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Part 2 – The Exercise Manual

Pillar 1 of a Stable Home – Attachment

Exercise 1 – Practice Attachment & Take Note of Miracles

After reading the chapter on Attachment in Part 1, start practicing these ideas and noting the results. Saying the name of the people you love, showing that you like them while looking them in the eyes on greeting, is number one (and not optional!).

I want you to do this every time you meet and see if you can get a smile from them in return. Even if you are upset or angry or have something unpleasant you must discuss, such as greeting a teenager who has broken rules, I want you to take the time to “collect” your family in this way first and wait until later when you have a better rapport built to bring up the problem.

If your partner or family comes home unhappy, still greet them, but do not try to get them to smile. Instead, get on with your own routine and let them know you will see them later when hopefully they are feeling better.

If it looks like they want to talk about what is bothering them, that’s fine, but try to just listen and ask questions without jumping in to solve the problem for them.

If they are grumpy or aggressive, try to disengage and get on with your day and give them some space to sort out their negative emotions on their own.

For more on the importance of not taking responsibility for others’ negative moods, please read 10 Steps to Overcome Codependence.

After practicing warm greetings for a few days, choose other attachment rituals from this section you would like to give a try – like giving a photo of yourself, giving flowers with a note, etc.

Please add notes here about the changes you notice from adding these attachment rituals to your life.

Make more notes as you notice further changes.

Please remember this is not about giving gifts but instead giving them the feeling of you being close, even when you are apart.

Make notes here of changes you notice, e.g. “I greeted Susan warmly this morning, saying her name and looking her in the eyes, even when I was worried she might still be angry with me. She did scowl momentarily and then looked a little suspicious, but when I continued looking at her and smiling she blushed and smiled back and looked happier than I have seen her in a long time. She still talked about what she was unhappy about, but only briefly.” . . . (Add as many pages as you need.)

Exercise 2 – Give ‘Good Face’

1. Compare your face to the mask for your sex and race at and see if you or a beautician and/or hairdresser can get your eyebrows and hairline to match the ‘mask’ a bit more closely if there are any aberrations.

First, check your lines; the line of your eyebrows, for instance – do they form a nice arch or do they have slight ‘horns’ in the center where one or both eyebrows tuft upwards? These tufts can make you look angry and unbalanced and are easily removed with a pair of tweezers.

Small changes here and there can make a big difference. If you are a bald man, please don’t think that you need hair transplants or a wig – a beret or cap may work just as well (or even better) at restoring your missing hairline to frame your face.

2. Cut bread, pasta, sugar, and artificial sweeteners out of your diet as much as possible. These foods feed parasites that affect the symmetry of your face and your general health. Using a worming medication from the pharmacy will NOT solve this problem as most are highly toxic and the worms are likely to simply return.

3. Start doing facial exercises every day to keep the lines and integrity of your face in peak condition. There are many good ones you will find if you search on the internet.

4. Make sure you get as much face-to-face time as you can with the people you love. Choose to share a meal across the table, play cards or some other game or just talk instead of watching TV or a movie. Choose activities where you will be looking at each other’s faces instead of watching something else. Getting your face in front of your loved ones might also include giving them a nice close-up photo of your face, framed or for their wallet. Adding a picture of your face to your emails etc. and/or personalized emojis on iPhones and Facebook messenger can also be fun. Once you get the emoji to look like you, use them often when texting people you love.

5. Try and make sure you have at least one or two, five-to-ten-minute, light conversations face-to-face with each family member (and their friends) each day, watching their face closely as you talk to each other. Don’t stand too close and let the other person move to a distance that is comfortable for them (don’t keep moving closer if they step back!) and do not put your hands or a glass or cigarette in front of your face or mouth when you speak. Also, make sure you open your eyes and show you are listening while the other person is speaking to you.

Watch the small muscles around the eyes of the person you are conversing with and try to note their emotions. Respond to those emotions appropriately when you can. We will work on this more in chapter 3 but you may like to do a quiz on reading facial emotions which you could find online here this will help teach you the different emotions and what they look like on other people’s faces.

6. Think about why they are saying what they are saying—and not just what they are saying—without jumping to conclusions. Ask questions and try and draw the person out. A great way of doing this is to repeat the last couple of words of what they have said at the end of their last sentence as a question. Eg. my son says; “We went into town to see a movie . . .” and I say, “A movie?…” This will usually work to help people open up to you about what they feel excited about sharing.

7. With a friend or by yourself, take pictures of your face from different angles and with different types of expressions and then choose the ones you like best. When you have made your choice, imitate these looks and see if you can easily get these same photos again. This is called ‘learning your angles’ and is very important if you want to ‘give good face’. You can also use these same angles of expression when you are talking with people (and not just for photos). You will probably find one side of your face is more attractive than the other, so learn which eye to look at people with so you are giving them the most attractive angle of your smile.

8. Try to choose flattering places to sit with the light on your face (with you perhaps facing a window) and not behind you or straight down over your head when you are socializing with people that you want a better connection with.
These points above may sound like vanity but in reality, they are love and consideration for the people you spend time with.

Exercise 3 – Conflict Resolution Starts With You

Part a. Download, print and read our conflict resolution process in our members’ area here: See if you can start practicing this response when people you know bring up problems with you. Once you feel confident with the process you might want to show it to your family and see if it is something you can all agree to work on.

Part b. Remember times in the past when a person has been upset with you and you feel the problem was never really resolved. See if you can put yourself in their shoes and come up with a new level of understanding about what they were upset with you about. Write down what you learn and if it feels right, perhaps you might decide to give this letter to them.

e.g. “I know my social anxiety must be really hard to live with sometimes, especially when it causes me to get carried away with myself. I feel like I am happy and excited but really thinking about it, I probably just come across as being nervous. That must be hard to deal with when you probably have your own anxieties about socializing. I am sure everyone feels this to some degree, but I know I haven’t always dealt with it well. I am sorry this must have really annoyed you at times when we are socializing with people you wanted to get comfortable with. I am taking beta-blockers now when I have a social event to attend and hope that it helps me deal with this problem better.”

This exercise may help resolve some past problems with people, but will also give you practice with the conflict resolution process.

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Kim is the author of seven books on the topic of relationships and emotional intelligence.

A prolific multi-media content innovator, Kim has created and shared a library of articles and multi-media educational tools including radio shows,
movies and poetry on 'The NC Marriage', and 'The Love Safety Net'.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Hi Kim, Steve..

    I think your addition of link to conflict resolution helpful.

    I mentioned in the Intro that TAP…Touch, Appreciate, & Praise good character seems to be the grease that keeps friction from developing between us. When I neglect that ritual I can count on life together becoming pretty bumpy!

    The thing that helps me the most when I can remember to do it s slowing myself down and repeating back in my mind what the other person is saying to me…
    Depending on situation repeating back to them let’s the person know I am listening.

    Life together is so much better when I remember to do these two things above.
    A Bible verse I have paraphrased
    Be Quick to Listen and Ask Questions….Slow to Speak My Opinions and Judgements and ever so slow to become Provoked and Angry…for my anger does not the work of righteousness of God

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