A popular acting exercise is called Give & Take. In it, two actors take the stage. One actor performs in a way of their choosing and the other does not move, ‘giving’ the stage to their partner. After a considerable amount of time the motionless actor begins to move and the other actor freezes, called the ‘taking’ of the stage.
Give & Take also applies to friendship. Letting your friend cry on your should is giving the stage. Ranting about your Physics teacher is taking the stage.
To have a good relationship with someone there has to be a considerable amount of Give & Take. In a relationship where one takes too much, or even gives too much, there cannot be a balance and it can strain the relationship. To have a relationship where everyone feels equal, there needs to be a balance.
I have given too much (listened to my friends’ problems but not shared my own, given them answers to a homework assignment but don’t ask for help on my own, doing favors for them but never asking for reciprocation, etc.) and I have taken too much (complained about my life without listening to others problems, asked for favors but have never done any, expected help with assignments but have never shared my answers, etc.)
A friendship is important. And to maintain it, Give & Take is essential. If you friendship is not balanced, make it. If you are more of a giver, ask a friend to pick up your dry cleaning for an experiment. If you are more of a taker, call a friend and ask if there is anything they want to talk about. Creating a good balance will keep your friendship exactly where it needs to be, with no one feeling like they are doing more than their fair share.
Do you agree with me? Or do you think that a balance doesn’t matter? Put your thoughts in the comments.
PS: get prepared for a huge change coming to the blog soon! It’s going to rocket us into 2012 and show how much I’ve matured since I was 15.