“Differentiation is not individuation. In other words, differentiation keeps in mind the needs, hopes, support and relationship with the “other.” It is a means towards healthy connection. It correlates with such things as emotional regulation, emotional interdependence, emotional IQ and emotional health. As the differentiation of the group/individual rises – the more able it is to adapt to stress and manage/tolerate anxiety, giving it a better prognosis for getting through conflicts intact.
So as the Mormon family faces conflicting principles in our own stated “family rules:” -Do what is right, let the consequence follow- -Search, ponder and pray- -Listen and obey – it will be interesting to see how the balance of differentiation will play out. I hope we remember that the more differentiation we can tolerate, the healthier and less anxious of a people we can be. Unfortunately, this latest news of ousting two of our own (representative of many who share similar views) portrays the message: get with the program or get out of the program. Not a differentiated stance. Harmful for many. Not a good example for how family systems should function. Against some of our own most Mormon teachings around the importance of agency, forgiveness, personal revelation & conversion, etc. And un-Christlike at its worst.”