There’s a fine art to connection that everyone has to ability to learn. Although it will require a great deal of time and tedious attention, it is a skill that anyone can hone.
The reward & satisfaction are well worth the effort of the endeavor
There’s a fine art to connection and It isn’t as simple as being loved the way you feel most loved and loving there there way they feel most loves. Whether that be through, time, affirmation, acts of service, gifts, etc. That kind of connection, although nice enough, doesn’t require the interaction of both parties.
So much of our lives and marriages we spend wandering and floundering, wishing we could connect, trying to connect but always feeling like we haven’t quite connected. We feel like we’ve missed it somehow.
The fine art involves the interplay between two.
The push and pull, give and take.
Connection requires a consciousness and commitment.
It a path paved by engaging and responding.
Asking & seeking.
The fine art of connection include responding to bids for connection, making attempts at repair and giving your undivided attention.
Bids for connection.
This can be defined simply as anything you do or say to capture the attention of another person in an attempt to establish contact and connection.
We make hundreds of bods for connection every day, they can range from saying ‘good morning,’ telling a story, asking ‘how was your day?’ to the less overt bids of connection like moving closer to your spouse on the couch while watching a move, reaching over for their hand while driving.
We send and receive so many bids for connection each day and may may even be subconscious.
Responding to bids for connection is crucial in building a deeply connected relationship. the response doesn’t always have to be positive, positive as in giving the other person what they are asking for, but responding none-the-less is imperative.
an example of a bid for connection that is responded to would be me saying ‘hey babe I have to tell you this hilarious story of something that happened today’ and by husband responding ‘yes please tell me, I can’t wait to hear!’
My bid for connection was responded to and it was responded to in the way I was seeking which in turn made me feel loved, heard and connected to my husband.
If I had said that very same thing ‘hey babe I have a hilarious story to tell you about something that happened today!’ and he responded instead with ‘I would love to hear but I have a meeting to get off to, can you tell me later tonight?’ he is still responding to my bid for connection. The response may not have been what I was hoping for, but the response nonetheless made me feel connected because he cared and wanted to hear my story, even though it would have to wait.
The response, whether positive or negative, is the key when it comes to bids for connection. ignoring the bid altogether can lead to resentment and disconnection in relationships.
Attempts at Repair
Anything an individual says to does to establish connection and camaraderie with a person with who they have had a disagreement of argument with as a attempt at repair.
This can be so hard to do but it is such a powerful way to connect and feel connected.
It's vulnerable to attempt a repair and it is humbling when someone else attempts a repair.
An attempt at repair after a argument or disagreement for us often looks like one person reaching their hand across the table to the other, coming over to sit next to the other person, making a silly joke, or (my personal favorite) when I go do do a load of dishes or laundry after a fight and my husband comes up and helps me load the dishwasher or fold the laundry.
Attempts at repair are vulnerable, humbling & hard but so important.
When you’ve had a disagreement or argument, the disconnection can sometimes be palpable, that attempt at repair, no matter how small or silly it may seem will go a long way in mending and reestablishing that foundation of connection that both parties deeply desire.
Giving Undivided Attention
paying attention only to the person with whom is speaking to you or trying to engage with you.
This one is a kicker because there are a thousand ways and a thousand things that we can divide our attention between.
The easiest way to divide our attention is responding to texts on our phone while someone else is talking to us, scrolling through emails while our spouse is telling us something about their day or being so glued to the TV that we become the classics person that responded with ‘yeah. . .uh hu. . . wow. . sounds great.’
But there are a thousand other ways we divide our attention and never give it fully to the person who is bidding for connection and seeking our attention. My biggest attention divider is my mental To-Do list, I’ll be scrolling through it, making sure I got the things checked off that I needed to while half way listening. Or the classic ‘Babe I’m listening but will you come with me into the kitchen so I can clean up and load the dishes.’
There are times and places where cleaning up the kitchen together and talking may be fine, but if your spouse or someone is seeking your attention, your undivided attention, lean in and connect with them by giving them your undivided attention.
Connection is an art, a skill to be honed, one that is well worth the time, dedication and energy required.
It’s rewards are great for those who are willing to learn and practice the art.