One of the most common friendship struggles we see at our social skills centers is that kids/teens don’t understand that friendships need balance. If someone goes to the movie you wanted to see, then the next time, you might go see the movie that your friend prefers. To be a good friend, there is an ongoing check and balance calculation that most people do without really thinking about it. Others need to really work at evaluating the balance in a relationship. Even those who tend to do a fairly decent job of monitoring this can sometimes get out of whack.
In Donna’s and my business relationship, we discuss the division of tasks as though they were household chores. We’ll often say things like “I’ve got the laundry if you have the dishes.” Last week, Donna had the laundry. She washed, fluffed, folded and was all caught up on her laundry. I, however, have a sink full of dishes. I am behind on what I am supposed to do.
In healthy relationships where there is that constant give and take, the other person does not become angry when there is an imbalance. They develop a trust over time so they know that, even though they are totally caught up with their tasks, the other will do what they are supposed to do. For me, that means that I need to roll up my sleeves and get busy on those dishes. Donna trusts that I will and I will always do my best to never let her down because that’s what it takes to maintain strong friendships.