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I am a localization manager/translator and intercultural consultant living in Berlin (Germany), passionate about languages, cultures, diversity management, dancing and good movies.  

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I'm the only person responsible for its content and the views and opinions expressed here are solely mines.
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Monday, April 10, 2017

The difference between reciprocity and charity that should be very clear in your mind (and in all your human interactions as well)

In the job you are doing day by day, it is not about you.
In a job application for a new position, it is not about you as well.
In the pitch you are using for getting the gig, it is not about you either.
In your online dating profile, guess what? It is not about you.
In the requests that you send via social media or e-mail, you know it by now, it is not about you.

What is all about, then?

I will act as if what I do will make a difference.
William James [1842-1910]

It is about the people you are working with, and whether or not, while working with you, they consider you a blessing or a karmic punishment for something that happened a couple of lives ago.
It is about the company you want to work for and how you are going to make a difference, day in and day out.
It is about which problem you are going to solve and how fast and with how much value if you get the gig.
It is about the person you want to date, it doesn't matter if for one night, one week or the rest of your life.
It is about the recipient of your requests and what you are planning on giving them in exchange for what you want to get from them.

It’s lovely loving, isn’t it? In fact, I find it almost better, because being loved sometimes embarrasses me, but loving is a gift. 
Sheila Hancock


["Neon sign in a Chelsea gallery window. 
And an escalator in the Lower East Side" 
by Eddie Gonzalez]

I can hear you saying that you don't want anything, that you are such a natural born team player and a hard worker and an amazing professional and a good person and a total catch.
And I am sure you are.
That said, let's be honest for a minute.

What do you want? 
What do you need?
Wants and needs are not the same, even if we like to tend that they are.
Can you notice the difference and be honest with yourself and with others about this?

You want something, and it doesn't make the slightest difference if you are looking for a job position, your soul mate, a hot body for a couple of pleasant hours, a temporary gig, attention, money, time, fun, drama, sexual relief, growth, attention, help, validation, your next adrenaline rush, reassurance, appreciation, a way to feel good about yourself or just to avoid boredom.

You WANT something. We all do.
Every human interaction is somehow a form of exchange and in every culture, in every society and in every time period reciprocity, sense of community and belonging have played and still play a very important role in order to keep people (and social systems as we know them) together.

Reciprocity, as the "art" of giving and receiving, can be direct or indirect and it can come in many shapes and forms: time, affection, attention, gifts, help, knowledge. Now, later, in the future. Once, twice, on a regular basis. And so on.
No big surprises here.

[Self-care and self-growth:
the best investment in reciprocity,
according to this inspiring Jim Rohn's quote]

The main question should be then: Are you in for reciprocity or for charity?

As already said, it is not about you. Or at least, not completely.

What are you willing to give, in exchange for what you want and which kind of impact do you want to have in other people's life?
What are YOU bringing to the table at your job, as a job candidate, as a professional for a gig, as a date, as a friend or acquaintance or whatever you like to call it?

10. Give a gift – energy, time or money. If what you’ve accomplished has impacted other people, this might be a beautiful time to give them something to show you appreciate them, and also to suck up. Partners, children, and even pets give up a lot so you can have a business you love – celebrate by giving them something that matters. 
(Also, I have noticed that partners and children who are spontaneously given wonderful things and told, “This is because we’re celebrating!” tend to be a lot more supportive in the future. Just saying.)

11. Donate – time or money. This is one of my favorite ways to celebrate, because there is huge symbolism in this. If you celebrate by giving of yourself to those in greater need, you reinforce to your subconscious that you do not lack. This is huger than huge.

Are you ready to give something at all?
Can you give value in return, while getting value from people around you or someone/something else, or are you expecting to get some kind of value without giving anything in return to anyone, neither now nor in the future?

How are you planning to add value at some point in the system you are part of?
What can you offer in the human interactions that happen in your life day by day?

It is worth knowing it and living accordingly.
It will serve you better and the people around you will be thankful for your honesty.

Tags: Reciprocity, Human interactions, Giving and Receiving, Value, Quotes

What to read next:
Three magical questions that can change your life, or why the best gifts are not about material things

Interesting narrative buildup about the power of reciprocity:
I Spent A Month Living With An Amazonian Tribe At 23, And It Changed My Career Forever