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Blushing (social anxiety)

Discussion in 'Mental Health Disorders' started by agateaqua, Jan 28, 2018.

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  1. agateaqua

    agateaqua Well-Known Member

    Ugh, I've had this problem on/off for years. It's always worse when I'm dating. I just worry that I will blush when it's not needed and that that will be seen as weird.
    Anyone know of any techniques that can help ?

    I was looking online in hope of finding some anxiety shock therapy bracelet (like the steer bracelet , but then for a raised heart rate,instead of lower). But I couldn't find any.
    If anyone knows of any good quick fixes , I'm all ears :)
  2. gypsylee

    gypsylee SF Supporter

    Hi @agateaqua

    If you wear a necklace, I find that having something to fiddle with helps. I also have a friend with social anxiety who wears a rubber band or a hair-tie around her wrist which she flicks. Pretty basic stuff but you might not have tried those.
  3. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Most times, people blush as a response to emotional stimuli or because they're physically too warm. Sounds like it's worse for you with dating, which makes sense because dating is "emotionally charged".

    I love @gypsylee 's suggestion of the necklace, etc. :) Other practical suggestions I've read are to avoid hot drinks, hot/warm environments, alcohol, spicy foods. I suspect those are kind of hard to avoid on dates. Still, maybe "avoid" means just until we know the person we're dating a bit more, so we don't feel quite so prone to blushing. *dunno*

    I think that knowing myself better has helped me to reduce the frequency of blushing (at least a bit). Perhaps I'm saying, "Grow your self-confidence" ??

    I'm sure you have lots to offer whoever you date. Blushing needn't be a reason to feel awkward. Besides, some people just have a very sensitive "blushing" response. It can feel bad for us as the blushers, but others often think that it's quite charming that we respond so quickly and deeply.

    Good luck! :)
  4. gypsylee

    gypsylee SF Supporter

    Thanks @Acy :) I suffer social anxiety and sometimes just facing people in public, such as receptionists or check-out people, makes me really nervous. I find having a necklace to hold onto creates a subtle barrier between them and I.
    AsphyxiateOnWords likes this.
  5. agateaqua

    agateaqua Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the responses :) I don't think the necklace would help , it's too severe my fear of starting to blush. I just feel dread and preoccupied with "what if I start to blush when there's no reason to ? " I just wish there was a quick fix :(
  6. agateaqua

    agateaqua Well-Known Member

    To be honest I have not opened up completely about how bad this is effecting me (even here I'm private, while I expect total acceptance and understanding , mostly ). I not only suffer from this blushing fear , but a lot more . If I can not even talk about this here , what hope do I have?

    Alright, so I must open up . I fear to blush when I'm with a date and a woman walks in , for instance a waitress at a restaurant. Then off course it's weird to start blushing then, so I fear it. What would my date think ?? I barely blush around him (because that's not weird) , but do all of a sudden around a woman. Yeah very strange. I know most likely nobody will notice, but it's this fear of rejection :( That he would think I'm bi or lesbian be disgusted .

    Also when around a date, I will sweat a lot more (sorry) , due to anxiety. So I will worry about visible stains under my arms. This off course affects my confidence further, and limits what I can wear (that sort of hides it).

    Off course I'm nervous eating in front of a date. And god forbid should I burp (never happened, just the fear) Same with farting.
    Off course going nr 2 when a date is in another room would be impossible.

    Basically I end up feeling a total nervous mess barely able to move or breath , because god forbid. This is totally ruining dating for me. I just met a really nice guy , going on a second date & I'm just feeling down about it , instead of happy and excited.

    I can't be alone in this :( :( :(
    AsphyxiateOnWords likes this.
  7. Rockclimbinggirl

    Rockclimbinggirl SF climber Staff Member Safety & Support SF Supporter

    Would having makeup on help?
    Walker and AsphyxiateOnWords like this.
  8. Lulabelle

    Lulabelle Forum Pro SF Supporter

    Hi @agateaqua

    I blush a lot when I'm anxious and hate it. The more red I get, the more embarrassed I get and then blush even more!

    You can get a green based foundation to apply which helps to cancel out any redness. It doesn't cover serious blushing but helps a little - just be careful not to put too much on or you look green ;)

    I also get very hot and start to sweat profusely - it feels like a hot flush. I haven't found anything to really help with this. But I've got a few tips to cope with it. Wear thin layers that you can remove as soon as you start to heat up. If you can make an excuse to leave for a couple of minutes (say you're going to the bathroom?), stand outside and breathe deeply. Carry a small can of spray water in your bag - it's great for cooling you down in an emergency, particularly on your face. I buy the Avene Thermale Spring Water Spray from Amazon - the 50ml one is a perfect handbag size.
    AsphyxiateOnWords likes this.
  9. Paisley

    Paisley * * * SF Artist SF Supporter

    If you want to, maybe ask your date if he has the same problem? There must be guys who blush a lot, too, right?
  10. Acy

    Acy Mama Bear - TLC, Common Sense Staff Member Safety & Support

    Hi again. This sounds like the sort of anxiety that unfortunately feeds on itself. We feel anxious and nervous, and that makes us blush; then we feel more nervous that we might blush again, and we become more and more nervous and anxious. I think if you took what you wrote in your post...

    ...and talked to a therapist, the therapist might be able to help you with your feelings and concerns. Deal with them all, one by one. Taken all together as a clump of "anxiety responses," I can see how it could build into something that becomes a "bigger worry". The different fears allow one to build on the next and so on.

    None your anxiety responses is actually bad, abnormal, or weird. Anxiety happens and we respond. Understanding what is underneath the anxiety and knowing some strategies for how to cope with the negative/fearful thoughts can reduce anxiety and the intensity of our responses.

    Anxiety is not at all unusual when we are with people we hope will like us.

    I think if you were really open with a therapist, she or he could offer you a variety of coping and reassurance strategies to help you calm yourself, and gradually, reduce the anxiety to a level that meets "reality" (and not our fears).

    I think you have lots to offer and maybe anxiety is getting in the way at the moment. Again, you and your responses to anxiety are not bad, weird, or abnormal. Anxiety happens. We can learn to put it in perspective. I hope you find some relief - it is do-able!
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