The Emotional Bank Account
Over the years I’ve loved Steven Covey’s work, especially his concept of the emotional bank account. In a nutshell, he says that we have an account with each person we relate to. It’s an emotional account where we make deposits when we do kind things, extend ourselves, and keep our word. We make withdrawals when we are thoughtless, selfish or fail to keep our commitments.
I like this idea, because it makes sense to me. If we have a large positive balance built up with someone, they are more inclined to overlook a slip on our parts. The corresponding “withdrawal” doesn’t drain our account with them. This concept also appeals to me because it’s applicable in all kinds of relationships – at work, in our homes, and with our friends.
Singles would do well to keep the emotional bank account in mind as they’re building relationships. Too often people are careless with their commitments, failing to return a call or call when they said they would, or showing up late for a date. I remember meeting someone for a first date who arrived late and then talked on his cell phone all the way to the venue. To start drawing on the emotional bank account before you’ve had a chance to build any kind of balance is setting yourself up to fail.
Thankfully, it’s pretty simple to build a balance. Be honest, don’t over-promise, and keep your word. Remember, even if that person isn’t the love of your life, their best friend may be!
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