Finally, a win for all the awkward people out there
If you’re the kind of person who gets overwhelmingly embarrassed about the most minor of things, you’ve probably wished your whole life that you didn’t.
After all, it’s bad enough overanalysing every single situation, constantly wondering if you’ve said the wrong thing and worst of all, blushing and letting everyone know you’re embarrassed, which is in itself embarrassing.
However, the easily embarrassed can now console themselves with a silver lining to their bright red cloud – because according to science, they could actually be more attractive to the opposite sex.
According to a study conducted by Matthew Feinberg, Dacher Keltner and Robb Willer while at the University of California, Berkeley, people who get embarrassed easily and who are more prone to blushing are perceived as more attractive than those who are calmer in the face of embarrassment.
During an experiment, people were filmed remembering an embarrassing situation, and a panel then judged them on how awkward they seemed.
(Even the thought of this experiment is giving us the awkward jitters – just imagine how embarrassed you’d be?)
The study found that the more embarrassed an individual was, the more likely they were to share compassionate views in another survey.
Not only were the awkward folk more compassionate, but they were also more honest, with those who got embarrassed easily also more likely to play honestly in a game with a cash prize.
So where’s the part where being embarrassed easily made people more attractive?
Feinberg then showed participants pictures of awkward-looking people and found that embarrassed-looking people were more likely to be included by others.
In conclusion, Feinberg summarised that embarrassment was a signal of ‘prosociality’, saying that expressions of embarrassment ‘serve vital social functions’ and that going red around someone you like could actually be attractive – rather than a big no-no – as it shows you are trustworthy, generous and cooperative.
‘Moderate levels of embarrassment are signs of virtue,’ said Feinberg. ‘Our data suggests embarrassment is a good thing, not something you should fight.’
What do you think of these findings? Let us know @marieclaireuk