If you’re blushing right now, you’re probably a really awesome person.
A recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology offered evidence that people who get red in the cheeks easily are more likely to be trustworthy and generous. The researchers from the University of California, Berkeley found that the more embarrassed a person is, the stronger his or her “prosociality,” or the level of caring about others’ welfare.
Embarrassment is an internalized emotion where we feel like we’ve somehow violated social norms, such as saying the wrong thing at the wrong time. It’s a normal emotional response, and doesn’t include serious conditions like generalized anxiety disorder and other panic disorders where the fear of embarrassment or failure can be debilitating.
Part of the experiments performed by the Berkeley researchers dealt with an actor who either pretended to be proud or embarrassed when learning of a perfect score on the test. The researchers found that participants were more prosocial about the actor if he acted embarrassed.
"Our data suggests embarrassment is a good thing, not something you should fight," researcher Matthew Feinberg said in a press release.
The humility a person has, which leads to his or her embarrassment, hints at his or her trustworthiness.
One of the most useful ways to use this information is to help you better understand and choose someone to spend a whole lot of time with.
That’s why the study was called “Flustered and Faithful.” Then again, just because someone isn’t blushing at every little thing doesn’t mean they aren’t faithful or trustworthy.
Depending how you read into it, a person who is rarely embarrassed could have plenty of experience in those situations and have already worked through their embarrassment. Or, they could subconsciously have a sense of entitlement that everything they do is awesome. Or, maybe it’s somewhere in the middle.
Either way, if you’re searching for someone to date, the really calm, cool, and collected people may not be the best long-term companions. No one is saying they’re bad people, but they might not be the easiest people to trust.
That shy person, the one who might blush when you look at them or stutter when they can’t find the right word, well, they might just be more understanding, caring, compassionate, giving, and trustworthy.
If those aren’t the qualities you’re looking for in a significant other, please don’t reproduce.
Well, now this is awkward.