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According to Dean Rieck, the principle of reciprocity holds that human beings are all bound and driven to repay debts, favors, and good deeds as a…
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Interpersonal Influence Based on the principles of influence and persuasion, this paper discusses my interpersonal influence using the rule of reciprocity. According to Dean Rieck, the principle of reciprocity holds that human beings are all bound and driven to repay debts, favors, and good deeds as a reciprocation for something they receive for ‘free.’ Rieck adds that most people do this as an automatic reaction, even when they probably should not (par. 14). In this case, I had to convince my neighbor to allow me to host a party at her house. I was planning a friends get-together party, but I could not quite get the details right. My house was a mess: my toilet is leaking, renovations were in order, and my husband was painting the place, an electrician was replacing the old wiring systems, the old furniture had been auctioned, and a plumber was taking care of the plumbing system. Simply put, the house was not in a good condition to host my friends.
The party was scheduled for the weekend and some of my husband’s friends would really want to watch football, which was going to be a problem since we had no cable connection that month. My neighbor happens to have a good home-theater and reliable cable connection; this would really come in handy. Therefore, I began by enticing my neighbor with muffins two weeks before the party. She liked them so much that she came over for some lessons on baking. I remember she even baked some for one of her friends who had a birthday a few days later. I comfortably let her use my oven because I knew that she would feel obliged to reciprocate the favor by agreeing to let me use her house for my get-together. I offered to help her make the muffins just in case she got stuck, and even prepared extra niceties (cookies) for her to present to her friend. She was very pleased with my being nice to her. We had not known each other for long, and she did not know many of the friends on my guest list.
I had planned for fifteen people, and I was not sure she would agree to accommodate fifteen strangers in her house. However, I needed a place that was close to mine for the sake of cooking and coordination just in case people needed to sleep over or put their belongings. One day after coming from her friend’s party, I went over to her place, asked her about the party and whether her friend liked the muffins. I told her about my party and that she was invited since we had formed a good friendship. She was a bit surprised when I dropped the bombshell on her about hosting fifteen people at her house. However, she agreed to it. I promised her that the people I was hosting were responsible, trusted friends and that she would not lose any of her belongings. Just like that, I got my plans for the party sorted out.
As evidenced by my influential attempts, reciprocity is a shortcut for decision-making. The principle of reciprocity has been fulfilled because my neighbor felt obliged to help me out with my plans following my endearment to her. Since I helped my neighbor make some muffins for her friend using my oven, she felt that she had a duty to help me when I called upon her to come to my aid. My prior generosity towards her and my invitation made her agree to help me automatically. The rule of reciprocity is at play because my neighbor was quick to say ‘yes’ even when one could see that she was surprised by my request.
Work Cited
Rieck, Dean. "Influence and Persuasion: The Rule of Reciprocity." Direct Creative. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Oct. 2014. Read More
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