I once knew an older man who went to the casinos outside Memphis every day. He would take $300, and he would play the $5 craps table, and he would play very safe bets and when he had doubled his money he would quit for the day. And then tomorrow he would come back, with $300 and do it again. If he got down by $100, he would quit for the day.
He made good money. When I asked him his secret, he said “Money management. Most of life is just money management. Deposits and withdrawals, credits and debits.”
I know nothing about casinos. Or craps. Or even money, really. But I do know about relationships. And I am here to tell you that relationships are like a checking account.
We make deposits and withdrawals into our relationships with other people. I smile when you walk in? Deposit. I share something you wrote on Facebook? Deposit. I help you move? Big deposit.
We have a disagreement? Withdrawal. I ate all the chips and didn’t tell you? Withdrawal. I don’t show up for our lunch date? Withdrawal.
We all do this. We all have debits and credits with each other, and while we don’t keep score, per se, it is obvious when someone only makes withdrawals. We avoid those people. We get tired of them quickly.
The truth is, some people only withdraw. The guy who only calls you when he needs your help. The person who only critiques your work, but never affirms it. The guy who “just wants to play devil’s advocate.”
Those people are not automatically bad people. There are probably lots of accounts they routinely make deposits into. But that account they make deposits into isn’t your account.
In your account, they are overdrawn.