I’ve been testing my hypothesis, and I’ve found it to be true (this is based on qualitative research): if you call all cockroaches “crickets”, they instantly become less menacing and more approachable.
It also helps to talk to them.
For example, if you’re naked and vulnerable, just minding your own business in the shower, and a large water roach comes out of the wall at eye level to sneak a peek, it’s beneficial to state aloud, “that is a cockroach. No, that is a cricket. YOU are a cricket and I’m not afraid of you.”
By engaging crickets in conversation, social propriety requires them to oblige, thereby giving you time to locate your weapon.
A suggested conversation topic could be, “if you only had 10 seconds left to live, what would you do?”