Someone I care about recently commented that they are sick of being taken advantage of by their friends and were thinking of ending several of those relationships.
My friend's comment got me thinking of something I heard a few years ago:
All Human Interaction In Life Is A Social Dance
Without realizing it, my friend who made the comment, really identified the dance, a problem in the dance with several friends and one way to end those dances.
When any combination of two people begin interacting, they begin a social "dance." They are getting to know each other and are sharing bits of themselves with the other. This sharing may include interests, likes/dislikes and more. As this interaction continues, a pattern often emerges.
- They are getting to know each other equally or one is sharing more than the other.
- They are trying to spend time together equally or one is trying noticeably more.
- They are spending approximately the same amount of money on each other or one is spending significantly more.
You get the idea...
When any relationship that is intended to be an equal friendship becomes one sided in these or other ways, the dance is out of balance. What should be done in such a situation? Should the dancer who notices the imbalance just walk away from the dance or should they point out the issue causing the imbalance with the hope of correcting the issue and continuing the dance?
The answer to that is fairly simple: How much do you care about your dance partner?
If you do care about your dance partner, tell them how when they do or don't do or say or don't say such-and-such, they are stepping on your toes in this dance and it hurts. It could be that they don't notice what their feet are doing and just need to be told.
Maybe you've already tried that and your feet are still getting squashed. Taking a break in the social dance and explaining to your dance partner why you're taking a break may be all you need to do to allow your feet to heal. This may also give time for your dance partner to get social interaction dancing lessons. And speaking of dancing lessons, it could be that taking lessons together will solve the entire situation. (Allow me to step out of this analogy for a moment to make a point very clear. These "dance lessons" may be individual, group or marriage counseling, depending on your dance environment.) By doing this, you've started your dance break or lessons on friendly terms and will probably be able to resume dancing some time in the near future.
If you do resume dancing and your feet are no longer getting squashed, you've saved your life of dancing with your partner. If your feet are still getting squashed, it may very well be time for more combined dance lessons or to stop dancing with that dance partner, let your feet heal and find a new dance partner.
If you really don't care about your dance partner or really don't have an already established dance relationship with them, you might want to explain to them why you're stopping your dance or you might want to quietly stop dancing and just leave the party without saying anything. Explaining may help them dance better with their next dance partner but not be wise.
Thanks, Chis! Charlie Brown and his Snoopy are off and on good dance partners, depending on what they are each obsessing about. Then they appreciate each other again, or celebrate their parallel play together for a moment in time. Right? I guess that is how unattached I have become, or am trying to be. Low expectations of the "other" have less disappointments. On the other hand, high expectations of my self . . .lead me to want to take dance classes :-) And get REALLY GOOD! Even get bold to help others too shy to dance! But these days I am in to circle dances, "dances for peace", even contra dancing! Actually, the words "social dance" actually brought to mind the native American social dance that everyone from any tribe is invited to participate in. It ends with a big rush into the center with a cheerful Hooplah! That's so much easier than looking right into someone's eyes and facing their expectations, feeling like I am being examined, or analyzed. Circle Dances are my speed right now. And from the center of that circle comes a longing for more, for flexibility, and spontaneity, and experience that builds confidence. Improvisation is wanted eventually, when the "please, don't look at me, subsides." :-) Glad to see you are in Kensington. I used to work there a bit, back in my Philly daze. Wishing I could visit, but that will have to wait. See you someday! ~ RuthAnnReplyDelete