This is a just a random epiphany I had the other day when thinking about an embarrassing situation. I ended up trying to fathom the logic behind what makes a situation embarrassing.
I’ve concluded that it’s quite simply one thing… Other people’s judgement.
When something embarrassing occurs, our initial reaction is “what will others think?” Or “omg everyone saw that they all think I’m an idiot”. And to that I say OH WELL. We live in a harsh world where things won’t always go our way, we just have to accept these situations, deal with them and MOVE ON.
The feeling of embarrassment is a man made emotion in the sense that it’s based on how society reacts to a situation.
This is my theory of the evolutionary benefits of embarrassment:
The negative judgment of the action by the cohort of people you want to maintain face with would mean that they may be apprehensive to allow you into their social group. Evolutionarily, we need a group of people to be part of to survive in terms of working as a functional group to carry out essential survival tasks.
However this evolutionary benefit is not as relevant to social circumstances anymore.
If we stopped judging, or avoided externally showing our judgment, then embarrassing situations would be no way near as traumatising. Also, it would be handy if we just MOVED ON from the situation and avoided holding it over the person’s head. This would in turn reduce negativity in the world, I’d hope. If the embarrassing situation was quite funny, then use it for amusement but not at the person’s expense. By this I mean use it to help them laugh it off… It could even be a conversation starter with that person and could break a barrier. You could end up easing into a friendship this way. I guess I’m being a bit optimistic now and I’m getting carried away with this post, woops.
The point I’m trying to make is don’t make someone feel uncomfortable about an embarrassing situation, just move on and be nice about it. We’ve all been there!
P.S: you might think this is a load of crap, but this is me putting my thoughts in a hopefully coherent form for when I need to dish it out as advice… Safeee