I’d like to talk about bids. No, I’m not talking about an auction! I’m talking about a frequent occurrence in your interpersonal relationships! The Gottman Institute defines a bid as “any attempt from one partner to another for attention, affirmation, affection, or any other positive connection.” Bids can be as simple as eye contact or a smile, but can also take the form of asking for advice or help, or may even manifest by the bidder overtly asking for attention.

Gottman Institute also says: “in the healthiest relationships, both partners are comfortable making all kinds of bids.” And while the verbiage in this concept of bids tends to denote romantic partnerships, your children will do the same thing, and it’s the parents’ job to figure out how to answer the children’s bids and connect with them.

One key to a successful spouse-spouse or parent-child relationship lies in making that connection because as we talked about in episode 72, making connections that match your partner’s or child’s love language will make a greater “deposit” into their “bank account.” Do they need quality time? Read with them. Do acts of service mean more? Empty the dishwasher together. Is physical touch important? Hold their hand while you walk together.

Grown-ups are children in adult bodies. Our fundamental needs don’t change! As you learn to meet these bids from your kids, you’ll connect more with your spouse, and vice-versa. And vulnerability breeds vulnerability, so you’ll get more connection, more community, and more love.More on John Gottman’s theory of bids: https://www.gottman.com/blog/turn-toward-instead-of-away/

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