The Bank of You Part 3: Credit Check

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So now we have our ledgers. We know what’s important to us in relationships, and we’re aware of the things that will affect someone’s credit.Using this information, we can gauge our current relationships. This helps us be more aware of our needs in individual relationships: which are being met, and which aren’t being met.

Observations

What you might notice about the credit/debit list you made before is that some figures on the debit list are higher than those on the credit list. For example, kindness might be +30, while unkindness might be −70. This is because there are certain things we expect as basics of a good relationship - such as kindness - and are therefore more noticeable when they’re not there than when they are.You might also notice that some things appear on one list, but not on the other. For instance, spontaneity might be +10 on the credit list, because that kind of thing is fun, but equally if someone isn’t particularly spontaneous, it’s no biggie.

Evaluation and Reciprocity

Now it’s time to look at ourselves, at the level of reciprocity that exists in our relationships. You’ve probably heard the old adage that you really find out who your friends are during the tough times, and there’s truth in that. But, perhaps counterintuitively, being as generous as possible in your relationships is also a helpful way of measuring the level of reciprocity. When we know we're being as generous as possible, we can use our feelings as a guide.Let’s think about this in the context of a laptop: When I provide it with power, how long does the battery last? When I leave it plugged in and feed it electricity for a certain amount of time, how much portability does it give me in return? My old laptop lasted a good few years, but the battery died and I couldn’t used it without plugging it in first. Kind of defeats the point of having a laptop, no? That was a deal-breaker, and I purchased a new one.The same principle applies to relationships. You might know the ones I’m talking about: those that leave you feeling drained, empty, exhausted, wondering what you yourself got out of that conversation. Those relationships are like my old laptop: you’re giving them a lot of power, and not getting much in return.Then there are those relationships on the other end of the spectrum. They leave you feeling vitalised, renewed, light, rewarded. Those relationships are like the laptop I’m using now (cable-free and on the sofa: my favourite place). You give them some juice and it pays off.That’s reciprocity.Of course, reciprocity comes in many forms, it doesn’t mean that if you listen to someone’s problems for an hour, they should do the same for you. It might mean that if you take time out of your day three days in a row to listen to someone’s problems for an hour, then they buy you a coffee, or lend you a book, or whatever you feel an hour of listening to their problems is worth to you. If they’re in good credit, maybe it’s a freebie.And this is why we make the ledger, so we have an idea of where we stand, what the dynamics are in each of our relationships.We work out what is meaningful to us, and we go from there.************************I've felt so happy receiving people's feedback on 12 Weeks to Self-Knowledge! It's wonderful to know that people are making the most of the practice, and to hear what they're getting out of it."At the end of the week, the dominant feeling is happiness and the dominant thought is a sense of accomplishment." - Cheryl, NY.If you've been thinking about joining, it's not too late. Click here to start. Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver via Compfight cc