Practical Tip #1
The 3 T's of Bonding in all Relationships (TOUCH, TALK, TIME)
*All three are continuums; therefore different types of relationships would only go up to certain levels. For example, touch starts with eye contact or a friendly smile which are both totally appropriate for most relationships; yet sexual intimacy is at the highest level of touch and is not appropriate for all relationships. This means that one needs to consider the appropriateness of the specific touch, talk, and activity in regards to a specific relationship. It is also important to consider the elements of a "healthy" relationship (see the practical tips for what constitutes a healthy relationship) when choosing to "bond" at a greater level with another person. This is obviously true for romantic relationships; yet it is also true for friendships and other adult relationships as well. A good clue regarding the “healthiness” of the relationship would be to compare the negative (Touch, Talk, Time) to the positive (Touch, Talk, Time) shared in the relationship. If you find yourself repeatedly drawn into relationships that are not healthy (romantic, friendships, work, or family relationships); counseling would be a great resource to help you discover why this is and learn how to change it.
*Focus on building the three T’s up from the bottom as this makes it more comfortable and less awkward. It also allows one to have time to build all three equally. It would not be healthy to connect all the way to the top of one element and forget one of the others. It is also important to not neglect the bottom level actions as they are the foundation for the higher levels. One may find that if certain elements are lacking for a significant amount of time the relationship wil be negatively impacted. For example, an infant may become cranky and withdrawn when he doesn't see a parent for a week or couples may find they "feel" distant from each other when they have not had time to chat with each other. In summary these three elements are the "glue" that we use to attach to others and without a steady supply the bond weakens.
*These are not exhaustive lists…….
*Simply a starting point to see the continuum ….
Download a sheet with a suggested list for the continuum of Touch, Talk, and Time.
*REMEMBER….THERE IS NO QUALITY WITHOUT QUANTITY….
Practical Tip #2
Finding a Balance between Emotions and Rationality
Practical Tip #3
Help improve your self identity by defining your values
Practical Tip #4
This hug is a nurturing/bonding hug and is only appropriate for certain relationships such as between committed couples or parent to child. There is a certain amount of bonding that takes place with this hug which means that it would not be appropriate for casual relationships.
The one giving the hug sits at the end of a sofa and the child or spouse lays down with the right ear on the chest of the one providing hug. The person lying down needs to listen to the heartbeat of the person holding them so some manuevering for comfort may be necessary. Pillows are OK to use if they make it more comfortable. The hug should last 10 to 30 minutes depending on the ability of the person to relax. The person receiving the hug decides when to stop. Sometimes young children can only stay still for a couple of minutes; yet can often learn to relax for longer periods of time with practice. The Key is that when we listen to a heartbeat our heartbeat tries to match the speed. This means that a hyperactive child or an anxious adult will usually calm down. It is a great source for bonding between two healthy individuals in addition to providing nurturing comfort.. For best response avoid distractions such as others talking, TV, and such.
Practical Tip #5Boundary Exercises (Remember boundaries are for protecting relationships and giving them more depth)
Exercise for Boundaries regarding Responsibilities
Exercise for Boundaries regarding Bonding/Relationships
Practical Tip #6
Important Keys That Keep Relationships on Track
Worksheet to Montor Effectiveness of Keeping Relationship on Track
Practical Tip #7
The power of vulnerability
Listening to Shame
Practical Tip #8
Steps for processing your emotions
Practical Tip #9
The process of self-forgiveness
Practical Tip #10
Mindfulness - Wheel of Awareness Exercises
Practical Tips #11
Parenting Video Clips - A Unique Approach
How to Stop Yelling at Your Kids Video Clip