You might be surprised to hear that detachment is an important quality for relationships. But in fact, it is much more than that. Detachment is a highly beneficial state of mind in all the fields of life, and in our relationship with objects, people, even our own physical body!
One thing worth clarifying is that detachment is not indifference. You might think that a detached person is one that has no human relationships at all, or if he does, then they must be cold and superficial. Right? Not quite. It’s important to clarify this confusion: detachment has nothing to do with indifference, although sometimes even dictionaries will fall into the trap of confusing them. Indifference means a lack of interest and sympathy towards a person or object. Detachment, on the other hand, refers to the state of mind of being objective and not clinging, and it springs from a deep consideration of the conditions of human truths. What do I mean by this?
Imagine that you go on a trip with a group of people that you don’t know. The journey will last for two weeks and the participants are coming from all over the world; you are probably not going to see them again after the holiday is over and everyone goes back home. Now, imagine that in this group there is a person that you find amazingly attractive and interesting. You know well that you will share only a short time, and you accept this reality; nevertheless, or actually because of that, you intend to make the most out of the few days that you can spend together. There is no trace of indifference here, but the conditions of your encounter with that person force you, in a certain sense, to be detached.
Healthy detachment does not mean complete disengagement. It’s just less ENTANGLED and dependent. It starts with the realization no matter how connected the relationship may be, people are still going to make their own choices for their own reasons.
Here are a few examples of detachment:
* Ability to allow people, places or things the freedom to be themselves.
* Holding back from the need to rescue, save or fix another person from being sick, dysfunctional or irrational.
* Giving another person “the space” to be his/her self.
* Disengaging from an over-enmeshed or dependent relationship with people.
* Willingness to accept that you cannot change or control a person, place or thing.
* Developing and maintaining of a safe, emotional distance from someone whom you have previously given a lot of power to affect your emotional outlook on life.