How can you tell if a relationship is reciprocal?

Science tells us that all objects, even our physical bodies vibrate at the atomic level to a certain frequency. When we interact with our environment and especially with other people, there is an exchange of vibratory energy.

It may be so subtle we don’t even notice it or it might be extremely obvious.

Highly sensitive people have a brain and central nervous system that is more ‘tuned in’ to the subtleties around us. Whenever we connect with others, we are picking up information, a energetic language if you will. Sometimes, it seems like we are ‘giving’ energy to someone else while other times we experience ‘receiving’ energy.

So, how does that relate to reciprocal relationships?

Reciprocal is defined as mutual action: something given, felt or done in return.
An agreement bearing equally on both parties..

If you stop to think about the relationships in your life, how mutual are they? I don’t suggest you ‘keep score’ — for every single thing I do, someone has to immediately do something in return, but generally speaking, do they seem balanced? Is there a commitment on both sides to give and is there also a willingness on your part to receive? For HSPs, giving makes us feel great, helps us feel needed. We see a problem or someone is hurting and we rush in to provide support.

Receiving from others however, can be a challenge for many of us.

An important consideration: are the people in your lives offering to give or do they seem to just take? Before you make a snap judgement, take time to pause to check. If someone has been offering to help you and you keep declining, please realize they were indeed attempting to be reciprocal.

You were simply not receiving.

However, if you notice that you are giving and giving and giving without at least an occasional offer in return, the relationship might be unbalanced or even one-sided. At different times, we all go through cycles when our capacity to give to others may be reduced by life circumstances. For most long-term relationships though, the balance of giving and receiving over time should be mutual.

Why is reciprocity so important for HSP relationships?

I have yet to meet one sensitive person who has not experienced a past toxic relationship, with a narcissist or other personality disorder. A relationship that drains our energy and is completely one-sided. There are many articles out there exploring why HSPs and Empaths seem to ‘attract’ this type of relationship.

Suffice it to say that sensitive people may be providing exactly what the toxic person is looking for: deep compassion, a predisposition towards being a ‘fixer’ and difficulty in setting healthy boundaries.

Toxic relationships might go on for some time before we choose to leave, as we may try to give others the ‘benefit of the doubt.’ Healing from these hurtful, even abusive relationships can be a long road. If we have not learned everything we need to know about setting boundaries, other toxic relationships may show up to test our resolve.

Once we’ve experienced one, we tend to be on high alert for another. We look for the signs and symptoms in every new relationship that comes along. We need to be careful to really educate ourselves about how specific personality disorders present themselves.

Every one of us exhibits some aspect of narcissism, to an extent. Without believing that we deserve certain things, deserve attention; we would never try to interview for our dream job, we would never ask someone out on a date, or take time to care for our needs.

There is an easy way to tell if someone is willing to be reciprocal. The first time you hear that warning bell or get a bad feeling in the pit of your stomach, quite simply tell them no to whatever they are asking. If they are understanding and willing to accommodate your needs, they are willing to be reciprocal. If they continue to insist you must comply with what they want, it’s time to consider whether it’s in your best interest to continue to interact…

Reciprocity may be one of the most important relationship factors that allow HSPs to trust again, be willing to be vulnerable, make a true connection.

I invite you to take a few moments today to review the relationships in your ‘tribe.’ Do you have a mutual agreement bearing equally on both parties?

I invite you to connect in with a loving and reciprocal community of highly sensitive people at Log on for our monthly online workshops, connect on Facebook or join one of our upcoming group coaching programs, Three Thresholds to Authenticity.