As a very fair-skinned (some might say pasty) person, I've always been prone to blushing. I hate it, but new research says maybe I shouldn't be so ashamed.

According to the Times, psychological research shows that blushing actually improve people's opinions of the blusher. When subjects were shown photos of people who had done something bad, they judged the sinners less harshly if they were blushing. And when frat brothers made fun of pledges, they ended up getting along better with the ones who blushed. Psychologist Dacher Keltner says a blush means, "I care; I know I violated the social contract." This caring may soften others' judgment of a social misstep, and even make them like the blusher better. So blush away, all my easily-embarrassed compatriots — bashfulness is the new confidence! [New York Times]