There are lots of moments throughout every day when we have the opportunity to continue to build a positive connection with our partner. These are often small, seemingly insignificant moments that offer us the opportunity to increase the overall positive feelings we have for one another. Throughout the day we and our partner (and children, friends, co-workers etc) make what the Gottmans called “bids for connection”. These are usually small, and often unconscious, attempts to connect; they could be as simple as starting a conversation, asking how your day was, asking how a meeting went, giving you a smile, or simply touching you. A bid can be verbal or non-verbal.
When our partner makes a bid for connection we have three basic choices: we can turn towards, turn away or turn against that bid. Turning towards would be any type of positive response to your partner, responding with a friendly “yes?” when they call your name or making a friendly response to their comment about the weather. In turning away, you are probably just not going to respond at all, and in turning against you might respond with an irritated “what now!?”
In their research, the Gottmans observed that happy couples turn towards each other approximately twenty times more than couples in distress during everyday, non-conflict discussions.
Check out this great little animation about improving your relationship by making and turning towards bids for connection. Any ads that might pop up come from YouTube, not from this site.
Cheers, Ben Bennett.