Personal connections and relationships are a dance (and no I’m not just saying this because I’m a dancer). Communication between individuals can be as complicated as footwork for the argentine tango.
Both people come to the floor with different experiences and skill sets. Different emotional complexes, varying values and characteristics, different insecurities. All factors in the way we each individually function. The memories and situations each person experiences shapes their mindset, but more importantly their perspective. And when combined, these ingredients can be the recipe for success or failure.
The dance begins, as do the assumptions. We use our own understanding and thought process to try to lead the situation. “I’ve trusted too easily in the past, so I need to see if they really care”. “They have their significant other, so why even bother trying to be there for them”. We become defensive and try to counteract issues before they even happen. Thus, stepping on toes and throwing off the dance.
If I’ve learned anything this past few years, it’s that always trying to take the lead gets you nowhere. Attempting to constantly remain in control of the situation leads to confusion. Trying to guess and predict what will happen, only leads to pain. On both ends. Whether you’re trying to lead the dance or you’re being led by someone, it doesn’t work.
There has to be balance. Clear communication and willingness to be transparent. Both people must equally contribute. However, looking at this as a dance, my failures are lessons learned. Practice for the future.
Just as it takes years to become a tango master, it takes people a long time to learn the dance of communication. And when I say “people”, there’s a big flashing arrow above my head.
By no means am I perfect. No one is. Yes, there are situations we wish we would’ve handled differently. However, we can’t change them. All we can do is apologize to the people we hurt. And even with saying sorry, you have to understand it will take time. Just as the pain of others’ actions stays with you, know the pain will still exist in those who you hurt.
The future will present more opportunities to “Step out on the dance floor.” While it’s only natural there will be some errors, prepare to contribute to more successes. We may not have all the answers moving forward, but we know for sure this lesson has been learned.