Emotional Bank Account

We all know it's not easy to maintain and nurture good relationships with people because miscommunications and misunderstandings are difficult to avoid; the difficulty bar is raised with family members because of our tendency to take them for granted.

One concept which can help us tremendously in building good relationships with our family members is the concept of the
Emotional Bank Account (EBA), which was introduced in Steven Covey's international bestseller The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Here're the basic ideas:

1. We can represent a relationship in the form of a bank account.

2. Each time we do something good/bad to a person, we make a deposit/withdrawal to our bank account with him/her.

3. The amount of deposit/withdrawal depends on how the person views the action, eg. to a wife who just started to learn cooking, her husband's praise for her efforts would be a huge deposit; to a sensitive mother, her son's suggestion to sponsor her for a slimming course would be a disastrous withdrawal! One way of maximising deposits is speaking the correct love language of the person - find out more from my blog entry on Magical Love Languages.

4. A good relationship is one with a large bank account while a bad relationship is one with an overdrawn bank account.

So if you find that your relationship with your family members is not as close as before and it's increasingly difficult to communicate with them, perhaps your EBA with them needs topping up...


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