The pee dance is an ancient tradition. You’re waiting for the bathroom, and for some reason you start wiggling around. The How to Do Everything podcast spoke with Dr Peter Lechman to take a look at some of the theories of why we do this weird behaviour.
Lechman breaks down each theory like so:
One theory is a rhythmic displacement behaviour. We do various rhythmic things when we’re faced with conflict… The thought is it’s just a human nature thing to create a rhythmic behaviour to help you deal with the anxiety of this conflict…
The next theory is the distraction effect… It’s the whole fighting pain with pain idea. Something hurts, so you do something else that hurts to distract you from the first…
Then there’s this idea that actually crossing your legs helps tighten your sphincter… there’s probably a little reality to it, that crossing your legs helps tighten things up, and I bet there’s a mental component to it. We just feel like “that’s where it’s gonna come out and if we clench in front maybe that will help stop it.” It probably doesn’t actually make any difference.
All that said, Lechman points out that it’s probably best to just stay calm and wait. But we still have this overriding nature that makes us move around. Either way, don’t hold it for too long.
Episode 245: The Pee Dance [How to Do Everything]