The basic life principle of balance between giving and taking is determined by our conscience. It serves the interaction in our relationships. As soon as we take something from someone or receive something from someone, we feel obliged to give them something as well, something of equal value. This means: We feel indebted to them until we give them something in return and thus settle the debt. After that we feel free towards this person again. Because conscience will not leave us in peace until we have reached a balance.

Giving and Taking with love

If someone gives me something and I balance it, for example by paying the full price for it, the relationship is over. Both go their separate ways again. It's different between lovers. In addition to the need for balance, love comes into play. This means: As soon as I have received something from someone I love, I give them more than the same or equal back. This makes the other person feel indebted to me again. But because they love me, they also give me more back than the balance demands. In this way the exchange of giving and taking between the lovers grows and with it the depth of their relationship.

Disorders in Giving and Taking

However, the order of giving and taking is also disturbed if I give more to the other person than they want or can give back. Many consider it a special love when they shower the other with their love. For example when they try to give more than they can cope with. In this way they bring the harmony in their relationship out of balance. Afterwards, the other person has a difficult time restoring the balance. The consequence is that the one who has been given too much becomes angry and leaves the relationship. Thus, the deviation from balance causes the opposite of what the giver had hoped for. Couple relationships in which one gives more than they take must fail. The same goes for those in which one takes more than they are willing or able to give.

The demand for the balance between giving and taking does not apply in the parent-child relationship. Who can give something of equal value back to their parents? Instead of giving something back to them, one passes it on to others. Especially to one's own children, but also in many other ways in the service of life.

Balance in the negative way

We experience the need for balance in the same way, often even more so when others have harmed us. Then we also want to harm them, in the sense of an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. Strangely enough, both sides are waiting for this balance. Not only the victim who has been harmed, but also the one who has done something to them. The perpetrator wants to get rid of their guilt by paying atonement. Because they feel that what they have done has gone too far. 

The need for balance even in the negative way is insuperable. We must give in to it. If we try to suppress this need and overcome it with noble virtue, we endanger the relationship. By forgiving, the other person comes out of the relationship from equal to equal into a relationship from inferior to superior. The result is similar to situations in which the one showers the other with love by giving more love than the other can give back.

The best way to balance in a negative way is not to hurt the other in the same way or even more, but to hurt them a little less. This means: one takes revenge, but this time with love. Suddenly the other person is surprised. Both look at each other and remember their former love. Already their eyes begin to shine and the exchange of giving and taking in the positive way starts all over again. However, both have become more cautious and treat each other more attentively. As a result of this balance their love has deepened.