Emotional Accounting

Emotional Accounting

“We repeat what we do not repair.” ~John Gottman

If you’re wounded, ill, or break a bone, physical pain is the result.

Pain is a sign something’s wrong and so, you go to a doctor.


However, when a relationship breaks (read: is wounded) emotional pain results.

And most folks rarely seek help.

For some reason, seeking therapy or coaching for emotional wounds has been equated with weakness, as though we should be able to handle it ourselves.

Would you think that way about a broken arm?

Since you’re reading this, I assume I have permission to offer some input.

If you’re in pain (anger/guilt/resentment/frustration/etc.) with someone or some event or situation, you must be willing to be accountable for it. 100% accountable.

They are your feelings, indications of your emotional wound. Whatever the pain, it’s yours. Own it.

Because that’s the only treatment plan that works long-term.

Cause and consequence are a part of ownership, ask any home owner who has watched his house flood in a storm.

But fault and blame? No. They prevent healing.


You cannot let go/forgive the person/job/event/etc. until you forgive yourself for whatever part you played in the current feelings you dislike but are holding on to.

You cannot forgive yourself until you account for it and own it.

You make a physical accounting when you go to the doctor or dentist and get a check-up.

You make a financial accounting each year at tax time.

These are often uncomfortable but necessary requirements for well-being. They bring to our awareness what had been hidden: tooth decay, over-spending, a cyst.

So, why not an emotional accounting?

Your wound may not be your fault, but your healing is your responsibility.

“We are dangerous when we are not conscious of our responsibility for how we behave, think, and feel.” – Marshall B. Rosenberg

Stay connected with our Monday Morning Message

Cynthia Barlow

Founder Cynthia Barlow

Facilitator, Author, Coach

Helping businesses build their people

When your people have the skills to communicate more effectively, they can connect more easily and collaborate more productively. Not only on the job, but also in life.

Communication, Connection, and Collaboration—the three “C’s”—are the cornerstones of all successful businesses. They are the result of Emotional Intelligence in action.

More details can be found in my recent best seller with co-author Jennifer Eggers:
Resilience: It’s Not About Bouncing Back

The power of resilience within organizations can transform an average company into a powerhouse. Yet, even in times of rapid disruptive change, there is no manual for building resilient organizations. This book is that manual.

“If you  want to build more resilience intentionally—personally and professionally—read this book.
Fran Karamousis, Chief  of Research, Gartner


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