.. weird thing about reciprocity, while I'm thinking about it. This is not about anything in particular: someone asked me to draw their character last night and then, ah, never actually responded to me posting the pic, and then there was a discussion of reciprocity at a later point, both of which have me thinking about it today. But it's also just a general accumulation of thoughts.
The reason I don't do portraits for any of my Exalted games anymore is because, like.. I like drawing other people's characters, sure, but I like making art for people primarily as a dialogue. I draw a picture, they give feedback, the picture gets tweaked to something that is visually satisfying to everyone involved, and my entertainment from the process comes in the fact I have someone else actively involved in it.
Every once in awhile, I offer up people art in Exalted or roleplay in general, and.. no responses, no comments, you have to drag a reply out of them, and it's like "???". It's not like I'm drawing for the accolades, haha, but it's just interesting to offer to make something, someone says yes, you make it, and then.. no response, beyond "thanks!".
Which.. I'm specifying art here, but I do the same with cakes! Or baked goods in general, if it's more time-consuming than chocolate chip cookies, because, like.. weird differing expectations? I'm not anticipating a five minute conversation on a gift, because that'd be silly and I don't want to slog through that, but my standard response to a gift is:
> "oh, thanks!"
> something that I like about it
> commentary on the gift, or on what I'll do with it, so they know I appreciate it
Most of the time, that's three sentences! At most, that's, like.. a two minute conversation, if they tag onto the response rather than letting the conversation drift.
IDK. I like making people gifts, and I don't think I've ever given someone something that they're ungrateful for? Ungrateful is a very harsh word! But I do sometimes feel like I offer people up shit, and instead of them going "ah, this is nice! awesome!", it's.. feeding into an expectation of the fact that this is just what I do, rather than an expression of affection.
(I think a lot of people view my social maintainence the same way? Like, I offer up emotional support to a lot of people, and I can count the number of times I've actually been thanked for it on one hand? There's an expectation that, because I've done this in the past, I will always do this.. and given that I very rarely have people actually offering up support in the same sense, the thought people think that I'm doing this because I am somehow obliged makes me kind of want to burn down every relevant bridge and flounce to nicer people.)
(But, okay, no. I broke my ghosting habit. Not gonna lean back into it now. I.. joined an entire RP forum just to ghost on it in a week, I am already leaning back into it, so I don't need to lean in more.)