What is „The Ick“? Meaning, definition, explanation

The phenomenon „The Ick“ is one of various dating behaviors one that has been increasingly discussed on the Chinese social media platform TikTok since 2022. „The Ick“ can be translated as yuck, which is meant to describe that a date triggers disgust. So it goes far beyond the fact that a date no longer has any attraction because the spark doesn’t fly. Videos with the hashtag #theick had 150 million clicks as early as July 2022.

What is „The Ick?“ Meaning, definition, explanation

„The Ick“ differs from ghosting in that the date engages in a behavior or small gesture that displeases the other person so much that no next meeting takes place. At first, the encounters are quite positive, people are attracted to each other, and they date again. But at some point the other person shows behavior that causes very unpleasant feelings, often even disgust. The attraction is gone in one fell swoop. From this point on, you see the person with completely different eyes. It is no longer conceivable to have a relationship with this person. The old feeling can no longer be brought back to life.

What triggers „The Ick?“

The triggering moments are as individual as each of us. Some examples like „fake“ emojis, wearing a backpack or using an e-scooter seem ridiculous, but they are legitimate. There are people who are very repulsed by someone licking their fingers after a meal, frequently running their tongue over their lips, or touching the waiter on the arm.

Others might judge these conspicuousnesses as trivial. But for the person watching, they have a very different impact and can trigger a strong aversion. How someone sits down at the table, laughs, uses the cutlery or certain vocabulary – all this can cause embarrassing moments of strangeness and make the date unattractive from one second to the next. Under the hashtag #theick, exactly these moments are shown and discussed.

The Ick: vague psychological explanations

There is something soothing about watching the ick moments on the internet, but also something narcissistic. Through the videos of others, we realize that we are not alone in our feelings and can better categorize them. Maybe before we thought we were a little quirky, but the videos show that there are other people who feel similarly. They create a sense of belonging.

Psychologists, however, cannot say exactly why these banalities trigger disgust in one person and not in another. The assumption is that the reason lies with ourselves and not with the other person. A bit of narcissism also plays a role in the presentation on the Internet, because the videos are suitable for underpinning one’s own importance. It is possible that the „disgust attack“ is just a jumping over action to justify an existing fear of commitment. This all happens subconsciously and is not knowingly controlled by us.

The protective assertion has the advantage that one does not have to deal with one’s own fears, because the blame for the failure lies with the other person. But faultless people do not exist. The challenge is to build a relationship with a person whose little tics we not only accept, but even find endearing.

Exclusion criterion of values

Discrepancies in world views and values do not necessarily cause disgust, but they are a decisive criterion for ending the relationship. If the values do not match, further dating is usually pointless. Examples of this would be misogynistic or racist remarks. Religion is another issue where agreement or tolerance is important if the relationship is to last.

Autor: Pierre von BedeutungOnline

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