Benefits of Being Cringy

Have you ever been cringy?

Have you ever cringed when you heard your voice out loud or saw yourself on video?

What about when you think about an awkward memory?

I remember I was pissed and sad after the 2016 election and I shared a long post on my Facebook (wow been a minute since a said that)

But yeah it was the first time I allowed myself to be vulnerable in a public forum—honestly it was one of the first times I remember sharing something that felt controversial.

At that time, I had a deep need to be liked, so sharing something that others might reject made me super uncomfortable.

After I pressed send, I closed my computer and didn’t look at it for a couple hours because it felt icky to open myself up that much.

I used to avoid conflict and rejection was my biggest fear.

Anyways, I opened the laptop up and saw that my post was making rounds.

I don’t remember the exact numbers, but by the next morning there were over 100 comments and a ton of likes and shares.

It felt like a relief to not be an outcast for sharing something I felt.

What was it that made me so uncomfortable?

Perhaps it’s the same thing that makes you feel uncomfortable when you put yourself out there.

That cringe feeling.

Writer Melissa Dahl describes that cringe feeling as, “Self-consciousness with this undercurrent of uncertainty”. Sounds about right, but why does it happen?

From her research, she theorized that “maybe we feel awkward when the “you” you think you’re presenting to the world clashes with the way the world is actually seeing you.”

In my instance, the emotionally charged Facebook post definitely clashed with my identity of being the chill, nice guy.

And when you go to put yourself out there, you may have thoughts like:

“Who am I to be saying this?”

“Will people think I’m stupid?”

“Are my ideas important?”

“No one cares”

And that can be scary. But from my experience, it gets a lot easier with practice.

And think about all the people you admire. You probably admire them because they allow themselves to be seen.

They’re bold, they take a stand, they have an opinion or an essence that feels like their own.

Cardi B comes to mind. She’s likeable because it feels like she’s being herself.

And of course that means some poeple won’t like her. And some are going to cringe. She may even be cringing.

But a few great things happen when you embrace your cringe:

  • You learn it’s okay to feel uncomfortable
  • You feel free to show up as yourself
  • You attract your people
  • You expand your comfort zone
  • And you (hopefully) realize no one is actually thinking about you that much and their judgements are often just projections

In the long run, feeling uncomfortable for being your honest self is better than pretending to be someone you’re not.

Only one sets you free.

So here’s your nudge to embrace your cringe and show up boldy in this one precious life.

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