Detachment sounds like a bad thing.
It sounds like you don’t care. Like you’ve checked out.
But detachment can be powerful in two ways:
- Detachment builds trust with others.
- Detachment allows us to look objectively at ourselves and understand if the decisions we are making help us or hurt us.
Detachment is a key component of building a life that is intentional, freer of distractions, and committed to your own top priorities.
Building Trust with Others
How many times have you lost heart because a boss, leader, teacher, coach, or parent regularly came unglued?
Maybe he or she didn’t lose it all the time in verbal flare ups but barely veiled distaste with a smirk, roll of the eyes, or some other facial expression.
Over time, the overly emotional responses and reactions of your leader caused you to lose respect and belief that he or she has your back or can be depended on?
Maintaining some level of emotional distance in your leadership and parenting will, over time, inspire confidence.
For instance, if you struggle with handling your 5 year old’s tantrums without screaming or crying or some other emotional reaction (please realize that I know nobody is perfect and that there are special circumstances that compel parental units to ball up into fetal positions in the corner of the bedroom – but preferably out of sight of the young’uns).
Over time, if that is the consistent response, will that child at 12 or 13 trust an emotionally stressful situation to the parent that always reacts overly emotionally?
I doubt it.
The same thing at work. If your team cannot deliver bad or difficult news to you, will they begin hiding, hedging, and avoiding?
How long before cracks begin to show?
Maintaining composure and a measure of detachment creates comfort, stability, and trust.
Objectively Assessing Our Own Decisions
The other element of detachment is that it helps us step back and look at ourselves objectively.
If you can grab a bit of emotional detachment from the why you made a certain decision to observing the decision itself and whether it helped or hindered you, then you can start making positive change.
If, on the other hand, you stay embroiled in the emotional reasons and excuses for your decisions, then you won’t honestly assess whether or not your behaviors are good or not.
It all comes down to, “If only so and so hadn’t do this or that to me, I would be in a better place.” Or “If only I had this when I was growing up or had gotten into that college or didn’t have blue eyes but green eyes.”
Detachment allows us to sit back and notice our actions and whether they help us. At the same time, detachment allows us to see if we keep making the same stupid decisions so that we can decide if we need to go find some outside help to get us moving in the right direction.
Living Simply in the Suburbs is about making better decisions. About removing emotional, relational, and spiritual clutter so that we can drive toward our highest priorities.
Detachment helps us get there.
Lest you assume I mean we have to be robotrons, let me just say I cry more at Publix commercials during Mother’s Day marketing pushes than most people cry all year.
Detachment doesn’t mean unemotional or untouched.
It means learning to turn a brutally honest eye on ourselves and avoid excuses.
If you have thoughts… drop them below.
I’d love to hear!
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