On having a contract, and other lessons about beliefs and behavior


Four times this week, I have been uncomfortable or adversely effected because of someone clearly violating the law, and I would argue common courtesy. It’s frustrating, and my logical thinking really wants to correct the situation by doing the right move or moves to solve everything. It stirs up lots of muck about justice, rules, and some judgement about myself (the old ‘I should have seen it coming’ number.) After running in circles on that for awhile, I thought:

“I’ve had enough of ‘you’re clearly and firmly in the wrong, but you’re also clearly the bigger a**hole’ and not going to budge for the week.”

The thing is, people do what they do, and I can’t control that. Even if I’m right, by some subjective or objective or socially agreed upon measure, someone’s beliefs about themselves or the world will tell them a story that leads them to do what they’re doing.

There’s a lovely post about this here:

So why a post on this? I thought it might be useful to voice my personal experience, where either people are just doing stuff , OR (in the ‘case of the missing contract’) I absolutely know better, but because of concepts of politeness and trying to navigate a social situation, I made a mistake. As a show of solidarity that if you overlooked your best wisdom, or people just did stuff, you’re not irretrievably stupid. It’s just stuff. It’s just a mistake.  And mistakes get made. And then we do damage control, lick wounds, learn from and forgive our mistakes, and get back to positive action when ready. Or at least that’s the plan I’m going with…

Also worth noting- if you find yourself making a pig’s ear of things, ask yourself, “Am I doing something new?” If so, it is reasonable to expect some blundering. That’s learning. And learning is awesome, and sometimes uncomfortable.

Have fun out there, and remember kids: HAVE A CONTRACT.

June 1, 2017 / Uncategorized

Kate Conklin is a performance coach and teacher of voice and the Alexander Technique. Kate specializes in helping world-class performers whose work requires excellent technique and profound artistry. She teaches in Los Angeles and remotely via Skype.

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