Sunday, 22 September 2013

Coping with BLUSHING

You know the old saying - "write about what you know" - well this is one of those posts. I'm never really short of anything to write about as you probably already have guessed - but if I had to write about what I know, one of the first things that I have experience of first-hand is blushing. Now if you don't blush, never have blushed, you might wonder what on earth I am banging on about this for. The truth is, blushing can be a terrible affliction - and I know first hand because I am a natural born blusher.

School Days

My blushing started in secondary school. I have always had a pink or ruddy complexion. Aunts and Grandmas and everyone would say 'Oooh look at her gorgeous rosey cheeks!" and I always thought it was quite a nice thing to be glowing. Secondary school taught me otherwise. Secondary school taught me that blushing is the most uncoolest  thing in the world, and not only that, blushing was a sign of weakness, an Achilles heel, a way in for them to tease and poke fun. And the more they teased, the more I blushed.

Cruel Cycle

I was never really a shy person. Maybe a little bit awkward in social situations, but then a lot of thirteen year old kids are. I just had and still do have a tendency for my face to colour. If I am happy, sad, excited, giddy, can see it in the colour of my face. Now if no one comments, then my face will go back to normal within a few seconds. So like "Kerrie, congratulations you have won an Oscar for being the best Mum in the world..." BLUSH. No one says anything. NORMAL FACE. But obviously school is not like that.

It was more like "Kerrie, well done, have a merit" BLUSH. "Oh my God HOW RED is HER face!! tee hee hee hee." The laughing made the blushing worse. Multiply this by a hundred and you're still nowhere near how many times this actually happened from age 13 Year 7 to age 16 Year 11. I was scared of doing anything in case I blushed. I wasn't scared of doing a presentation, reading aloud, being in a play or anything. I was frightened of blushing, worried about being laughed at.

So as you can imagine, school was a bit on the terrifying side for me. I used to go to school and just avoid doing things that might make me blush. Things where my face could change colour, any situation. No volunteering to be in the school play or anything like that. Even the teachers used to comment on it. I wanted zero attention. I wanted a new face. I wanted to just disappear. I used to cry, it was awful. Hormones must have made the problem worse, I was hot and stressed out most of  the time anyway, as all teenagers are. Phew, I dread my children going through puberty - what an awful time in life - for many different reasons.

Why am I writing this?

I am not bothered by any of this any more. Yes, I still blush. But I just get over it. I am not shy or embarrassed about anything. In fact I am probably more open and honest about everything because of being so soft and so painfully shy in school. So now, I do just laugh it off if I do happen to blush, I don't care - it's just who I am. The reason I am writing this is because I know that this can be a big problem because I was there. I thought that I would never get over blushing. I thought I wouldn't be able to get jobs that I wanted, or go out and meet people because I would be too terrified to do these things. It sounds ridiculous, but it's not. Lots of people suffer like I did.

The Internet wasn't properly invented when I was a kid. Well, it was, but we never had access to it, and I jut didn't have any help - I didn't know what to do. I read in Just Seventeen's problem page about this problem, and they recommended this book. I still have it somewhere.

Why Blush?

The book taught me that the reason some people blush more than others is for two reasons.

a) They are literally thin-skinned
b) They are metaphorically thin-skinned

I thought this made so much sense. Apparently EVERYONE blushes. But most people have quite thick skin so it does not show up as much. Serial blushers like myself have really thin skin - so you see the blush more. It's not that my capillaries are just bonkers and over-active - my skin is thinner. Now this may not be technically true - but I liked this explanation and so I took it on board.

Also, blushers are metaphorically not as thick-skinned as other people. Blushers tend to be a little bit on the shy side. A bit soft. So if I had thick skin and tripped over, I would not be too bothered because I could just take it. But someone a tad more sensitive than this would take it to heart. Then blush. And if they were teased about the blushing then they would blush even more, and more, and more. Until their face felt like it was going to explode or the teasing stopped. Whichever.

To Blushers

If you have Googled blushing, and you have found yourself here, I just want to say that I am with you! High five for blushing. You are not weird, you may feel odd. You may feel trapped behind a wall of fire in your face sometimes - but it's just tough! You have to accept this. The sooner you accept that you are thin skinned, and yes, you may be a bit sensitive, you will start to feel like you can control your blushing.
Over the years I have looked into solutions. Beta-blockers, a scary operation, all manner of pills and herbal remedies. I have tried green make-up, orange make-up, white make-up...the only thing that needs to change is your view of yourself. I imagine that blushers will always do a little blush - and once you accept that you will then you can stop it before it descends into full on crazy redness. Smile at whatever has made you blush, and forget it. You'll need to practise this a lot.


* Read the book I linked
* Put yourself in embarrassing positions - volunteer to speak in front of people - practise NOT blushing
* Don't be too hard on yourself. You will blush on occasion, it's part of who you are. Continue to control it yourself.

To Non-Blushers

You are lucky not to blush. It really is quite the affliction. Don't be too hard on us blushers - we can't help it, and teasing or pointing the blushing out only makes it worse. Be kind!

Actual Blusher

I used to always wonder why people would possibly want to apply red blusher to their cheeks. MENTAL behaviour - all I wanted in my teenage years (aside from bigger boobs, obviously) was a plain old normal un-blushed face. But you know what, I have got to controlling my blushing SO WELL that I actually wear blusher now - seriously.

My Alice has my little red cheeks, bless her.

I'm not embarrassed here, just warm :)

So - there you have it. I hope that this helps. I can laugh about it now, but honestly I felt that for so many years my life was ruined, and in a way, it was - My own fears prevented me from achieving what I wanted to achieve.

Maybe that's why I make stupid videos and do silly things now - to make up for that time lost. Who knows?

:) x


  1. This reminds me of an episode of Grey's Anatomy where the woman wanted to find a way to stop her blushing and she screams at the doctors because they are giggling at her but they don't realise how annoying it is to live with ereuthrophobia hyperpyrexia*
    *totally didn't google that haha

    There's a lad in my work who has slapped cheek and the managers always think he's going sick because his cheeks are so red.

    Great post. I seeing girls when they over-do the blusher because it just looks silly, it's like a blush doesn't actually look like that!

    Kate xx

  2. Ha ha thanks. It is a difficult thing - but like I said I am OK now. I'm probably still not the best at applying blusher though - I just pull a fish face and slap it on! xx

  3. I am also a blusher - hate it! Doesn't really happen so much anymore but i used to get it badly when public speaking in my old job.


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