Thanksgiving: A List Of Minor Bids for Connection

Communicate and recognize bids as you gather with friends and family.

Recognize and communicate bids this holiday season.

Recognize and communicate bids this holiday season.

With family time approaching and the necessity of social grace close at hand, this post offers you a holiday cheat sheet by way of a list of minor bids.

Regardless of your intentions, the holidays always seem to be a “trip.” Whether the trip is physical or psychological, you likely have to make adjustments, because you care about those around you.

In an ideal world, everyone would be able to agree about everything and the holidays would be easy as pie. That, sadly, isn’t reality.

The truth is that, despite a family’s shared desire to love each other without complication, something usually comes up. This brings stress. As tension spreads, you are on guard, your senses are heightened, and you begin to feel unheard.

A lesson in bids could be the answer.

You can learn how to recognize and communicate bids with the following tool from Dr. John Gottman’s book, “What Makes Love Last?. It is a list of minor bids and sliding door moments based on Dr. John Gottman’s statistical analyses of couples observed in his research.

Prick up your ears and be on the look-out for these. You may be amazed by other people’s reactions to your quick recognition and empathetic response.

Note: A response to the last bid does NOT have to be: “That sounds great” if you hate ice skating. A positive response to the bid simply shows that you “get it” and can sound like this: “You want to learn ice-skating? Cool! Where did that come from?”

Listening can take many forms. Let’s not forget to be aware of what is happening around us. Be observant and attentive if you notice someone’s needs not being met. Give thanks and be grateful for the love you have.

Ellie Lisitsa is a former staff writer at The Gottman Institute and editor for The Gottman Relationship Blog.

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