Continuing the relationship ideas from the past two newsletters, this video looks at the specific mistake that anyone can make in seeing either themselves or others as special. Understandable from an attachment perspective, as our first relationship is special…the mother-child relationship.
However, growing up is getting over our childish wishes for specialness, and accepting that no one is special, and the best we can hope for is being good enough.
In the work I do with young people, a large part of the misery people feel is in their disappointment in their relationships and what they perceive they are not getting. This is understandable, but not helpful and growing up is developing the skill to get over “shoulds” and our expectations of others, giving both them and ourselves the freedom to be and act how we wish. And of course then paying the price both positively and negatively for those choices and actions. The shopkeeper’s saying comes to mind here; “Take what you want, and pay for it”
“Support when you can” gives your child the freedom to both choose and then pay the cost for those choices. It is the best possible learning experience.
As a parent, your job is to gradually disappoint your child. In doing this you are gently but firmly giving them the experience that though they are not special, they are ok. And if they can develop that view about themselves, then they will likely allow other people to not have to be special as well. His makes for less disappointment, more freedom, and more relaxed and playful relationships.
No one is special – part 3 the good enough friend – Video Link