The Human ATM

If you are a parent, you probably think this is about your kids asking for money.  However, we’re going to chat about emotional deposits and withdrawals.

I was talking to a guy recently who confided that he was having some problems connecting with this stepson.  He said that whenever he would go to the boy and try to give him some advice to help him out, the boy would stare at him blankly and was unresponsive.  Being the child of stepparents, I knew exactly what was going on.  This issue is not specific to stepchildren and stepparents but can be related to anyone with whom you have a relationship.

People are like ATMs.  You can’t make a withdrawal if you don’t ever make deposits.  Have you ever gone to the ATM to make a withdrawal when you had not put any money in?  If so, the machine probably stared blankly at you and was unresponsive as if to say, “You can’t be talking to me.  We don’t have a relationship.”

In many cases, people will attempt to make a withdrawal when they haven’t spent any time making deposits.  Let’s take the stepfather and stepson.  If the stepfather had established a relationship first by talking about some common interests, doing some activities together or even watching a few games together; the stepson would have probably been more responsive when a more serious subject came along because there would have been a foundation for their relationship.

People are like ATMs.  If you want a successful relationship, not just with a mate but anyone in your life, you have to be willing to make some deposits of your time into the situation. Just as people do business with their friends, they also confide in and listen to their friends.  So, the next time you try to give advice, make sure you have made a few deposits.  Otherwise, you might get an “incomplete transaction” notice.


3 thoughts on “The Human ATM

  1. Nice Post. People are in ways like plants…they need love & nurturing to grow. Teenagers need hugs, love, encouragement, discipline and they also need to see your example. (That’s all kids anyway)

    A bonus: Being better listener. Good listeners are quite rare these days!


  2. Tracey Burnett says:

    Great topic! You have no idea how on point you are. I see this every day at the gym. Someone will be doing an excecise totally incorrectly. Inevitably, someone would go to them to try to explain how they should be doing it. Guess what happens? That’s right, they look at the helper like “Who are you, and why are you in my face?”

    I usually just laugh to myself because I understand the dynamic behind what has occurred. The person giving the advice neither looks like Arnold in his prime nor knows the person their advising. So, the person attempting the exercise has know reason to believe that they can be helped by this person. There has been no deposit. Funny thing is, the who are the most knowledgeable in the gym are normally the ones who look like crap. It’s just that their work ethic may not match their level of knowledge or that they just don’t have the opportunity to devote the time necessary to look the way the want. Chances are that “Arnold” guy is on roids anyway.

    Great topic Kesha.


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