Center for Stepfamily Development
Center for Stepfamily Development

136 So. Academy Way
 Eagle, Idaho, 83616



Most of us have some sort of financial bank account, but I'm curious to know how many of you have an EMOTIONAL BANK ACCOUNT? You're asking, "What is an Emotional Bank Account and how does it work?" An EBA represents the quality of a relationship you have with another person. It's like a financial bank account in that you make "deposits" (ie) doing things that build trust in your relationships, or you can make "withdrawals,"(ie) doing things that shortchange your level of trust with other people. This is not just a stepfamily issue; an Emotional Bank Account represents all levels of relationship quality with everyone in your life!

Deposits in your Emotional Bank Account will include being kind, apologizing when you've make a mistake or hurt someone's feelings, being loyal to those not present, making and keeping promises and forgiving.

Withdrawals look like this: speaking disrespectfully, using put downs, gossiping, or being rude to everyone around you. Never saying "I'm sorry" (loving others does not mean never apologizing); criticizing, complaining and talking negatively to and about others, not following through with commitments, being defensive all the time, holding grudges, and holding grievances.

Have you noticed that there is a longer list of "withdrawals" than "deposits?" We tend to use more negative approaches in our relationships, than the positive, trust building things that make a difference in our relationships.

At any given time the level of trust or balance of trust in your account determines how well you communicate and solve problems with family, friends, and acquaintances. What's in your Emotional Bank Account?