Magazine article Work & Family Life

Another Way to Think about How We Connect

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Another Way to Think about How We Connect

Article excerpt

Author and psychologist John M. Gottman, Ph.D. describes another way to think about connecting emotionally in his book The Relationship Cure. He calls it the "bid and response" approach.

A person "bids" with a question, gesture, look or touch-any single expression that says I want to feel connected to you. A "response" is just that: a positive or negative answer to someone's bid for connection.

Dr. Gottman describes three ways to respond to someone's bids: turning toward, turning away and turnm? against. "Of the three...turning toward has the most positive results," he writes.

"It tells the bidder: I hear you. I'm interested in you. I understand you (or would like to). I'm on your side. I'd like to help you (whether I can or not). I'd like to be with you (whether I can or not). I accept you (even if I don't accept all your behaviors)."

His research in this area has found that people who react positively to each other's bids have greater access to expressions of humor, affection and interest during arguments. …

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