Doing Life Together

Doing Life Together


Embarrassed? Do You Do This?

posted by Linda Mintle

supriseYou walk in to a room full of co-workers and trip.

Everyone stops what they are doing and stares at you for what seems like hours. You are embarrassed. Really, you just tripped through the door in front of your peers!

How to you cope with this? New research may have some surprising answers!

Do you…

A) Laugh nervously

B) Reach for a pair of sun glasses

C) Go buy face cream at a store

ANSWER: A surprising all of the above. Sure, the nervous laughter we all understand. But sunglasses and face cream?

Researchers at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto looked at how people coped with embarrassment. Because the subjects were Asian, they were especially interested in this idea of losing and saving face.  What they found was that people who felt embarrassed were more likely to buy large, dark sunglasses as a symbolic way to cover that embarrassment.

In a second study, the subjects wrote about an embarrassing story and then were given a list of products to buy. They selected products that concealed and restored their faces. That’s right, face creams to restore the face.

So when embarrassed, you can lose face (put on those large, dark sunglasses) or save face (apply the face cream)!

Hmmm. gives a whole new meaning to the phrase!



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