We’ve heard of having a fear of heights, a fear of needles, and a fear of commitment. Now, there’s a new fear: A fear of Fideting. It’s called “misokinesia“, and it’s a “hatred of movements,” like squirming, twitching, and pacing. It’s not exactly new, but there hasn’t been a lot of research on it. Until now.
According to a new study, up to one-third of the population is “sensitive” or “easily irritated” by someone else’s small and repetitive movements.
It’s unclear why it bothers people, but scientists suspect that “mirror neurons” may be involved. People may fidget because they’re anxious or nervous, so when individuals who suffer from misokinesia see that, they may “mirror” it, and feel anxious or nervous as well.
It’s like if you see someone get hurt, you may wince as well, as their pain is mirrored in your own brain and that causes you to empathize with them.
There also might be a reason why older people are always shouting at kids to sit still. Researchers say older adults appear to have a harder time coping with others’ fidgeting, so misokinesia may increase with age.