Why We Get Embarrassed and How to Overcome It - Deepstash
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Embarrassment Is a Fear Response

Embarrassment is a self-conscious emotion dictated by a disconnect between how we feel we should respond or act in public and how we actually respond or act. 

We are most likely to be embarrassed when we believe we have not lived up to what society asks of us or when we are on the receiving end of undesired attention.

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Why Some People Turn Red

Our minds see embarrassment as a threat, as do our bodies. 

A unique feature of the veins in your face and neck is that they are equipped to respond to social threats. Though embarrassment isn’t the only cause for our face turning red (guilt, shyness, or shame can also trigger this) it is a big part of it.

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People Can Make It Worse

  • Our fear of blushing in front of others can cause us to alter our behaviors in a way that does result in poorer judgment from others. It’s not the blushing that causes people to judge us negatively but rather the way in which we modify our response. It ends up being a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.
  • When people tell you your face is turning red (even if it’s not) you will begin to turn red. 

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Aim For A Healthy Perspective

Humans tend to overestimate just how negatively people will view us, we get trapped inside of our own head and lose perspective on just how little people are actually paying attention to us. 

Therapy can help reestablish a more healthy perspective on just how little people are actually judging us.

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Disarming Your Embarrassment

  • Talk about things that embarrass you: When you talk about embarrassing stories with friends or other people you trust, you take away the power those moments have over you. 
  • Blushing and embarrassment show you care: We are drawn to others who are embarrassed because we view them as people who understand when they have crossed a line or made an error. 
  • Refocus your attention: Our intense fear of being negatively judged by others can enhance our feelings of embarrassment and blushing response. 

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“Relax; the world’s not watching that closely. It’s too busy contemplating itself in the mirror.”

RICHELLE E. GOODRICH

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