So, you promised not to spoil Avengers: Endgame. This was all well and good when you hadn’t seen the movie yet and didn’t want it spoiled for you, but now here you are, with so much KNOWLEDGE, and yet, still with friends, family, passersby, coworkers who have no idea what you just experienced.
Well, listen. You made a commitment and we’re gonna help you stick to it!
We know that stopping or avoiding behavior is much easier when you have a replacement behavior, so let’s give you something to do besides mutter “#dontspoiltheEndgame. DON’T spoil the Endgame” to yourself.
1) Enjoy the incredible community you’re in.
For a few hours there, it felt like we were all friends watching something that our other friends made. We scooched over knowingly when someone just couldn’t make it without a bathroom break.
We laughed at our choral responses. I think everyone in my theater simultaneously shushed each other (/themselves??) at one point. Chat with your friends who have seen it, become buddies with the person sitting next to you, and/or use it as an avenue to catch up with someone you haven’t gotten to chat with in a while. Good relationships are such an essential part of our wellbeing.
Let’s put ‘em to good use and find ways to help them thrive.
2. Express gratitude.
I am a HUGE fan of gratitude and the many benefits it brings us. Pause and spend some time dwelling on what you’re thankful for in this wild cinematic ride. I often express my thoughts through writing and had countless essays floating in my head right after I left the theater. You’re reading one of them! If you don’t trust yourself to talk to other people without spoilers, consider writing a thank you note.
It’s up to you whether you send it. You might thank the directors, your local theater, the friends who didn’t spoil the movie for you, the actors, the best boy grip, whoever! And you better believe that I’m not here to stop you if you want to go ahead and write a letter or draw a comic to Stan Lee.
3. Do something else you enjoy.
While it was not a totally sedentary three hours for me (upon reflection, I believe I at various points reached toward a character onscreen, curled into a ball in my seat, and leaned well over into my friend’s chair), you were essentially just sitting in the dark for three hours. And, let’s be real, you then went and sat in silence somewhere else for who knows how long.
Get moving! Go for a walk, revisit a hobby, play a board game, buy or make someone a gift—the possibilities are endless.
This is one of those instances when cognitive flexibility, or shifting from one thought, activity, or expectation to another, might be a little tricky for all of us who have been so joyfully stuck on this movie for so long. Don’t forget about the big picture, or grand scheme of things. This movie is one beautiful, moving piece of storytelling and art that’s part of a broader life you’re living. Go enjoy!
And now I’m going to get unstuck from this movie myself with a late night (early morning?) snack. Don’t spoil the Endgame and DO find something else to fill your brain, time, and words. Good luck!