Highlights

  • If you are annoyed by watching people fidget, you're not alone 
  • Scientists define the condition as misokinesia meaning ‘hatred of movements’
  • A recent study discovered that nearly 1 in 3 suffer from the condition

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Hate seeing people fidget? There’s a name for that feeling

If you are annoyed by seeing people fidget, you may suffer from a condition that scientists call misokinesia meaning ‘hatred of movements.’  

Do you feel incessantly annoyed when people around you won’t stop fidgeting? Turns out, you are not alone! In fact, scientists define the condition as misokinesia meaning ‘hatred of movements.’  

A recent study of 4,100 people in Canada discovered that one in three people actually have the condition. These people can experience reactions such as anger, anxiety or frustration when they watch someone fidget. 

The first of its kind study was recently published in Scientific Reports and found that people with misokinesia may face difficulty and reduced enjoyment in social situations, at work or in learning environments. In extreme cases, they might even engage in fewer social activities due to the condition. 

While research on the topic is limited, researchers estimate that empathy has a major role to play in the condition. A common reason behind fidgeting can be anxiety or nervousness. The behaviour is also common in people with ADHD. And when people with misokinesia see that, they may mirror it and feel anxious or nervous as well. 

While researchers are still looking for a better explanation, the recognition of the condition offers some solace to people who might have thought they were alone or weird because they feel this way.

SEE MORE What is 'comfort food' and does it really help deal with stress and anxiety?

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