Blushing is often dismissed as a silly thing and nothing to worry about. This is generally the view of someone who does not blush. Of course they say this with the aim of helping the blusher. But unfortunately it does the opposite.
When people dismiss blushing as insignificant, it makes the blusher feel “silly” and “stupid”. I have never worked with a blusher who thought it was insignificant. However, what I do hear is “I know it’s stupid but….” or “I feel silly saying this but….”
Blushing is something we see a lot of and is very confusing and uncomfortable for the client. It is often accompanied with feeling hot, sweating, embarrassment and fear. But what is it? Why does it happen?
Blushing is used by the subconscious to remove the blusher from a situation that the subconscious believes is dangerous (normally danger of embarrassment). By making the person blush it generates the desire/need to leave the situation.
It usually occurs because of a severe fear of criticism. This can often be set up in childhood by critical parents, bullying or ridicule from teachers at school.
Let us consider a young girl whose father is always critical of her. Nothing is good enough, perhaps he calls her “silly” or “stupid” and makes comments like “What do you know, you have no idea”. However, he may also call her “pretty” and “beautiful”. This continues into her teens and often even when she leaves the home and has her family of her own.
Her desire to please her father increases with the level of criticism and often creates a need for perfectionism, which all leads to vile negative beliefs about herself and her abilities. But in contrast, her beliefs about her body and looks will probably be quite good and healthy.
As this girl grows she will start to avoid situations where she might be judged (critically with regard to intellect). However, she may be quite at home entering a beauty competition, providing they didn’t need to talk in public. Talking in public is liable to be the top things on her list to avoid.
If she starts to blush at sometime in her childhood this will just heighten her anxiety and add lots more situations for her to avoid, as now her anxiety is obvious and on display to the world.
To treat this form of social phobia the underlying belief that she is “not good enough” will have to be addressed in the first instance and once that has been achieved the fear of the fear will need to be addressed.
The fear of the fear, i.e. the fear of blushing in public, will need to be tackled by generating situations in her mind where she used to blush and have her complete these situations in a calm and relaxed way. This would all be done whilst she was in hypnosis.
Typically, if this treatment is done by an anxiety specialist, it should be achievable in 3 to 4 sessions (depending on the client and their circumstances).
If blushing effects you, do not despair, there is a way out of it. Hypnotherapy is a very effective way of getting your subconscious mind to change the beliefs that support the behaviour.