The Science of Awkwardness

The Science of Awkwardness

Sources and extra links below!
me on twitter:
me on instagram:
music by

Embarrassment and prosociality:

Empathetic Embarrassment:
Why Your Embarrassment Causes Me So Much Pain

Cringe subreddit:

awkward hug gifs:


The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows:

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (on YouTube):

“Why Are We Morbidly Curious?” (related Vsauce video):

social rejection and physical pain:

Social awkwardness and genetics:

Psychology experiments that test the breaking of social norms are called “breaching experiments”:

Stage Fright:


Oxytocin and fear/anxiety:

negativity bias:

more negative emotions than positive:

Eleanor Roosevelt quote:

“in you 20s and 30s…” quote:

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows:

The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows (on YouTube):

“sonder” gif:

20 Responses to The Science of Awkwardness

  1. dat boi schreef:

    sighs in an a good way Oh Michael. You are simply the best.

  2. Unclekumran_ auntieazmat schreef:

    I actually can't watch this shit at night

  3. dramasbomin schreef:

    when existentialism is comforting

  4. James KNIGHT schreef:

    I nut so hard watching this

  5. Raven Best schreef:

    OMG definately its like defining me thank you i never knew im awkward

  6. Quantum Fluctuation schreef:

    gonna make me nut michael

  7. Chris Koogler schreef:

    This might possibly be the best video I've ever seen on YouTube, really got to me because it's true af and honestly this is gonna change the way I think about things

  8. Sandouichi1 schreef:

    What if I almost never feel that awkward feeling that others around me might quote as: awkward…. And I will just say , mhee it's just nature. I often don't think things or actions are awkward, I see them more as a little stupid, I can feel guity or shamefull in situations that others call awkward because they are not comfortable even if it just has to do with manners or respect. Is it normal for me not to feel awkward when others easily do. Could that mean that I am very comfortable and condfident while others are in discomfort and insecure? and did their discomfort and insecurity came from my comfortable and confident vibe? I never understood why people keep feeling awkward because I can understand why people feel that way but not why they keep feeling that. Why should we laugh at someone who axcidentally farts while exersiing or why is it awkward when one gives a handshake and the other a fist bumb. To me it's al pretty normal because we are species of nature, animals don't feel awkward when they fart in front of each other, but we do. And I think it's because or society says it should be awkward or not normal. Ofcourse a human being should have proper manners in front of people hat's the way we live but accidents happen sometimes and they shouldnt be awkward. A person should not be punished by others because of a small accident. There is a different between normal human feelings and emotions and the ones that are created by our society. Or am I being totally awkward right now? :p

  9. Maxwell Malcolm schreef:

    Are memes finite

  10. Timothius Zamora schreef:

    He didn't even mention when people actually say "Awkwaaaaard" in tense moments

  11. Timothius Zamora schreef:

    He didn't even mention when people actually say "Awkwaaaaard" just to break the tension of the moment

  12. Robert schreef:

    Where are all my extras?

  13. Noamias schreef:

    Whenever something awkward happens to me like a bad handshake I try laughing it off to kill the awkwardness

  14. Tom B schreef:

    academic journal from my field?
    time to geek out

  15. Jason Quiveiro schreef:

    Why do they have surfboards in the end if there's no water around them? Awkward

  16. Andrew Ibrahim schreef:

    Great vid man. I love how you always discuss such topics. Keep it up

  17. Regadfox Gaming schreef:

    I am socially awkward. idk what to do a lot of the times. for example, I was at a one-act play competition and the whole time in the room we were sent to I was walking in a circle. :/

  18. Gandalf The Green schreef:

    Me: Ooh yay I am gonna learn about awkwardness!
    Vsauce: Who is the main character of the universe?
    Me: God DAMNIT vsauce

  19. Awkward Bricks schreef:


    Gasp HOW DARE YOU! I'll have you know that my mom likes me! A lot of people like me!
    …..sort of……..


  20. Awkward Bricks schreef:

    Nothing can define me!!!!!!!!!

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