Saturday 16 March 2013

I don't mind - with mashup tweets

I don't mind if people don't dance with me.

It seems pretty silly to me when people get all paranoid and resentful because someone doesn't dance with them, or hasn't danced with them, and then start thinking up weird and wonderful self-serving theories about why. Abusing people because they don't want to dance with you is kind of understandable, and it's pretty harmless if you're also the sort who instantly forgets all about it as soon as they do (since all your friends probably know that, and aren't going to take you seriously) but I think it's narcissistic and daft.

This is something people do for fun. Nobody has to dance with anyone unless they want to; there doesn't have to be a reason. There certainly doesn't have to be a good reason, or a justification. There is no obligation to dance, so there is nothing to justify. This is one of those points where the clichéd analogy between tango and sex is really sort of useful for getting your head right. It's kind of in the same way that nobody owes you sex, no matter how wonderful you are. Even if you're paying, they still have to want to do it, even if it's only for money. Otherwise you are both doing the wrong thing.

It's only tango. They're not assessing you for a mortgage. Nor are they there to serve you. It doesn't have to be fair, or above board. They have to want to do it. For some reason that's good enough for them. Otherwise it's pointless.

And the reasons why people do or don't dance with me, if they even have any, are not my problem and are not my business. In fact, generally, what other people think about me is none of my business. If the dance under consideration is not fun whereever your head is, you shouldn't do it. Neither of us should.

Sometimes I'm just not their cup of tea. They may not like the vibe. This is okay. It's totally okay if you don't dance with me because I have an Annoying Personality, you don't like my dress, my earrings scare you, my clever remarks get on your nerves, my hair tickles, you disapprove of bloggers, you are intimidated by my previous partner, you're just not that into the kind of dance I like, I remind you of a cousin you can't stand, or you can, frankly, see a better option for this tanda. Or for any other reasonable or unreasonable cause. It's okay with me.

Tastes, world-views, and priorities are diverse, so no-one can expect everyone to like them. That just isn't sane or reasonable. It doesn't even happen in Star-Trek-World.

Reality check again. Occasionally I have felt a upset when (not because) someone didn't dance with me. But every time I can remember feeling like that, it hasn't actually been anything at all to do with dancing. It's been people I knew fairly well, and it's been about how they were behaving towards me as a person in a wider context, and I probably would have preferred a conversation to a dance anyway. When I sat down and thought quietly about what was annoying me, I've always found that the dance wasn't even close to being what I was disappointed about. [One exception when I thought we'd agreed to dance and I really really wanted to, but those accidents happen.] When I get fed up, I get fed up about the same old personal insecurities, or because I missed my dinner, not about dancing.


TangoAirO said...

I totally agree with you MsHedgehog, nobody needs to dance with another person unless they want to. It would be wrong to think otherwise. Yes it can feel quite disheartening sometimes when there is lack of people wanting to dance, but then there could be so many different variables involved that it simply isn't even worth considering. Anyone looking for likely reasons is going to wind themselves up and most probably end up frustrated. So best not to dwell on this sort of thing for too long in my opinion, even though it can be easier said than done at times.

Years of attending Milongas have taught me to be more patient, to enjoy the evening, the music and to see and perhaps make new friends. I view the dancing as a delightful bonus and seize any opportunities that present themselves, rather than trying to seek them out.

When I look around for dance partners the most important thing above all else is a genuine desire to dance with one another. If I make a good connection with someone before we even step onto the floor, then chances are we will have a good time during the dance. If there is a lack of good vibes beforehand, then in all certainty it isn't likely to be an enjoyable experience, no matter how good a dancer the other person may appear to be.

msHedgehog said...

@TangoAirO: That's definitely the right mental approach I think, but not only for this reason. There's nothing wrong with being actively alert, but watching specific people with an expectation in mind is a very easy thing to get sucked into, especially if other people seem to be doing it, but I find it tends to confuse and distract me.

msHedgehog said...

In fact that's one of the reasons why it can be so relaxing to go somewhere you don't know anybody. It's much easier to keep the right attitude going.

TangoAirO said...

@msHedgehog: Ah expectation, how often a let down, especially when there seemed so much promise. I find that good things happen when we least expect them.

I agree, going somewhere you don't know anybody can be very relaxing, but this also depends on the atmosphere and people present.

Not so long ago, I found myself trying out a couple of Milongas abroad. The first one was very welcoming and I felt right at home from the start. I was completely relaxed and danced all night long without having to make much of an effort. What a lovely experience it was and I would gladly return. The other Milonga by comparison felt quite hostile. It seemed next to impossible to get dances at times and frustration could quite easily have crept in if I wasn't still on a high from the night before. I kept my cool, persevered and eventually did get some dances. Still, it just goes to show that there are many factors that come into play and some are simply out of our control.