Lara Nieberding

The Purple Lara

Reciprocity in Relationships

with one comment

“Making Friendships Blossom…These methods can get you out of truly sick naiad dyads and improve marginal cases, moving them away from strict role division toward reciprocity and flexibility.”  ~Martha Beck (April, 2008 O Magazine)


In Martha Beck’s article, “The Friendship Test,” she explains the different roles people assume in a friendship.  This look at friendships made me wonder about relationships in general.  I wonder if healthy relationships within families are based on reciprocity.  Or is it more common for family relationships to be based on fixed roles.


People expect friendships to come and go.  If a person is feeling unhealthy in a friendship, attempts to improve the relationship are accepted.  Sometimes the attempts are successful and the relationship moves towards reciprocity and flexibility.  Sometimes the attempts are unsuccessful and people move on.


Yet, family relationships are expected to last a life time.  Some people believe family relationships should last a life time at all costs.  Is this healthy? 

Written by The Purple Lara

August 27, 2008 at 9:15 AM

One Response

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  1. oooo – good question on the family relationships. I actually did not continue a relationship with a family member for a few years because the relationship was extremely toxic. IMO – if someone mis-treats you, you do not need to keep them in your life.

    And just because they’re family, doesn’t mean they have permission to cross your boundaries.

    Jenn Givler

    August 27, 2008 at 10:54 AM

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