The INSIDER Summary:
• People who blush easily are perceived as more trustworthy.
• Studies have shown that they’re more empathetic and generous.
• They also report higher rates of monogamy.
Blushing can make an awkward situation feel a million times worse, especially when someone has the nerve to point out how red your face is. (Pro tip: don’t be that person.)
It turns out that there are actually some scientifically-proven advantages to being easily embarrassed, and they’re nothing to be ashamed of.
According to an article in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 'individuals who are more embarrassable... behaved more generously than their less embarrassable counterparts' by giving away more of their raffle tickets in a study.
A 2011 study pitted participants against a computer for a classic prisoner's dilemma: if you condemn your opponent you walk free, if you rat each other out you both get two years in prison, and if you both stay silent you both only get one year. Participants were more likely to trust a blushing opponent than a nonblushing one.
You blush because you're aware of how others perceive you. It means you're more attuned to people, so you generally don't treat them like dirt.
'A prerequisite for embarrassment is to be able to feel how others feel -- you have to be empathetic, intelligent to the social situation,' Dr. Ray Crozier, author of 'Understanding the Blush' and 'Blushing and the Social Emotions,' told BBC News.
Blushing can act as a nonverbal apology that enforces social codes, a sort of sign that you recognise your mistake.
Scientists at University of Groningen and Maastricht University determined that missteps such as spilling coffee on someone or farting in an elevator were more easily forgiven when the faces in photos associated with them displayed flaming cheeks.
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