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Trevor E. S. Smith | Emotional Bank Accounts, Boops and Forgiveness

Published:Tuesday | July 31, 2018 | 12:00 AM

We all operate emotional bank accounts. A kind action is lodged as an emotional deposit. A negative event is treated as a withdrawal.

A review of 'S' Style behaviour (Reserved/People-oriented) indicates a different operating philosophy.

The 'S' Style user tends to extend a significant level of overdraft. They are more willing to suffer in silence or to excuse the negative actions of others.

This may lead to a situation in which they become vulnerable to abuse.

That is the 'Boops' context. Someone who recognises that there might not be immediate consequences for their actions might decide to take advantage of the situation.

For the uninitiated, a 'Boops' refers to someone who is used like a cash machine by others. A sugar daddy or momma.

The issue reflects the importance of understanding behavioural styles and their implication for interpersonal relationships.




What is often overlooked with disastrous results is the potential S Style response to a significant breach of trust or to abuse.

When something triggers their review of the overdraft levels and the absence of deposits in an emotional bank account, the 'S' Style user takes drastic action. The account is closed, as well as the bank and even the street to the bank.

The exaggeration there is designed to emphasise that when trust is betrayed, privileges are withdrawn, and communication becomes extremely challenging.




Consequently, be careful to avoid misunderstanding individuals who prefer the use of the 'S' Style. The absence of an immediate response to negative behaviour is not to be taken as an invitation for abuse or a sign of weakness.

A characteristic of pure 'S' Style behaviour is the desire for harmony and a peaceful life. This might even be at the expense of personal sacrifice.

That is what drives the overdraft phase where wrongs are suffered without retaliation or even complaint.

The mistake of viewing that as an opportunity for abuse or domination occurs frequently and is the root cause of many problems in teams.

Individuals with a preference for the Dominance behavioural tool-kit should be especially careful to avoid believing that the failure to outwardly express feelings is confirmation that they have got their way.

The simple withdrawal of support can make a huge difference to results and relationships.




When an individual with a preference for 'S' Style behaviour gets to the point of closing your emotional bank account the decision is not easily reversed. This has implications for the willingness to forgive and to restore normal interaction.

Our actions have consequences. Your 'S' Style colleague might shut you out or ignore your existence behaviourally in response to your negative actions.

Letting go for the 'S' Style may take a while. Better to put trust and respect to good effect.




The shutting down of usual interpersonal relations does not normally take place in response to the first offence. However, individuals who prefer 'S' Style behaviour can avoid having to take drastic action and thereby maintain normal relations for longer periods.

I. One step is to deal effectively with situations as they arise. Instead of suffering in silence, express your concerns and have them addressed.

II. Instead of being quick to automatically put a positive spin on the action of others or sympathising with their behaviour, dig deeper to learn more about their motives.

III. Be less submissive. Develop the courage to take a stand and present your position firmly and politely. People admire and respect strength.

Your S Style Key: Don't internalise, verbalise!




Identifying and appreciating differences in the behavioural tendencies of those around us is a critical factor in improving teamwork and interpersonal relations in organisations, groups and families.




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