1. A Thankfulness Override – You have a healthy thankfulness override when your positive thoughts and feelings towards another so pervasive that they tend to supersede any negative thoughts and feelings. Paul said in Philippians 1:3, “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you…” Think about your most significant relationships, are you in thankfulness override or critical overdrive?
2. BIds for connection and/or restoration – An bid for connection is any attempt to make an emotion connection with another human being. It can be something as simple as a smile or a genuine, “How are you today?” A bid for restoration refers to any statement or action—silly or otherwise—that prevents negativity from escalating out of control. It is the safety valve in mature relationships that can be as blunt as an apology, or as innocuous as a joke. It is the white flag that gets raised when tension starts to mount in a relationship and allows for both parties to retreat to safer territory and live to love another day.
Bids for connection and restoration are the secret weapon of emotionally healthy and happy couples—even though many of these couples aren’t aware that they are doing something so powerful. When two people have a strong friendship, they naturally become experts at sending and responding to each others bids for connection and restoration. But when people are in critical overdrive, even a restoration attempt statement as raw as “Hey, I was wrong, I’m sorry” can have a low success rate.
3. GEM’s (Genuine Encounter Moments) – Think of your relationships as emotional bank accounts. The more you can deposit into them, the richer you will be. On the other hand, if you rarely make deposits it will feel like the relationship is continually overdrawn and your are being penalized for every little overdraft
So how do you deposit GEMS regularly.
- Get face to face
- Don’t look at your phone, compluter, TV, etc.
- Sit so that you can look at each others
- Express Interest
- Ask qustions
- Validate what you hear
- Make (appropriate) physical touch
- Research shows that we only touch people we like.
- A light touch on the elbow, a warm and firm (not crushing) handshake
- Pats on the back
- Smiling is the universal language for “I like you.” Smile often, smile freely.