Monkey dance – Chicago edition

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So here we have an example of a Monkey Dance (one of the more common Social Scripts). I use this example because it’s funny as well as educational. Let’s see what we can learn from it.

Before we begin you’ll notice there are 2 major differences between this example and the stereotypical Monkey Dance. Firstly, this one happened between women. Second, because there was a car separating them, they couldn’t do the shoving etc. that is normally used as a step in the escalation (I imagine that’s what kicking the car was all about).


Woman 1 is walking around filming herself with a selfie camera (yes, I too find myself judging her just because of this). She comes across woman 2 and they start insulting each other. Then woman 2 shows woman 1 her gun. After seeing the gun woman 1 talks more shit. Woman 2 shoots woman 1.

Things to watch for:

  1. The gun being pulled (by woman 2) doesn’t do shit. It’s seen just as her trying to scare the first chick. Merely another step in the escalation game. (Your emotions will make you believe all kinds of lies. This ranges from believing the bad boy will change to become a better man because he met the right woman (you), all the way to believing that the guy with the gun won’t shoot you because he’s an asshat (notice there’s nothing that physically stops an asshat from pulling a trigger, but your emotions believe the flawed argument is logical).)
  2. After the gun is pulled, woman 1 then starts mouthing off about how the gun doesn’t scare her, and also starts kicking the car (I’m guessing she doesn’t have her own weapon to pull, so this is her way of escalating to the next step to show her monkey is bigger).
  3. Woman 1 sounds upset that she got shot. She doesn’t stop, turn contemplative, and say things like “Well gee, I did kick her car, insult her, and basically dare her to shoot me. I guess I understand why I got shot.” No, she’s shocked and upset that she got shot.
  4. Woman 1 (who got shot) was not being assertive (“Keep back!”), she was being aggressive (“Keep back asshole!”).
  5. It’s much easier to judge her for being upset that she got shot, because I’m not the one who got shot.

What to learn from this?

There’s much you can learn from this; it depends on where your brain’s at. Me, I see that I need to work on recognising when I’m getting sucked into my emotions. What signs can I use to spot that the monkey is in control of what I say and do? One of them (my current pet project) is trying to notice when I cross from complaints (“The supper is burnt.”) to criticisms (“You burnt the supper!”). Maybe I should also look for personalisation and Othering (“You burnt my supper!”)

I would look for the escalation (“You burnt the supper” becoming “You burnt the supper!!!“), but at the moment it’s a subtle change for me. So I’ll work on that once I start noticing the Othering.

Last lesson

So far I’ve only made it work retroactively, but I notice that when the monkey starts taking control I start judging the other person’s character . After I’ve been upset with someone I often realise that at some point I began assigning them names (in my head). Arsehole, schmuck, things like that. This seems to tie in to complaints turning into criticisms.

(I had to re-write this post 3 times before I managed to remove all the “idiots” and “morons” I had assigned to the woman that got shot).

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