10 Facts About Embarrassment

In Galleries, Social
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1. It Does Not Happen in Private

Embarrassment is a self-conscious emotion where others might notice how you negatively perceive yourself. It is normally in the company of pride, guilt and shame. Embarrassment mostly happens when you are in the presence of other people. It is also not new to most individuals since no man is an island.

2. It’s Based-On Standards Set by the Society

Feeling embarrassed is an awkward feeling where you fill exposed and regret the wrongdoing or act that happens. It is further a negative evaluation about the standards that society sets on feelings, actions and thoughts. It is further an awakening to the failure to behave according to how society wants.

You will beat yourself up if you fail to live by the yardstick with which others judge you, and the standards you set for yourself. One instance can be when you belch while in the middle of an important presentation. The embarrassment arises from the concern that others, who hold you in high regard, will begin to think negatively about you.

3. It Stems from Accidental Behaviors

Embarrassments are a fruit of accidental behaviors that make you look at yourself in negative light. You may not necessarily have anticipated violating any social standards, but then it happens.

The most common accidental actions that cause embarrassment include: spilling drinks, tripping and falling, stalling cars, ripping pants, belching, sudden and unnecessary attention, forgetting the names of others and having your private feelings disclosed. The embarrassing moments are common and create lasting bad memories.

4. The Reaction After Embarrassment

The common signals after embarrassment include an inhibited smile or a funny smile where only the corners of the lips turn upwards. There is also a downward gaze, face touching and head movements that turn away.

There are also acts such as blushing. Blushing normally occurs whenever there is an emotional trigger that makes your glands to generate hormone adrenaline in the body. Thereafter, the adrenaline affects the nervous system, which in turn affects the blood capillaries on the skin. Once the blood comes close to the skin, you begin to blush.

What happens is that the receptors in the vein located at the cheeks and neck dilate while responding to social threat. The kind of emotion that embarrassment causes resembles those from any other threat.

5. Your Behavior Becomes Abnormal

It is amazing how a situation in specific social set-up can be completely abnormal. Every aspect is scrutinized and causes embarrassment. In other social settings, behavior that is normally seen as embarrassing becomes humorous and amusing. It only becomes an embarrassment to the perpetrator.

In the company of people you treasure and love, belching becomes a normal act. You do not feel embarrassed when you do this in front of parents, sibling or partner. This behavior however is very embarrassing in front of strangers or a high-flying figure in society, professor, employer or even mother-in-law. Therefore, the social context is what the brain uses to judge when to feel embarrassed.

6. Secrets Also Create Dread

The occasions that result in embarrassment are normally those that you fear someone else seeing you do. The irony is that there are some positive circumstances that will still make you feel embarrassed. You feel embarrassed when you feel exposed even when it is a positive thing. Suppose you receive public recognition at work or someone mentions that you look great with a new piece of clothing; you are likely to feel embarrassed.

7. Feeling Embarrassed is Uncomfortable but Has Its Plus

It is obvious that being embarrassed is an uncomfortable situation. However, it is a form meant to show recognition or regret for a wrongdoing. Those who show feelings of embarrassment in public are likely to be forgiven, liked and trusted that those who fail to.

8. Embarrassment is Not Far from Shame

There are many ways in which embarrassment resembles shame. Some form of embarrassment is like less intense shame that links to how someone perceives himself or herself. These two emotions are linked and but has slightly different facial expressions and postures that differentiate them.

9. What to Do About Embarrassment?

Feeling embarrassed stems from the thinking that everyone else is preoccupied with your situation as you are yourself. It is a ‘spotlight effect’ where  you overestimate the extent of the appearance of your actions being noticed. It is more of an occurrence of the mind than an actual occurrence sometimes.

10. Reliving It is So Easy

Some individuals cannot prevent reliving an embarrassing moment in their head over and over again. However, this affects how they feel and behave publicly. It also determines your mood. Hanging on to this can affect your self-esteem and how you look at yourself. The best thing to do is to try to review what happened, take a lesson from it, and move on.


Understanding embarrassment, is a key factor in learning how to not make future mistakes. As long as you can learn from your mistakes, there is no need for regret. So, take your licks, learn from them, laugh at them if you can, and enjoy your life!

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