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How to Stop Blushing at Work

The Worst Time to Blush?

To some, blushing at work, can sound like an almost trivial problem but those who think that must not be heavy blushers. It’s a hugely annoying involuntary physical response, often with no specific stimulus. Some people never know when it’s going to happen leaving them in a constant state of worry. Others know their triggers and may find themselves trying to avoid them at all costs.

But what if those triggers can’t be avoided? A business meeting perhaps? A presentation? Talking to a co-worker or your boss? So many clients come to see me for help with blushing at work. Blushing cheeks might be seen as cute or endearing on a date or amongst friends, but blushing cheeks in a business suit just doesn’t sit right for some people. When you’re trying to build a confident, powerful and professional persona, rosy red cheeks don’t help. 

person blushing in business meeting feels embarrassed
Illustration / Victoria Eve

Why do I Blush at Work?

Work is often a high pressure situation where stress levels are high and being accepted by the majority can be key to your success. We can be met with many challenges and have to navigate complex social expectations and hierarchies. 

Fears can feed in to workplace blushing including a fear of public speaking, a fear of authority figures or nervousness in job interviews. Blushing is often associated with romance, passion or flintiness – things which are not deemed appropriate in the workplace. This intensifies the worry about blushing in case it is misinterpreted by others. 

What is Blushing?

Blushing is a reddening of the cheeks because of increased blood flow. When this happens and the blood vessels expand, a person’s face can also feel hot and tingly. The blushing response is involuntary but heavily linked to emotional and psychological triggers. 

What Causes Blushing?

Blushing is associated with a wide range of triggers. They include anxiety, especially social anxiety, shame, embarrassment, guilt, anger, fear, shyness and passion. There are some other things which may make blushing worse including spicy foods, heat and alcohol.

Why Did Blushing Evolve?

There are a few different ideas about why blushing was important to humans. Some think it is simply a response to the flight or flight mechanism and signifies danger to other people and a readiness to action. Another idea is that it is an important social cue of shame or embarrassment. If someone tells a lewd joke for example or you act in an inappropriate way, your blush indicates to the social group that you understand the implications and consequences. You are showing remorse, regret or modesty for the action that society deems out of place. In this way you can be forgiven and remain within the social group. 

The fact that blushing is involuntary is important because the social group feel it shows your true feelings even if you aren’t able to, or are unwilling to, communicate them. But what happens when your blushing betrays you? When it isn’t helpful anymore and gives the wrong impression.

Why Do I Blush So Much?

Some people just seem to be prone to blushing. This could be because of a physiological reason like thinner skin or blood vessels closer to the surface of the skin. Or, it can be because a person is more prone to the emotions that trigger blushing. Finally, people who are prone to blushing have often become stuck in a thought loop. They worry about blushing so much that it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. This cycle is hard to break. If someone tells you not to think about blushing, what’s the first thing you do?

In situations where you really don’t want to blush the fear of it makes that outcome more likely. This is why blushing at work is such a common problem. Unfortunately, it’s something we can’t fake or hide, we need to change our thought patterns for good. Real change is needed.

Steps to Stop Blushing

Anxious thoughts keep the blushing cycle going. In truth, the more you worry, the more you’re stuck in a cycle that makes blushing more likely to occur.

Firstly, stop focusing too much on yourself in order to break the habitual worrying which causes blushing. Instead, change the focus from yourself to other people around you. In this way your blushing problem will simply diminish. 

Try……

  • Changing your focus. When you are in a challenging situation distract your own anxious thoughts by focusing on other people: Notice the colour of a persons tie, the colour of someone’s hair, be aware of someone who is smiling.
  • Stop putting your thoughts into other people’s heads. Most people who blush are very self conscious and worry too much about what other people think, often projecting their fears about what other people are thinking about them! Start believing in yourself!

Hypnotherapy for Blushing

It’s probably not something you’ve ever considered but hypnotherapy is a really powerful treatment for blushing.

Alix can help you with hypnotherapy to break the cycle leading to blushing. Once you’re started, you’ll be able to find the confidence to overcome blushing by yourself. Contact Alix today for an initial chat and to see if just a few sessions will put you on the right track to stop blushing at work forever.

Related Reading

Blushing Hypnotherapy – Case Study

Online Hypnotherapy

Can Hypnotherapy Work For Me?

Managing Conflict at Work

How to Cope with Workplace Stress

5 Effective Ways for Dealing With Shyness

My techniques guarantee that you remain in control at every session. These techniques, developed over 25 years, are so effective that many issues can be addressed in as little as three sessions and my location in the very heart of London means you can book sessions to work around work.

blushing at work can be embarrassing
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