Fill The Space You Want To Occupy / by Nicole Paulus

Fill The Space You Want to Occupy
 

Easier said than done right? It’s much easier to whine and complain internally about the person sitting, dancing, standing, walking too close to you, than to actually do something about it. Unfortunately, women are more likely to feel wronged by someone entering their personal bubble, but often won't speak up for fear it's not ladylike or polite. Women have been taught to remain quiet, passive, and apologetic. Ever apologized when someone bumped into YOU? 

Well, what if I told you that you have the power to prevent this unwanted space intrusion? And no, this is not some hippy dippy tutorial about how to change your perception and learn to tolerate everyone because deep down everyone is battling their own demons, fuck that. Instead, it’s a more proactive, preventative solution. 

We as modern women have to get better at playing the offense. It's not enough to "hear us roar", we also have to literally take up more space. 

To further explain what I mean, I will give you a real life example (it just so happens to have to do with dancing, because well, this is my favorite pastime, my therapy, and something I happen to be very good at.)

Picture me over there on the dance floor. There I am swinging my arms, shimmying my hips, stomping my feet, bouncing my head ever so slightly, and probably grinning from ear to damn ear. You might look my way and think, “damn that girl really does not miss a beat, is she some sort of alien?” It’s true, I won’t miss a beat, even if the DJ orchestrates a less than stellar transition.

Well that is until someone rudely bumps into me. And someone will always bump into me, whether intentional or not.

The old me would have thought to myself “get your shit together drunky, you just made me miss a beat.” or “I hate people who cannot control themselves on the dance floor.” I'd get red inside, make a sour face, and then return to dancing. 

Others will insist there is enough room for them to squeeze into the space next to me. 

The old me would have thought to myself, “Don’t they know that’s where my right arm goes when the beat drops? How rude.” Well guess what, they don't know, and they don't care!

You know what I think now? 

I’m not doing a good job of filling the space I want to occupy. Most men know how to do this quite well. Where women are taught to constantly apologize for imposing on others, men just show up and mark their territory. Here is a great article covering the phenomena of 'manspreading'. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting you figuratively piss on every dance floor you enter, quite the contrary. All I am suggesting is that we as women should be more protective of the space we want to occupy. I know that I need a good size space for me to comfortably dance. That means I am going to guard that space like hell. 

And how do you do that, exactly?

Well to start, move your body like your life depends on it. Vary your movements so no one can predict where you’ll be next. Wave your arms like those motherfuckers are on fire. And never, ever apologize. If you feel someone start to encroach on your space, use your shoulders. They are quite powerful when you alternate them back and forth, back and forth. You can also do all of this with a smile. You aren’t some greedy dance floor hog, you just want to have fun without passively letting others dictate where and how you dance. 

Once you’ve mastered the art of offensive dancing, you can apply the concept to other areas of your life; while traveling on public transport, while trying to get a promotion at work, or while sleeping next to a bed hog. We will not be ignored.

Viel Glück meine Lieblinge! 


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*image by Unsplash.com