Detached Don/Dolly revealed!
Being a Detached Don/Dolly is not about being good or bad,
it’s about describing a particular relationship pattern many of us learned from our early years. That type of relationship pattern, for some of us, isn’t working anymore. It probably worked well during our childhood years. As we mature, leave our family of origin and join with a partner, those same relationship patterns don’t serve us any longer. We marry or partner with another person who comes to the relationship with their own family of origin baggage, and the 2 “sets of luggage” don’t match. Friction ensues, and conflict arises.
Detached Don/Dolly start feeling more and more anxious, and over time their way of relating causes more distress within their closest circles. “Why is this happening? I’m the same guy. I haven’t changed at bit.” And, there’s the crux of it. When you do the same thing, you get the same results. In the case of a Detached Partner, the relationship dynamic isn’t sustainable. Of course, it’ll last as long as the discontent partner wants it to. Often, the cognitive dissonance that develops makes it impossible to keep stepping the same steps.
Now don’t get me wrong, if you like your relationship dance as is, and are content with your quality of life, then stop reading and happy trails to you and yours!
For those who resonate with this metaphor and want to change up the dance, here are some TIPS from the TRAIL to get you started:
- Awareness is the first step. Having that light bulb moment when you actually ‘get it’ and clearly see your part in the family dance is huge. What do you do with it? If you have some inkling about how you function in your main relationships, and want to make a change, contact a therapist. Self help is great. Facilitation through this kind of self discovery is often better.
- Notice when you THINK for others. Just notice the pattern in a non judgmental way. When you are making changes, being kind to yourself is paramount. The world will beat on you, don’t join in flogging yourself as well. Our self -talk is powerful. Try saying, ” interesting. I put my thinking cap on others.” Kindly, just notice.
- When you do start in on solving someone’s problems, or jump into the drama to make it all better, pause and ponder. Then, instead of doing the thinking for the other person, listen reflectively (parroting back what they just said). Once they’ve shared their story, recall to them how they’ve successfully dealt with crisis in the past, and encourage them to do it again. Reinforce their problem solving skills, and encourage them to use those skills versus you doing it for them.
- Mantra of the week: ‘I can’t do anyone’s journey for them.’ As a parent myself, I would take a bullet for my kids. Yet, I’m not doing them any favors saving them from pain and suffering. We all have to fall and fail, and learn to get up and do it again. That’s life. We learn our lessons at different times and in our own ways. That is, if our loved ones don’t get in the way of our journeys. Allow your loved ones to live and learn.
Enjoy your this day. See it, hear it, feel it, smell it, and taste it.
Happy trails, Allison