When something embarrassing happens to someone in front of people


about 50% of the observers will laugh in a way that isn’t even discreet, amplifying the embarrassment for the person involved. I find this very weird as I’m one of the other half (i.e. I have empathy) who keeps a straight face and acts like nothing embarrassing has happened because I want to minimise their embarrassment.


Chorus of ‘wheyyyyyyyyyyys’ / circus big top music.


it’s the people who pretend that nothing has happened who amplify the embarrassment


My arse



It’s like:

something only a bit embarassing happens that could have happenned to anyone, everyone can laugh about it and its fine.

something actually embarassing happens that reflects badly on the person it happened to, and nobody wants to laugh.

so if people don’t react at all, I feel like the latter has happened.


You’re on about sympathetic laughter. I’m on about sniggering.



what happened anyway mate? lose 3-0 on haxball again?


She fell over!


Some girl in the lecture theatre was sat in the front row and wanted to get out but she was in the middle of the row so instead of making everyone get up she tried to slide down underneath the desk. The lecturer asked if she was alright and she said yeah she was just trying to get out so she said ‘go over the top’. Loads of people behind me were sniggering audibly at her, making it a lot more embarrassing.