It’s time to apply what we’ve already learned about in the blog post: The Emotional Bank Account, with our daily lives. This has to be the Top 5 most viewed blog on my website. My guess is it’s providing a significant amount of feedback, and like a lot of writers and other YouTubers out there, they never give an example from their life in regards to them applying the questions and suggestions that books give. So, here I am to give you a great example.
Select a relationship in which you sense the Emotional Bank Account is in the red. Try to understand and write down the situation from the other person’s point of view. In your next interaction, listen for understanding, comparing what you are hearing with what you wrote down. How valid were your assumptions? Did you really understand that individual’s perspective?
So, the first situation that came to mind was a girl named Zern. This is a girl I dated towards the end of last year, but things and communication completely fell apart within maybe a two-day period.
What I wrote down was, “she complained about every single detail; from not asking what she wanted out of 7-11, to not picking up the luggage for her at her condo.” The Emotional Bank Account had become so overdrawn that while driving back to Bangkok, she was spewing an insane amount of pessimism and complaining about even the smallest details. Her last message was, “you are too independent.”
Am I? Absolutely. Is there such thing as being “too” independent? Not necessarily. If I can back track in time and see what I did wrong that day, which was simply not asking her what she wanted from 7-11 (although I didn’t even see her after I came out the restroom), there was more of an underlying problem. Because I’ve been living alone for so long, I sometimes forget the littlest things. It’s holding the door open, kiss on the forehead (maybe that’s too much, lol), picking up luggage, washing the dishes, making sure everything is clean when I leave the bathroom, obeying by simple rules. I’ve been accustomed so much to being alone that I unconsciously do everything based on habits I’ve developed. Most men in the world go through long spans in life without having another significant other. I’m one of them. There was another girl I dated and it didn’t work because she simply said, “we’re too different.” It’s not necessarily me, but it’s my habits.
What can I do going forward? Well, create a new habit and start practicing being dependent. However, am I ready for a relationship right now? Absolutely not. Lol
2. Share the concept of empathy with someone close to you. Tell him or her you want to work on really listening to others and ask for feedback in a week. How did you do? How did it make that person feel?
Alissa, a college friend, emailed me after months of terminating the friendship. She was very sad about my actions in terms of broadcasting what had happened with the botch trip — on FB. I apologized, pointed out my faults, and I ‘seek to understand.’
She made some valid points, and sure, the friendship could be revived, but after some of the most critical situations in my life….she was never there. Can I let her back in “close friend” circle? Absolutely not. That boat sailed. If there’s something we can do to salvage a “distance” relationship, then fine. I’m 100% for either decision regardless.
Now, aside from my ridiculous story, I want all of you to use this in terms of rating yourself — the Jack Canfield exercise I talked about a very long time ago. Example.
“Hey, babe, what would you rate me for today?”
“What can I do to be a 10?”
This could drive people insane because there’s no way anyone is perfect, but establishing close listening and hearing something, without saying a word, can make you a victor and help your relationship. Synergy!
3. The next time you have an opportunity to watch people communicate, cover your ears for a few minutes and just watch. What emotions are being communicated that may not come across in words alone?
4. Next time you catch yourself inappropriately using one of the autobiographical responses — probing, evaluating, advising, or interpreting — try to turn the situation into a deposit by acknowledgement and apology.
“Sorry, I just realized that I’m not really trying to understand. Could we start again?”