Embarrassed by Blushing? How to Stop Blush Reflex, Fear, and the Anxiety like I do!
What is blushing and what benefit is there to controlling it?
Blushing is a parasympathetic response to a number of stimuli, but is usually associated with embarrassment. Parasympathetic describes the non-voluntary aspect of an "uncontrollable" response, pathetic is how you are feelling when you blush from embarrassment or being wrong about something in front of others. You feel extra pathetic when you blush and give yourself away from fear of being caught!
What bothered me about blushing is the fact that I would blush when I knew I could be percieved as wrong or lying when, in fact, I wasn't. Just the fear of blushing for no reason could cause me to blush, and it turned into a really odd problem.
How I stopped blushing: basic research
I didn't know it was possible at the time, but decided to controlling it anyway. First I researched what blushing is, and picked up some important facts:
- Blood rushes to facial capillaries creating warmth and the red color
- Blushing is associated with other motions such as scratching one's head or nose, touching yourself in a comforting motion such as putting your palm on your neck or other arm and rubbing.
- It takes a few seconds to start blushing
- You can feel yourself begin to blush if you try
- In some situations it's impossible to blush, or not to
How I stopped blushing: methods
There are two ways to control it, not surprisingly one has to do with the conscious and the other has to do with the subconscious, which is a bit more tricky to control but certainly possible.
- Recognize when you are about to blush so you know when to act
- Relax, focus on the others in the room
- Lift your chin up to let the blood exit your cheeks a bit
- Don't make a similar gesture to embarrassment such as touching your face, neck, or anything. No matter how bad your nose itches keep your hands relaxed and let your harms hang down to show confidence.
- Keep focusing on all of the above and believe that you won't blush. After it has worked this will become automatic.
- Realize after a few seconds have passed, the moment is over and you still haven't blushed, you can go back to normal and forget about your body language. Your mind will automatically say, "OK, done" and the urge to blush, the tickle on the nose, all the cues your body gives you to appear embarrassed will go away!
Since I've practiced this for about 10 years, it only happens about 4 or 5 times that I actually blush a year now. Usually when that happens is when I'm among friends and don't use my skills, or when I'm pushed over the limit at a business meeting, and the blushing helps me so I don't use my skills to appear calm when I am allowing myself to appear angry. In a professional environment I never show embarrassment by blushing!
© 2012 Doug DeWalt