Emotional Debt/ Emotional Down Paymemt

Welcome everybody. What is the meaning of the title? Well let’s break it down.

An Emotional Debt is when, you as a person unintentionally use another person for emotional support without reciprocating the favor. You vent, complain, talk with, irritate, and yes even sometimes you emotional bully them into things. You are constantly talking about your problems but as soon as that same person either chimes in or disagree with whatever you have going on, you get upset. Also when that person is looking to you for emotional support, you don’t give that person your undivided attention. You then become in debt to this person emotionally.

Example: I have a friend who I call Good Brotha. I’ve known him for over 13 years know. And when we talk on the phone, I dominate the conversations mostly 90% to 10%. So if I am seeking something from him emotionally, I am not allowing him to give me a chance due to my selfishness.

Now, an emotional down payment is different. When you are in any type of relationship in life, you are putting a down payment emotionally with said person. But here’s the kicker. You give so much in the beginning of this relationship, hoping that one day the same love and support will return. Unfortunately by you over doing everything, you don’t give the other person a chance to do anything. You then become frustrated because you would want somebody to do the things that you would do in this relationship, but they might not possess the same type of giving abilities that you have. Or you just havent given them the opportunity.

Example: I once dated this beautiful sistah from Tanzania named Lilly. She loved talking about how women in the States are so independent and she admired that. Lilly and I went everywhere and I was hella attracted to her. Like to a point where I was doing everything. It’s one thing to be a gentleman, but by me being blinded by her beauty, she felt as if I didn’t respect her as a woman. I mean c’mon , she was a registered nurse (which means she made way more money than me, which I didn’t care about), she drove a 2014 Range Rover, She was going to Cal Berkeley and she volunteered at the blood bank. Now when we would have deep talks she would tell me that because she I am spoiling her, she is losing her independence and she couldn’t give me what I wanted in return due to the position I put her in. So we dated for 4 months and towards the end I was very frustrated with her and I couldn’t see it from her point of view. I see it now.

You have to give people a chance to either prove themselves or you have to check yourself and ask “Am I doing too much too early?” Also you have to ask yourself when forming any kind of new relationship (whether it’s a friendship, a partnership, a business deal, a new friend or a new acquaintance) if it’s an equal playing field for all parties. If you hold the door open one day, on day 2, see if that person will do it. If you pay for the check for dinner one date, see if that person will do it on the 2nd date.  We cant be like “well if I was this person, this is what I would do.” People operate differently. Are we trying to impress the other person or ourself?

Equality is the longevity to anything. Sometimes we as humans do use people but it’s important to pay back those people. If that person needs help, help them. But also ask “did they help me when I was in this position?” We can’t be so one-sided because your kindness will be taking as a weakness. It’s ok to say no, it doesn’t change the amount of hours you spent forging said relationship.

Example: When I smoked weed, I always had a friend who never had any money and would want to smoke. Let’s say if we smoked 10 times in a span of 2 weeks, I would say yes 9 times. But that one time I say no, that shouldn’t negate the other 9 times. In his eyes, I was being selfish or petty. So was I being petty those other 9 times?

So you see what I am saying. Saying no or even refusing an apology does not make you a bad person. Do not let society trick you into feeling guilty or shame for people who can’t reciprocate. Even if its yourself.

Thank you for reading. If You have any questions meet me in the comments. ✌



  1. Man, there were so many nuggets of truth in this Tareau!

    1. Emotional Debt – I have two very close friends that I’ve known since college. With one friend, I’m the culprit of venting without providing her with the same undivided attention. With the other, my role is reversed. I sometimes wonder if she’s accepted my role the way that I accept my other friend’s role. If she has her own “go-to” person, similar to what she has become to me.

    2. Emotional Down Payment – I have always been guilty of over-contributing way too early in the relationship (with friends OR lovers). Very seldom have I found someone who welcomes that behavior…and even less often do I find someone who reciprocates or matches that. But I never considered how in doing so, I’m minimizing the opportunity that person has to step forward and do the same. Or how I unfairly expect from them the same level of contribution that I give.

    But its really hard to catch yourself in the midst of either of these two things, you know? When I vent, I’m spazzing out. When I’m selfish, its unconsciously. When I love hard, its natural. But if anything deserves our full attention in life, its BOTH of these things. Our friends deserve better (where emotional debt is concerned) and WE deserve better (where emotional down payment is concerned).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes thank you for the read. It’s very important that we acknowledge our faults. I came to the realization not too long ago. My emotional state right now is so about reciprocation. We all have roles to play in relationships. With one friend you might be the outspoken person and with another friend you might be the timid one.

      Liked by 1 person

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