favour the helper in subsequent interactions, so investing in being seen to help others may be adaptive." https://doi.org/10.1098/rstb.2020.0290


Cooperation is a well-known evolutionary strategy, even in the animal world. For instance, vampire bats share their blood meal with unrelated bats who are unsuccessful in hunting. This implies that individuals not acquainted with us can aid in establishing productive connections beyond typical social interactions, such as those in economics.


Ultimately, no one can thrive in isolation. By using reciprocity as a tool to build strong connections with others, we can find joy and fulfilment in our relationships, leading happier and more satisfying lives.

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