- Ricka Robb Kohnstamm
Do you recognize relationship bids when you hear them?
"What a bogus day this has been. Nobody at school likes me." "Stop working... I want you to play with me." "I know you are busy all day, but what do you actually do?"
No matter where you are stuck or overwhelmed, how does being aware of relationship bids support your optimal health?
These are relationship "bids." Through making a comment, a child (or another adult) invites us into relationship with them. They make a bid and we can notice the bid and turn towards, or ignore the bid and turn away.
Successful relationships involve more leaning toward bids with empathy and kindness than turning away.
Sometimes the bids are easy to translate: "I know you are busy all day, what do you actually do?" That one is easy.
But what would you do with this bid? "I hate you! You always put everyone else before me. You are a mean, selfish mom."
This is a bid, too. And it requires expert level bid-literacy. This bid, translated, may say several things:
"Would you please stop everything and just sit with me? I had a hard day."
"You are the most important person in the world to me and I want to know that you feel that way about me, too."
Or maybe even "How I see myself reflected back through your actions matters - I'm not feeling so great about myself and how I fit into our family right now."
It's not the most skillful bid but I still have the choice to lean towards the other person, with increased compassion. Or not. My choice.
Reach out to me if you are experiencing bids that you are having trouble interpreting. Learning new responses to relationships bids is hard work and it is what gives life to healthy relationships, which is an essential component of optimal health. Turning towards optimal health is a choice, one you can make for yourself.
(P.S. Send me the most tangled bids you have received this week - and tell me how you interpret them. Challenge on, can't wait to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org )