Why Blushing Might Be Good for You

By Elizabeth Angell, Allure magazine

I am a terrible liar, but not because I have any serious objection to telling the occasional fib. (I'm not talking about criminal misdirection here, just the relatively innocent white lies that keep us from hurting people's feelings or having to account for an extra-long lunch hour.) I can't lie because it embarrasses me, which makes me blush immediately.

Of course it's not just lying that makes me turn red: I can't laugh off a clumsy stumble and if I say something wrong to someone I'm trying to impress, you can probably feel the heat radiating off my flushed cheeks.

I even blush when I see characters on television humiliate themselves. (This makes watching most reality TV a harrowing experience. Nonetheless, I persevere.) I've always hated this about myself, but it turns out that my instantaneously pink cheeks may actually be doing me a service.

A recent study published in the journal Emotion found that people who turn red after making a mistake or social blunder were considered more trustworthy and judged more positively than those who showed no sign of their internal turmoil. "After you do something wrong, people like you more when you blush," says Corine Dijk, a researcher at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and the study's lead author. Maybe I should go ahead and tell those lies: If I get caught, people might not judge me so harshly, courtesy of my incriminating flush.

What about you: Do you blush easily-and judge people differently if they do too?

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Photo Credit: WWD