People view those who are easily embarrassed as more relatable, trustworthy and generous.
We've all done embarrassing things as we've stumbled our way through the single world. Whether it's forgetting the name of the guy you just slept with or drunk-texting your ex, no one's immune from making a fool out of themselves. But who knew that when it comes to dating and relationships, a little embarrassment can actually be a good thing?
A new study from the University of California-Berkeley found that both men and women who are easily embarrassed reported higher levels of monogamy, as well as were considered more trustworthy and generous (score!) The findings proved useful from a professional standpoint as well, as easily flustered people were seen as more cooperative and reliable team members and business partners. Tests repeatedly showed that "moderate embarrassment" signals a tendency to be "pro-social." People view these individuals as more relatable, and are more likely to want to affiliate with them.
"Embarrassment is one emotional signature of a person to whom you can entrust valuable resources. It's part of the social glue that fosters trust and cooperation in everyday life," says UC Berkeley social psychologist Robb Willer, a coauthor of the study.
"Moderate levels of embarrassment are signs of virtue," says Matthew Feinberg, a doctoral student in psychology at UC Berkeley and lead author of the paper.
But there's a difference, the study notes, between moderate embarrassment and the crippling social awkwardness that has you hanging out alone at the punch bowl. The study also distinguished between embarrassment and "shame," i.e. what someone may feel when they've just been caught cheating on their partner. It's the moderate type that will eventually help you in the game of love.
Sound off: Are you easily embarrassed?