BIDS FOR CONNECTION

WHAT IS A “BID”?

According to John Gottman, a marriage researcher, a bid for connection is any attempt to receive: Attention, Affirmation or Affection from our partner(s).

In subtle ways (and sometimes obvious ways), we are asking our partner to really listen to us, to see/notice us, to understand us, and to comfort us.

BIDS AS QUESTIONS:

“Do you like my outfit?”           “Did you hear about…?”          “Would you grab me some water?”

   “Will you help me put this together?”                 “When do you think I should go see my friend?

“Is it OK if I’m feeling too stressed to go?                   I’m scared/sad/mad, can I take a minute?”

 “Do you wanna watch a movie together on the couch?”         “Are you willing to rub my back?”

-NOT ALL BIDS ARE VERBAL-

There are just as many of non-verbal bids, such as moving closer to your partner on the couch, coming home with a new haircut, a smile, and showing emotion.

Many bids may be hard to miss, so constantly be on the lookout for them.

Example: “The traffic on the way home was terrible!” It may be easy to just shrug this off and not think much of it. But what your partner may be asking you is some attention, understanding, empathy, and perhaps some comforting.

TRY NOT TO MISS THE BIDS!

According to a John Gottman study of newlywed couples, the couples who were still together after six years were those who TURNED TOWARDS each other on an average of 86% of the time. Those who were divorced after six years only turned towards one another 33% of the time.

TURNING TOWARDS=NOTICING AND RESPONDING TO BIDS

In order to give your relationship it’s best shot, give your partner(s) that attention, affirmation, and affection that we all desire. Remember, humans are hard-wired for connection. Let’s turn towards our significant other(s) and create a long-lasting, meaningful relationship.

Vulnerability

WHAT IS VULNERABILITY?

Although everyone may have a slightly different interpretation, to be vulnerable is to be exposed, to move forward without certainty, to show our flaws, to admit when we are wrong, to face judgment, to love without reciprocation or reassurance, and to live and act as our authentic-selves; even when that means we may get hurt.

A Common misconception is that vulnerability=weakness

According to Brené Brown, vulnerability has these three characteristics:

  1. Risk
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Emotional Exposure

Those three characteristics make vulnerability appear to be more of an act of courage and bravery, not of weakness.

Question 1: How can you view vulnerability as courage, rather than weakness?

Why do we avoid vulnerability? Because it can be:

Scary, hard, painful, unsafe, embarrassing, uncertain, disappointing, and a WHOLE LOT MORE!

Question 2: Can you remember times when you stopped yourself from being vulnerable? What were the circumstances? What were you afraid would happen?

People create all types of defenses to protect themselves from potential emotional pain/shame

Question 3: What defenses have you created?

SO WHY BE VULNERABLE?

It connects us. It shows humility. It fosters growth. It makes life more meaningful. It helps us reach self-actualization. It builds trust & respect. It’s a necessary part of love

Question 4: Can you think of positive, meaningful moments or experiences that resulted from vulnerability? If so, take a moment to reflect on them.

*Note of caution- some people and situations are not deserving of your vulnerability. If you have good reason to believe that your vulnerability will be used or abused for personal gain and power, it is reasonable to protect yourself.

Learn more about vulnerability from Brene Brown’s Ted Talks at https://www.ted.com/speakers/brene_brown