I’ve been thinking a lot about cringe-attacks. Or, more specifically, I’ve been having a lot of cringe-attacks. Do you have any clue as to what it is I am talking about? If not, allow me to explain. You know when you do or say something that makes you feel so embarrassed that you have a hard time thinking about it once it’s done because going through it once felt horrible enough and now you have it in your head for the joyous pleasure of reliving that oh, so terrible moment at any moment of the rest of your life? Yeah, well, sometimes, while reliving those moments, you end up doing something like smacking your own head, or pulling some kind of face. Personally, I either end up humming or singing random tunes ridiculously just to distract myself from what’s going on inside my head and, if I’m in bed, I pull the covers over myself and push myself down my bed while humming or singing. (Nights spent with me can be odd.) That, my dear reader, is a cringe-attack.
Simply put: A Cringe-attack is: N. A somewhat dramatic external reaction to an internal conflict of emotions that is usually started by remembering something embarrassing.
Before writing this post, I decided I was going to write a post about one of my embarrassing moments. I find that writing things down and opening up about them helps with letting them go, and if that didn’t work, at least something funny would come out of it. And I am so sick and tired of getting cringe-attacks over something that happened in the 7th grade. I was 13 years old back then. I’m now 20. It’s been 7 years for crying out loud!
So what happened was that I started to write down a memory that was supposedly “extremely” embarrassing, and while writing it I realized that it… wasn’t a big deal. Or it wasn’t as big as I felt it was. Do you know what I mean? It’s like inside me it felt so big in the small space of my body, but once I put it out in the world, it just felt so irrelevant and small. It wasn’t even a funny story. It was just a memory. A stupid memory that made me feel like I was stupid and inferior. Something that has stayed with me for 7 years of my life. And all I had to do was stop avoiding it to realize how silly it was. How it didn’t deserve such extreme embarrassment. It’s okay to get embarrassed, I know that. It’s just that I’m starting to not let the embarrassment take over. I messed up, whatever. Even if people laugh at me, who cares! I realize that it’s easier said than done. Way, way easier. But I think a lot about this: If I were a heroine in a book I was reading or a movie I was watching, how would I want her to react to the situation I’m in? Would I want her to care what some immature child said to her? Hell no! Would I want her to let people make her feel inferior? Definitely not. And I’m finding that it helps to think that way. At least for me it does. It helps me take a step back and really look at the situation from a third person point of view. And it’s good to do that. It’s good to take a step back from yourself and just look at what’s going on. Just look at the whole picture. And I mean that in any situation, not just while getting cringe-attacks. Writing things down is my way of stepping back. I write what’s going on and imagine myself as an author who’s writing about her characters, and that helps me with trying to look at the whole picture.
So what I’m saying is, if you suffer from cringe-attacks, or if you’re just bothered by something, write it down, or share it with someone, or say it out loud to yourself. Just don’t avoid it and keep it locked inside you, it just grows bigger and bigger then. Even if it is as bad as it seems to be on the inside. At least voicing it, or writing it down gives you a chance to really hear or look at it when it’s not inside you, to really analyze it and see what you should do about it. It’s good to remind yourself that you are in control of your brain. Sure, it does a lot of things without consulting you, but when it comes to things like this, you, my friend, are in charge.