Couple of Misfits
Does this take you back to another time? I just LOVE to watch Rudolph with my kids. I don’t know if it’s the simple animation or just the nostalgia of childhood but it’s a favorite Christmas tradition.
Last night we were watching it (yes, we are running a bit behind on our Christmas shows!) and I couldn’t believe when I saw this scene. I thought to myself, “Wow! That’s interdependency!”.
When Rudolph and the “Misfit” Elf meet, the dialog goes like this (paraphrased)
Rudolph: Who are you?
Elf: I’m a dentist and I’m, I’m Independent!
Rudolph: Yeah, me too- I’m whatever you said- In-de-pen-dent.
Then something falls and scares them.
Elf: What do you say we be independent together?
Rudolph: You don’t mind my red nose?
Elf: Not if you don’t mind me being a dentist.
Rudolph: It’s a deal!
Then they break into song about being a misfit.
This caught my attention for 2 reasons-
1. Being interdependent is about being independently yourself (keeping your own sense of self and who you are) but also being a couple. It is having a respect for each other and knowing that we are not completely independent (we do need each other) but yet not being so needy that we smother the other person. I like how Joleen Watson describes it in her article “Planting the Seeds of Interdependency” http://www.imaginehopecounseling.com/fullarticles.php?ID=5
It is having a “me”, “you”, and “us”. I like to draw this for couples as two circles that partly overlap each other. Not completely, just partially. We still keep our individual selves inside of our relationship.
So I loved how the Elf and Rudolph were going to be “independent” (or really interdependent) together!
2. It made me think of how in the beginning of a relationship, we accept flaws in our partners or friends. We are longing for relationship so we don’t mind that they have a red nose or want to be a dentist when they are really an elf! As our relationships deepen, many times we become intolerant of those traits that were once acceptable.
It’s important to have the same grace we had with our partners or friends when we first met. They were the same people. Now of course I am not talking about accepting abusive or damaging traits. I mean things in our friends or partners that they cannot change.
This is such a brief overview of interdependence (it is a blog after all!) For more info, please read Joleen’s article above.
This week, what is one thing you can have grace for in your relationship or friendship?
Thank you for reading! Have a great New Year!
Written by Natalie Chandler
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville