Bidding for Connection

It was brought to my attention that the average couple makes up to and over 100 bids for connection.

I began watching these bids… Kind of keeping track of how I react to the way my own bids are responded to, seeing how responsive I am to other people’s bids. It’s interesting to say the least.

A bid is anything done to ask for connection, whether it is positive or negative attention, whether you expect it to get answered or not…

Positive: Walking through the store, a stranger looks at you, you accept their bid for attention by smiling back which in return could make them smile back.

Negative: Walking through a store, a stranger looks at you, you see them and you glare at them, or you blow up over it, “Why were they looking at you in the first place?”

Passive: Walking through a store, a stranger looks at you, you see them yet, choose to continue walking and not acknowledge their bid.

Now, I use three, Positive (turning towards), Negative (turning against) and Passively (turning away) for a reason. Some people only view it as two saying that passive is considered negative and others say passive and negative are different due to reactions of the bidder. Because some people feel negative attention is better than no attention…

Positive bids are words, questions, gestures, looks, and physical contact.

And a positive response is simply engaging them, acknowledging the contact, accepting the invitation to start a conversation and so on…

Negative responses can be Belligerent responses, contradicting and disparaging responses, domineering responses, critical responses (blaming/judging), defensive responses.

Passive responses can be noncommittal, preoccupied (ignoring), disregarding, or interrupting and changing the subject.

  • Here’s the thing, a bid can literally be anything:
  • Someone looks at you
  • makes a sound i.e. clearing their throat, a “hmm,” sighing, etc.
  • tries to start a conversation like, “Look at this,” or “You wouldn’t believe the day I had.”
  • makes physical contact with you, touches your knee, or your shoulder…
  • I’ve noticed with myself a bid can be as much as me talking to myself or an animal trying to get the other person to take interest

Dr. Gottman ran a study involving many newlyweds in which he followed for 6 years. Many who stayed together and many who did not. The ones that stayed together turned towards their spouses bid 86% of the time, while the remaining couples who divorced only turned towards their spouses bids 33% of the time.

Some studies have gone as far to show that negative and passive responses cause depression… Which I myself can approve considering it doesn’t feel good to feel rejected for an electronic… It can cause some serious “What’s wrong with me” questions…

I can say after living with a man who was glued to his phone or the computer or the TV 24/7 and wouldn’t acknowledge you unless you did something to really set him off, it SUCKS dealing with people who ignore you and respond in a negative way… I’ve never been one to like any type of negative attention so I’ve never purposely done anything to attract such…

But I also lived with my mom who for a while got really bad about burying her nose into her phone, she would want me to come spend time with her and out her phone would come… So when I quit hanging out with her she asked why and I explained it to her and she started putting her phone down. Even when she would sit on her phone, I RARELY ever pulled my phone out. Most of the time I left my phone in the house while we sat outside because I never wanted it to be my fault that she wasn’t getting to spend time with me.

Even now, I would confidently challenge anyone who knows me to say how often they’ve seen me on my phone, Excluding times that WE were looking something up for the other person to look at be it pictures or information.

One of my uncles posted an article this morning on how “phubbing” is killing relationships and I did not realize there was a term for it, but apparently it is when the other person is choosing their phone over you…

It really is sad the society we live in today, I was reading a blog post by a lady who was a teacher and she was assisting in grading papers, the assignment for the lot of 3rd graders, if I recall correctly, was a paper to finish “I wish.” This teacher picked up a paper and read it and the child was talking about how he wishes he was an iPhone because his parents would spend more time with him, and they would love him more and he could make them happier…

My own sisters would come home from their dads on the weekends and complain that all he did was sit and play candy crush instead of spending time with them.

Me myself, I am all too familiar with the phone being more important than myself. Whether it’s true or not, that’s how it feels, especially when you are in the middle of a conversation with someone about a topic that shouldn’t be funny and they burst out laughing, you ask them why they are laughing and they start raving on something they saw on their phone. So mid conversation you drop the conversation, there’s no, “what were you saying,” not even so much as to acknowledge you were speaking… They didn’t even notice you quit talking… Which means whatever you were saying in the first place wasn’t important to them.

Or when you are having a two way conversation and they pull out their phone…

Or when you have a two way conversation and the next thing you know they just quit responding period…

The article that my uncle posted, they said it perfectly when they said the person who choose their phone over their spouse is retreating from their spouse… Doesn’t matter who you are in my opinion, be it an acquaintance, friend, client, family member or spouse, it’s rude and it makes the other person feel like they aren’t good enough to deserve your undivided attention, it makes them feel like they are trying to escape you without actually leaving your presence.

Sometimes I don’t mind it, if I don’t have anything to say and they don’t have anything to say, whatever… But if someone is trying to have a conversation, have some respect… It’s a courtesy thing.

Sitting at the dinner table, hanging out with friends, really, anything that is requiring one to be social. I don’t even get on my phone if I’m sitting waiting on someone because I don’t want to come off as being preoccupied to the people around me.

It all comes back to giving thought to how the person or people around feel when one is on the phone.

To me, it’s rude to be in company of others and be on your phone. That’s just simple etiquette.

If someone is trying to spend time with you, respect that time, cherish it, don’t waste it away on your phone because as with what happened with my mom and myself, they’ll stop wanting to be around you.

If you fall a little behind on your emails, or miss a few facebook updates, it’s not the end of the world. It will still be there when it’s all said and done. You aren’t going to miss anything that’s life or death. A person on the other hand, could die tomorrow. Human life is so fragile, it can be taken in an instant. How would you feel if someone tried to spend time with you but you were so glued to your phone that you didn’t really spend time with them and then they left and got into a fatal car accident? Would you have wished that you put the phone down? Or stepped away from the computer? Your electronics are there still waiting for you, uncaring of the loss in your life. They remain the same, unchanged except for new emails or status updates or tweets or whatever…

When it comes to spending time with someone, whether it’s family or friends, it’s quality over quantity…

At least generally…

Back to the original point of the article before I got off on this one particular tangent, even so much as only giving someone the leftovers, one fills their day with things-to-do and then you get left at the end of the day wondering why they couldn’t make time to give you some quality time… and the majority of responses given to your bids are passive because they are tired and not feeling talkative so you get the last 20 minutes of passive/preoccupied conversation.

Those are probably the biggest killers with passive and negative responses, electronics and someone running themselves ragged. Because they get preoccupied and get snappy because you interrupt them, or they just ignore you, or they are tired and don’t want to be bothered.

So those of us that try not to create negative responses just shrink back to the shadows giving up on offering bids to connect, to get attention…

I challenge you to start keeping track of people’s bids… Including your own. As well as responses. It’s an interesting thing for sure.

Now, before I go off onto any more pet peeves I will bid you farewell…

God Bless,






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