If you’ve ever consumed a free sample, and then purchased the product, you’ve experienced the power of reciprocation first hand.
If you give someone something, then they are inclined to give back. It’s unavoidable; human nature.
So how does reciprocation apply to the social matrix?
There are times that gifts are appropriate in a relationship. Countless friendships and romances included the exchange of tokens of affection.
However, gifts are generally more effective after the relationship is formed, not as a part of its early development.
For example, It may not be the best move for someone in a bar to offer to buy a drink for a stranger for the sole purpose of spending more time with them.
It’s likely, that the move was very effective, at one point, until it became a pattern. It’s now so common that it’s a cliché; too obvious.
It implies that one person is “buying” another person’s time, which is more offensive than effective.
So, how could someone properly apply the principle of influence to this situation?
First, you must strive to break the pattern.
You must give something, but it can’t be something overdone or obvious, it has to be truly exceptional.
What is this something? It’s social value and it comes in four different forms: Looks, Reputation, Words, and Actions.
The basic rule of reciprocation is that you go first.
You give before you receive.
If you enter someone’s life and are trying to take from them, you’re doing it all wrong. This behavior manifests in ugly ways and looks needy and desperate.
A better move might be to change the way you purchase a drink for someone, turn it into a game or an experiment: “If you’re up for it, I want to try out some of the amazing cocktails here. So, here’s the deal: I’ll order the first round of drinks, but I get to choose them, and then you get the next, your choice.”
In this scenario, you’re gaining the experience of trying out something new, you’re not paying for their time, and it’s fun.
Consider this: Enter each of your new relationships with the goal and attitude that you are going to give them a great experience. With each interaction you have, strive to be a positive force and bring value to other’s lives.
Do this and you’ll be amazed to see how the universe gives back.
Speaking of giving, here is a video challenge that will teach you how to give perfect meaningful compliments when you’re out practicing.