TikTok's Latest Trend Is About Embracing Your Cringier Attributes & We're All About It

Many of us go about our days hoping we aren't making other people cringe. In fact, we may feel that twinge of secondhand embarrassment when we see others being cringey and think, "I'm glad that isn't me." Maybe you haven't even shared your amazing art or music out of the fear that it's cringey to others or didn't buy an outfit because you thought it could be "too much." But let's face it, life can be boring when we take ourselves too seriously. Now, more than ever, we need more joy and, yes, even some cringe in our lives.

And according to TikTok, 2023 is the year to be cringey. That's not to say people like feeling embarrassed, but TikTokers are encouraging fellow users to embrace the cringe and live life to the fullest. After all, whether we realize it or not, the fear of embarrassment can really stand in the way of growth and success. Therefore, learning to accept and live with our cringey side has more benefits than you might think. 

Don't fear the cringe

First things first — people aren't paying as much attention to you as you think. Everyone is most likely just as worried about being cringey too. But what happens when we start embracing our cringe? We can become better versions of ourselves. A TikToker, who goes by Dahmin, made a passionate video about the power of embracing cringe, and it went viral. "Every extraordinary or successful or remotely memorable person in the world has only gotten to where they are because they didn't give a f*** about being cringey," she says. And Dahmin's absolutely right.

Taylor Swift, for example, didn't get where she is today by letting others' perceptions get the best of her. In fact, she encourages us to embrace cringe in her 2022 NYU commencement speech when she said, "Learn to live alongside cringe. No matter how hard you try to avoid being cringe, you will look back on your life and cringe retrospectively. Cringe is unavoidable over a lifetime." 

We often hold ourselves back out of fear of not being perfect, but to get good at something new, we have to go through that cringey learning phase. So, write cringey love songs, laugh loudly, tell people you love them, post a picture that gets no likes, or dance in the rain. The fear will begin to dissipate, and your authentic self will come forward.

Cringing at your past means you've grown

We all have cringey moments that come back to haunt us. Ripping your pants at your middle school dance, forgetting your lines on the opening night of your play, or saying the wrong thing on a first date. But if we can't look back and cringe at our past actions, are we really growing? This is a point that TikToker Caesar Garcia makes in his video. He says, "...the fact that I do not resonate with the behavior that I'm cringing over anymore means that I'm growing as a person. If I couldn't find something in the past six months that makes me cringe, that means I have stayed the exact same." Therefore, rather than shaming ourselves for our mistakes or shortcomings, we can feel proud of the progress we've made over time. 

As you look back on your life, you're most likely not going to wish you weren't so cringey. Instead, you'll be able to see the growth you've achieved and look back with humor. If you're a long-time athlete or musician, for example, your parents can probably tell you how cringey you were when you first started, but look where you are now after putting in the work to get better. You can't give up because of the cringe, and shouldn't make decisions solely based on others' opinions. To never be cringey is to never truly live, so let that cringe flag fly.