November 11, 2013
Getting Support During the 20/20 Program

One of the difficulties many new 20/20 LifeStyle clients face is getting family support for the many changes that occur while in the program. The program is intense and it alters participants’ priorities, time management, diet, and social life. In addition, the partner of the 20/20 client oftentimes now has more to do—take the kids to school, less time to be together, more errands. Anger is a frequent outcome. 

All relationships encounter anger from time to time. Most of us make the mistake of getting defensive in the face of anger, taking a position and defending it. One of the best things I ever heard about anger was in a training last year, “Anger is a protest for connection.” This helped me to see others’ anger (and my own) in a whole different light: I began to see it as an appeal for understanding, and as an attempt to bring the relationship together. I began to be impacted by the heartfelt intent beneath the anger.

As simple as it sounds, more progress can be made in these situations if we attempt to see the issue from the other’s point of view. We’ve all heard this a thousand times, but in the heat of a household disagreement we rarely take time to do it. But we can learn. In the classic book, Getting to Yes the authors write, “The ability to see the situation as the other side sees it, as difficult as it may be, is one of the most important skills a negotiator (or a 20/20 participant!) can possess. I think this, as well as seeing anger as an attempt at connection, can be important first steps in dealing with the many positive changes while in 20/20 LifeStyles. 



Written by Bill Cooper

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