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  • Feb 7, 2010, 01:19 PM
    Why do people feel embarrassed when they are hurt?
    I used to work in a café. It was packed and the floor was slippery and I was holding these two huge containers of milkshake and I slipped and fell as I was heading to the backroom.

    It hurt so bad, but I body's first reaction was to rush to get back up, as if I could escape people noticing.

    I've even seen people react like this. I saw a man fall on the sidewalk outside of a super market and while he looked like he fell hard, he kind of just jumped up.

    Why do people get embarrassed when get hurt? I mean, it's natural, we are human, we get hurt. We aren't embarrassed when it happens to us alone in private. Why when other people are watching? Is it because of how other people would react?

    If that's the case, are we embarrassed as a result of how other people DO NOT act. Meaning, if people were more consoling. If instead of me falling in the café and everyone watching--if I had fallen and tons of people had rushed over and helped me up and asked if I was okay, maybe I WOULDN'T be embarrassed when I get hurt?

    Same goes for other people?

    No rude/condescending replies please, just honest answers or theories. Thank you!
  • Feb 7, 2010, 02:47 PM

    The reason why is the dummy response. Most people do something stupid along the line somewhere and they call themselves on it. Example: Hot pan on the stove and you know you been cooking in it yet you still grab onto it.. DUH. So its in that spirit that you should have known better and if you feel that surely others will notice it too. You might be slicing something and the next thing you know you have a cut from the knife.. your first response is.. geez that was stupid. So it doesn't matter if in private or public. Most people beat themselves up when dumb things happen. Its kind of a self protection reflex.
  • Feb 8, 2010, 10:04 AM

    Falling implies that you have lost your composure. You have lost you "cool" factor. The longer we are down, the more undignified we appear. So it's stupid pride, our ego does not want to appear, "less than". That's the first thing that popped into my head. Wrote this before reading any other replies to see if I was alone in my thinking.

    *and after posting this , I see there was only one reply so far. Talk about embarrassed.*
  • Feb 8, 2010, 07:44 PM

    Hm, that's something to think about.

    "The longer we are down, the more undignified we appear."

  • Feb 9, 2010, 11:54 PM

    I don't think we're embarrassed that we're hurt - we're embarrassed that we've done something kind of clumsy. And if we are hurt or ill, I think it's partly a matter of wanting to have some privacy when we're not at our best and also about not wanting to make a scene.

    Some people can't get enough attention and will milk these incidents for all they are worth. Others try to remain calm and collected and minimize the disturbance.
  • Feb 10, 2010, 07:17 PM

    This is a very interesting topic. I did the same thing as a waitress in my younger years. As the years pass, I realize that most people that see you fall are embarrassed to help, because they feel awkward themselves. They, whatever the excuse, be it shy or not, do not go out of their way, because they have not been taught "how" to be active instead of passive.

    You are so right, when you feel that all eyes would be on you and that people might laugh. It is a good opportunity to become empathetic to others if they need help. Does society teach this enough? Does the classroom teach charity? Even in the best schools, I remember experiencing how cool it was to laugh at others. There are very few that can go out of their way to make one feel better.

    I wonder if a person in a third world country would be embarrassed if they tripped. It could possibly be our cold society that makes a person embarrassed to be human.
  • Feb 10, 2010, 08:54 PM

    Then again, another possible angle.

    I was dancing once with my husband, and he did a fancy disco move, and let go of my hand. I went flying across the dance floor and landed on my a**. It was a dress up affair.

    Oddly enough, nobody came to help me up, they all just laughed, including my husband. I guess I fly well.

    So, maybe the thought of having to be 'rescued' runs with the risk that maybe nobody would care enough to rescue you. If you get up quick, you don't have to rely on anyone but yourself.
  • Feb 11, 2010, 01:16 PM

    That is interesting Jake! And mean of your hubby!

    I think falling or being hurt is just a moment of weakness, and no one likes to wear that on their sleeve. No one likes to be laughed at, or talked about, maybe it's subconciuosly thinking that people will be talking about you to someone else. Telling the story on how you beefed in front of everyone, and laughing about it.
    Some people even go as far as to get mad when they get hurt. I have a friend when she falls or stubbs her toes or what ever, and you ask her if she is OK, she gets pissed and ends up telling you off. I guess it's her pride. No one likes to have their ego's bruised.
  • Feb 11, 2010, 08:13 PM

    I think that if people in general, especially in the country I live in, were just nicer, other people wouldn't let their pride or ego bother them as much. So if you fell, you wouldn't be embarrassed, because people wouldn't be staring at you like you're a klutz. They'd walk over and say, "Hey, are you all right? Do you need a hand?"

    Sadly, this will probably not change because people are pressured into appealing to society rather than to their own conscience and what they know is right... or wrong. Even some people here, talking about this, maybe even me, might SAY they know it isn't right, but still do whatever everyone else does when it happens. Such as laugh. I think everyone would do good with just a little more self-confidence, you know? The confidence to be different, so to speak.

    They're going to laugh. I'm going to see if s/he is all right. At the end of the day, who is going to feel like the real fool?

    And yes, I recognize this is my opinion, and it may not be right. Just want to add that to avoid any debate, lol.
  • Aug 5, 2010, 05:50 AM
    Feeling embarrassed after injuring yourself could be a vestigal reaction from early humans. If you injured yourself and get noticed, you are "easy meat" for a predator. Since we don't encounter that exact senario any more, our brain interpets the response as embarrassment because it is the closest modern day feeling we have. That would also explain why it doesn't embarrass as much when nobody is around.

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