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Embarrassing Yourself Will Gain More Trust with People

Researchers at UC Berkeley have discovered that being embarrassed—or even just acting embarrassed—convince others that you’re more trustworthy. In both videotapes and photographs, observers who witnessed a person act embarrassed possibly underwent an empathy response, “creating their own contexts” to put themselves in the other person’s mindset, thus heightening acceptance of the subject.

So how does this affect your life? For one, you shouldn’t be ashamed of showing embarrassment. Common scenarios like spilling a drink on yourself or tripping on the sidewalk may endear you to your companions if you show a bit of embarrassment. Second, when you meet people for the first time, you don’t need to pretend that you caught their name, since a slight blush at your own oversight might make them warm up to you that much faster. If you ever meet me, please say your name once, then repeat your name again in about three minutes, because there is a 99.99% chance I’ve forgotten it.

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