Order Dr. Roger Hall’s New book: Staying Happy Being Productive

I need a volunteer to do a bid. And for him it was a bid for intimacy. It was a small talk conversation starter. And I’m going to demonstrate the three terms. You ready?

So who wants to do this for me? You’ll do it. Okay, so same small talk conversation starter three times. And I’m going to demonstrate these three terms: Towards, Against, Away.

Go ahead…

Hi, how are you doing today?

I’m doing pretty well. How are you?

Now, so the important part of that is that’s a “turning toward”. Mildly positive, on topic. That’s the important part.

Do it again…

Hi, how are you doing today?

Aren’t YOU nosy!

Okay. Mildly negative, on topic.

Now here’s the “away”…

Hi, how are you doing?

I have….you know…where’s my ph…I need to, I need to get a text message…I’m sorry, what were you saying?

See it’s neutral, but what is it? It’s off topic. I’m not paying attention to her. What Gottman found is that healthy relationships have predominantly “turning toward” communication, and healthy communication is all in those nickel and dime conversations.

It’s all in the, “Hey, how are you doing?” And so when we reanalyzed the data, the building block of that relationship is, “I’m going to go get a cup of coffee. Would you like one? Yeah. Could you get, could you put cream and sugar in it? Yeah, sure thing.”

That’s it. It isn’t, oh, I feel your pain. I’ll love you in my heart forever. It was none of that. Right? And if she had said, “How are you doing today? Oh thank you for caring.” That’s creepy, right? So good communication is all those nickel and dime, bid, and then pay attention and respond mildly positive and on topic. You wanna have a great relationship with people, that’s the foundational element.

By |August 22nd, 2019|