Do you have an ‘Evil Step-Mother’ or ‘Evil Step-Parent’ in your family?
Or perhaps you’re the Step-Parent unfairly labelled as the ‘Evil’ one yourself?
15 years ago when my Dad met a new lady, I thought my Step-Mother was the enemy.
Funny enough though, I didn’t even realise at the time that I had put her in the ‘enemy category’ myself.
I thought it was all her – not me.
I was 14 years old at the time and all I knew was this new lady on the scene wasn’t my Mum.
She could never live up to the awesomeness of my Mum, and my Dad was now giving her and her children more attention than me (in my mind), so she was an intruder.
Fast-forward to a few years ago >> I had just attended a DOTS Communication course (the exact course I left my job to now run myself – but that’s a whole other story).
So there I was, sitting in my seat at this workshop, thinking about my relationship with my Step-Mother and I had an ah-ha moment that hit me like a tonne of bricks.
What that means is, I can be both very sensitive (???? Blue) and very rational (???? Red) depending on how I’m feeling at the time – almost like having a split-personality – tricky, right?!
So the interesting thing about Red DOTS is… they have this thing called the ‘enemy category’.
Red DOTS are very logical people, they see things in black and white.
???? loyal, and
???? brutally blunt.
And they like bullet points… see what I did there?
But the thing is, when you meet a Red DOT for the first time they quickly decide in that moment whether they like you or not.
You’re either a friend – or an enemy.
One or the other.
Just like that.
Seems a bit harsh, right?
But most of the time Red DOTS don’t even know they’re doing it!
It’s not much fun for everyone else (well, if you’re in the enemy category that is).
When a Red DOT puts you in the enemy category, it’s almost impossible to come out of it unless you know how.
So in that moment, sitting in my chair, I had an epiphany.
The day I first met my Step-Mother I had put her straight in the ‘enemy category’.
It didn’t matter how nice she was, what wonderful things she did, I was never going to let her in to my ‘friend zone’.
Over the next 12 years of their marriage I held her at arm’s length, always looking for examples of why she was so ‘evil’ and ignored most of the good stuff she did along the way.
Not much fun for her.
The painful thing is, I never even realised I’d played any part in it.
I thought it was all her – not me.
Turns out she wasn’t so ‘evil’ after all.
So after the DOTS course finished I got up, walked over and apologised to her. Sincerely. For the first time in my life.
I said to her “how horrible that must have been for you, dealing with that for 12 years!?”
We were both in tears, and at that point in our relationship everything changed.
That evening we went out to enjoy the best family dinner we’d ever had (Mum even came too!).
Why am I sharing this intimate history of mine with you?
Because the more I tell people about it, the more I realise how many others have suffered something very similar in their families.
I discovered there’s a lot of unnecessary pain entwined in family relationships around the world, and I want to be part of the solution.
So what am I doing about it?
I’m helping people transform their relationships with family members, partners, colleagues, anyone through the coaching workshops I run.
How can I help you?
If you’d like to transform your communication skills online, register for our next online workshop. Find out more here.
To your happier family,