The reality of emotional accounts

Twenty years ago, right out of high school, I had an opportunity to work for a bank. I was offered a position in customer service. When I accepted the position, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In a very short period of time, I quickly realized that people get REALLY upset when their accounts are overdrawn – especially when they think it’s the banks fault. I vividly recall being yelled at in person and on the phone on multiple occasions by various customers whose accounts were overdrawn. I even had one customer who was the first in the door that day tell me to “go get me some coffee and a burrito!” I looked at my supervisor like the super naïve 17-year old I was with a look of bewilderment and she nicely shook her head no.

Yet, as I learned the job, I could not comprehend how the customers I was being yelled at by did not understand the notion that if you take out more than you put in, you will be overdrawn. You will be empty. There will be nothing left to draw from. You have spent more than you have deposited. 

In banking, you also have the option to add a credit card to your account and as such can designate authorized users. An authorized user is any person that you grant permission to use your credit card account. The authorized user has access to a credit line that you opened but does not actually have the responsibility of repaying the debt. You can imagine how many calls I fielded from irate cardholders who were fuming that one of their authorized users racked up enormous charges that they were now responsible for paying.

As I have reminisced about that three-month period in my life, I began to think in terms of deposits and withdrawals into our own “emotional accounts” as well as whom have we authorized to make deposits and withdrawals in our lives?

If you find yourself constantly in a foul mood or being overtly negative, check your surroundings. Who is making deposits into your life? So much of our make up stems from our environment – what we read, who or what we listen to, what we watch. If you find yourself feeling drained, ask yourself if you have made any deposits into your life. Or have you surrounded yourself with people who just take and take and never make any worthwhile deposits? Have you become a “yes” person for fear of missing out or hurting someone’s feelings that you feel resentful, exhausted, frustrated, anxious, or just down right mad? When you have been under the power of any influence for any period of time, that influence can become your identity. All of this affects our emotional accounts.

Perhaps you had someone or a group of people who were “authorized users.” They had access to you. At one point you trusted them with very precious and sensitive information – your past, your secrets, your insecurities – and they left or perhaps betrayed that confidence. Are you still allowing them to access your account by way of allowing that hurt to adversely affect your decision making process? Maybe its time to revoke their access to you – literally and figuratively – while you put the pieces back together and begin to move forward. Your mental health and replenishing your emotional account is highly important!

Maybe the person you are struggling with the most stares back at you when you stand in front of the mirror. The biggest battles we’ll ever fight won’t be against who or what stands against us but what lives within us. Perhaps you have been emotionally bankrupt for some time now but pride and concern of what others may think keep you locked in an invisible prison. We paint the walls with a smile but live behind bars on the inside. Everyone fails at who they are SUPPOSED to be but a more valid measure of a person is how well they succeed at being who they are!

In order to thrive in life, we must surround ourselves with people who speak to the potential of our future, not the pain of our past. Plus, of all the people on the planet, you talk to yourself more than anyone. Make sure you are saying the right things. There is nothing wrong with removing users and start making deposits into the well being of your life!

Steve Sauceda