Nord of the South
- Feb 23, 2012
I won't loose sleep over it
Perhaps that is also why we laugh at people who have mishaps and fall?I have the same issue. Can't watch most American comedies because of it.
I think the majority of it is based on our social evolution. By displaying embarrassment we disassociate ourselves from embarrassing people reaffirm association with the greater group and so save ourselves from general association of social faux pas. The reason I believe this to be likely is that the feeling of vicarious embarrassment does not present itself when the person who created the situation realises the error and themselves feel embarrassed, but should that person brazenly persist, then so does the embarrassment grow. Vicarious embarrassment is therefore directly proportional to the level of ignorance displayed by the subject of the embarrassment.
Or maybe it is just high empathy levels that allow us to imagine being in that situation and experiencing the embarrassment that person should feel.