Let Go of Unsatisfying Relationships

What’s the difference between a transactional relationship and a reciprocal one? In both, the participants give something to each other. The two major differences are relationship and intent. 

In a transactional relationship, the relationship is focused on, and largely limited to, the transaction. There is no relationship beyond the exchange of information, goods, services, or companionship.transactional relationship

Some features of the transactional relationship are:

Each side hopes to get more than they give, but it’s generally clear that both have an obligation to “perform” in some way.Score keeping. The person on the losing side of the score board often feels resentful because they are getting a raw deal.It’s selfish. The focus is on getting what you want.If one side doesn’t uphold their end of the bargain, the relationship may end.

Reciprocal relationship also involve giving and taking, but the giving comes from a place of love and care because the parties feel a sense of belonging to each other.

transactional relationships

There is no expectation of getting just because they give, and there is no score keeping. Giving is a joy. 

This is typically warmly received and helps to deepen the connection between people.

Humans have a psychological urge to do good to those who show us kindness. When that is absent, it’s hard to have any attachment or affiliation with that person because it feels abusive and distant.

If you are feeling lonely, this may be why. Your relationships may be more transactional than relational. 

Here are some tips to move away from transactional relationships

Be genuine. Don’t give to get. Give only what you feel good about giving.Show genuine enthusiasm and gratitude for what you are given.If someone does a favor for you or invites you out, do something thoughtful for them to show them that you appreciate them thinking of you, and that you think of them too!If you enjoy a program, workshop, performance, video, or blog post, show how much you appreciate it by tipping, sharing it, or commenting. If it’s a live performance, maybe you volunteer to help with the next one. Giving back helps to ensure that the efforts will continue.Practice random acts of kindness to strangers. Love isn’t limited to people you know or to people who give to you.If you are blessed with plenty, give anonymously to a shelter, charity, or cause that you emotionally support.If you don’t have money to spare, volunteer your time to a cause that you support. This strengthens the community.

Reciprocity is often spiritually motivated. It shows that we understand that we’re all a part of the Earth family, and what happens to one, happens to all. When one gives, many benefit. 

So, it’s better when we all share what we can. It helps all creatures to feel loved, cared for, and live with a sense of belonging.

The transactional relationship focuses on getting stuff. The reciprocal relationship focuses on having meaningful connections.

So, which kind of relationship do you prefer?