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Relationship bank accounts and money

Updated: Nov 9, 2020

Power and money

I noticed a few years ago that asking for money made the relationship out of balance of power in the relationship.

Meaning that money and power are closely correlated and perhaps even synonymous many times and that if you want the power dynamic to stay, even asking for money can easily disrupt that goal.

It's not about how much you love each other, how stable the relationship is, or how skilled you are in relationships.

It's about a principle in relationships called reciprocation or reciprocity.

Reciprocation means that as humans, we are hard-wired to maintain balance in how much we give and take from each other.

Steven Covey writes about a visual that I found very powerful for the concept of reciprocation.

He writes about how our relationships have "relationship bank accounts."

Withdrawals are broken commitments, favors, conflict, negativity, etc.

Deposits are shared positive experiences, giving, doing favors, meeting commitments, resolution, positivity, etc.

When our balance runs too low, the relationship falls out of synch, and that causes a lot of problems, and it takes very little for a relational disruption to occur.

We allude to this concept when we refer to someone who is on "thin ice" when they mess up too often. It takes very little for that ice to be broken without strengthening it with layers of following through and smooth operations.

SO, when we take too much money from others, they expect things in return even if they say that they do not say so since it's built-in and can be unconscious.

Therefore, let's be aware that the reason why someone may be not treating us the way we like may have less to do with the amount of love or the healthiness of your communication, etc. and more to do with the relationship balance running too low.

Perhaps ironically, due to taking too much money from them.

Let us learn to keep a healthy relationship balance in our relationship bank account so that we have room to mess up and resolve things before things escalate due to mismanagement of our relationships and ignorance of the concept of reciprocation.

Does this concept of reciprocation and relationship bank accounts resonate with you? Why or why not?

Lmk in the comments below

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