Bids For Connection

Bids for Connection

Bids For Connection

By Lily Ha February 2, 2023 02.02.2023 Share:
Communication Compassion Connection Counseling Couples Habits Intentionality Relationships Therapy Understanding Validation Vulnerability

One important factor in a successful relationship is how people pay attention to each other.  Choosing to turn towards, rather than turning away or against, each other’s bids for connection help to establish a foundation for a strong and successful relationship. People are wired for connection.  Therefore, people make bids to feel connected with others.

So what do bids for connection look like?

Bids for connection come in lots of different ways – some are easier to see than others.  They can be verbal or nonverbal.  They can be emotional, intellectual, or physical.  They can be serious or humorous.  They can be sexual or nonsexual.  Bids can come as questions, comments, and statements.

How to respond to bids for connection?

There are three ways to respond to bids: turning toward, turning away, and turning against.

  • Turning toward can look like being attentive and communicating validation, which can increase more bidding within and strengthen the relationship.
  • Turning away can look like interrupting or not responding, which can increase conflict and hurt feelings.
  • Turning against can look like insults, combativeness, and hostility, which can lead to avoidance of conflict and less bidding.

What does turning toward entail?

Turning toward response has the most positive and successful results.  It provides evidence that your loved ones care for you and want to be there for you.

  • It conveys many meaningful messages, including I understand you, I want to understand you more, I accept you, and I hear you.  
  • It leads to the growth and strengthening of relationships (i.e. sibling turning towards sibling and problem solving, coworkers turning towards and collaborative).
  • It increases relationship satisfaction.
  • It leads to less conflict.
  • It demonstrates interest, curiosity, and concern for one another.
  • It creates emotionally healthy and better environments for children.
  • It helps accept differences in the relationship


When you are more aware of bids and how they play out in relationships, you will start to notice more bids and opportunities to connect.  If you having trouble connecting in your relationship, please give me a call or schedule an appointment online. I would love to support you in strengthening your relationships.


For help navigating bids for connection in your relationship or to discuss any other matter in more detail, schedule an appointment with Lily Ha here.

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