Guys like Fogell, The Sherminator and just about any Ben Stiller character continuallyfind themselves in socially awkward settings. Embarrassment can suck, but a new studypublished in the Journal of Behavioral Decision Making has some advice on howthey can avoid them.People project an "illusion of courage" when they envisionthemselves in an embarrassing situation in the future (because they are in a neutral,non-emotional state). Once that distressing event actually arrives, people are more likelyto chicken out because the feeling of anxiety and embarrassment is muchstronger than they originally anticipated. Basically, it was worse than they thought itwould be.To more accurately predict how you'll behave, research suggests thatyou should get into an emotional state beforehand.The subjects in the studywere put into an highly emotional state by watching scary and angering movie clips. Then theywere asked about doing the embarrassing activities in the future, like dancing to "ShakeYour Booty" in front of an audience. These subjects didn't have the illusion of courageand more accurately predicted that they were not likely to perform the act in thefuture.Conversely, infusing some confidence via aerobicexercises increased people's willingness to accept a potentially embarrassing act inthe future and skews the prediction even more so.The bottom line is thatunless we feel the anxiety right off the bat, we won't feel the pain of an embarrassingsituation until it actually happens. Continue Reading ]More...[/url]