The team at Valenti Matchmaking believes in the healing power of giving to others. In a political world that is currently marked by selfishness and fear, it is easy to forget that thinking about and helping your fellow man can bring wonderful benefits. Being giving in your personal life can have a wonderful effect on your romantic life too. We hope you’ll enjoy this warm hearted article by Christopher D. Connors.
The Power of Reciprocity: The Way Relationships Work for Everyone
Perhaps the turning point in my evolution as a writer, businessman and person of the world was the day I realized that I needed to give something in return to those who help me. I now consider my old-way of thinking — expecting that others might help me out of pure benevolence — a surefire sign of immaturity.
Relationships thrive when each person gives of themselves to the other.
Growing up in a household with two wonderful parents and two older brothers, I was used to being the young guy who people looked out for, who got favors from people for being a nice kid. As I matured, I grew to understand how relationships worked but I still lacked the requisite self-awareness necessary to provide some value in return to the person giving to me.
Not surprisingly, though it seemed sudden, the kind breaks and opportunities I was used to receiving began to dry up.
And I wondered, why?
It was a lesson in how the world works. As the epigraph at the beginning of this article says, there is truly no such thing as something for nothing. You only get what you give.
As you look at yourself, your current position on the journey toward finding yourself and living the life you desire, ask yourself the question: what value can I give to others? Change your mindset from thinking about how things benefit you to how you will add value and benefit to the life of someone else.
The guiding light, or North Star, for today’s post is the belief that every one of us possesses unique value — a true gift that we are meant to share with the world. So much of the mystery and secret of life, I humbly believe, is to determine what your gift is, recognize it, improve it, refine it and continue developing it and utilizing it as you speak its power over your life.
When you hear people speak about values like consistency, hard work and perseverance, they speak of these things because these are the attributes required to continue honing, cultivating and elevating your talents in use of your unique gift. When you fail to do so, you do more than just damage to your future prospects. You let down others, whether you realize it or not.
Because your talents are meant to be shared. Chances are, your talent is likely not your words-to-minute ratio of the speed and precision with which you send a text message on your smartphone. It’s also not the number of points that you rack up on Candy Crush or whatever the smartphone game du jour is.
Your talent may be as a father, mother or just being a great listener as a friend. Your talent, as it is relational to another individual, is an act that demonstrates selfless giving of your time and treasure. My Mom is the best listener that I know. She’s helped me out during thousands of times in my life simply by being there to listen to me. That is a gift!
My wife is my rock. She’s someone I trust more than anyone in this world. She’s honest and full of integrity. I saw that value in her, in addition to the love I felt for her, and those things factored heavily into why I chose her to be my wife. In the same way, I think she would tell you that she saw in me a man of principle and ambition, who she always loved.
The Value of Love
I believe all of us were given the tremendous blessing to love. To love one another and to be loved. It’s important to recognize that these are two different things. The act of loving someone else is self-giving. It is not just a thought — it is an action we take purely with the selfless, altruistic intention of providing benefit for someone else.
Accepting love from another requires that we take into thought the act of being loved. Then, we willingly allow ourselves to be loved and let the kindness, beauty and goodness of that indescribable emotion wash over ourselves. Be open to receiving the love of someone else.
Value is about the output that you provide for yourself and others, and the benefit that delivers to your fellow woman and man. If you struggle with what your unique talent or gift is, perhaps it’s your time to take inventory. Look at all of your interpersonal skills, how you treat others and the talents that you have used in your life to be successful whether in school, at work or in the marketplace.
You find that as you grow, to find happiness and fulfillment, building relationships is imperative. In order to build relationships, you have to shift the focus from yourself — and what you will get out of it — to the person you aim to forge a relationship with — and how they will receive value from what you offer.
One of the ways to do this is to be genuinely curious and engaged in conversation with others. You learn more about the other person and you may learn valuable new information that will benefit you. By expressing concern and empathy for others, you gain respect in that relationship. That person will then want to learn more about you and what you’re all about.
What Goes Around…
Because of smartphones, devices and social media, many of us are conditioned to promote ourselves and look out only for our own best interest, with very little regard for others. So it’s no surprise that when we enter the proverbial marketplace with our ideas or needs, we’re aiming to find a partner who can give us something — while we provide nothing in return!
The problem is, the world does not work that way. It may be as simple as citing the law of supply and demand but it goes even further than that into the impulses and emotions of the human psyche. Inherently, God created us to love. We have tender emotions toward generosity, altruism and kind acts of good that make the lives of others better.
When we sense this moral code is being violated, either against us or against someone else, we bristle and get upset. It’s aggravating and disconcerting to see. For those of us who seek good, we want to return the favor to those who help us, and at best, we want to give without expecting anything in return. This is a mindset. Take it into consideration.
We know that what goes around will come back around. Call it karma or one of the other laws of the universe, but I assure you that if you attempt to violate this repeatedly, you will most definitely get your comeuppance. You’ll stop getting asked for your help. You won’t get called back on interviews. You’ll miss out on deals and opportunities that would have served as the gateway to future successes.
This “Taker’s mentality” is highly destructive and demonstrates a lack of self-awareness. It’s inherently selfish, shows that we’re not prepared and demonstrates that we don’t really care. Whether people implicitly tell you or directly say it, they want to be a part of a giver’s relationship of reciprocal value.
I’ve watched relationships and opportunities erode in the past because I was selfish in my motives, I lacked the understanding to even realize that the other person saw what I was all about. I began to take stock of all that I have to offer and all that I can deliver and then starting demonstrating that in speech and action. Talk is always cheap if it’s not backed up by results.
Transformational relationships are born from empathy, careful listening, curiosity and love. Love is the gift we can offer to others and the gift we can receive in warmth and gratitude. Lead with love but also tap into your unique talents and skills to determine how you can add value to the lives of others. Before long, you’ll see that the more you give, the more you receive in return.
What do you think? We welcome your thoughts and questions about this topic. Please feel free to send us any questions about this or any matchmaking topic! Our company founder Irene Valenti will personally address your questions!
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