From what I observed in several discussions now, if someone is coming over to the session and spoils the fun, or is just not wanted, many people have this tendency not to state this overtly but to engage in a strange game of giving ‘cold shoulder’. Seems like people see the two ends of the scale as ‘submissive’, which no-one wants to be, and ‘rude’, which only some decide to be, and the rest oscillate somewhere between these two points, not wanting to be passive, but neither to lose face.
But what about just being plain with the lad/lass? I know, this might lead to a conflict, verbal abuse or so, but so what? Don’t you feel that this game of saving face is a bit awkward? In my opinion it is the worst of the things you can do. I’d prefer to have an open dispute with the guy rather than trying to show him in an indirect way how unwanted he is. It seems too much like a lack of courage to me. And a bit childish, too.
A month ago or so, by chance, I sat down in a session with several other players, including two famous pipers. One of them didn’t mind, I guess, but the other one was showing me all the time how unwanted I am there, ignoring me, delaying, engaging in conversations, preventing other players from starting a tune - clearly waiting until I will get his ‘message’ and go. Finally, without joining a single tune, I left, after half hour, which was a 30-minute torment for everybody. I found this deeply offensive, as I didn’t even know for half an hour what is going on - but also rather pathetic. Had he said that a guitar player is not welcome to their session, or that he wanted to show off with his u-pipes on his own, I’d understand, buy myself a beer and enjoy listening to the music for the rest of the night (they played remarkably). What he did was the most disrespectful and cowardly thing he could possibly do.
By giving me a cold shoulder he proved only that he was a pr*ck without guts.
So if I felt it’s not worth a trouble, I’d either bear with the plonker (say, it wasn’t my session, then it’s not my business to push people around) or leave. But usually, if someone new spoils the fun, I’d give him a feedback - without aggression or any animosity, with all due respect, but in plain text. If that hurts his self-love, it’s his problem. But at least I don’t feel I am being disrespectful towards him.
So, is this approach acceptable, or should I don my potato-resistant armour before posting this thread?