Do you feel uncomfortable when you see someone else being embarrassed? What’s most likely to make you squirm?
I don’t mind watching someone else be embarrassed. It’s interesting to see how they handle it. Some people are able to laugh it off, some blush, some cry, some lash out and some run away.
I cringe when I see people who should be embarrassed, but aren’t. When Pat Robertson claims that demons may be clinging to your second-hand clothing; that makes me cringe. This is in a category known as “species embarassing”.
Squirming indicates a more personal level of discomfort, when the conversation gets perilously close to some secret truth about me. For example, when I was a teenager, Dad and Grandma, in the front seat of Dad’s car, were lamenting legal abortion, while I squirmed in the back seat, pretty sure that I was pregnant. That was probably my squirmiest moment ever.