Relational Investments - Elisabeth Klein

Heads up, people: I’m about to go all high-maintenance girlie on you today, because, as it turns out, I am not very emotionally laidback. I know, y’all are as shocked as I am.

So, I was re-reading a friend’s post about emotional bank accounts, right around the same time I was going through a little relational thing.  Funny how that works.

I had been expecting a call from a friend and when I didn’t hear from her until mid-afternoon, I realized that I was a bit upset.  I was disappointed that she hadn’t gotten ahold of me sooner.

Some background: she never said she’d call me.  I was just, umm, hoping she would.

(Umm, yeah.  I know. I’m the emotional equivalent of some kind of sponge/porcupine hybrid. Sorry to everyone who knows me in real life.)

But then I asked myself why I was sad, because I pointed out that she never said she’d call.

And I started thinking about my other friend’s post and the whole concept of emotional deposits and withdrawals and I realized that though my friend had done nothing wrong in literally doing nothing, I had unconsciously chalked it up as a withdrawal on her part.

Then I said to myself (I talk to myself so very much, you have no idea), She actually made a deposit at 3 by calling you.  She didn’t make withdrawals the previous eight hours of the day by not calling you.

I realize at this point that most of you who are even fractionally emotionally healthy are all collectively thinking, DUH.  But this was a lightbulb moment for me.  Seriously.

I went on to further correct my thinking by saying, In fact, your relationship not only had no withdrawals prior to her call, it was at the level of health at the close of business the night before. So if you two were fine yesterday, you’re fine today. 

I know, I know…..DUH.

(Caveat: now, if I didn’t hear from her in, like, three months or something…..might want to consider closing the account, or, at the very least, calling her.)

This was huge for me.  This was a shift in perception.  This was a realigning of my expectations.

The interesting part: this was all done within my own head space.  I didn’t have to drag the person down with me and my emotional neediness (though she may read this and wonder if it’s her!).  And I was, thankfully, able to talk myself down off this ridiculous ledge and readjust some things, all on my own. (A very big deal for me.)

My hope – my pretty desperate hope – is that the next time something like this comes up, I remember that a withdrawal is when someone hurts me, a deposit is something to be super grateful for, and nothing is simply that: nothing.

If this post helped you, I would encourage you to check out “Surviving in a Difficult Christian Marriage”, found here, or “Unraveling: Hanging onto Faith through the End of a Christian Marriage”, found here.