As Dr. John Gottman quips in “The Relationship Cure,” it would be a relief if we could create a world in which, “people made all their bids for connection in the form of standard written invitations… all expectations and feelings would be spelled out in vivid detail,” and there wouldn’t be any more “tension or guesswork.”
Bids can come into your life in a number of ways, some of which are “easy to see and interpret, others that are nearly indecipherable.” Bids may be thoughts, feelings, observations, opinions, or invitations. Whether they be verbal or nonverbal, physical, sexual, intellectual, humorous, serious, in the form of a question or statement or comment, they qualify as a “bid” for connection.
In the interest of responding to your partner’s bids in healthy ways, and learning to create a healthy pattern of interactions in your relationship, here is a list of potential bidding types. See the following to recognize how your partner may be bidding for connection.
Easily recognizable verbal bids may sound like this:
- Do you want to a cup of coffee with me?
- Could you ask your friends if they know a good auto mechanic?
- May I borrow a pencil?
Nonverbal bids include:
- Affectionate touching, such as a handshake, a pat, a squeeze, a kiss, a hug, or a back or shoulder rub.
- Facial expressions, such as a smile, blowing a kiss, rolling your eyes, or sticking out your tongue.
- Playful touching, such as dancing or a gentle hip bump.
- Affiliating gestures, such as opening a door, offering a place to sit, handing over a utensil, or pointing to a shared activity or interest.
- Vocalizing, such as laughing, grunting, sighing, or groaning in a way that invites interaction or interest.
We hope that these examples will help you to identify bidding. If you want more, check out this blog post on “Recognizing Bids.”