Feelings of embarrassment can be overcome through mental training. This is the finding of a study published in Springer’s journal Motivation and Emotion. By training your mind to be an observer rather than actively participating in the embarrassing situation it is possible overcome humiliating or distressing feelings, says Li Jiang of Carnegie Mellon University in the US who led the study.
Some people have such an intense fear of embarrassment that they go to great lengths to sidestep seemingly everyday situations. This could include not asking a shop assistant a question about a new product, for fear of sounding stupid, or not taking an embarrassing yet potentially life-saving medical test.
“Embarrassment prevents us from asking advice about what we should do, for example, about our mounting mortgage bills or unplanned pregnancies. In many cases, if we are to help ourselves, and others, we must overcome our fear of embarrassment in social situations,” explains Jiang.