I extend my sympathies to the earliest experiencers of cringe, whether they found themselves at the source or receiving end of it. The scalding embarrassment of being in the center of such a thing is never too pleasant.
In a distant past before the mass numbing of the internet, it must have been a far more harrowing ordeal. It’s like an amplified state of self-consciousness, leaving no escape once it’s taken hold of the perpetrator or the witness. What’s even more perplexing is how after experiencing it, some of us actively seek it out again and again. Well, at least those with a penchant for masochism do.
Similar to extreme foodies who tirelessly seek the spiciest and most mind-bending chili, aficionados of cringe aspire to encounter so much secondhand humiliation that they almost spontaneously combust. Perhaps a list like this will accomplish that one day, and then we can all find some peace.