The Art of Detachment
Updated: May 8, 2022
By Brittany Hoskins
Understanding when things are not in your control has saved my life. And I mean that literally. As we know, life can be really hard, especially when you bear the weight of everyone else's decisions. I mean, it's human nature to want to be in control. We (and when I say we, I mean in general, if you #cantrelate just read anyway lol) want to be in charge of everything and never miss a beat. As much as some people hate to admit it, we care about how people respond to us, how people treat us, what they think of us, etc. Like I said, this is human nature, but to a certain extent, it can become dangerous.
When we start putting how other people respond to us before our own happiness, we have made it to some treacherous territory.
It is so much easier said than done. But once it's done… you will feel a literal weight lifted off your shoulders, and you’ll be able to navigate the world more freely.
So then… How do you do it?
When people ask me for advice on how I stay so calm under pressure, my answer always comes back around to something along the lines of “it is what it is”. This phrase characterizes the art of detachment so well. To be frank, I should get it tatted.
The best way to start off is to be confident. But this isn't physical confidence (you all already know you're beautiful/handsome/gorgeous, etc)…this is confidence in YOU, in your thoughts and decisions. Knowing that you are worthy, you are competent, and you can do things for yourself. This is ESSENTIAL to mastering this art. Why? Because one key part of detachment is being comfortable with not knowing what will come or why something is happening, and the ability to know that at the end of the day that YOU got YOUR back… no one can tell you shit.
Okay, so once you get that together, we now have to do the hard part: accepting things will not always be in your control. It is so hard to do BUT IT'S CRUCIAL. We can only be in control of ourselves. You know that inner monologue that you have when you're walking down the street, sitting alone on the train, or sitting alone in your room? Yeah, only YOU can hear that. You can’t hear your bestie's monologue, you can’t hear your bae’s monologue, and you for sure can’t hear your parent’s monologue. You gotta understand everyone's thought processes are as complex as your own, and you can’t bear the pressure of trying to correct for and comprehend the next person.
So when that person you like is getting on your last mf nerves, they are slow at texting back, they don't tell you how they are feeling… fall back. You are too cute to be wondering why someone does something. If someone shows you who they are, listen. Just let it be.
This is not to say you cannot feel emotions. TRUST ME I FEEL. It’s okay to feel sad, it's okay to feel disappointed, but you can’t let it consume you. Don’t spend every waking moment trying to figure out their why. It's too much pressure and it only hurts you.
Detachment is the ability to see things objectively. It is a hard skill to master. We are emotional beings. However, at the end of the day, when the curtain closes, it's just you. So you have to put your sanity first. Once you are confident and willing to loosen the grip on the ties people have with you, then you may even be able to further master this art by putting yourself in someone else’s shoes. But one must come before the other, as you cannot become empathetic to one’s situation if you are absorbed by your own emotion.
Learn to let go.