emotional bank account images

How often you check your balance in Emotional Bank Account?

Well to some readers the term “Emotional Bank Account” in title of the post may sound strange. So, lets being with what actually “Emotional Bank Account” is? Emotional Bank Account is metaphor; coined by Stephen Covey (Author of best seller – The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People) to describe “the amount of trust that has been built up in a relationship”. Relationships work best when your emotional bank account is in good shape. So , How often you check your balance?

Emotional bank account concept

The concept of emotional bank account is derived from normal bank account. You have a emotional bank account  with everyone with whom you have a relationship with, whether it be your colleague, family member or best friend. You maintain a personal “emotional” bank account with them. This account begins on a neutral balance. And just as with any bank account, you can make deposits and withdrawals. However, instead of dealing with units of monetary value, in Emotional Bank Account (EBA) you deal with emotional units.

Emotional bank account deposits and withdrawals

The transactions of your Emotional Bank Account are pretty simple : positive emotions are deposits and negative emotions are withdrawals.

More positive deposits and less negative withdrawals = Healthy emotional bank account
More negative withdrawals and less positive deposits = Overdrawn emotional bank account

In the beginning of this article when I asked you,”How often you check your balance?”, that does not mean to keep a score of positive and negative emotions. By checking balance mean being mindful and aware of your behavior and actions and making more deposit than the withdrawals. If you deposit more; then you may withdraw once a while when situations demands. It’s similar like your saving bank account; where you save monetary units for future use.

How to make deposits on the emotional bank account?

emotional bank account

Ways of making deposits on the Emotional Bank Account are

  1. Understanding the individual

    This is something very critical for your Emotional Bank Account with any relationship. Apply this principle “seek first to understand then to be understood”. Listening and empathy are two keys for understanding anyone. This means listening intently to what the other person is saying and empathizing with how they may feel. It’s important to care for others and act with kindness toward them.

  2. Keeping commitments

    Keeping commitment and promises is essential ingredient of any relationship. How do you feel when someone arrives right on time when you have a meeting? How about when people simply do what they say they will do? This brings positive emotions in relationship and reinforce the trust. You build up an emotional reserve by keeping your commitments and promises.

  3. Clarifying expectations

    We are not mind readers, and yet we consistently expect others to know what we expect of them. Communicating your expectations can help to create a higher level of trust. When you ask for what you want, and you get it, you can then trust a little more. Understanding others expectations is already covered in point no. 1 – understanding the individual. Clarifying expectation works well in professional as well as personal relationships.

  4. Attending to the little things

    Don’t you find that the little things tend to become the BIG things when they do not receive your attention? Doing the little things is how we honor and show respect for others. Small kindnesses, a smile, a little extra effort, a word of gratitude, a hug, doing something you didn’t “have” to: these are the things that build trust. When you make withdrawals due to work exigencies at professional front, these little deposits does not get your Emotional Bank Account get overdraft.

    emotional bank account images
    I personally emphasize a lot in spending quality time with kids, spouse, parents and best friends. Be it going on long drive along with spouse, playing with kids, watching movies along with parents or spending time on farm house along with friends. All these little things increase the bonding and trust.

  5. Showing personal integrity

    Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty. Integrity is the moral floor upon which the structures of trusting relationships are built. When we operate with sound moral character, it makes it so easy for others to trust us. Be loyal to those who are absent. If you ask me, to me personal integrity is congruence among your thoughts, words and actions

  6. Apologizing when we make a withdrawal

    We are human beings and we will make mistakes; it’s part of life. Sometimes we can’t help and break a promise or hurt someone’s feelings. But when you see; you have violated a trust, sincerely apologizing is how you can make a deposit to counteract the damage we have done.

  7. Proactive

    Being proactive in relationships give multiple returns to your emotional bank account. Understanding the individuals and their expectation is useless if you are not proactive. Waiting for others to take initiative to strengthening the bond may sometimes lead to misunderstandings. Not even this, support other proactively when they are need of your help. Don’t wait that you will do the needful, when the other will come and seek your help. Think about what the other person desire or wants and proactively take steps to fulfill those expectations.

  8. Self-Care

    You must be thinking how self-care will help in making deposits in EBAs with others. Well, it does and play an important role. You can’t genuinely build good EBA’s without first taking care of your own  physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs. This means taking out some time out of your busy schedules and doing activities to ensure that you are physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually fit.  For self care you should get plenty of rest, make healthy food choices and exercise regularly. Take breaks during the day and don’t be too hard on yourself with your internal voice

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Check your EBA balance frequently; be mindful and start to think a bit more about whether you are making a “withdrawal” or a “deposit” and it will certainly lead you to be “depositing” a lot more!

Do more of deposits like giving a compliment, listening actively when others are speaking, respecting others, apologizing, gift giving, gratitude, acts of service, spending quality time with loved ones, showing kindness and courtesy etc. Reduce or eliminate (wherever possible) the withdrawals like criticizing, breaking promises, lack of quality time, infidelity, thoughtlessness, abusing, scolding and politics at workplace etc.

Can you think of any other deposits/withdrawals that you or other individuals make consciously/unconsciously? Let me know in the comment section.

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  1. Interesting concept indeed. Emotional Bank Account can reinforce your relationship bonding. I liked it the way you have presented the concept. Good Job.

    1. Thanks Kanchen JBara for appreciation. Yes Emotional Bank Account concept improves your relationships and you will have less personal life stress.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing your helpful information. It’s very unique post. Good job.

  3. Very interesting and at the same time very serious thoughts too.
    Thanks for sharing this in a different style.
    Keep sharing
    Best Regards
    Ann and Phil

    1. Thanks for sparing time and visiting my blog. Yes maintaining relationships is a serious issues now a days and EBA help you to enhance the bonding and understanding. Gratitude for appreciation……..

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