Respectful relating

This video explores the concept of respect within relationships, emphasizing the importance of positive actions and communication. It discusses how respectful interactions contribute to building emotional connections and fostering family wellbeing. Through examples and insights, it encourages viewers to recognize and respond to bids for connection positively, highlighting the transformative impact of respectful communication on relationships.

A man speaks:

Respect is defined in English as a way of treating or thinking about someone (or something...). If you respect your partner, you admire them and treat them well. We gain respect through our actions, in particular, the positive actions we take for our family and friends. Respect is about accepting the thoughts and opinions of others, even if we disagree. If we insult people or treat them badly, they feel they haven't been treated with respect. Building respectful relationships is our responsibility, including how we provide for one another, treat one another, and value one another.

Being respectful within relationships is about being present and spending as much time in as we can. Being present is challenging after violence and abuse enters into a relationship because there's often a turning away from each other. Communication becomes difficult, and when it does happen, the focus is often on what's wrong rather than what is right. To rebuild relationships after violence and abuse, we need to rebuild an emotional connection and increase the positive interactions we have.

To do this, we need to notice what are called bids. A bid is something we can either make or respond to. Making a bid in a relationship could look like a touch, a question, a gesture, or a look that says...I want to feel connected to you. How people respond to bids within their relationship sets the tone and level of emotional connection. A response to a bid can either be negative or positive. 

Responding to a bid positively can look like turning to face the person, asking, are you ok? Returning a loving look or gesture, putting down what you are doing to focus on the person. Responding to a bid negatively could look like turning away from the person, saying... 'stop looking at me' or 'stop nagging me' or... not acknowledging or ignoring them. 

Being aware of when you're turning towards or turning away from bids is essential to building understanding and safety within relationships. If we can consistently turn towards bids, and respond positively, we are more likely to have a deeper sense of connection, be able to solve problems, and avoid the downward spiral of negative feelings that destroy relationships. 

Another interesting point about bids is that they often get filtered as nagging. When someone in a relationship feels a strong need to connect with their partner they'll make a bid. If a bid is ignored or rejected, it's likely that they'll come back with another bid and so on, and so on. Some of us will label this as nagging, rather than seeing it as an intent to connect. This is interesting because if you ask yourself, what would I do if I had something important to tell my partner and they ignored me? The answer would probably be, I would keep telling them until they listened. What does that sound like to you?

The bottom line is, that if we reframe and filter nagging into my partner has something important to tell me, then we will respond in a safer way that will build a stronger emotional connection and move us closer to family wellbeing. Try it out.