Is your family life as pleasant and fulfilling as it could be? If not, do not despair because there are things you can do to improve the quality of your family relationships. In his landmark book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families, Steven Covey introduces us to the concept of the “emotional bank account.” If a relationship is wounded, we have probably made too many “withdrawals” and not enough “deposits” into that person’s account. We make deposits into his/her account by praise, positive attention, sincere apologies, or acts of service. Examples of withdrawals are such things as criticism, sarcasm, ignoring, or failing to keep promises.
Even with the people we love the most, our bank account is usually seriously overdrawn. The only solution is to regularly make deposits while avoiding withdrawals. This takes courage and considerable self-discipline. After all, you may believe that their account with you is seriously overdrawn, and you may resent having to be the one to change. However, change must start somewhere, so it might as well start with you.
It might help you to think of these deposits as long-term investments. You probably will not see results immediately. In fact, your loved ones might think there is something wrong with you. Nevertheless, if you persist, you will be rewarded many times over. It’s a small price to pay for a happier family live.