Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Sobering Show

Has anyone been following the O’Neals on OWN?  I was able to catch the “reality” show again this past Sunday.   I was pleased to see the progression in Ryan and Tatum’s relationship.   Although it is still very rocky, there seemed to be more moments of enjoyment and appreciation between the two. 
It was interesting to hear their differences of perception about their interactions.  There was a scene in the kitchen where Tatum was cooking for her father.  He sat at the table, teasing her.   At first, it seemed benign enough to the viewer.  But, he ends up pushing her buttons so much that he realizes it is best for him to leave the room.  She is furious by the time he leaves, and rightfully so.  Ryan crossed the line by taunting her about alcohol.  (She is a recovering alcohol and drug addict.)   Although he leaves the room, he doesn’t seem to grasp why his daughter is upset.  There is a valuable lesson here – in relationships, it is very important to consider the other person’s perspective. 
In this episode, the father and daughter visited Ryan’s therapist together for the first time.   It was an interesting dynamic.  Ryan gave Tatum a lot of jewelry before going into the session.  He tells the camera that he is afraid of what Tatum might reveal about him.  Tatum tells us that this is Ryan’s pattern.  He gives gifts “with strings attached” (i.e., bribes).  Although the scene in the waiting room did not look promising, it seemed that they did make some progress toward understanding each other better when they met with the therapist.
Ryan agrees to attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting with his daughter.  She is thrilled afterwards!  It seemed that she was finally getting some of the support and validation from her father that she has yearned for all her life. 
This show is valuable in reminding us how much family and other people mean to us as we go through life.   Tatum had fame and fortune, but she felt she had no one to turn to so she resorted to addictive and destructive behaviors.  Although she physically removed herself from her father’s presence at an early age, his temper and treatment of her stuck with her.   The show documents her attempt to heal some of those childhood wounds and establish a new relationship with her father.
It may be easy to forget how our actions affect other people as we go through our busy day-to-day routines.  Again, how do you show gratitude and appreciation for others?  How much do you consider the other person’s perspective before you respond?
Please feel free to post comments or email me at coachjenna@formulaforexcellence.com.   I am here to support you!

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