I’ll finish up the discussion on Emotional Bank Accounts by talking about how they matter to family/friends, and at work. If you missed the first two posts, you can read them here:
Emotional Bank Accounts: Part 1
Emotional Bank Accounts: Part 2
Emotional Bank Accounts Matter with Friends and Family!
Family and friends are those people in your life who don’t go away. You may be mad at them, but usually, you’re pretty stuck with them. There’s nothing worse than having family or friends take your relationship for granted and continually overdraw their emotional bank account (take, take, take, but never give).
How the Emotional Bank Account Affects Family and Friends:
It’s so easy to take family and friends for granted. We bark orders at our children, are short with our spouse, and don’t invest time in our friendships. We so often fail to realize we can have overdrawn accounts with the people we care the most about in the world. (If you’re having trouble with family members, there’s a good chance it’s because you have an overdrawn account with them.)
How to make deposits in the emotional bank account with friends and family:
1. Serve them on their terms. Find something your spouse likes that you don’t and volunteer to do that thing. Give your spouse a back rub without asking for one in return. Do the dishes without making a snarky comment about it. Talk with your kids about their favorite t.v. show, and offer to spend time doing something they love doing. Offer to meet a friend at a time or place that’s more convenient for them. Take initiative and call your friend to ask how they’re doing.
2. Say thank you. Catch your kids doing something good and say thanks. Thank them for doing small things right. Share with them 2 things you love about them. Thank your spouse for their hard work and their specific contribution to your family. (They’ll probably wonder what’s wrong with your or what you want, but that’s ok.) This will make a big deposit into their emotional bank account. Take time to thank your friends for being a good friend. If your friend ever has to drive farther than you to meet somewhere, thank them for taking the time to meet you. Don’t take anything for granted.
3. Follow through. If you say you’ll do something or be somewhere. Be there. This matters for your kid, your spouse, and your friends. It will help you be a person in their life that they can trust. Every time you say you’ll do something and you do- it’s a deposit in their emotional bank account.
Here’s 2 articles to read more about how this affects your family:
Manage Your Emotional Bank Account with Your Children
John Gottman Video on Relational Emotional Bank Accounts
John Gottman blog about emotional bank accounts in relationships
How the Emotional Bank Account Affects Work:
If you want to keep any job, you better figure out how to apply this concept of the emotional bank account. If you want to take that vacation this summer- start making deposits in the emotional bank account now. Same thing if you want that raise. If you want to build trust with your co-workers……emotional bank account. It really affects everything at work.
How to make deposits in the emotional bank account at work:
1. Care about others. Ask people you work with how they’re doing. Ask about their weekend. If you hear someone mention a special event coming up like a child’s performance, ask how it was. Each time you take interest in another person’s life you’re making a deposit into their emotional bank account.
2. Do what matters to your boss. If there’s something that matters to your boss, drop what you’re doing and do that. This will make deposits in your bank account in their book. Conversely, if you don’t work on what matters to your boss, they might think you’re lazy or “not prioritizing the right things”, and may not trust you as much.
3. Follow Up. If you say you’ll do something, make sure to follow through. Every time you follow through it makes a deposit in your boss’ emotional bank account. If you have enough goodwill and trust built up, when you make a mistake you’ll find your boss looking over it saying, “That’s not like Jimmy to make a mistake like that.” If Jimmy makes a mistake and his account was already overdrawn- that could spell big trouble for him.
A few articles at emotional bank accounts at work:
Build and Emotional Bank Account with Your Employees
Keep Your Emotional Bank Account Full (Business Management)