I once read an article from a book by Stephen Covey, author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. His metaphor of the “Emotional Bank Account” is, I’m sure, well-known by many of you. In short, it has to do with the development of interpersonal relationships. The gist of it: anyone with whom we have a relationship with, we maintain a personal ’emotional’ bank account with them. In this case, however, deposits and withdrawals are made in emotional units, rather than actual money. Just as with a typical bank account, the goal is to make deposits, rather than withdrawals.
What challenged me was the idea of attaching a “dollar amount” to our emotions. For someone like me, a woman who’s emotionally wired, this was a huge revelation! Why? Well, for instance, if you are angry about something, once you attach a “dollar amount” to this emotion of anger you’re feeling, how much of your “bank account” are you willing to spend on this emotion? How much is this emotional response worth to you? Evaluating where you are with your spending, as well as your balance, will give you an idea of how to respond and to what degree.
If you wish, you can get really technical by giving yourself an emotional bank account balance of say, $500.oo per one 24-hour day. Throughout your day, your emotions ranging from joyful to sad to angry and everything in between, have a dollar amount assigned by you. It’s up to you to determine the ’emotional dollars’ you are willing to deduct (or add to) from your $500 balance. At the end of the day, your goal is to have as close to your $500 starting balance as possible, not being ‘in the red’, and hopefully having some reserve.
Subscribing to this concept helped me to get a grip on my emotions, just as I would on my charge card or checking/savings account by monitoring my spending. It has helped me to protect my ‘bank balance’ as much as possible, thus becoming a better steward of what I’ve been given (emotional well being). If I’m having a really, really hard and difficult day, perhaps I’m willing to ‘spend’ $100 from my account. While this is a high price tag, depending on how my day went, it may be an accurate and justified expenditure.
Keeping a grip on our emotions is key to living a life of balance and emotional health. It is what God wants for us. We will be better Moms, wives, co-workers, friends, daughters and sisters if we ask God to help us manage our emotional make-up and submit to His leading. He is faithful to do it. He is the One who created and wired us as women to be emotional creatures in the first place. I dare you to experiment and build your emotional wealth!