I learned a new term today “negative bonding”. It was explained to me as connecting over gossip, toxic topics, it was an “ah ha” moment. When I googled “Negative Bonding” the first article said “Everyone knows about “Negative Bonding Patterns”. I thought “oh my gosh, WHERE have I been!?”. The next sentence said: You may not know what they’re called, but you know what they feel like.
That’s exactly what happened 12 hours earlier, before I googled the article. When my friend explained it, I knew what it felt like and exactly what it is. It leaves me feeling icky. Gossiping, complaining, not being in good integrity with my language, all negative bonding. I feel like I’ve gotten better at not negative bonding, the older and more I’ve been in Circle. Since Circles focus on Values, very little reference to negative bonding.
Thinking about it further today, I realized you can negative bond with yourself. That’s the “Kris Wrecker Voice”. The one in my head that says “you can’t”, “they don’t like you”, “your being being bossy”. Its best to not bond with that voice. Or if I do bond with it, I take a good look at my behavior.
It gets confusing because bonding, feels good. What if all you’ve learned or been exposed to is a “negative bonder”. I bet you can think of a person that you know who is like that. With this sitting in the back of my mind today . . . I realized the social skills that can be developed in Circles.
There are many skills that get developed in Circles and today, I realized its a way of connecting and way of bonding that is not negative. You create “positive bonding” in Circle, you focus on values, values are positive. You speak from the heart in Circle, not what you think about someone else. Some people find this harder than others. I enjoy the connections that grow in Circle, people open up and then realize others are more like them, connecting.
So like my friend today, I’m going to work on avoiding Negative Bonding. In a Circle last week, one young person had a row of magnets. As they were pointed together one way – they wouldn’t connect, then turned around, they clicked together. She said this is conflict and pushed the wrong ends together, she said “then you have a Circle” and she lined the magnets to click together. That is a young person that understands positive bonding and how a Circle works.
Peace – Kris