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Dublin: 4 °C Wednesday 26 February, 2020

11 moments of extreme second-hand embarrassment we've all felt

Kill us. Please.

ON A SCALE from one to David Brent, these all rank fairly highly.

If there’s one thing worse than embarrassing yourself, it’s feeling someone else’s embarrassment even more acutely than your own.

The Germans even have a word for it; Fremdschämen: the process of being vicariously embarrassed by another’s actions.

Grab something to bite down on, and let’s go…

1. When someone trips in the street and then tries to be nonchalant

Now, we’re not talking a full faceplant here.

google-maps-girl Source: Imgace

We’re talking that little trip that people do and then immediately look behind them as if trying to find the offending spot on the street. Excruciating to watch.

spot Source:

2. When someone makes a balls of a handshake/high five

This makes us want to fold in on ourselves.


3. When you catch someone dancing/singing to themselves

Everyone does it, but watching someone else get caught is almost enough to precipitate gouging your own eyes out.


4. When fans beg celebs to follow them


Please, make it stop.



5. When fans fight for celebs’ affections

We bet Harry Styles is just sitting back waiting to make one of these gals his wife.

6. When you see someone trying to make someone else jealous on Facebook

You can see the tell-tale signs a mile off.

There’s been a break-up, and suddenly one or both injured parties are HAVING THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES I’M SO MUCH CRAIC LOOK AT ALL MY NEW FRIENDS AND SEXY OUTFITS.

Please, pour some water on us to put out this embarrassment.

tumblr_lorzhbhMOz1qd54yx Source: Tumblr

7. When someone gets told not to “reply all”

A group email is sent. A poor unfortunate hits “reply all” and  some other smug article decides to school them in email etiquette.

Cue you stabbing yourself with a pen to detract from the second hand embarrassment.


8. When someone claps at the wrong time

It might be at the theatre, it might be at a musical performance, it might be anywhere. It will make you want to run screaming from the building.


9. When models fall over

We don’t know why this is worse than regular people falling over. It just is.


10. When some just won’t stop digging

This is what we like to call Stage Five Second-Hand Embarrassment. You’ve already gone to the cringing dark side, but it just keeps on going.

Source: Click Online/YouTube

11. Anything on Take Me Out

Why is this even legal?

Source: TopTellyFan/YouTube

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About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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