Woman Cheered for Dumping Boyfriend Over 'Weird and Embarrassing' Comment

A man has been slammed online for dragging his girlfriend for the way she talks about her car, after he claimed it was "weird and embarrassing."

Whether they've been rude to a waiter or dressed inappropriately for an event, it is not uncommon to be embarrassed by your significant other.

Psychological research has shown that humans have a tendency to believe others are paying more attention to their actions than they really are—particularly in negative situations.

This is referred to as "the spotlight effect," partially thanks to a famous study that concluded that people in self-perceived embarrassing situations overestimate how many people have noticed their faux pax by around 50 percent.

man embarrassed woman with car
A picture of a young woman hugging a car and smiling with a picture of a man looking embarrassed, inlay. The internet has slammed a man for calling his girlfriend "embarrassing" because of the way she talks about her car. LightFieldStudios/Stanislav Shkoborev/Getty Images

In 2016, three studies conducted by researchers at the University of Western Ontario worked with 400 participants to find out if this spotlight effect extends to our partners.

During the study, participants were asked to imagine they were at a dinner party with a group of people and two aspects of the event were varied: who the fellow guests were, and whether or not the partner did something they perceived as negative or embarrassing.

Results found that people felt more in the spotlight when their partner did something negative than when they engaged in neutral behaviors.

On Reddit, this 25-year-old explained that he has been dating his girlfriend for around nine months, but recently a particular piece of her behavior had begun to bother him.

User u/Ok-Disk-5109 explained: "When she turned 21, her parents gave her a car, and she decided to name it Angie. I learned all this on our first date when she said 'Angie took me here.' I thought that was odd but let it slide."

But as time passed, the way she talked about Angie had begun to bother him more: "She's always talked about her car as if she's talking about another person. When she got a flat tire on the highway a few months back she called me and said that 'Angie's show broke and she has to get a new one.'"

Last weekend, the discomfort about Angie the car had come to a head when the girlfriend offered to be the designated driver for the man's night out with friends.

"I admittedly got a bit too drunk," he said: "When my girlfriend came to pick us up, she said she's stopping at the gas station first to 'get Angie something to drink.'"

After hearing this, the Redditor finally told her how he felt: "I told her I think it's weird and embarrassing of her to talk about her car like that. It's a machine, not a pet or a kid, and she should treat it like how a normal person would treat any machine."

The woman was upset and refused to say anything for the rest of the drive home. After dropping off the man's friends, she drove to the Redditor's apartment telling him she needed some time to think.

With thousands of upvotes and comments, Redditors were quick to share their judgments on the boyfriend's behavior.

"You called her weird and embarrassing as she did you and your stupid drunk friends a favor late into the night," said one reply: "You made her feel stupid as f*** because she knows you've been secretly embarrassed by her for months over a quirk."

"YTA," said another Redditor: "Yeah, it's weird, but it's also kind of fun, and as her boyfriend, you should be the last person making her feel judged about it."

Nicholas Epley of the University of Chicago is often referred to as the world's first anthropomorphism expert, and he says that giving possessions like cars a name and personality can even be seen as a sign of intelligence.

"For centuries, our willingness to recognize minds in non-humans has been seen as a kind of stupidity, a childlike tendency toward anthropomorphism and a superstition that clear-thinking adults have outgrown," wrote Epley.

"I think this view is both mistaken and unfortunate. Recognizing the mind of another human being involves the same psychological processes as recognizing a mind in other animals, a god, or even a gadget. It is a reflection of our brain's greatest ability."

In a later update, the Redditor said: "Well she dumped me. She found the post, called me, and told me to never speak to her again. I guess it's for the best though, we really wouldn't have been that compatible, as many of you have said."

Newsweek has reached out to u/Ok-Disk-5109 for comment. Newsweek was unable to verify the details of this case.

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