There are nuances to our healthy relationships that often affect their reciprocity. With parents, for example, there is a power differential. Present from our childhoods, the shift of power increases in equality when we become adults; however, one wrong look from Dad or a reproachful word from Mom and we are back to feeling like a four year old kid again. 🙂 With our children, we lead the relationship and ultimately just do more of the work; and that’s okay. And when it comes to our partners, although we can both feel generally satisfied with the way we mutually care for each other, there is a greater dance to the exchange.
Friendships; however, have the greatest potential for reciprocity and are what I consider to be a wonderful part of our self-care routine. When friendships are healthy, there is an element of unconditional positive regard for the other that rests in authenticity and genuine concern. There is an element of freedom and healthy escape in our friends, as almost inevitably, there is fun, laughter, and memories created in our shared experiences. Not to mention that they “just get it.”
When our self-care sits on the back burner so potentially can our friendships; it becomes an important part of building our time to make sure we have coffee dates, play dates, good old fashioned, laugh-til-you’re-snorting dates with our friends. You will be happy you did.
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