"Flinch" as written by and Alanis Morissette....
What's it been over a decade?
It still smarts like it was four minutes ago
We only influenced each other totally
We only bruised each other even more so

What are you my blood? You touch me like you are my blood
What are you my dad? You affect me like you are my dad

How long can a girl be shackled to you
How long before my dignity is reclaimed
How long can a girl stay haunted by you
Soon I'll grow up and I won't even flinch at your name
Soon I'll grow up and I won't even flinch at your name

Where've you been? I heard you moved to my city
My brother saw you somewhere downtown
I'd be paralyzed if I ran into you
My tongue would seize up if we were to meet again

What are you my god? You touch me like you are my god
What are you my twin? You affect me like you are my twin

How long can a girl be tortured by you?
How long before my dignity is reclaimed
And how long can a girl be haunted by you
Soon I'll grow up and I won't even flinch at your name
Soon I'll grow up and I won't even flinch at your name

So here I am one room away from where I know you're standing
A well-intentioned man told me you just walked in
This man knows not of how this information has affected me
But he knows the color of the car I just drove away in

What are you my kin? You touch me like you are my kin
What are you my air? You affect me like you are my air


Lyrics submitted by Lamia

"Flinch" as written by Alanis Morissette

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Flinch song meanings
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24 Comments

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  • +3
    General CommentActually, listening to it again it seems to me that this does not have to correspond to a love relationship -- or even an actual relationship at all, though it certainly could.

    Sometimes those that affect us, influence us 'totally' and leave us tortured and haunted by the memory aren't those we've given our hearts, but who perhaps have captured our minds or fascination -- be it even grotesque fascination.

    I've been deeply affected by the relationships I've experienced, and can't really think of a past boyfriend I would be 'paralysed' to meet again so that I would keep running to prevent it, having no idea what I'd say. There's only one I can imagine who would make me feel this way -- and he's not an ex-boyfriend.

    So, anyhow. That's how this seems to me these days. Just my thoughts.
    mindhuntresson September 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI like her songs but they are so difficult to understand. This, to me anyway, is about a girl who has been hurt but she has put it behind her. A beautiful song to listen to.
    fadedon April 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it is about getting over someone that you were with for an extended period of time, someone that you've grown attached to that has abandoned you. Every time you hear there name it brings back memories you've had, either good or bad, which just brings more pain.
    hydrogenon May 25, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy personal opinion on this song is that basically she never really got over him. And even though she moved on...through the years random people would mention him or even just his name in conversation, she'd still flinch & think of him because her heart is still not healed. She's asking him & herself in the song how long she is going to have to be tortured by him before she finally gets over it.
    socks192on August 13, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwhen I'm feeling sad and stuff I listen to this song over and over...sometimes it makes me more sad but sometimes it cheers me up a bit to know that someone else has felt the pain that I do...I dunno I just think that she turned the heart broken situation into a song perfectly.
    Fifinesson October 13, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Comment+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    From my knowledge Alanis said that this song is about a guy she was in a deep relathiship with but he broke up with her. Her twin brother (wade) called her and told her that he was in town. She happend to see him at a bank or something, froze and just turned right around and walked away. This had some type of major effect on her thus producing "flinch"
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Jaydee
    jaydeejjon June 21, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentshe's talking about a guy that's affected her like no other. she never got over him, and doesn't feel she ever will. no matter how long it was stuff happened between them, it still only feels like yesterday to her. she doesn't want to see him again, because of how she will feel...
    missmeon December 08, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI had a similar crush on one guy who lives close to me. We had this connection, but it never turned in something bigger. Singing this song she admits that she can still feel shiver and chill around him. She still care but on the other hand she is aware of being ignored and small in his presence. And she is hoping to grow up this kind of relationship and feelings that are not mutual.
    kikakmon January 09, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIts about that feeling we get whenever someone even mentions a great love/relationship that we have had. The guy had such a profound effect on her that the relationship they had still feels like it was yesterday. So for her even being in the same space (room, city) with him is too much.

    "Soon I'll grow up And I won't even flinch at your name" my favorite line
    youaintright20on June 19, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment"What are you my dad, you affect me like you are my dad."

    I think she is saying "dead" instead of "dad." Her dead, deeply mourning as if this were the loss/death of her "own blood," her kin. This seems to be reinforced by the verse just before that, "what are you my blood, you affect me like you are my blood." She loves him like her own family, and so loosing him is something she will never get over. Still, she feels childish for feeling that way even after all this time.
    driftingdreameron April 30, 2011   Link

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