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|The Tao of Improv - Page 9|
This contrasts with the stinginess and distrust we see in many relationships. Mike and Loren are discussing what they might do together over the weekend. The discussion quickly assumes the feel of a poker game. Mike is willing to do something on Saturday afternoon, if she'll let him watch the ballgame on Sunday. Loren is willing to go for a hike, if Mike promises to take the kids to soccer practice on Saturday morning. They're strategizing and posturing and bluffing, rather than being honest and committed to each other as a couple. Each has learned over the years to look out for him/herself, because they each believe their partner won't.
As therapists, we try not to play such emotional poker with our clients, but we certainly do with our colleagues. We hold tight to our clients; we promote ourselves and feel competitive toward other therapists in town, other programs like our own.
In the improv world, the number of chips isn't limited, and we're playing not against each other onstage or in a scene, but for each other. I give you what I most need, and believe that you'll give it back. I can lean into the relationship because I know and trust that you'll catch me.