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Dream Interpretation - Quit groveling, you're the boss

If you must ask for forgiveness repeatedly, as today's dreamer does, examine your relationship closely.
If you must ask for forgiveness repeatedly, as today's dreamer does, examine your relationship closely.en.wikipedia.org

Whenever a dream seems to “just be about” something you already know, look again. Careful attention will reveal the next step or a different perspective on what you might first think is a simple rehash of the day’s events. Today’s dreamer share such an example.

Dear Carolyn,

I got into a squabble with a woman I work with, “Linda.” Actually, I am her boss; she’s my secretary/office manager. She does a good job in almost every way, but there are a couple of things that she needs to improve: She’s at least a few minutes late to work every day and her work area is a mess. Since her area’s the first thing everyone sees when they come into our workplace, this is a problem. I love and appreciate her, but I had to confront her with these issues and she took it very personally. She seemed to think that because we work closely together, have fun and laugh together, that she is exempt from the work standards I have to enforce with everyone. Anyway, her feelings were hurt and she is not getting over it. Our workplace and relationship are strained and uncomfortable.

Now I’ve had this dream. It felt as though Linda and I were conversing with each other just as I have described. It didn’t seem like a dream at all except that it occurred while I was sleeping! Here it is: I am apologizing to Linda. It's a tenuous conversation in which I say I'm sure I hurt her. She seems to accept my apology and I relax, but then she comes around again with angry accusations. Her acceptance of my apology is superficial. She seems to want to reconcile, but is not able to yet. And then the dream starts over and repeats itself.

Signed,

Tired of Feeling Guilty

Dear Tired,

Our dreams do not come just to tell us what we already know. Your dream has established a context which is easily recognizable – it is about the shift in your relationship with Linda. But it is not simply repeating or describing that change. You don’t need your dream to tell you that. Your dream repeats itself and thereby insists that you review how you and Linda have handled the aftermath. It shows you in a position of apologizing for doing your job and holding her accountable for hers. You feel guilty for this – why?

Your dream shows you that your continual apologies will not alter the circumstances. Linda will reverse her acceptance and “hold it over you” that you hurt her feelings. She may forgive you at some point, but as your dream shows, she may not. Why should she? She’s in a position of power now that you feel guilty and continually apologize. That’s the best revenge for someone who needs to improve but won’t admit it. Linda tries to parlay her friendly relationship with you into a pass for poor performance.

You’ve done nothing wrong Dear Dreamer. Move on.