I write today puzzled by some recent events and am trying to piece things together in my mind.
I have long been someone that feels the deep pull to reciprocate nice things being done to or for me.
But I’ve started to notice more that some people in my life don’t seem to share the same code of ethics, so to speak.
When offered a helping hand… And then another… Instead of finding a way to reciprocate. Their concern goes towards acquiring another favor. Even in the asking… there’s no hint of reciprocation.
When offering the favors, I don’t do so expecting something in return. As I am reading through and studying Robert Cialdini’s book Influence, I can’t help but notice some of these situations starting to show up.
Am I just a sucker who seems to be an easy target for people to take advantage of? Maybe.
Perhaps the answer will arise as I get further into the book. I do know he mentioned not every method of influence works on all people all the time.
So perhaps there’s just a set of people who feel nothing when it comes to the reciprocity rule.
What does that say for the social contract though? We’ve progressed as a society based on our ability to trust that our efforts won’t be wasted and somehow will return to us.
Just something I’m mentally chewing on today. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Email me or comment below.