Let’s Talk About “The Ick”

The ick. We have all had it and we have probably all given it to someone somewhere too. The icks can be minor or major and can often appear a mean judgment to those who don’t understand. The ick is something you can’t unsee, a siren you wish you never saw.

Let’s talk about the ick.

What is “The Ick”?

For those who haven’t heard of the infamous phrase “the ick” – in shorthand – it is where someone does or says something that makes your attraction to that person flip into a feeling of disgust or embarrassment, something that puts you off them.

For example, an ick could be an opinion that a lot of people would agree with, like the fact your partner doesn’t clip their toenails, or it could be something more pedantic that only you find to be an ick, like when someone is doing something completely human (that most wouldn’t see as an “ick”) such as waving at people or the way they walk.

How Do You Give “The Ick”?

The term is commonly used to attack someone’s behaviour, mannerisms, or appearance; it is usually an attack on something you either can’t control or something you are completely unaware of. However the ick is nothing to fear, there are always going to be attributes people like about you and there is always going to be attributes that people dislike about you – it is human nature. Fear not if you give someone the ick, fear only if you are giving everybody the ick.

How Do You Get “The Ick”?

At the end of the day it is ultimately up to you to decide if the ick is a red flag or is worth jeopardising your relationship for. Usually, icks are incredibly minor to everybody else but a much bigger issue to the person who has the ick, and if you have it you need to weigh up whether you can put up with it or not. Like mentioned formerly, there’s always going to be things that people like and dislike and you have to weigh up whether the things you like outweigh the qualities you dislike in order to continue the relationship. 

Why Do People Find Icks Funny?

Finding out something you do is an ick can be hard to take for some people, and even more so when people are laughing about it, but icks are funny because they are relatable. That is why the term is being used all over Instagram and Tik Tok, because we have all experienced that feeling.

For example, if someone comes to you talking about a date that didn’t go well because of a certain ick and your friend jumps in and says they share the same ick, you both share that commonality of the same ick and can totally understand where one another are coming from whereas others may see it as a harsh/ mean judgement. The ick is a feeling, a feeling of second-hand embarrassment, a feeling of cringe that makes you question everything you once thought about that person, and it can come from the most randomest of places.

Should I Give a Fu*k? 

The bottom line is no, not really. If something you do bothers someone else, that is their problem to deal with. What may give one person the ick may be the reason for another person falling in love with you. Stay true to you.

Examples of “The Ick”

So you can get more of an idea as to what some people consider a personal ick of theirs, some great examples sent in were:

“Bad selfies.”

“When boys follow too many girls on Instagram.”

“Temper tantrums.”


“When their hair has blown up in the wind.”

“Bad breath.”

“Ugly shoes. Just casually wearing hiking shoes or ballet pumps is just.. No, soz.”

“Treating hospitality staff like shit. You can be a 10 but quickly turn to a 1.”

“Telling me to take my heels off because I am taller than them.”

“Skinny jeans and loafers.”

“Typing loose when they mean lose.”

“Girls cycling.”