As adults, I think we are all familiar with the concept of bank accounts and how they work. This is basically because money makes the world go round, and most importantly, adulthood is expensive. Now imagine a bank account, but for emotions, an emotional bank account.
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Positive attitudes in your relationships especially romantic relationships indicate deposits into the emotional bank account, so as to balance up for withdrawals i.e. negative attitudes. This is not because we envisage them, but because they are inevitable in relationships.
According to Gottmann, an emotional bank account represents the positive and negative balance in a relationship. He stated that in an emotional bank account, 5 deposits equals 1 withdrawal. So constant positive attitudes is like saving up for a rainy day.
Keeping an emotional bank account is not about keeping scores. Keeping an emotional bank account is about investing in your relationship. It replaces the “me approach” with the “we approach”. It is important to invest in it everyday and to also recognize when your partner invests. On that note, here are 11 ways to invest in an emotional bank account.
I sincerely doubt that mind readers exist. The only places they exist are in movies. Effective communication is a good way to invest in an emotional bank account. We can only convey our emotions, articulate our expectations, and settle conflict by having a conversation.
When you don’t like your partner's actions, communicate! When he/she is not meeting up to your expectation, communicate! This makes a good investment to your emotional bank account because your partner will always count on you to convey your feelings. This strengthens the emotional connection
It is not enough to be heard in a relationship, you feel loved when you are heard and understood. The only way to understand your partner is by listening actively. Not listening to respond, but to assimilate, reiterate, and make appropriate efforts. This will make a huge deposit in the emotional bank account.
So when your partner talks about their needs, instead of nodding vigorously like most men and some women do, take a few minutes to assimilate, then reiterate by saying “it sounds like you feel this way, am I correct.” Then make efforts to see that your partner does not repeat similar complaints.
This is a solid investment. People love it when nice things are done for them. Giving acts of service portrays you as a dependable partner. It is such a valuable deposit, because once you are consistent with helping out your partner, it builds trust, and it is also a way of building relationships and stronger connections.
So, serve and serve consistently. If they love flowers, send them flowers every morning. If they like to take fruits in the morning, help them make it available. It does not have to be complicated or over the top, all that matters is that it has to be valid and intentional.
Isn’t it ironic that to make a deposit in the emotional bank account, you have to accept a withdrawal? We all have bank accounts and we all know we don’t just make deposits alone, we withdraw also. In an emotional bank account, withdrawals (misunderstanding, fights) are bound to happen because it is humane to make mistakes.
So when your partner points this out or when you know you have made a withdrawal, accepting it and not denying this mistake is an investment, a huge deposit. So, apologize when needed, give an explanation when needed, and keep quiet when warranted. Withdrawals are needed to keep the balance. So own it.
Appreciation is an investment that keeps giving. There is an old saying that “A child that appreciates today’s gift will receive another gift tomorrow.” When you recognize your partner’s kindness and thoughtfulness, it deposits into your emotional bank account and encourages them to do more.
This is a way of strengthening and building relationships strong enough to withstand the test of time. The goal is to always remember your partner’s positive deposits and show appreciation and to also let them know that you do not take their love for granted. Increase the deposits in your emotional bank account by being appreciative.
Respect is the moral ground upon which long-lasting, happy relationships are built. The difference between a normal bank account and an emotional bank account is respect and other positive attitudes. One involves cash and the other needs skills and hard work.
If you respect your partner's views, opinions, and beliefs, you are making a huge investment into the relationship and it will reduce the rate at which conflict arises between you two. It will also increase the deposits in your emotional bank account
So, instead of talking down on their achievements or views, recognize them and make amends.
I am big on physical touch. My partner knows this. So, if it is one of those days where I get angry and cry for absolutely no reason at all, I know he is always there to hug me. I think this is among the top three reasons why I am in love with him. Huge emotional bank account deposit right?
You can never go wrong with a hug or a kiss. It makes your partner feel seen, loved, and cherished. Kissing, holding hands, cuddling, stroking their beards, running your hands through their hair, and patting them on the back. These are really small gestures but huge investments. So, gain more points by simply doing these.
Nothing says “I am there for you” better than giving someone part of your time knowing fully well you cannot get those minutes back. You are still being present in their lives because they matter and memories with them are more important.
Giving someone your time is a way to both invest in the emotional bank account and level up. It is a huge deposit. Your partner will always see you as a reliable person and is sure to always have your back, no matter what it is.
Mindfulness is so important in a relationship because it shows that you are paying attention to the needs and wants of your partner and you are staying with them through it all. My friend who recently got divorced mentioned that she started seeing the signs that the end was close when her partner became less mindful.
She said at the beginning of the relationship he paid attention to details closely. He noticed the tiniest change in her mood. Then all of a sudden, he stopped. When she did her hair one time, it took him two weeks to notice that she changed her hair.
She said she did not feel recognised among other things and she couldn’t force it any longer. Be mindful, always pay attention to detail because mindlessness will translate to you no longer being in love. That is a huge amount to lose from your emotional bank account.
You already know what your partner wants, so think ahead of time and provide it for them before they ask. This is the golden egg of investments in the emotional bank account. Some people start thinking of what to get their partner for their next birthday immediately after the present one. This is because they love being proactive and intentional.
If you are familiar with the stock market, you will know that you need to be proactive to invest. You forecast what you want to invest in, how you should invest it, then invest it. You need a form of foresight. Maintain similar energy and attitude in your relationship and add more deposits in your relationship.
Little drops of water make an ocean. The Little things make huge deposits. So make it a habit to do the little things in a relationship as it can make a huge difference. Little things like giving compliments, sending flowers to their work, sending food to their work, dropping by at the office just to see their face.
Don’t forget to say “I love you” as little as it sounds, it goes a very long way. So, say it everyday until you cannot go a day without seeing it. Enjoy every moment. Be present and be silly together. Do what you both enjoy doing together and just live life doing the little things you both love.
An example of a deposit in someone's emotional bank account is being reliable. Just the assurance that comes with the fact that you are sure your partner loves you and will be there for you whenever you need them.
A withdrawal from an emotional bank account can come in so many forms. It can come in the form of disrespect, not understanding, not paying attention, not giving your partner enough time and stopping doing the little things.
A relationship bank account is similar to a normal bank account but instead of depositing and withdrawing money, trust is the currency. It is a bank account that represents positive and negative balance.
A love bank is an account we all keep subconsciously. The deposits and withdrawals are made by the people in our lives. The deposits represent the amount of effort they put into making the relationship work. The withdrawals represent the way they harm us both knowingly and unknowingly.
If you want a man to open up emotionally, you have to listen actively and make him feel seen and heard and make him comfortable enough to open up. You can also get him to open up emotionally by setting an example. Open up emotionally to nudge him to also open up to you.
I hope you enjoyed reading every part of this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Emotional bank accounts are just like normal bank accounts wherein you have to put in so much effort, time and acts of service to keep a positive balance. Try as much as possible to make more deposits than withdrawals.
Don’t forget that relationships are emotional workshops, you both have to share knowledge as to how you want to be loved. Let me know what you think of this article in the comment section, don’t forget to share with your loved ones.