Cringeworthy is THE book about awkwardness you need to read!

Title: Cringeworthy
Author: Melissa Dahl
Rating: 8
Source: Portfolio Books for review

Description from Goodreads:

New York magazine’s “Science of Us” editor explains the compelling psychology of awkwardness, and asks: what if the moments that make us feel most awkward are actually valuable?

Have you ever said goodbye to someone, only to discover that you’re both walking in the same direction? Or had your next thought fly out of your brain in the middle of a presentation? Or accidentally liked an old photo on someone’s Instagram or Facebook, thus revealing yourself to be a creepy social media stalker?

Melissa Dahl, editor of New York magazine’s “Science of Us” website, has. After a lifetime of cringing, she became intrigued by awkwardness: a universal but underappreciated emotion. In this witty and compassionate book, Dahl explores the oddest, cringiest corners of our world. She chats with strangers on the busy New York City subway, goes on awkward friend dates using a “Tinder-for-friendship” app, takes improv comedy lessons, and even reads aloud from her (highly embarrassing!) middle school diary to a crowd of strangers.

After all of that, she realizes: Awkward moments are opportunities to test yourself. When everyone else is pretending to have it under control, you can be a little braver and grow a little bigger–while remaining true to your awkward self. And along the way, you might find that awkward moments unite us in our mutual human ridiculousness.

What I Thought:

First of all, I related to SO many of the awkward situations Dahl finds herself in. This alone helped me feel better about my own awkwardness!

The book is written in an easy-to-read style, and incorporates research and scientific studies in a natural and interesting way.

I loved that Cringeworthy made me realize that being awkward doesn’t have to be terrible, it’s part of life and should be embraced! We all think that everyone is paying approximately 3000% more attention to us than they really are. We just need to relax.

There were so many different ways that she researched awkwardness, and they were all incredibly interesting. The professional cuddling session is where I think my line would be, haha! That would just be too awkward for me!

The juxtaposition between two different comedy nights she attended was striking – at one, the comedian live-Tindered in front of a crowd, making fun of the responses and profiles for laughs. In the other, Mortified, (in which Dahl participates) the comedians are the ones making fun of themselves – by reading their own diary entries from when they were teens. Dahl enjoys Mortified much more than the other, probably because in one the participants are willing, and in the other, unwitting. Awkwardness can be enjoyable, as long as we are able to laugh at ourselves, acknowledge it, and embrace it.

“Self-indifference” is one of my favourite concepts from the book – we just aren’t that big a deal. And that’s great!

“To me, self-indifference is the comfort of realizing that you are simply not that big a deal… The psychological science on the subject has shown that when you try to make yourself feel better by shaking off criticism and zeroing in on your positive aspects only, it backfires. The best, if counter-intuitive, way to truly feel better about yourself is to see yourself as you really are.”

So, what awkward things have you done lately?

Find It Here:

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