On Fridays for the Skinny Debt Diet, we address feelings, and I thought a good topic to bring up is the building or eroding of emotional currency in our relationships with others, whether it be loved ones, friends, colleagues, or even business.
It is true that most of us have emotional bank accounts with those in our lives. For instance, we make deposits like when we tell someone we are proud of them or when we cheer them on in the rain during their first marathon. We make withdrawals like when we forget an anniversary or failed to meet a promise we made.
Over time, we keep mental balance sheets of the emotional currency in our relationships, and because of that some relationships increase in value or depreciate in value. And in longer term relationships, there will indeed be times when you just might have to take out an emotional loan like when you are going through a really hard time such as divorce, death, bankruptcy, illness, or recovery. And likewise, those who have built up their emotional currency with you, you most certainly would give them the same loan.
True emotional currency is not about payback or "you owe me", it's about balance, mutual giving and receiving, and respect. When you respect others and yourself, you have the means to be very rich with the things that matter: love, truth, and joy. There is always plenty to give and share.
Here's some ways you can start beefing up those emotional accounts with others:
- Never underestimate the smallest of gestures like a simple "thank you, I appreciate what you did, or I just called to hear your voice." Even something like sending a text or email could brighten someone's day because it showed you were thinking about them and cared to take action.
- Cook for someone. I believe that food is a way to anyone's heart. I don't know one person in the world who does not love the idea of someone cooking them a meal. Breakfast in bed will score you extra points. Guys (XYs) take note as Valentine's day is coming up, and making your lady breakfast in bed would be a major score! You just might even win a love lottery.
- When someone is sick, bring them some soup, offer to visit them if they are at home or in the hospital, or ask them if they need anything. They might not need anything at all but mentally it's very comforting to know that you are willing to be there if need be.
- If someone you know is training for a race whether it be running, walking, kayaking, or biking, etc, on race day be at the finish line to cheer when they cross the line. Seriously, this is a HUGE, MONUMENTAL thing you can do to rack up the emotional currency because those of us who have been the racer LOVE that someone was there to see us in our accomplishment. We put so much blood, sweat, and tears into training that it means the world to us that you are with us at that final moment; crossing the finish line.
- Say "I love you" just because. I really don't think you can say "I love you" too much, but you can definitely say "I love you" not enough. The I love you thing includes your friends. I've been making it more of a point to tell my friends that I love them and appreciate them because man, I surely don't know where I'd be without them. And vice versa, when my friends tell me they love me, watch my face light up.
Building emotional currency in your relationships is one of the best ways to become truly rich in life. Can you share something you did recently that built or created emotional currency with someone in your life? Personally, I'm always looking for new ideas :)