As a child, we learn that we have importance as we can gain the attention of others. It starts with inarticulate cries - of hunger, for touch, for a diaper change. We cry out to get attention to our needs. If response comes easily, our world is secure. If not, we panic.
Fast forward to adulthood. Does this formula change?
We all want significance.
When you talk, do people listen? Or do you feel like the proverbial tree crashing in the forest?
John Gottman, an expert on relationships, writes in his book, The Relationship Cure, of what he calls the "bid."
"Let's make sure you understand what I mean when I talk about bids. A bid can be a question, a gesture, a look, a touch - any single expression that says, 'I want to feel connected to you.' A response to a bid is just that - a positive or negative answer to somebody's request for emotional connection."If response comes easily, our world is secure. If not, we hurt. The formula doesn't change. When you bid for connection, and you receive the response of listening, you feel valued and important.
By showing that you listen to others, you also tell them that they matter.