Why are you not into me?

I will put it very straight and very short: My crush is not into me and that sucks.

Apart from the regular bitter taste of rejection I can not help but wonder what the fuck is wrong him (it’s a male person in this case). After several failed attempts to meet each other and the overall lack of engagement from his side I had to embrace the fact that my interest and affection is probably one-sided and did the one thing, I could do to avoid more frustration: I accepted it. Again: My crush is not into me.

I accepted his busy schedule, his priorities and plans that didn’t involve me at all. In moments like these, I try to look beyond my hurt ego and force myself to put myself in his situation. How would I like to be treated if I was him? Being rejected might hurt but rejecting people is equally hard- especially if you care for the other person. I thought back on all the friends I have lost because I did not return their feelings and I also remember how much it hurt me to justify it.

Why am I not good enough for you?

The question is lingering in the room and was probably also in my friends’ minds back then. If I would have been more mindful back then I might have found the better words and ways to handle it. Instead, I was solely focusing on myself and felt so terribly betrayed by my friends for not accepting my feelings. I did not understand why or even how I was supposed to explain the fact that I did not return their romantic feelings. The entire situation was not easy for anyone but at that moment all each of us could see was the unfairness that we were facing alone. In our anger and frustration, we hurt each other so badly that we stopped talking and avoid each other since then.

If I could turn back time, what are the things I want to be different? What could we change to avoid more stress and pain?

Acknowledge each other’s feelings

Knowing that somebody has feelings for you might seem very flattering but truly acknowledging it is a bit different. Taking their emotions seriously and acting mindfully is import to treat them with respect. It is already a huge step to confess your feelings to somebody so to me it’s the least I can do in response.
The same does go to rejection as well. The lack of feelings is just as valid as a confession of love and should not need to be justified or explained. Affection is nothing you can claim for. Not by insulting, not by screaming, not by arguing. It is not there.

In both cases, it is important to mention that both feelings will probably linger for a while. I will probably have that crush for a little while longer, despite the fact that the feelings won’t be answered. At the same time, the lack of affection will last as well. These are to facts that need to be accepted.

Acknowledging your own needs

Back then I wanted to continue whatever we had as if nothing happened. I wanted my friends to chill at my place as we used to did and spend the entire night talking about silly stuff while listening to our favourite songs. That was stupid.

No matter how nice and easy that would be, when expectations are differing everyone should re-adjust to the new situation and take their time to reflect on what they need in order to feel better. Sometimes that means that you need some distance in order to find out. Sometimes it also means that you start stalking their new partner and (please don’t) to curse the world and scream. Whatever it is, keep in mind that all this is temporary. Don’t force yourself to continue something that is not making you happy. Don’t pretend you never got rejected and play along this happy friendship game. Don’t pretend you would return the feelings and start a relationship.

Last but not least: Move on.

All this has nothing to do with anyone not being good enough. It is about the different kinds of happiness each and every one of us is looking for and sometimes it just won’t work out. I can try and be the best version of myself but that doesn’t mean everyone will love it. To put it very drastically: People have their own taste and you have to accept that some have a poor curious one. It sucks, yes but you have no right to change it. Your own taste is subjective and nothing more.

With all that in mind, I swallowed the fact that my pretty face does not save me from rejection. After another failed attempt to meet I told the guy that I respect his busy schedule, wished him the best of luck in Berlin, hoped that we will bump into each other at some point but apologised that I won’t compete with his timetable anymore.

He was confused by this … finality. After explaining me the full dimension of his busy lifestyle (which was unnecessary because I got it by then) I phrased it very simple:

– I just have the impression that you are not into me as much as I am into you.
– Yeah… that might be true.
– That’s ok. I’m not upset but I hope you respect my decision.
– sure.

Obviously, I was not madly and deeply in love since I never had the chance to properly date him (which was good in the end, I guess), but I was sad after all. The fact that he didn’t even want to find out who I was is really … sobering. He probably didn’t feel the chemistry between us at all and his knees probably didn’t get weak when he saw me. It was just me but that’s no reason to hurt or insult him.

So can I punch him now or …?

The following story is sadly a very common and ordinary one that happens probably to some of your friends already. I give you three keywords: clubbing, males, drunk.

A tale as old as time I guess: drunk people disrespecting lines and behaving poorly. The reason why I explicitly wrote “males” is that my weekend encounter was with a man. In fact, it made me so angry that I wondered if violence can be a legit method to end conflicts. (Spoiler: the answer is no.)

Taking a break from Berlin I decided to visit a friend in Hamburg and obviously it had lead to some parties. I was in very good company and danced to the beats of decent techno when an obviously drunk guy decided to dance next to me. As a matter of fact, he had to dance really close, so close that he was literally standing on my shoe. (That I had to remove forcefully because that human being had no intention to move anywhere)

I looked around and noticed that there was plenty of space in the club. Standing on my shoes and the overall invasion of my personal space was absolutely unnecessary. My attempt to make the guy notice my discomfort by standing still and intensely stare at him got rewarded with him stepping in front of me and slowly pushing me aside.

“Fine”, I thought, “I hope the eternal flames of hell will get you and slowly burn your intestines.” Not in the mood for mindful engagement I just moved away and danced at a spot that was drunk dude free. It didn’t take him a minute to show up next to me again and repeat the stepping on my shoe and pushing me aside crap.

Me: What is your problem? I don’t want to dance with you.
Him: I don’t fucking care about you. Go away if you don’t like it. I won’t go anywhere.

Sure, I took my stuff, congratulated on the “asshole award” I just gave him and moved to a corner and danced with my friends. Until he showed up again behind me.

That’s it. No more chance. You die.

SERIOUSLY! HOW ON EARTH CAN A SINGLE HUMAN BEING BE THAT DISGUSTING? WHAT DID THE WORLD DO TO HIM? Out of all the things he could possibly do in a club he decided to use his energy to ruin my time. He was not flirting. He was not interested in getting my attention or number. He was simply an extremely rude person very ambitious so spread negative vibes. I couldn’t believe how he is not ashamed of himself.

I turned around and told him to go away. I told him that I do not like him this close. Angry he said I should shut up.

No, I will not let you go that easily. I want you to have nightmares.

Yes, I now that this is not very zen and yes, there would have been ways to solve this with less aggression. I am still learning and this as also a lesson for me. I was taken away by my own anger. It simply pissed me off to see him casually walking around being disrespectful. A club with loud techno music is probably not the best place for a mindful conversation and I also had the impression that this guy in specific is not going to listen anyway.  That is the reason why I decided to yell the shit out of him. My usually calm voice was suddenly competing with the bass from the speakers behind me and I used my hands to make my demand perfectly clear:

GO AWAY!, I yelled, my hands pointing at the farthest corner I could find. GO THE FUCK AWAY!

As expected he did not move away and got even more aggressive and I seriously had a hard time not grab him by the collars of his ugly ass checked shirt and throw him down the stairs. I decided to continue screaming instead, hoping that either security will show up or him making the mistake of grabbing me so I have an excuse for self-defence. (I might have been angry but not stupid.)
What happened, in the end, was better though. A friend of mine stepped between us trying to move him to the side. Two girls who were dancing next to us told him to get lost as well. Another friend was also blocking him from me. Finally, a guy who I just met in the club was gently taking the dude aside and said something to him that made him disappear without causing any more drama.

Everything ended well without anyone getting hurt.

However,

I just wondered if there was a way to solve this situation without depending on the kindness of the people around me. Well, going to the bar and asking for security is obviously a possibility but is there literally no way to solve this situation by myself? Why am I even in need of asking others for help? Am I doomed to rely on others just because my body doesn’t look threatening enough to make people respect me?

Darker Days

#1

The journey of horror started even before she made it to the present. As soon as she gained consciousness again she felt this familiar uneasiness all over her body. “I am awake”, she thought and did not dare to open her eyes. Neither did she want to see the light of the fresh day nor read the time on her clock. An entire day of utter terror is ahead of her so unmerciful and cruel that she wished to fall into ashes.

She cried.

Everything is falling apart – at least this is what she felt right now. The very ground she is standing on, her warm space of comfort and safety, her will and strength. The pillars that have been supporting her for the last days are britteling away. Raw anxiety carved its way deep into her bones, paralyzing the muscles and chain her to the bed. If only her mind would have been paralyzed as well. No, she was awake and this fact scared her the most.

The whispering had made it back into her skull and becomes clearer with every minute she is clear. It rips up her memories she clings on into pieces while she can do nothing but watch. Gone. The world lied in flames in front of her, burning the last shreds that once were her retreat, her safe haven. There is no place left where she could hide from her own existence and the vast horror of her meaningless life became clear in the most brutal way.

She did not beg for mercy because she knew there is none for people like her. Each and every bit of pain she feels in this moment is justified. She deserved it. Her teeth were clenched together and the only sound that made it through her throat was a frail groan. Nobody had to explain to her why she has to endure this right now, she understood very well. While burning tears are running down her cheeks, she caught herself on wishing the old wishes again. A bullet penetrating her skull by force, scattering the layer of bones until it reaches the soft brain. She imagined how the bullet breaks its way out again painting a mural of vibrant red on the sidewalk. Her head would crush on the concrete, dragged down by gravity and her mind would finally be calm.  She seriously honestly did not want to wish for it but this is what happened right now. These ideas and thoughts scare her but there is no escape, no way to avoid the confrontation. She is facing herself and what she sees is frightening her so much.

That piece of shit is trolling

Arguments, discussion, different opinions, negotiations. All these things are part of our lives and while they can be exhausting and heated they do enrich our personal point of you as well. What we take from these encounters is usually depending on our own mindset. While I am able to apply the teachings of mindfulness for most of the time you should not deny one thing: there are some people who just want to piss you off. For real.

I am not talking about an ignorant question or the lack of ambition to inform yourself. It might be annoying but I am not upset by it. I am talking about straight up dipshits who fucking shit talk right in front of your face and wait for your reaction. Hoping they can start a vicious circle where the two of you can piss each other back until somebody starts tearing up and one stand triumphantly enjoying the victory. That dear reader is the point where I lose it and forget my mindfulness and zen. These people came to the wrong neighbourhood. I won’t be the one tearing up.

As a matter of fact, I have to say that I am simply not there yet to overcome my anger and investing some serious time to open a dialogue with a person who openly wants to upset me, in order to find a reason for his/her terrible attitude. Not there yet, working on it. So far my most convenient strategy was to explain that person very calm and clear that if he/she pisses me off, I will fuck them up big times. It usually sends the signal that their current behaviour is not ok.

That might be kind of (but in fact not really) acceptable in your private space. While at work and in any other situation in public space I was semi-forced to find a way to handle these people differently. Trust me it is hard and in my eyes less efficient, but I need to pay my rent. Here are 4 methods how not to enter the spiral of insulting each other and giving the troll what it wants.

Repeat their shit

Repeat very detailed what they just said as if you want to make sure that you got everything right. End the summary with the rhetorical question if this is their serious opinion/ proposal/ question.

Expose their shit

I usually experience these encounters when I am in public or with a group of friends. When I repeat their shit I make sure others hear it and are aware of the crap that is going on. Well, it only works if you have the feeling the environment is in your favour and generally sharing your point of views.

Question their shit

What is their damn point? Ask them what they expect from such a statement.  Point out the contradictions and explain where the bullshit lies within. Most contradictions I encounter are

  • expressing an opinion but not accepting the opinion of others
  • asking for tolerance by insulting others
  • potentially opening a conversation by being disrespectful

Explain why their shit is shit

Make perfectly transparent why you think the statement was shit. Whether it is racist, sexist or simply uncalled for because the person is crossing a line. Express the impression that you – emphasize on the fact that it’s your subjective opinion only – have from that encounter.

Make them understand that you know exactly what they are trying to do right now and why your refusal of dealing with this crap has nothing to do with being anti-social or a coward. It’s just the fact that there has never been an honest intention of conversation, to begin with.

Uh no, being an artist does not mean you can behave like shit.

Breaking news, I know.

After a recent incident, I felt like writing this text. Continuing with the theme of demystifying the art realm I would like to phrase this very clearly:

Artists are no gods and should be held accountable for their shit.

To start this serious topic in a fun way let’s have a look at this ranking from the Ranker with the accurate headline: Artist Who Were Bad People.

It might be rooted in the fact that I study at an art school and work with artists myself that I do not see them as sacred creatures who deserve to be worshipped. Of course, I admire art and I am very able to separate my appreciation of the actual art piece and my opinion on the artist. It is not one and the same thing. An online article that is describing very well this difference between piece and person written by Charles MacGrath and published in the New York Times carrying the suiting headliner: Good Art, Bad People.

That being said, artists are able to do bad things and as MacGrath asks in his article: “Why should artists be any better than the rest of us?”

The fact that people create art should not excuse their (crap) behaviour. Neither should admirers of art that nor should artists themselves think that. However, during my time at the art university, I sadly do experience the opposite.

For many people involved in the art scene the end does indeed justify the means. “But I am an artist” is a phrase I have heard a lot. Sometimes it is used as an explanation for whatever fuckery just happened and sometimes it is some kind of legitimation for some fuckery that is supposed to come. I mean… wtf.
The idea of writing this text occurred to me when I witnessed an artist yelling at a lady at the museums. The latter refused to acknowledge the artist’s press card because it was not following the guidelines. In reply to that, the artist started shouting that “she is an established artist performing at the Berlin Biennale and that she always gets into museums for free”. The people who overheard the fact that she is an artist were looking at her awestruck as if it excused anything. At that moment I did not really care if that statement was true or not. (It is true though) She could have been Andrea Fraser herself and it would still be not okay to show up somewhere and behave as aggressive as she does now.

Since I am not an established artist myself I like to compare them to the mentors at my school. Would Hito Steyerl behave that way? Would Olafur Eliasson? What would have been their reaction when they would have been there? Is it even relevant to be an artist yourself in order to criticise one?

“I am a well-established artist performing at the Venice Biennale and I pay for my ticket because that’s what people do.” ?

Artists might do think and work differently but so do mechanical engineers and doctors. Do we grant them extra treatments? Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think that’s a thing.

To come back to the linked articles: After the incident, I researched on that artist and she did indeed perform at the Berlin Biennale on several occasions and her work is indeed fascinating. Would I see her show? Probably. Does this make her behaviour any less terrible? No, it won’t.