In a friendship when you offer help to the other person it does not have to be a transaction. You are not necessarily expecting anything back in return. Help functions more like a gift.
In this sense the gift economy can be more conducive to building friendships and community than a capitalistic economy.
One of the interesting things and not originally planned for consequences that has happened as we run these gift circles is that people are connecting with each other outside of the circle. This has led to oppurtunities to start or further friendships. My friend who needs babysitting help has recently had 4 people from the circle come by to their apartment to babysit, and in so doing there has been a possibility to grow these friendships more. I’ve had a chance to get to know some people more as I get together with them for marketing help and other types of help.