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How People Face Embarrassing Situations

Stockbyte/Getty Images(TORONTO) -- You can run. But you can’t hide…your face.

However, those who can’t run, will hide their face when embarrassed with whatever is available to cover their shame, according to a new study from Toronto researchers.

In an experiment involving 200 college students from Hong Kong, the participants could either write about an embarrassing story or an ordinary school experience. When asked to select photos of people wearing sunglasses, the participants whose essays reflected embarrassment picked the biggest, darkest shades.

Another experiment involved writing about the same subjects but this time, they were asked to choose an item from a list of various items including face creams. People who related an embarrassing story were mostly drawn to face creams.

Finally, when asked if they’d like to take part in a social or solitary activity, respondents in the face cream group were more inclined to socialize while those who selected sunglasses preferred to be left alone.

What does it all mean? The researchers suggest that perhaps face cream is a more effective way of “saving face” to deal with embarrassment, short of wishing you were invisible.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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