July 18, 2008 7:06 AM Subscribe
I'm getting a bit tired of my own cringing, and wonder how others have dealt with it.
posted by monocultured to Society & Culture (51 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
The way I understand the cringe is that it's an empathic reaction to the perceived awkwardness of someone else. Whenever I'm in a situation where I get this reaction I tend to leave the room.
I once walked into a poetry reading which was accompanied by a girl playing a small drum and dancing to the beat. My solution in that case was to unfocus my eyes (like those magic images where a dinosaur might appear) and go to my happy place.
Even pedestrian sillyness evoke this reaction. Some episodes of Frasier are almost que stage left for me, and the final concert scene in About a boy had me chainsmoking in the kitchen with headphones on. Not half an hour ago I was listening to This American Life about medieval themeparks, and yanked the plugs at the first "Welcome m'lady, I'm your knave for the evening."
I don't think is just me poopooing others, but regardless of my reasons I'd like to ween myself off of this behaviour. It's annoying to have near panic whenever someone decides that performance art is something that I should be subjected to.
So, do you recognize this behaviour and what are your suggestions for changing it to a point where I can get past my initial reaction of fear and loathing?