The 5 Keys for a Good Emotional Contract

The 5 Keys for a Good Emotional Contract

Last update: 02 July, 2017

A good emotional contract is a genuine commitment to ourselves. If you don’t love yourself, you break it. If you pay yourself with a salary of manipulation and toxicity, you also damage the contract. Overall, we must learn to be good managers of our lives and the delicate universe of emotions.

The word “contract” refers to an agreement between two parties that agree to offer something and receive something else in return. However, in the emotional world, this contract is much more intimate and necessary. In this case, we’re talking about the basic agreements we must make with ourselves to survive, defend our dignity and fight for our happiness.

“I accept my fears, my emotional ups and downs and uncertainty. Because I’m willing to accept a a fluid, perplexing and exciting life.”
-Carl Rogers-

If we look closely at the concept of emotional contract, we’ll realize that many of us have accepted and assumed contracts based on inequality.

Some of them originate in our childhood. For example, there are children who unfairly assume the idea of “not being loved.” Hence, they sometimes mature and develop the worst contract of them all: that of not loving themselves.

In our relationships, we also seal implicit agreements. Sometimes, without even realizing it, we’re captives. We take on a contract with clauses that include manipulation, selfishness and contempt. We unknowingly sign it out of blind, hopeful love.

All of these are painful and complex dimensions to keep in mind. However, we must face them with a good emotional contract that guarantees our dignity and our full right to strive for happiness. 

Today, we’d like you to reflect on this.

A good emotional contract should not be broken

Above all, a good emotional contract requires commitment, courage and the clear desire to begin to be who we really are. It may seem like this is easy to implement. However, there’s more: the parts of this contract are as delicate as they are complex.

They are as follows:

1. A good emotional contract sometimes requires breaking other emotional contracts

The inheritance of our family system comes with countless unspoken commitments that we unconsciously assume. Even though we may focus on our common roots or as a valuable network made up of parents, siblings, and relatives, there are a few things we need to free ourselves from.

First of all, we have to keep in mind that we still obey our primitive brain, even in this day and age. It’s our primitive brain that tells us that “if we leave the clan, we won’t survive.”

However, it’s sometimes necessary to break certain bonds with certain lineages. If your father, mother, or family member established an emotional contract based on pain, fear, or selfish imposition, it’s time to break it.

Notecard reading "Love Yourself" among colored tissue paper

2. You must love yourself above all things

Self-esteem is what offers us an indelible link to seal the best contract of them all: our contract of inner strength, self-love, and self-defense.

However, there are many people who go through life broken inside. They’re secretly injured and intimately fragmented. You must remember that when you’re not yourself, you seek protection and recognition in others.

Don’t let this happen. Remember that as soon as you put your life in other people’s hands, you lose everything. That is the worst contract you can sign in life.

Love yourself. Love yourself above all things. Only those who love themselves are worthy of being loved.

3. Your emotional contract requires pacts with those who surround you

To live is to reach agreements. It’s to set limits, defend spaces and harmonize your universe with mine. We are all souls who are forced to coexist with each other and to build happiness in common spaces. Therefore, pacts are necessary.

“I don’t agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to express it with my life.”

A good emotional contract is carried out with assertiveness. You must make your needs clear while also respecting the thoughts, wills and values of others. A good contract is carried out with a sincere heart that defends itself.

4. Don’t be afraid to say “YES” or ashamed to say “NO”

Non-aggressive self-assertion is an attitude that we should all practice every day as if it were a sport or healthy diet.

Learning to say “yes” without fear and “no” without guilt is an essential exercise in mental hygiene and survival. It’s a part of our emotional contract. It’s a key commitment that will allow us to create more respectful environments to be much happier.

5. You should never be your own enemy

We know how to recognize external predators who hurts us or who threaten our safety. However, we don’t always have the same facility to detect someone who can act as a terrible enemy: ourselves.

A good emotional contract requires the following:

  • First of all, you accept yourself with all of your strengths, weakness, virtues and failures.
  • Your excuses don’t strand you at the station of Lost Dreams.
  • You recognize that you’re worthy of everything you desire.
  • In addition, you remember that you’re no less than anyone and no one is better than you.
  • Stop self-sabotaging. You’re responsible for your life and it’s up to you to dismantle the “I can’t,” “I couldn’t,” “I give up,” or “this is not for me.”

As you can see, the clauses in this emotional contract aren’t always easy to carry out. However, it’s essential that we sign it and that we fulfill the beautiful commitment of taking care and loving ourselves. To do so is not an act of selfishness; it’s a breath of dignity and the foundation of happiness.

happy woman



This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.