Olive Branches

05 Feb 2019 20:52 - 05 Feb 2019 21:48 #333734 by OB1Shinobi
Olive Branches was created by OB1Shinobi
At first i thought i was going talk about these ideas in a Q and A sort of format, because that would allow more open participation. But theres a lot to cover and in all honesty im not that skilled a facilitator lol, therefore its much safer to just explain the concepts and hope this can make a difference. Im sorry for the long post. I typed this on my phone so trust me, it was much more time consuming for me than it will be for you.

Im going to lay out a set of ideas that work together to build a sort of procedure for reconciliation and for building healthy relationships in general. Im drawing heavily from the work of Doctors John and Julie Gottman and somewhat from Glasser’s Five Basic Needs and Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

I know Maslows Hierarchy has been discussed here a few times already. Just for a quick refresher, Maslow’s model is a pyramid structure with the most immediate, physiological needs at the bottom and the more abstract, existential needs at the top. It is a pyramid structure because every level required the level before it to have been achieved. Heres a picture:

I dont recall Glasser’s model being discussed here but it is similar to Maslows. Glasser postulates that...”all we do is behave, almost all behavior is chosen, and we are driven by our genes to satisfy five basic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom and fun.” (you can learn more by searching “choice theory” or “reality therapy” or clicking the apporpriate link at the bottom of this post)

In particular, i want to emphasize the importance of love and belonging in both of these models. Thats going to be relevant when we start looking at what the Gottmans have to say.
So who are the Gottmans? John and Julie Gottman are psychologists and researchers who specialize in marriage counseling. They have spent decades observing and working with couples and have demonstrated that they can predict divorce with over 90% accuracy by observing couples when they disagree, even for only a few minutes. Theyve also been able to consistantly predict the future attachment styles of unborn babies by observing how the parent interact, which is damn amazing. If you dont knwonwhat “attachment styles” are, you should look them up, but we’ve got enough on our plates here, already.

Though their research was produced by working with couples in the context of marriage, in reality its incredibly useful for all kinds of relationships. They have a TON of valuable insight but for our purposes i think we should focus on something they call “emotional bids for connection”

What is an emotional bid for connection?
Its exactly like it sounds, lol. Its an attempt to create or experience a connection with another being. Remember the basic needs, particularly belonging. We all want to feel accepted and respected. We make a bid for connection almost every time we speak or engage with other people. Virtually never does anyone ever say “hi, id really like some personal connection right now, could you just be here with me and treat me like i matter?” Instead we usually say something totally casual like “hey, whats up?” Or “hey what do you guys think of this youtube video?” Or “hey what if aliens invaded the earth?” Lol. See what i mean? Theres all sorts of motivations behind peoples actions (and theyre not all positive) but one hugely consistent and important theme is that we are trying to experience a sense of connection and mutual respect/appreciation with other people.

It gets tricky because we each have very different personal histories and have all learned different strategies for making and responding to bids. Some of our strategies are counterproductive, because they come across to people in ways that dont generate feelings of connection. Many are “hit or miss” in the sense that they work well enough with some people but not with others.

According to the Gottmans, we respond to bids in roughly three ways: turnning towards, turning away, and turning against. We turn toward a person bid for connection by acknowledging the other as a person and offering some bit of kindness, acceptence, and/or respect. We turn away from a bid by not acknowledging it as an attempt at conection. We usually do this by ignoring it or just changing the subject. We turn agaisnt a bid by punishing the other person for reaching out to us.
Heres some examples:

Bid: hey, how’s it going?
Turning towards: ah, to be honest im so busy right now that i can barely think straight, but it helps me feel better to know that you care. How are you doing?

Bid: hey, how’s it going?
Turning away: [quick shake of the head, without looking up] its too hot in here, would you go turn up the A.C.?

Bid: hey, how’s it going?
Turning against: well if you werent so stuck on yourself you would see that im too busy to talk right now. Why are you always so selfish? Just go away and leave me alone.

Another crucial piece of this model is percentages. In healthy and successful relationships, people turn toward each others bids more than 80% of the time. A guaranteed way of ruining a relationship is to constantly turn away and turn against.

Remember, this is not about judging other peoples bidding strategies, but rather about recognizing them for what they are and tailoring our own responses to them so that connection becomes and mutual respect become possible.

Ok, with all of that to be kept in mind, lets go over one of the exchanges thats happened here today. To be clear, this is not the beginning. Im not intereted in making it about where it started or who is right or wrong, im interested in facilitating the building of a new cycle of interaction where we all get to feel respected.

Arisaig wrote: First of... *Everett. It isn't hard.

Understanding the idea of bids, i interpret this comment as “i dont feel respected by you and i would like for you to spell my name correctly”. In addition to the fact that we all have different strategies of bidding and responding bids, this situation is made more complicated by the history between you. Each of you is sensitive - or lets say, hyper attuned to the jabs or potential jabs of the other. At this point, if theres any uncertainty at all, both of you are likely to assume hostility from the other.

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: LOL sorry, actually it is hard.. My fathers name is Everette.

Kyrin Wyldstar wrote: I said I was sorry. Cant you just accept that? This is what I am talking about. You have to pound things into the ground with me even after I apologized. Why is it so important for you to do that?

Using the concept of the emotional bid, I also see these as bids. If im being honest, i think all of these types of bidding fall in the category of either “counterproductive” or “hit or miss”, especially when there is a history of tension with the other. Arisaig’s reply was quite terse and suggested a small amount of contempt and Kyrins was ambiguous, AT BEST, and maybe a bit smug.

When you read the line “Im sorry, actually it is hard” even though the words “im sorry” are present, its not 100% clear that this was really meant as an apology for getting the name wrong. Remember that Arisaigs bid was nested inside of a desire to be acknowledged by correct spelling of his name. A reader might interpret the comment “im sorry, actually it is hard” as an effort at defending the misspelling.

However, its important to note this part: “My fathers name is Everette”
This was an explanation that the spelling was automatic and she wasnt trying to be insulting and “I said i was sorry” is an affirmation that there was an intended apology. I can accept that these lines were meant to foster reconciliation but i think they probably needed to be emphasized a bit more.

One thing ive learned about Kyrin is that she often types in an incredibly literal and factual way. Sometimes it seems she intends to be insulting when actually shes just speaking dryly. I think people dont realize the extent of this tendency and its part of why there is so much tension. Knowing this about her can make a huge difference when you read her posts.

But Kyrin, the other side of that is that you can also be damn aggressive and insulting sometimes, and it is often difficult for most people to tell the difference. Sometimes people will even see the words “im sorry” and not realize that youre actually apologizing. Knowing this about other people can help you to add that emphasis from time to time so that your intended meaning is not missed.

And obviously all this is just a single example. I dont really think its useful walk through a narration of one little moment and expect people will just shake hands and forget about all their troubles. Id really like for the idea of emotional bidding to be taken into considerstion in our interactions with each other and when we read each others posts. These ideas can literally save peoples relationships in both the romantic and the platonic realms. Its up to you to internalize and apply them.

Some ways of doing that

Remembering that people need to feel respected and accepted, when you see that a relationship is going south you have to acknowlege this and make a conscious choice about whether to “win” or reconcile. I remember a girlfriend years and years ago said to me one night “do you want to be right or do you want to be happy?” I dont exactly miss her anymore but i wish i hadnt screwed that relationship up, lol, which i did because i wanted to be right. Fornthe record, i was right. But i was wrong in a more important way. When we are willing to fracture a relationship in order to prove a point, we are choosing to win, to be right, rather than to be happy.

Go through someones posts and only acknowledge the parts you like or agree with. Quote that part and explain what you like. Be willing to bite your tongue on the parts you dont agree with from time to time. Consider that a trade off.

Hit the thank you button some more. Even without a quote and explanation, seeing those thank yous feels pretty good sometimes and leaving someone a thank you is an easy way of saying “i value you”

When i was canvassing we were taught something called the sandwich method. The sandwhich method suggests that there nees to be an affirming comment before and after every comment thats going to be seen as negative. This formula covers two of the above ideas, namely to always show the other person they are respected and accepted and also to keep the ratio of “turning towards” vs “turning away/against” at least close to the green.

So thats it. Sorry for the length of the post. I want to leave Kyrin and Arisaig with one last thought. All of this rests upon one basic assumption. Namely, that both of you would like for your relationship to be one where you each experience respect and acceptance, and that youre each willing to demonstrate that respect and acceptance to the other, regularly. If that is something that sounds good to both of you, make it known. Work on it. If not, **** i wish i hadnt written this long-ass post lol. And probably the rule of “no talking to each other at all” should be enacted.

Ive got stuff to do now so if anyone posts and i dont reply right away, rest assured that i will when i can.




Beware of unearned wisdom.
-Carl Jung
Last edit: 05 Feb 2019 21:48 by OB1Shinobi.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

06 Feb 2019 14:30 #333787 by Manu
Replied by Manu on topic Olive Branches
A simple thank you wasn’t enough, man. Your post was frickin awesome! :)

THIS is why I keep coming back to the Temple. In this post you can find:

A) A evidently sincere assumption that we are all trying to get along and improve as a family (Peace)
B) Cool theories I didn’t know of as great food for thought. (Knowledge)
C) A cleverly written article, by phone! (Harmony)
D) A passionate and frontal addressing of members without personal attacks (Serenity)
E) A subtle yet ever present call to unity and acknowledging different manifestations of individuality as facets of the same essential life Force (The Force).

Bloody well done. *raises glass*

TM: Bruno Moreira (Kyber) | Public Journal
The following user(s) said Thank You: OB1Shinobi, Kobos, Kyrin Wyldstar

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

06 Feb 2019 14:48 #333790 by Kyrin Wyldstar
Replied by Kyrin Wyldstar on topic Olive Branches
Well I wish to turn towards this post by acknowledging OB1 as a person and offering some bit of kindness by saying its a pretty amazing post and I accept and respect the effort and spirit it was written in. I will take the time to do some research on these things and see how I can incorporate them into my life as a functional part of my growth.

This guns for hire, even if we're just dancing in the dark.
My Journals: Kyrin-Wyldstar

Associate Degree of Divinity - Earned July, 2017
Apprenticed to: Alan, Senan, Mendalicious
Tribute to Senan: My Friend
The following user(s) said Thank You: Rosalyn J, Lykeios, Carlos.Martinez3, OB1Shinobi, Kobos, Kelrax Lorcken, Kira

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

06 Feb 2019 14:57 #333791 by Rosalyn J
Replied by Rosalyn J on topic Olive Branches
This is exceptional work Ob1. Well done

Don't let your wounds get in the way-Bishop Vashti McKenzie
Senior Knight, Senior Ordained Minister
Youth Minister
Editor in Chief of the TOTJO Times
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Submit articles
Teaching Maitre: Alexandre Orion
How Am I Doing , My Commitment
Kyber,Freja Saol-Wasser, Tobias Giesel, ZealotX,and Jhannuzs

Initiate Journal , Apprenticeship Journal , Clerical Journal , Continued Study
The following user(s) said Thank You: Lykeios, OB1Shinobi, Kobos

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

09 Feb 2019 22:25 #333955 by Kobos
Replied by Kobos on topic Olive Branches
Bump, this thread will be a great tragedy to see drop in worth.

Much Love, Respect and Peace,

I met a strange lady, she made me nervous, she took me in and gave me breakfast. - Men at Work

The following user(s) said Thank You: OB1Shinobi, JLSpinner

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

10 Feb 2019 11:47 #333981 by Rosalyn J
Replied by Rosalyn J on topic Olive Branches
To all participating:

Ok to sticky?

Don't let your wounds get in the way-Bishop Vashti McKenzie
Senior Knight, Senior Ordained Minister
Youth Minister
Editor in Chief of the TOTJO Times
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Submit articles
Teaching Maitre: Alexandre Orion
How Am I Doing , My Commitment
Kyber,Freja Saol-Wasser, Tobias Giesel, ZealotX,and Jhannuzs

Initiate Journal , Apprenticeship Journal , Clerical Journal , Continued Study
The following user(s) said Thank You: Manu, Lykeios, Kobos, Satelle

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

01 Mar 2019 20:07 - 01 Mar 2019 20:12 #335040 by Lykeios
Replied by Lykeios on topic Olive Branches
I would totally sticky this, Ros!

Also, OB1 this is awesome! I remember learning Maslow's pyramid, but I haven't seen this one. (They're very similar though, as you said.)

I feel/think that we could all use this thread as a reminder to treat others (and ourselves!) better. This is important stuff.

Also also: I think it's actually kind of sad that most of us don't simply say "I could really use some human interaction/attention right now, are you available?" more often. Being direct may be much more likely to get you what you need in many cases (depending on who you're saying that to). I mean, I know it could backfire and the person might think you're weird for saying that, but in my experience most friends/family members are more than willing to give you the love and communication you desire. I do this with my partner all the time. When I need a hug, or a conversation, or a friendly ear to listen to me rant or just talk I say so. I am, however, fortunate, because she generally prefers the direct approach. Anyway, that's my two cents on that issue.

"I sae rantingly, an sae dauntingly, sae wantonly gaed he. He played a tune and he danced all aroond below the gallows tree."

"Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man." -Zhuangzi
Last edit: 01 Mar 2019 20:12 by Lykeios.
The following user(s) said Thank You: OB1Shinobi, Kobos

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

02 Mar 2019 13:55 #335054 by Satelle
Replied by Satelle on topic Olive Branches
This is fantastic, and thanks for the resources for further research, OB1Shinobi.

The write-up made me think about about bids that are aggressive from the start but are still bid-like (especially initial), which I think I see a lot from my side of things. Are they bids that are intentionally designed to set up being turned against? What insight can that give to the person doing those sorts of bids? I know some find a "strategy" in hitting hard like that, but I'll have to view it through the Gottman lens when I see it. I suspect it's probably some other psych thing, but it's an interesting avenue for insight.

Leader of the Dark Aspect
Force Academy - www.forceacademy.us
The following user(s) said Thank You: Lykeios, OB1Shinobi

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.