Yup, there is going to be conflict in our world. Whether it be with your family, romantic partners, professional partners, or yourself, we are going to experience conflict at some point. Sometimes great things emerge from conflict. Sometimes relationships are destroyed with conflict. However you slice it, conflict is an important part of life.
Why do I suggest this? If we bottled up all of our feelings and never confronted ourselves or others, things would get rather uncomfortable. Think of a time when you were upset with someone and you tried to keep your trap shut about it. How did that work for you? Did it make your stomach turn? Did it make your crazy for days? The more you tried to burry it and not think about it, did it just keep knocking at your brain until you paid attention?
Not dealing with things that bug you in a relationship will lead to a great deal more bugging than you bargained to receive. Sometimes we see it as easier to just walk away and let it go, but that is more often not what happens. The above happens and it is such a waste of energy. One of the best things that happened in my life was a change that made my mental energy reserves be fragile. It is a frustrating state to experience and it doesn’t seem to be going away after 2 years. The silver lining of it is that I have no ability to waste my energy on anything that doesn’t deserve the energy.
To what does that lead? Well, if something isn’t sitting right with me, I speak up right away if I can. There is no point in me stewing over something someone said or did to me that I didn’t like if they are someone who is going to remain in my day to day life. I may step back rather than have a knee jerk reaction, but I am going to address it as soon as I can. Then it is off my mind and they can deal with their side of it however they like. I have spoken my peace and can move forward. If I don’t stand up for myself, it will stick with me for a long time and then I feel resentment toward the other person. That is not their fault. Often the other side did not even realize that their offense was that big of a deal or had that great of an effect. Setting them straight allows for healthier future dealings.
How does this apply to dance? In this realm, we have to have a fairly thick skin. We are putting ourselves out there whether at the competition floor, studio, stage, or company event. By working with others whether a partner or group, we are putting ourselves out there as well. With that vulnerability, someone giving us a sideways glance can be enough to offend or hurt feelings. Having the courage to clarify allows for extinguishing a heated situation quickly and allowing yourself to move forward quickly so as to not waste precious rehearsal time. Don’t make yourself sick dwelling on the small things. Address them quickly so you can move forward and maximize your energy for the good things in your dance life.