I don't have much of a problem with them at all, but I know people who do. What I do, is I try to keep a conversation going with the artist to keep my mind off of it. You could always take an ipod or something to listen to music and try not to focus on the tattoo.
Another thing that I do, (If it doesn't weird you out to see yourself bleeding and swelling a bit) I like to watch him do the tattoo if possible. I enjoy watching it a lot actually, it is pretty neat.
No painkillers or alcohol at all beforehand. It will thin your blood and make it bleed more thus making it harder for the artist to work as efficiently. Just do your best to cope with the pain, and do things to keep your mind busy.
Trust me, it is well worth it.