7 Tips for Beating Blushing
It is not surprising that in today's "got to look good" society, facial blushing causes people a lot of pain. At its extremes, the embarrassment from blushing can become so acute that the sufferer avoids social contact. Talking to other people, whether in person or even on the phone, is often associated with blushing.
Here are some things you can do about it.
(Please note: Here we are talking about the common social blushing that nearly everyone experiences at some time. There is a condition called hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating) that is often treated with surgery. Normal blushing does not require such an extreme solution.)
So Why Do We Blush?
The first thing to understand is that blushing is a perfectly natural thing. It seems to be nature's way of disclosing our true feelings about a situation. Some have theorised that blushing is naturally attractive as it is safer in evolutionary terms to have a partner that cannot lie without detection. (Of course this is not fail-safe!)
Tips to Avoid Blushing
Relax Out of It
Blushing tends to get worse at first as people start to get embarrassed about their embarrassment, creating a sort of vicious circle. The more tense you get as you start to blush, the more the blood is forced to the face. One trick is, when you feel it coming on, to deliberately drop your shoulders, relax your body, and push your stomach out. This takes a bit of doing at first, so you might want to practice.
Announce It, Don't Hide It
One thing that allows the circle to continue is the 'hiding' of it by the blusher. I used to blush much more than I do now (most people do from time to time). The way I dealt with it, and a way that has helped clients of mine, was to announce it when it was about to happen. "Here we go, I'm going to go red now" or "Oh, I think I might blush".
Accept It, Don't Fight It
You need to shift your relationship to the blushing. At the moment you are trying to hide it because you are embarrassed about it. If you can work on relaxing about it, it will get better. This will be helped by you accepting it as a current part of yourself. You can try saying to yourself "At the moment, I am a blusher". I t sounds strange, but if you can bring yourself to like that part of you more, it is more likely to go away!
Other Peoples' Opinions
Part of the embarrassment about blushing is caused by the thought that others will see you as weak or silly. However, everyone has had the experience of being embarrassed, and it's not nice for anyone. Any decent person will be sympathetic about it. Anyone who thinks less of you for it is most probably not worth knowing anyway!
Retrain Your Body
Self hypnosis can help greatly as you can train your body to relax as you feel the blushing coming on, or have the thought that you might blush. If you do any relaxation techniques such as yoga or meditation, once you are really relaxed imagine the feeling of the blushing and have yourself relax with it. Practice feeling accepting towards yourself as you feel it coming on. You can imagine how you would feel if you saw someone else suffering the same way, and then feel that way towards yourself.
Remember, if you were perfect, you would be God! ;-)
Breaking news: Everybody blushes!
As I write this at the end of 2009, a new lie detector is being developed in the US. It works by using a thermal imaging camera pointed at the face of the subject. The inventor claims a higher accuracy rate than a polygraph (the traditional lie detector test). So how does it work? Well, the fact is, that everyone blushes when they lie! Of course, some people blush more than others, but it's a fascinating fact that blushing is a matter of degree, not whether you 'do or don't'.