Ah, John Gottman. Such wonderful research, such terrible titles.
Anyway, I already had to return this book to the library so I can only give you my impressions-- as my sister says, "the spaghetti that's stuck to the wall." So here goes:
Interactions involve people making "bids" for attention, affection, connection. When we respond successfully to others' bids, we are able to make strong and resilient relationships at home, work, school.
When someone makes a bid, you can respond either by turning toward the bid and making that connection, or by turning away from the bid by ignoring it, or by turning against it by turning it into a chance to fight.
So simple, right Like Gottman's other books, the simple information is challenging to assimilate. I had to look at myself and realize how much turning away I do. And although I felt a little like an evil psychological mastermind, when I intentionally made bids and responded by turning toward bids at work-- wow. The sense of camaraderie and connection was palpable within a day or two.
So although reading Gottman's wonderfully empirical research can be uncomfortable, his suggestions for successful relationships are marvelously applicable.