Blushing : ‘I was so embarrassed I thought I’d die’

Blushing is embarrassing

blushing girlDon’t you think it’s strange what some people say when they get embarrassed and blush. Things like “I thought I would die” or “I just wanted the ground to open up and swallow me”. These type of expressions, when you analyse them, seem a bit extreme. However, when you work with clients that come to see you for a blushing problem you start to get an understanding for why these type of expressions are common place.

Blushing is more than just being embarrassed. Blushing is a physical reaction that occurs in certain situations. Blushing is usually triggered by some external event or situation. Usually when there is a perception that the “blusher” will be the center of attention. Things like when they say something interesting in a group of friends and everyone in the group turns to them to listen to what they have to say. The “blusher” may be quite confident about the subject, however, the mere fact that they are now the center of attention can trigger off a blushing response, even amongst friends.

Put that same person in front of an audience, say a meeting, presentation or even a wedding breakfast and the problem gets magnified tenfold. Even just doing a quick round robin in a meeting saying your name and what you do can fill a “blusher” with dread especially if they have to wait a few minutes while other people in the group do their bit. They will sit there predicting how they are going to go red. Often the blushing will actually start before they even have to speak.

What is blushing?

Blushing is just a form of social phobia. In general it effects people with a low self-esteem and a profound fear of criticism. This leads to beliefs that “I’m Not Good Enough” (see previous article). The physical act of blushing is generated when adrenalin makes veins expand, allowing more blood to flow and leaving the sufferer red-faced. However, if you’re embarrassed blushing is appropriate. The problem for many people is when they blush in situations that don’t warrant it.

Blushing is as bad as dying!

The reason people use these extreme statements when they get embarrassed is that when you have low self-esteem the danger of embarrassment is often almost as strong as mortal danger. It’s this perception of danger that the subconscious responds to with the fight-or-flight response which is when the body floods with adrenalin and voila they blush.

Using hypnotherapy for blushing

At the Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy we use various hypnotic techniques to:-

  1. Reduce the anxiety response in the situation they normally blush.
  2. Improve self esteem.
  3. Remove feelings of “I’m Not Good Enough”.
  4. Increase feelings of relaxation.
  5. Stop prediction of failure.

These are the key things that need to be tackled in the “blusher”. There can often be other factors that need to be taken in to account which is why each client that we see needs a unique treatment plan that fits them. For more information go to Hypnotherapy for Blushing.

Paul Howard is an anxiety specialist and has been helping clients with anxiety for over ten years. He has trained many hypnotherapists around the country to treat,  in particular, agoraphobia and social phobia effectively. He works at The Surrey Institute of Clinical Hypnotherapy in Wallington, Surrey, UK. He can be contacted via the website at He is also a director of The National Council for Hypnotherapy.

Finally, blushing is treatable so don’t let it control your life.

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