Making Deposits into the Emotional Bank Account
Ponder the ways that you invest/contribute to the important relationships in your life, private and professional. Is it done predominantly through words, acts, quality time, gifts or physical touch. (the latter perhaps not in the professional setting…)
Gary Chapman defined these different ways of showing that you care in his book, ‘Five Love Languages’. You can do a test here to find your own Love Language:
The first point to make about making deposits into the Emotional Bank account is to understand the other. You don’t know what constitutes a deposit to another person until you understand that individual. We tend to project our wants and desires when defining what others want. We interpret our deposits based on our own needs, either now or when we were a similar age. When our intentions are not well received, we feel rejected. In essence the five languages are:
- Words of Affirmation, Mark Twain once said: ‘I can live for two months on a good compliment.’ Words of affirmation are compliments, words of encouragement, kind and supporting words and humble words.
- Quality Time, the central aspect of this is togetherness, not just proximity; togetherness has to do with focussed attention. It can be a walk, a quality conversation or doing something together.
- Receiving gifts, gifts are symbols of friendship and appreciation.
- Acts of service, this is acting on requests or just noticing or knowing the value of doing something (but cannot be demands). It can be small things (in the domestic situation taking the bin out, cleaning up after dinner, paying bills etc) It can also be larger acts like giving up a promotion which would result in separation, so valuing the relationship above personal gain.
- Physical touch, in a work situation, touch can still be used, there are many ‘work appropriate’ touches/areas, like hands, arms, shoulders or a hug. For the ones where physical touch is central, touching the body means touching ME, it is connecting.
Point to ponder…
Do you know the most effective deposits to make for your most important relationships?