Today I posed a question to my dance friends pertaining to a man who asked me to dance for the first time in awhile, then told me that my turn technique made it hard for him to dance with me because he has a bad knee. I did not, when I posed the question, post my initial reactions to it for good reason, and I also made it sound as innocuous as I could. I wanted to get reactions which were not colored by knowing the person in question because, from my perspective, he tends to be a player who leans towards pretty, younger women, so not asking me to dance is really no surprise, nor do I take it personally. In fact, I was rather surprised that he asked in the first place. But I was amazed at the perspective I received from other dancers, and frankly, will be more inclined to take the constructive criticism to heart, despite my perception of the deliverer. The conversation, as best as I can remember it went something like this:
He: Can I be blunt?
Me: Aren’t you always?
He: Not always. But I am obnoxious.
Me: Me too.
He; It’s a defense mechanism because I don’t want people to like me.
Me: Oh, ok. (laughing)
He: I don’t ask you to dance very often because when you turn, you tend to end up farther away and when I reach out to catch you, it hurts my knee. (he has a bad knee with pins in it, which I knew).
Me: I didn’t realize I was doing that. Thanks.
The reason I bring this up is that it is a good example of how we listen. If our perception of someone is that we like and respect them, we will be more likely to listen and take what they say to heart, even if it is completely unfounded. Whereas, if the speaker is someone we don’t really care for and who we think is a boor, no matter how valid their comments, we’re more likely to dismiss them as one of those “consider the source” type of things.
Years ago, I took a first line supervisor’s course and one of the sessions talked about active listening. This topic comes back to me rather frequently, and I really try to take it to heart. But this incident leads me to want to expand on the topic and include making an extra effort to listen actively when the speaker is not someone we like and/or respect. I think that it is especially important to give these people our full attention at times because our pre-conceived notions are likely to cheat us out of information which might prove useful to us down the road sometime. I know for a fact that I am guilty of giving people lip service if I tend to disagree with them on a regular basis.
And as I type this, I see that it really does relate to that crazy dream I had. Specifically, the section when I was surprised to be working cooperatively with a certain individual. I know that I tend to dismiss him out of hand a great deal of the time, yet I admit that he has some skills that I don’t. He’s far more diplomatic thanI am and really can be a good facilitator. He doesn’t get into the nuts and bolts of things, nor does he seem to understand, (or at least I don’t see it) how much time and effort goes into certain tasks, but when it comes to bringing everyone to the table to work out a solution, he does a pretty good job of it.
So from two people who tend to rub me the wrong way, I’ve learned something about myself this weekend. I need to put my feelings about people aside, and just give them the opportunity to teach me something. I will always admit that I don’t have all of the answers. But I won’t always admit that certain people might. I need to work on not tuning those people out without giving them a fair listen first. They still might not actually have the answer, but they might point me in a direction I wouldn’t have gone by myself where I will find a solution that is far better than the one I came up with on my own.
So my task this week is to corral the cats and practice turn technique down my hall which is narrow enough to give me pause, not to mention, bruises, if I drift to one side or the other. This will take awhile as I need to get it right first, then get it consistent where I adhere to it without having to think about it, as is usual on a social floor. I’m even considering taking a few privates to work on it, but at this point, I don’t even know who I’d go to for lessons. But as with everything else, if I put it out to the Universe, the solution will find me!
Now that I’ve reconciled one piece of that dream, it occurs to me that this is how it will resolve itself to me. I will get a piece now, another piece in a day or two, and so on until the whole thing makes sense. The basic purpose of the dream seems to have been to open my eyes to possibilities and to broaden my awareness of what is going on around me. This is certainly not a bad thing!
Tomorrow is another work day so I won’t be able to laze in bed for an extra hour or two, having a cuddle-fest with my cats. I know Toby, Dylan and Munchkin will be disappointed as they’ve really enjoyed the last couple of mornings, snuggling and purring their furry little hearts out. Dylan was particularly happy when I lay down on the floor to do my knee exercises as he curled up around my head like he does when I sleep, and alternately purred and washed my face! I have considered getting up earlier so I can just spend more time cuddling them and getting my exercises in, but when that alarm goes off, all I want to do is hit snooze a dozen times! I guess being a morning person simply isn’t in my genes!
My gratitudes tonight are:
1. I am grateful for weekends when I can have an extra hour or two to snuggle with my cats.
2. I am grateful for friends who help me see different perspectives.
3. I am grateful for dreams which show me things I need to work on in my drive to become a better person.
4. I am grateful for an abundance of opportunities, health, love, friendship and prosperity.
5. I am grateful for a busy week ahead to keep me focused and accomplished.
Love and light