Melissa Dahl invites you to follow her into all sorts of mortifying moments, drawing on personal experience and in-depth psychological research to answer life's questions on why certain situations are awkward.
Though this is Dahl’s first book, she brings a background in journalism to the world of popular psychology, interspersing her personal anecdotes and experiences with readable, thoughtful analysis of formal studies of embarrassment and self-awareness. The result is a book we can all relate to. As Dahl says, 'The ridiculous in me honors the ridiculousness in you.'
This lively study explains how embracing embarrassing conversations or exposing situations can improve your life ... She offers several convincing examples ...
Dahl is exceptionally good at describing emotions and the visceral physical sensations that often accompany them, and on the whole her personal anecdotes and her more scientific investigations are pertinent and penetrating. Cringeworthy offers several sensible pointers for readers, perhaps on trains, who would like to overcome awkwardness. But the most passionate advice is to be 'grateful for this odd little emotion and the power it has to connect us … There will always be awkwardness, and the only way to keep it from isolating us is if we start cringing together.'
Melissa Dahl’s fascinating new book, Cringeworthy: A Theory of Awkwardness. Dahl, a senior editor at New York Magazine, has done the good work of taking a serious look at one of our most common, least-understood human experiences: embarrassment ... Dahl writes with levity, grace and self-awareness. Her multi-year exploration of awkwardness has given her more compassion for herself and the rest of us bumbling nitwits ... I do feel a little liberated by Dahl’s book. It’s a great reminder of the universal nature of awkwardness and a call to spend less time twisting the knives in our own hearts. If no one else is looking at me, perhaps I can shift my gaze, too.