Give and take, love and trust. That’s it. That’s the foundation of any solid relationship whether in business or in personal life. There has to be reciprocation/exchange to begin a relationship.

For example: You offer water to someone who is visiting you either at home or office. Even better if the water is offered with a sweet smile and a couple of pleasant sentences not related to the task at hand.

Easy, right? Then consistent reciprocation over time leads to development of friendship and trust. Consistent maintaining of trust leads to respect. Respect, trust and friendship propels people to care for each other and go above and beyond their roles and responsibilities. This feeling of care and love is crucial for a relationship to blossom.

Here are three primary types of exchanges given by Srila Rupa Goswami:

Exchange of Gifts:

Any thoughtful gift, tangible or intangible brings people closer. Even a simple handwritten note of gratitude or just sweet words of appreciation can do wonders even to the most hard-hearted people. Even if some people don’t reciprocate, we should make it a practice to give anyway. This will hone the quality of gratitude in us. Gratitude is very attractive and powerful. It can move mountains.

Exchange of Food stuff:

This one is powerful!! Most people love to eat and food immediately builds rapport, what to speak if you bring something homemade. Try making cookies at home and distribute it to your colleagues and see the result.

Exchange of Heart:

Be careful with this one. Share your heart only to the degree you trust someone. It can deepen a relationship if done with the right person. It doesn’t always have to be sharing about your deepest darkest secret.
It can be something like, “I am a bit distracted today as my grandfather is about to go through a surgery”. This makes the other person feel trusted by you. Trust begets trust.
Sharing of heart is a powerful tool for communication especially when it comes to conjugal relationships. I would go to the extent of saying that one cannot expect a meaningful, loving relationship without sharing deeper topics that one holds close to oneself. It makes one’s conjugal partner feel intimate and trusted. 


Notice above that trust plays a very important role in relationships and it is something that develops over time when there is consistency of behavior and action. Actually there is more than just that. Here are a few tips:

  1. Keep promises and honor commitments.
  2. Acknowledge and apologize for mistakes.
  3. Remain loyal even in their absence of those you are loyal to.
  4. Involve people in decisions that affect them.
  5. Give credit where credit is due.
  6. Communicate consistently, regardless of the situation or the person’s authority or influence.
  7. Honor confidential and sensitive information.

By following these principles one can gain, trust, respect and friendship. These are key ingredients that nourish relationships in any area of one’s life whether at home, work or society.