Make Bids For Connection For Your New Years Resolution
When we think of a New Years Resolution, we tend to think of major, life changing goals. Sometimes we think of the superficial, such as I want to lose weight and look better. Sometimes we want to find a better job and make more money. Other times, New Years Resolutions surround goals about stopping bad habits like smoking or drinking too much. Although these goals might be fine to try to achieve, you might be missing obvious things to work on right in front of you.
One of the easiest ways to change your life is to look at where you can make small “bids” for connection. Many people would love to work on their relationships, but they just don’t know where to start. Small bids for connection are the way to go. These minor, yet consistent actions are small ways that we reach out to others, show them how we feel about them, and build up trust. Relationship experts John and Julie Gottman talk about a great deal about these bids. Examples of these gestures include listening, staying present, and letting the other person know that you care and are interested. With time, these bids can help to build up trust and lead to greater connection and intimacy by building a foundation for increased vulnerability.
Though these small actions seem easy, they really aren’t. Time consumed by numbing activities like the internet and television, as well as the busyness related to commits at work and with our families often keep us from slowing down to be present enough to make these bids. Therefore, prioritizing to find the time to make them, and assessing your comfort with the vulnerability of making them are much more challenging than would seem on the surface. Thus, as with any New Years Resolution, you should break the goal down enough so that you can have small successes on the way to the larger, overall goal. For example, your first step might just be to notice the opportunities you have to connect. Then you might make a plan to step into that particular situation. When you get more comfortable with it, and you get some reciprocity from your partner, you might try another bid. However, don’t stop when you don’t get immediately rewarded for these bids. Keep in mind that trust is built over time, and so consistency and reliability are needed to make this a long-lasting change in your life.
For the upcoming year, do you think you’re up to the challenge?