Are you easily embarrassed and get flustered if you accidentally knock over your water glass at a crowded restaurant? Or laugh nervously if you trip over your own feet? That’s actually a good thing! Because researchers say that showing embarrassment makes people like you.
Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley showed videotapes of people talking about their most embarrassing moments and had volunteers rate them.
The result: Those who showed acute embarrassment were perceived as kind, caring, and trustworthy. Observers thought they were good “friend” material, and less likely to take advantage of others or to be unfaithful.
Researchers say that’s because embarrassment is a kind of social apology or a fence-mending gesture. It’s seen as a signal of generous behavior and indicates that you care about others, and don’t want to hurt them.
On the flip side, people who barely react to an embarrassing situation are seen as more selfish, and less trustworthy, and less likely to care about anybody else’s feelings.
So, if you mess up – go ahead and blush and get embarrassed. You’ll make more friends than if you try to pretend you meant to trip over that curb.