Building Strong Relationships and the Importance of Reciprocity

The strongest and longest lasting interpersonal relationships are based on the principle of reciprocity, and this extends far into…

Motivational Quotes

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” – Serenity Prayer.

“Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become your character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.” – Frank Outlaw.

“There are no secrets to success it is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell.

Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future” – John F. Kennedy.



Reciprocity is the relation of mutual dependence or action or influence. Humans are well known for being social. Being in a relationship, be it intimate, social, or business requires the reciprocity of the people involved. All human beings excel in relationships where both parties have a balanced, give and take situation.

Relationships, where reciprocity is not practiced, are usually strained. They are one-sided and are problematic. When there is no reciprocity the relationship is on the rocks.

To create reciprocity in a relationship, both parties need to take responsibility for that creation.

Good healthy relationships are those that people have mutual respect for one another and every member, does not feel that they are putting in much more than the other. If you want to live a happy life, it is important to be in a healthy relationship where reciprocity is practiced.

Some relationships are not beneficial for your personal development. If you are in a relationship that makes you uncomfortable, leave. Make the decision and set yourself free. You must weigh what benefits you are getting from being in certain relationships.

If you have to break them please go ahead. This year I have resolved to evaluate most of my relationships. I have also resolved to work on improving those that I feel need to be improved. Over the years I have slowly broken out of some unhealthy relationships.

I have managed to stay away from them, especially those that were not adding any value to my personal improvement. I liken relationships to the game of chess. If you play chess with players who are less skilled than you are, you do not improve. You are merely improving them whilst you remain stagnated.

Building and Understanding Reciprocity

The principle of reciprocity is also key and crucial to success in all business relationships. The strongest and longest-lasting interpersonal relationships are based on the principle of reciprocity, and this extends far into the best relationships between buyers and sellers.

Therefore, it is important that we take time to build and understand this principle. You will agree with me that good solid relationships take time to build. When building them we must understand that every relationship is unique.

A good example of how to build reciprocity in a relationship is to apply the principle of “do unto others what you would want them do unto you.” Believe me, it is the best bet. If you expect people to treat you with respect you must be the first to respect them.

The flip side though is to do good and not expect anything in return. When you are expectant most of the time you will be disappointed because you are not in control of other people’s actions. You can only control your actions.

Here are a few ways that can help you build long-lasting relationships:-

  • Be the First to Give Something – Try and be the first to give something. The bible says “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” When you give don’t expect anything in return. Regard it as a good gesture. If you are in business offer an incentive when the sale is complete. Send gifts to your clients as a way of thanking them for supporting your business.
  • Keep the Relationship Going – Good relationships are not easy to come by. We all want to have them, so keep the relationship going. Find ways that will help you grow it. I have noticed that some of the best relationships I have were built from my high school and college days. Yes, along the way I have built new ones but am more comfortable with my old buddies.
  • Offer to Support – Support is a form of giving. People always appreciate being supported. Do we all? I believe in a saying that “you never know who is going to keep you tomorrow.” Giving support is also a sign of generosity. Be generous.

You Need to Give and Take

In every relationship that you build you need to have a give and take attitude. You lose some and you win some. Relationships must be based on respect and mutual understandings. Good solid relationships are built on trust.

Remember that trust is earned. Once breached it takes time to repair. When you are trusted with responsibility at work, for example, ensure you deliver. If you cannot deliver ensure that you communicate. It is better to be honest, that way you earn trust.


To succeed we must build strong healthy and trustworthy, relationships with the people we come into contact with.

Health is the greatest gift, contentment the greatest wealth, faithfulness the best relationship” –