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Fluid identity and liquid lead: … change your hat!

Claudia Kratzheller

Fluid identity – Liquid lead – or …in other words:
Change your hat!

What kind of roles do you take on in your life?

The friend, the colleague, the entrepreneur, the lover, the wife, the mother, the father, the advisor …the server, the boss, the victim, the buddy, the odd one out…

There are many variations in the playground of life.
Have you ever thought about them as a
Fluid identity with the potential of liquid lead?

Water Liquid -lead image

We all have different tasks and roles in our lives that we either have chosen, have rolled into, or have been given
….mostly it’s a combination of those three that shape and influence what you DO in your life.

Do you identify with them?
Are you comfortable sitting in these roles?
Like sitting in a box?

It can feel safe, and maybe also limiting…

Do you feel trapped sometimes?
Do other people see you according to these roles?
Do you put other people in boxes?

You know what:
We all do it!

– often unconsciously.


  • the professor who is listening and lecturing
  • the garbageman who is taking care of the waste bins
  • the inspirational speaker in the church
  • the parent who is taking care of the child

All these people are in roles.

Do you see one role as more important than the other?
Here is a short story to illustrate playing with roles and status:

In a restaurant:
The guest to the waiter (agitated and reproachful)
“Waiter! There is a cockroach in the loo.”

The waiter: (quiet and calm)
“ Well, I suppose you’ll have to wait then.”


Here is some stuff to experiment with:
Play and explore with shifting and changing your roles:

Notice what you do in your daily life -in a particular role.
Like: doing the dishes. Listening to a friend. Being the one who pays the bill.
Being the one who fixes and helps. Being the one who is strong and keeps all together.

Does it serve you?
Does it serve the whole situation?
Keep it.

Does it not?
Change something.

It can be a small change, a small step  – and observe how it feels. How it affects the whole situation.
The idea of the liquid lead is not to be bound to have fixed roles, but to change and blend fluidly between the roles of serving and leading …so ultimately there is no leader and follower,  the roles become superfluous as it is a constant change of leading listening and active following.

In Tango and Contact Tango, it happens naturally – politics and society are on the way towards that.
It’s a rocky road, but we are definitely on it!

The Point:
Keep the dignity and respect for yourself and others beyond all roles.
Play with them as they are not who you ARE.

Inspire other people to go beyond labels and assumptions
and connect to the human being rather than the role.

The role is what you DO, it’s not who you ARE.

Disclaimer alert:
When you play with these roles, choose moments that are safe for you!
It might not be wise to shift your behavior suddenly and at random when the stakes are high.
-for instance at a job interview to try out your new self…-)

It could also be that other people around become surprised, as they are used to seeing you in one role, and suddenly something else is happening.

Let them have their feelings!
– and feel free to explore beyond the “box”!

Artikel uit de categorie:
Gender & Identity

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