It’s a simple equation: you cannot spend when your supply is exhausted. I’ve realised that I have been spending without making an effort to replenish my emotional bank.
It happens to most of us in that we try to please those around us. How often have you agreed to a family lunch or a coffee date when you know that you should take time to rest? Or helped a friend or colleague when you have urgent matters that need your attention?
I’m guilty of overcompensating and giving in to the pressure to be agreeable in fear that a friend will turn me down when I need them the most. But it is about more than that: I worry that I will be labeled as ‘selfish’ or a ‘bad friend/person’ if I say that I need a little time for myself. In addition, I dread the judgmental stares or scornful replies, lest I say that I need some quality time with my husband.
The truth is that we are all guilty of overspending and it is often to our detriment.
My emotional bank thrives on encouragement, words of affirmation, care and laughter. Without these things I am a miserable, negative Nancy. It also loves company, but I think that I am finally learning the true meaning of the phrase, ‘everything in moderation’. Sometimes, looking inward is more helpful than having others pay our dues.
So what should we do when our bank balances are low? In the financial world we would probably wait it out until our next pay day or work at creating new opportunities to keep our numbers clear of the red zone.
Emotionally, it might take a little more than hard work, but how we spend our time may be the most important factor when replenishing our reserves. We say it often, that it is all about balance but the ‘B’ life is often difficult to sustain. A stressful project at work, a fallout with a friend or a worry over a situation may cause us to fixate on a particular area in our lives and neglect the others that will help to keep our emotional banks full.
Do any of these read true for you? If so, how will you go about filling your emotional bank so that you are, not only tolerable or reasonable in a stressful situation at work but, ready to take that call from a friend in need? Or emotionally ‘topped up’ to be able to listen to the complaints of your partner, child or sibling with love and care?
In doing this, how will you maintain the balance so that your emotional bank remains an account of transaction, one where you’re putting in as much as you’re giving out?