Friday, April 07, 2006

Emotional Banks

I have been thinking a lot about how negativity has a snowball effect and after reading a post titled,
"Man, you SUCK!", I thought it might be time to reflect on a concept I learned about a long time ago . . . emotional banks.

With all the craziness in my life and stress, my mind has turned into mush (using CD's term) and seems to be on empty! An incident yesterday was like icing on the cake for me and my family. After being out of our house for almost four hours for showing appointments, we got home to find we are locked out. It was my fault b/c I took my house key off of my ring to leave out for the housekeeper. In the rush to run to the bathroom and get out of the house, I forgot to grab it before we left. We don't usually lock the garage door and go in through there a lot, but the realtors did lock it! DH was pissed off and I had to call our realtor to come and let us in, thankfully she is a friend and helped out.

Some where in the middle of all of this, the word "stupid" came up. One minute I was stupid, the next minute Loo thought she was stupid, etc. I was so upset and clearly felt stupid, but was most upset by hearing her say it. No matter how bad things are, I try to watch what I say in front of the kids, b/c Loo is definitely repeating everything now. The other day she told me to "shut up", something we yell at the dog barking outside (when we are not thinking and have heard enough). I want to be a good parent and a positive role model for my children and students! This is difficult to do, especially when I have not been feeling positive myself.

When I was college and upset about something (I think it was a time DH & I were fighting), my mom explained to me the concept of an emotional bank. The interactions in our life affect the balance of our banks; something positive is a deposit and something negative is a withdraw. Just like with money, it feels good when you are ahead and not struggling emotionally. Sometimes your account is so close to zero that it is like being on an emotional rollercoaster. When you are out of money, each withdraw hits you harder and harder, the "fees" add up, and the hole can get so deep that it is difficult (sometimes impossible) to get out of it.

This is a good analogy that I try to comeback to when things get out of "balance" for me. It forces me to examine my bank. What withdraws are being made? Can I control them and/or eliminate some of them? Are my own thoughts and actions making it worse? What do I need to do add to my bank? Right now, I am a little negative and need some deposits. I hate to be this way, b/c I snap at everyone and take everything personally. Does that mean it is okay for people to put me down and keep making withdraws from my bank? NO! But, I can control the way I react to them and make it known that I am not happy with the way things are going.

I know when we get through this next week and things settle down, life will begin to feel normal. With normal, I might be able to find some balance and, with any luck, get a little savings accumulated!

"You can't expect to prevent negative feelings altogether. And you can't expect to experience positive feelings all the time. The Law of Emotional Choice directs us to acknowledge our feelings but also to refuse to get stuck in the negative ones." - Greg Anderson, U.S. Basketball Player


stewbie2 said...

Back when the 'ol marriage was trying to work out, I used the term "Love bank"--borrowed from Our problem was, d-EX-h didn't know how to make deposits--just withdrawls.

I'm sorry you're running low in your bank. You're an incredible woman, and a mommy that we should all aspire to be...and that's the truth!

stewbie2 said...

Oh yea...and at least Loo's not running around saying, "Jackass!"

CameraDawktor said...

Here is a little positive currency to put in your bank today, it may not be enough to bring you up to $1 or even $.oo, but it may get you higher than -$10.00:

I really like you. I know I only know the little bit I've seen from your blog(s) but I like you. And if you lived in my town, I would consider you a very good friend.

1) because you are REAL
2) because you are funny
3) because you are not perfect
4) because your Honey leaves 1/2 the year and then you really want to 'hang-out', I take advantage of that and we go out to coffee once a week
5) because you have DANG cute kids
6) because you are willing to be honest and say you feel shitty when you do feel that way
7) because you don't want to stay feeling shitty for too long
8) because you have more $$ than me and would pay for me to have manicures and stuff w/ you because DH is TELLING you to spend money, and what else would you spend it on??
9) because you like to blog and take pictures and I like that too!
10) because you are younger than me and I could feel superior even if I am shorter

Now, that should bring you up to $.00 if you were only at -$10 to start with

teehee, did I make you laugh?!

Fantastagirl said...

if you only knew how I come to read your blog because you always have something are
1) funny
2) witty
3) a great mommy
4) a great wife
5) a great teacher
6) caring
7) loving
8) kind

(and be happy Loo isn't running around saying... "it's a shitty day out - isn't it?")

stewbie2 said...

CameraDawktor~ you listed all the reasons why Al is my very best friend!


CameraDawktor said...

We would be fighting over her if I lived on your cul-de-sac so watch out!!

AL said...

I so flattered, but there is no need to fight over me . . . there's plenty to go around ;)

Nik said...

I can only hope that when I become a mother, I will be 1/2 as good as you are, especially when the husband is away from home. I tend to get a little needy.

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