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In embarrassing situations, you can quell your self-consciousness by looking at yourself from an outsider’s perspective, according to a new study in the journal Motivation and Emotion.
“Humiliation is a result of focusing too much on your own point of view,” says study author Li Jiang, a post-doctoral affiliate at the Center for Behavioral and Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
You know the feeling: You move into the wrong pose during yoga class or trip up on your words during a meeting, and immediately think people will criticize you or judge you harshly. Those feelings of embarrassment can linger long after everyone else has moved on. (Think: Flushed cheeks, elevated heart rate, general discomfort.)
“If you use this in-the-moment trick, you’ll realize that others will be pretty generous in their opinions of you,” Jiang explains.
Any time you feel embarrassed—at the gym, at work—stop what you’re doing and take a moment to think of how you would look at another person in your place. This reality check will help you move on by showing you that people mostly have good intentions.