Reciprocation And Birthday Gift

One of my favourite books is Robert Cialdini’s “Influence”. I had read the book few years ago on my Kindle (which I lost a couple of years ago 🥲).

However, last week someone gifted me hard copy of the book as birthday present.

I had just started re-reading the book and was on the second chapter “Reciprocation” when I received a surprise gift!

My birthday is usually a very low key affair. The only birthday messages I get are from Life Insurance Corporation and Banks; and of late, from Clinics offering special discount on Hair Transplant, losing weight and Hearing Aid 🤦🏻‍♂️

Well, actually it’s not so bad, but you get the gist. Getting birthday message is the most I can expect. Maybe a couple of calls if I have not hurt friends in the recent past. But getting a gift is asking for too much!

Back in school days, a friend used to gift me a sapling every year! My birthday falls on The World Environment Day, so the friend assumed that I must be a Nature lover and used to give me the apt gift. But that was 30 years ago. And since then birthday gift is just a memory.

So when I received a wonderful gift hamper yesterday, I was totally floored! I didn’t know how to react!

The gift happened to be from my former colleague and she sent it all the way from Bangalore!

It was an astonishing coincidence that I received this gift when I was reading about Reciprocation and repaying what another person has provided. Is it my accumulated good will that brought me the goodies or is it a kind gesture from a friend which I must acknowledge and reciprocate? I think the latter.

There is so much to learn from people around us. In this case from the friend who sent me the gift. People management is not my strong area. I am too analytical, straight forward and lack empathy. The good thing is that I am aware of this shortcoming. So I easily notice people who are great in people interactions, showing empathy, and building trust. My friend is one such person. It just shines through and you immediately know that the person is reliable, dependable and trustworthy.

Wish I had got a longer tenure to work with her.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ― Maya Angelou

I’ll remember this birthday forever because I was made to feel special! 😊


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