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Why Do We Blush

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Biology 103
2003 First Paper
On Serendip

Why Do We Blush

Maria Scott-Wittenborn

I have blushed easily all my life. I simply accepted it as unavoidable that whenever I spoke in class, arrived somewhere late or was singled out for praise or correction that my face would redden significantly. As a young child I simply assumed that everyone blushed as much as I did, and that it was only my unusually pale skin that made my tendency towards blushing more apparent. But this is not, in fact, the case. Some people blush more than others do and some families blush more than others do (2). Some attribute blushing to social phobia, though it differs in that it is not accompanied by a change in pulse rate or blood pressure (1). Blushing is generally thought to be a response to embarrassment, but is the emotion that triggers blushing as broad and general as "embarrassed"? Or are there more nuances to the emotional cause of what Darwin termed "the most peculiar and most human of all expressions" (2)?

My personal experience is that I tended to blush not exactly when embarrassed per se, but rather whenever I felt I was making, or had made, myself vulnerable to the criticism of others. When something I had done, such as arrive late, broke a social rule. What I could not understand was the purpose blushing served; what use could this phenomenon have? It became clear as I researched the issue that one's propensity for blushing was directly linked to one's sensitivity to the opinion of others (4). However, actual phenomenon of blushing is an appeasement behavior designed to signal to the rest of the group that the individual in question realizes their social transgressions and asks for the group's approval or forgiveness (1). People, like myself who blush frequently, have an oversensitive and therefore inaccurate perception of what constitutes a breach of decorum resulting in more frequent episodes of blushing than someone who did not perceive themselves to frequently commit social transgressions. The source of negative self- attention that results in this need to appease the group and by extension which leads to blushing were divided into categories: threats to public identity, scrutiny and the accusation of blushing (3). All of these result in negative self- attention and the sense that some social norm has been breached, resulting in the perceived necessity for an appeasement behavior, in this case, blushing.

Threats to public identity or a perceived negative reaction of other's often leads to blushing (3). Indeed, many people cited situations in which they have been caught or doing something of which they are ashamed as leading to blushing (3). This is consistent with blushing as an appeasement behavior. The person caught doing something that they perceive to be "shameful" or "improper" would feel the need to signal to the rest of their group that they recognize their transgression. That they reject their actions because they share the values of the groups other members and therefore that the group should accept them despite their mistake (1). Babies, for example, who have no sense of social norms or how they are perceived by others, do not blush at all (2). Blushing increases, though, when strangers witness something that an individual views as unflattering or which puts them in a negative light. For example, when three people together watched a video of one of them singing, the person who had been recorded blushed much more than the strangers (5). I personally remember the torture of being sent to theatre camp and forced to sing at the end of the summer program. The only way that I could get through the song was to stand sideways on the stage looking away from the audience, into the wings. The sight of all the strangers watching me was simply more than I could take.

Scrutiny and receiving large amounts of attention may also lead to blushing even though it may not be negative attention (3). The most obvious example of this being when adolescents of the opposite gender are in one another's presence. This is less a response to a negative reaction on the part of the observer, but rather a fear of insufficiency on the part of the blusher (3). The obvious conclusion to draw from this is that being the center of attention, positive or negative, will lead to a heightened sense of self-awareness. The blusher may feel shame or humiliation if they are the subject of negative attention, for example a publicly chastised student. The blushing would then be intended to apologize, to signal their awareness of the inappropriate nature of their behavior to all who saw it (3). It is a fairly effective way to mitigate further attack, and people tend to see it as a conciliatory gesture (6).

The accusation of blushing has been seen to increase the blusher's state. The inference that 'you are blushing' hence 'you must have done something worth blushing about'. The expectation to blush can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, the same is true of verbal feedback that blushing is in fact taking place. This is due to the fact that a propensity to blush is a serious source of anxiety to an individual who from past experiences expects blushing to take place (7). In general, having one's blush pointed out to a given individual makes them much more socially uncomfortable, though it often seems to be the source of amusement for those who are not blushing (7).

While the exact causes of blushing vary widely from individual to individual, I feel that my own personal experiences with blushing are very much in keeping with the sources three situations conducive to blushing that were discussed above. If blushing is indeed an appeasement behavior, it explains much of why, despite it's apparent lack of use, that it plays a role in our culture. It is an interesting link between one's physical self and one's mental self. What one finds embarrassing or worth apologizing for can be seen in an involuntary physical response.


1) Stein, D J. Bouwer, C. Blushing and social phobia: a neuroethological speculation. Medical Hypothesis 1997; 49, 101-108.

2) Darwin, C. The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. Chicago:Chicago University Press, 1872/1965.

3) Leary M R, Cutlip W D II, Brit T W, Templeton J L. Social blushing. Psychological Bull 1992; 3: 446-460.

4) Self-conciousness, self-focused attention, blushing propensity and fear of blushing, An article dealing with the the role that self-awareness plays in the cause and frequency of blushing

5) Empathetic Blushing in Friends and Strangers, An article dealing with the issue of blushing out of sympathy or empathy for another

6) Blushing may signify guilt, An article exploring the role that blushing plays in ambiguous situations of guilt or wrong-doing.

7) The impact of verbal feedback about blushing on social discomfort
and facial blood flow during embarrassing tasks
, An article exploring how being made aware of one's blushing tendancies by others affects the individual who is blushing.


Continuing conversation
(to contribute your own observations/thoughts, post a comment)

11/04/2005, from a Reader on the Web

Hi Serendip, I share the same thoughts as you and Blushing has become nearly a everyday routine to me. I am hindered by the moments that I feel I will blush and when I speak in class thus making me feel out of placed and looked stupid. I really wonder if there is some kind of cure to this?? Regards, Erina

12/12/2005, from a Reader on the Web

I enjoyed the article. For the past ten years I have been struggling with social anxiety disorder. By facing my fears and continuing to be involved in social interaction, I feel I've made great progress. However, I continue to blush to an extreme. When I blush it often results in facial contortions which are not in the least bit amusing to the people around me. It is unsettling to them and as I observe the look on their faces, it stirs within me a panic attack, making me more nervous. Some people who were once my friends, now seem to go out of their way to avoid me, even certain family members. There are people I feel comfortable around and don't usually blush in their presence. Usually, they are older people, immigrants, or people who also have some sort of an affliction. Also, as I get "use" to people, I seem to not blush. In turn, some people have gotten use to me. Personally, I take my blushing with a grain of salt, but it is difficult for me to enjoy intimacy with any one. I have been divorced for seven years and I would like to start dating again, but I feel my blushing is an obstacle. I seem to no longer have any close friends and this bothers me because I use to have lots. Fortunately, I am a private person and don't let the lack of intimate friends get me down too much. But recently I feel the need to be more socially involved. I have been to councelling. I am not interested in taking medication to control my blushing even if there are drugs that would help. Do you know of any foods that might increase the blushing response - foods that I should avoid? Or, do you know of any foods that might minimize the blushing reflex? I live about 20 miles east of Cleveland. Are there any support groups in this area for people that blush to the extent I do? Also, I would like to volunteer to work with social phobics, not only to help someone else, but I feel this would help me too. Thank you

01/11/2006, from a Reader on the Web

Thanks for presenting your knowledge on blushing in such an academic and helpful way. I also am a frequent blusher, but never could understand the reason for my problem, because it happens even when I don't feel embarrassed at all! But thanks for your help. Bless you.


Additional comments made prior to 2007
I read what you were saying about blushing, and also read the comments that people had posted about it. I myself am a frequent blusher, and high school was my number one weak spot. Presentations in class, students talking to me, people asking me questions, friends making me the center of attention, etc... I've found that the best way to get over the blushing is to trick yourself into believing you're comfortable where you are. While it seems pretty strange, all I need is move around more or relate something to myself or just try to feel like I would in a comfort zone, to actually believe that I am! Maybe this would work for others, all it takes is a little more courage to be flamboyant! ... Katie, 11 February 2006



Wow, I blush all the time. I found your article to be very helpfull at I had no clue why I blushed so much more frequently then others. I hate blushing and I find it very embarassing. I have pale skin so when I do blush my face goes bright red and it's very noticable. I also find that I blush when I talk to guy\'s aswell as when I have something serious or important to say to someone. Is there a way in which I can control this? ... Brittany Anderson, 11 February 2006



I blush because I am blushing - My ex-husband thought I blushed because I was lying - Then I blushed whenever he asked me a question - I blush when I laugh - "She looks like a tomatoe!!" turns me even darker red. One day my handsome teacher told me "I like you - You are such a REAL person - I love the way you turn colors when you are moved" (I was red for three days after that one) but now I don't care - I'm almost 60 and still blushing and still laughing and still a very real person ... Reader on the web, 14 March 2006



Hi, im a verrryy frequent blusher...I'm in middle school, and in a different school that i'm not used to. So blushing happens very often and i HATE it. I dread going to school everyday due to the embarrassment, mostly, i hate speaking in front of crowds, and raising my hand in class. I was really confused on how this blushing thing works, and your article helped me a bit...Like, most of the kids in my class know how i blush, or turn red, and sometimes some people call me out on it, which really sucks because then it is more embarrassing. I don't know why I do it, but I think it's because of maybe boys? I'm not too sure, but I don't feel comfortable so, i just turn red and i know i turn red most of the time because i feel my face burn up..Well i always think and wonder .. why can't i just be embarrassed without blushing..everyone else doesnt turn red, i dont know, but i just wish it could stop...Thank you for taking your time to read this..if you have any helpful information for my problem .. please write back. thanx ... Amanda, 23 March 2006



The paper is excelent, all these years I started to figure out sort of the same thing for myself, but Ive learnt how to control it! I found, for me that Theater helped me a lot and convincing myself that what people think doesn't matter. Excelent paper, Congrats ... Daniel, 22 April 2006



hi im josh ,im 14 and i also blush alot at school because of the one i really like.because her friends say "josh" and point to her i jus blush and feel very uncomftorble i just wonder if u could tell me if there is a mental cure ... Josh, 28 April 2006



thanks for the informative article, im a blusher, not only when i do wrong things, but also when i laugh when i talk, go into discussion, maybe because i get interested in everything i do, and the things that disturbs me that people immediately point it out saying "oh why your face is red" and that moment just kills... im a kind of a person who can't lie and very honest, whenever i try lying my faces blushes and i get caught, that's really annoying and i think the only way to solve this problem is to mingle and sit in a group and talk to alot of people, but unfortunately, my personality deosn't allow to do that since that i don't like mingling wih people and keep avoiding them, thanx again, we blushers are honest and whenever we see another blusher , we never tell him that his face is red because we know how it feels ... Noureddine, 15 September 2006



I consider blushing on par with a curse!!! Blushing has been my enemy from an extremely young age, which is why I felt the need to respond to this article. The author says "Babies, for example, who have no sense of social norms or how they are perceived by others, do not blush at all." I must dispute that theory. When I was still in diapers (under a year old - since I was potty trained by 1 year old) when my mom would change my diaper if my dad was in the room and made a comment my face would turn red. I, in fact, remember my face feeling very hot. My mother confirms this, saying I would turn red very red - even as a baby. How do you explain that? It was also stated that it is purely a social reaction because it doesn't happen when alone. I beg to differ. Recently I was painting my bedroom - all alone in the house. I realized I had chosen the wrong sheen - semi gloss instead of satin - and I turned totally red! I wasn't embarrassed at all. I simply realized it was the wrong sheen. My face seems to tuen red even when I truly don't feel embarassed. Then it makes me ebarassed because I'm red and people THINK I'm embarrased. Besides a red face, sometimes my neck even turns blotchy red. What other possibliity is there for such blushing, besides social embarrasement? ... Renee R, 20 September 2006



I have had a blushing problem all my life and it generally comes on when I am "on the spot" in a board meeting or being challenged by a colleague on any subject, important or otherwise. It seems to be getting worse as I get older! I am now 57 and feel it could hold me back from the final years of my career and would welcome any thoughts as to how to control it. I doubt I could take medication as I am on blood pressure treatment as it is!! ... John Scott, 9 November 2006



i blush so much! i hate it and i mean that i turn red i get so scared and so then i just want to cry because it is so bad ant i want to now how to make it stop. so plz help me because i want to be able to go up and talk to my class and not turn red and be able to have a boyfriend to without being Red ... Jennifer, 20 November 2006



I to have the case of blushing. I am always worried about what I will do to digger a blush act. I always blush when people look my way or when I am involved in activities such as running. Then I get hot and my face gets really red. Also I used to live in Washington state and only meet one other person at my school who blushed as much as me. Needless to say she and I became close friends. On moving back to Oregon I have meet many people that blush like I do. I will sit in seventh period and see lots of people who have this same problem. I think it is funny because they make fun of people who do it, yet when they are made fun of they...blush. It used to be that I would only like darker boys bacause I didn't want the chance that my kids would have to live with this ... JJ, 12 December 2006



Can anyone explain this situation. When I see a male friend, of whom I am very fond (and I think he is also interested in me), he blushes hopelessly. Is this an indication that he does not like the attention I give him, or is his blushing a sign that he feels inferior and is unable to express his feelings? ... Elizabeth Lilley, 13 April 2007


My problem has to a very huge degree spoiled my life. I have withdrawn from everything there was to enjoy in life. I even blush when I'm alone. I simply dread it. I know I've been talked about a lot. I have let friends drift from me and my family. I have lost jobs - one particular one 13 years ago I still think about with total horror. I have been described as different = (this is a word they use for people with problems like this in the Health Authority). I have heard a boss say that my problem was very disconcerting.

I would love to have had a life free of blushing. It is very controlling in that I have no control over it. I know other people are like me but I have never met anyone. I have read about operations but they are so expensive. The Highfield Hospital in London perform them ... Brenda Sheffield, 13 May 2007



Hi. Thank you very much for your very informative, as well as sensitive, posting on the subject of blushing. I discovered your site as I searched for links related to allergic reactions related to alcohol with skin flushing. Your posting has been particularly helpful as I have considered the relationship between blushing and the "allegic" response, which I believe in both case are nothing more than conditioned reactions within the mind and have nothing to do with the body, at the causal level, at all. Your posting has enabled me to form some potential emotional links to my "allergic reaction", as I realize it occurred when I was dealing with some thoughts steeped in inferiority and littleness along with some memories of a situation where I perceived judgment. Thank you for helping me better understand the cause, at its true source, of my reaction and how it is so closely attuned to the condition which to most sounds indeed more benign of blushing. This has helped remove the fear I had tagged to my experience. Now may we all realize the truth of who we really are, at one with each other, far beyond any reactions of either grandiosity OR littleness, and may we rest in the love of that union. Thank you! ... Mary, 21 May 2007


wow, you are an amazing writer, i must say i really enjoyed the article/paper.

i have struggled with this myself, but it started when i was around 15 years old, or at least it was then when i became aware of it. when ever i had to stand up to speak in class, etc (the other things you pointed out your self in the article) i will blush to a point that even my eyes will water, im 24 now and in vet-college and still got the problem, smaller crouds might not get me to blush though. i related a lot to one of the persons comments here, where he explained he used to have many friends and very sociable, till developing social fobia, hardly having any friends anymore. im going through that myself.

it was comforting to read about other peoples expierences related to this, i had never heard about other cases before, any advice is welcome! thanks for sharing ... Christian, 25 June 2007



The article and comments on blushing are very interesting. I'm 51 and I've blushed forever. I HATE IT, but I don't let it hinder me. I can think about a particular thing and I'll blush when I'm all alone - go figure! I've always tried to deny the fact that I'm timid because I see it as weakness, but the fact is, I don't like attention drawn to me. But I've had a very successful career in the corporate world and now I've switched gears to go into counseling. I hope my blushing doesn't make people feel uncomfortable, because I'm actually fine - I just have a bright red face -- which I guess could be pretty cool at Christmas! ... Reader on the web, 7 December 2007


Kathryn's picture

I am currently a junior in

I am currently a junior in high school and blush every single day I go to school. When we have to get in groups, read a article aloud or even speak my face burns up and turns beat red. I feel like its holding me back from a lot of things in life. I dont really understand it but im not even embarrassed just if im uncomfortable.

kelvin 's picture

follow your heart

Dear Kathryn,

I understand how you feel because i been there before. Every single blushing day could be a pain in the ass and there seems to be no escape. Sometimes, people would just say that we are shy or embarrass, but the fact is we are not. It is just a natural reaction we cant control. I am 24 now. I wanted to join sports cca back then at your age, but didnt do so because the thinking of blushing during exercise just held me back. Still, right now, i love exercising. I took up boxing and dancing because i really love it. I dont care about getting red anymore, but instead, focus on doing what i really love. However, if only i have the courage to take them up during my college years, things would have been much better. Therefore, i would like you to have the courage, to love what you doing. Do not let blushing hold you back. Go take up public speaking if it can help you speak better in front of people. Slowly, blushing in front of people will not matter in the next few years. What matters more will be how well you can speak and impress people. You are still young. Focus on something you love (even if you will blush when doing it) for the next few years, be good at it and I guarantee you even if you do blush still, you will have no regrets. Because people will focus more on how good you are, rather than your blushing. Yes, there will be hard times when you want to give up, when you think why you blush, but remember, you are not the only one. Stay strong and live your life, better than a non-blushing person could do.

Serendip Visitor's picture


when i get up and stand i blush and i just want to hide my face
i get really embarrassed abut it and i hope no one sees DX

Kelvin's picture

Dont give up :)

Hi. I am 23 this year. I share the same fate as those who blush. The worst thing of blushing is
It take away the things I love most; socializing and exercising. Sometimes people just want to
Make fun of this weakness I have just for the sake of their own self esteem and fun. My college
Has alot of exercising activities, soevery time I over exert, I have to find a place to hide, if not just
Suffer the center of attention and questions. Worst time would be army, because I can't run away from it
. And even worse, army do have alot of bastards who just wan to 'kill' ppl for fun. And yup, I was made fun
Of. Most of the time I have to laugh it off just to show that I do not hold any grudge, but my mind was thinking
OtherwIse. As a sergeant, my recruits sometimes do take advantage of my weakness. But I know I have to
Do my duty as a leader.
However, I am lucky because I still have some friends who respect me for who I am. There's no complete cure
To this weakness. But I Urge those who blush heavily like me, don't give up. Don't think of suicide because
It won't solve any of this. Yup, there are times where depressive feelings slip in, but I urge you all, stay strong.
Over the years, I taught myself to be confident in front of people. I train myself to interact with different people,
An to be careful with the type of friends I made. Although there are still things we can't really do openly like
Running in public or givin speech in front of thousand people, but I believe we all deserve a better life than those
Nasty bastard out there. I had just lived one third of my life and I still Ot another two third to go. So to all blushers
Who chance upon my comment, let's live on, stay Strong, have a strong will of heart because life Is short.
There are people worse than us. I saw this guy with only one leg Workin out in gym. If he hasn't gve up, so should we.
All the best.

Serendip Visitor patrick's picture

right dont giveup

im 72 and still a chronic big deal accept it.the internet really helped me as i thought i was the only one with this problem.its really a nervous problem we have in social situations.the best solution is to relax and 4get about it haha.have a since of humor about relax take slow deep breaths and slow exhales.also good 4 the blood pressure.i still run and get red,so what no big deal.its just the way our nerve network is connected to our spinal cord.most people dont even notice,friends and family do but they learn to ignore it.ive been married 50 years life is great,enjoy,it gets easier as we age.our face dosent wrinkle as much as cool people does because of our facial blood supply.enjoy life we are the real cool people.

captain scarlet's picture

blushing brides

a very interesting subject,i would defy anyone with fair skin not to have blushed at some stage,
it's more a force of nature type thing than anything else,
if we could simply harvest this power that can drive somebody to almost suicide,now we're in business but
of course to do this is to totally go against nature,there's too much exceptance of people to except defeat on this issue.
too many soothe sayers with silly little rhymes to try to ease the pain,
there's only one way to deal with blushing''make the people that make you blush pay for their sins'' by never speaking to
them again,blank them out it never fails and as for when your see someone you like you blush you don't somebody told you that you did, when you see someone you really like they won't make you blush.

Jumaanah Jones's picture


I am 15 and I don't think that I blush but recently i'm not so sure. When I do actually blush, it's because i'm denying something, lying or i'm jealous but trying to hide it. Like, this one guy was trying to make me admit i liked his friend and i said i didn't then he started talking about his friends new girlfriend and i looked away saying i didn't care and then everyone asked why i was so red on my face. I also happened in the store. Kind of embarrassing because my dad was there but i thought i couldn't blush because i have some african american in me. I guess I can though! (:

Laura1012's picture

I am 14 and going red is

I am 14 and going red is ruining my life. I am so glad i found this as now i know i'm not alone in my problem. All my friends and Mum keep telling me that it could be worse but they don't really understand. I have blushed all my life but i only became concious about it when i started high school 4 years ago. Everyone started taking the mick out of me and slowly my confidence dropped and ontop of that i was being bullied at the same time.When i go red my back prikled up and i go really clammy and sweaty. I have got a prom in a few weeks and i don't want to go anymore. I will go tomato red and look like a idiot! Does anyone know of anything i could do or wear to stop me going to red. Please help me!

Serendip Visitor's picture

so it is


EricaMarie's picture

My teacher actually makes fun of me for it.

I'm a sophomore now, but freshman year my biology teacher was amazed at how red I can turn. I blush very easily. It began in 8th grade, all I've ever heard since then is, "OMG look at how red she is! She's like a "f-bomb" tomatoo!." Anyway, my teacher noticed how quickly I would turn red, as well. He then compared me to the human torch from Fantastic Four because I could turn fire red in no time at all and screamed "FLAME ON!" at me. Of course, I turned redder. For the rest of the semester that's all I heard about ten times a day. He even went to such lengths as taking my school picture, a picture of the human torch, and in very large letters the words "flame on!" on the big screen in his room. It was up for all of his hours to see. Still to this day, I get random strangers yelling at me. I'm actually learning to embrace it though. It's a funny story to tell, I just don't like how it will never go away.

Laura1012's picture

I have the same thing happen

I have the same thing happen to me! my form tutor is facinated by it and really draws attentiion to it and then i go redder and redder!

makeup tips's picture

about the post

your post about blushing is not only awesome but informative as well keep it up

chelsey maguire's picture

I blush all the time now, its

I blush all the time now, its just like this year i blush all the time! Like when i got up in front of the class to act in a skit and i was doing well until it was over and i feel my face turn red, and i think to myself why am i turning red it wasnt embarassing, but then thinking about it only makes me embarassed knowing i cant control my face from turning red. Its ridiculous and i really hate it but i just have to accept it. i mean i even turn red when my friends gain up on my jokingly trying to make me turn red! Ive just learned to accept it -____-

Mark W.'s picture

Social Anxiety--My Excuse for Blushing

I myself have had a blushing problem for ages--pretty much all my life. My social anxiety has made me feel embarrassed or out of place so many times that blushing has become commonplace. I think that, for me and others like me, finding the right social phobia treatment and learning how to feel comfortable in our own skin will get rid of that annoying red cheek problem.

--Mark W.

Maria's picture

My Blushing Story

I'm really glad i'm not the only one with this problem! Right now i'm 13, and i have been blushing for about 3 years. i HONESTLY hate it. Well, might as well tell you everything. When i was weeks away from ending 2nd grade, that's when it started. I remember it was VERY slightly though, barely noticeable. In fact the only person that pointed it out was this guy named Joshua. He was like "Why are yor cheeks getting puffy and pink?" Then it stopped. I didn't pay ANY attention to it and it was the last thing on my mind. Life was good. In 3rd grade, i didn't blush at all. Wait, i should mention that i've always been sort of quiet.I get good grades and stuff. AND people say im very pretty, so this is very hard to live with. 4th grade was when things kind of started. The beggining was fine. Then,i started breaking out on my forehead and getting few pimples. My cheeks sort of weren't as perfect, BUT i never blushed, i just sometimes was red cause of the pimples. ALTHOUGH, i always used to get red when the weather was hot, always. One time when it really hurt was wen my little sister was like "You're much redder than me" THAT hurt but i let it go. Then in 5th grade, things got BAD. We had to talk in front of the class ALOT! And do a lot of presentations. I dreaded presenting but i was just like whatever. It didnt get to me. My teacher knew i blushed which is why she always picked me, i guess to help me get over the fear.But i'll never forget this one time. I was talking to 2 girls at recess. Raquel and Anali. I asked Raquel, did you put eye shadow? She said no they're naturally pink. Then Anali was like "She was born like that just like you were born red." You dont know how badly it hurt. I'm just remembering that andi almost cried. Anyway, despite all that, 5th grade was a great year. I was very popular nd had tons of new friends, beacuse i didnt blush too much. Then i 6th grade,things went fine. sort of. When it was my bday,this man that works in the school came to sing happy bday to me and i turned really red. People didnt really noticed bcause they were kind of far away. My friend that was sitting next to me did notice and was like 'aww you're blushing' she thought it was cute, so i didnt mind. the rest of the year went smoothly. Had lots of friends, blushed only a few times, only on really embarrassing times Like this one time my friend asked me who i have dated and i just turned red. and this kid, who is my friend said "It's amazing how red your face gets in just seconds" i didn't care but then this other tupid guy said 'i know right'. So i let it pass. The rest of the year was fine. It was only in school that i blushed. When i was with my family or shopping, i didnt blush. Then SEVENTH GRADE came. I switched schools, (i moved) and i wanted to change my image. I wanted to be more popular and not be the smart quiet girl. So, it didnt work out. i made LOTS of friends but the school was very hot! So i got really red most of the time, and the kids there were mean and were like "OMG your so red" But a lot of boys liked me in that school, but blushing got in the way, so i got away from all those guys. Then, THANK GOD, i switched back to my old school. Things went great at first. SORT OF. I still very much blushed bcause of the hotness, which ppl unterstood cus they got red too. 7th grade was my worst year at blushing. You know why? Cause i became determined to stop blushing, which only made it worse. I kept blushing over the year, and it just wouldn't stop. i dreaded presentations, award assemblys, everything. Every time a teacher would ask me a question i would get red. My friends asked me 'why are you so red' i was like cause it's hot and they were like oh ok. In my mind i was like i wanna go home and cry. BUT, as the weather got cold, the blushing cooled off. I was living normally, not blushing as much. When i did blush, i just stuck my head in my desk as in "Im looking for something" or i went to the closet. Then, HE happened! This guy, that was kinda cute kept going after me. He liked me and asked me out a lot of times. i kept saying no and he understood, so we were just friends. He always kept asking me for hugs, and i would turn so red when i hugged him. He always tried to get near me, and hug me and i had no choice than to just hug him. But i would turn red. SO, i developed this stupid fear of him getting near me. Every time he got near me, i would away without him noticing, i would go to the closet, or to the bathroom, or anywhere away from him. That continued on and on. It was like April, i think. Then one day, getting back to blushing, my teacher asked me if i wason the principals list and i turned VERY red, i felt it. He didnt say anything but in his head he probably noticed. Then everyone was like damn she's so red, her face is like on fire, you're so red, OMG you're so red! That was the moment where it hurt the most. For the rest of the day i just wanted to cry. Then, it continued with my family. i would start blushing around them too. sometimes. Then, school was almost over, but i always watched out for that kid that loved to hug me. The last month, i found a solution that helped the blushing not notice, so for the last month i received no question on my blushing. i was so happy.Now, it's summer. I'm sort of afraid of getting near everything. Not really. It's more around boys. Last week, i was in this all girl store, and nothing happened, i lived my life normally. or when i see a boy that i dont like, nothing will happen. BUT when i see a cute guy, that ugly feeling starts again! The blushing feeling, thank God, the blush only last a few seconds. BUT my little sister UGH! my little sister is 8. She doesnt know i blush excessively but she knows i blush when i see a cute guy! So whenever a cute guy that is my age passed by, she always looks at me like she's expecting me to do it! i hate it! So yeah I've gotten to the point where i blush even when i'm alone, in stores, everywhere. i hate going to the mall now! :( BUT i found something that i sort of saving my life. Well, first of all, wanna get a tan cause i figure tan ppl dont blush, so yeah. In a few days im going to the beach! Anyway, back to that thing that saved my life. MY MOM's CONCEALER. i put a lot on my cheeks, and since im naturally pale, nobody can tell it's makeup. I've even tested it. Sometimes when i blush, i imediately see myself in a mirror, it's not noticealbe!EXEPT when its an extreme blush! But it'll do. It's very annoying though, i have to put a lot on my fac every single time i go out. and i'm afraid it'll ruin my skin, my skin is very sensitive. So far, it's not ruined at all, so i'm okay with my life. STILL, these past few days i've been crying so much, i just ask God why he chose me to blush. I've been praying all nights, asking for a miracle, not only on me but on everyone who blushes. I just wish Nobody in this world had to go throught blushing. I don't deserve it! Im mostly good, but blushing is ruining my life. I cant go anywhere without that fear in my head. I dont even want to have a boyfriend! I've had to turn down all the guys that asked me out! I used to love flirting with boys last year, in my country, there were many cute guys, and i used to flirt with them without blushing because that stupid thought of blushing wasnt in my head. There are times where i feel very confident and dont blush at all! Like last year i did my first communion. It was very hot in the church. I had to walk down the aisle and HUNDREDS of ppl were looking at me and i did NOT blush at all. Also in the beginning of 7th grade, my new teacher introduced me to the class. everyobdy was saying hey, whats up, hi. the teacher was even like 'you're cute' and i smiled without blushing. so i dont get blushing at all. i dont like it. i wis it didnt even exist. Anyway i promised myself that i wasnt gonna let i get to me. i keep praying to God, and i hope one day my wish comes true. Now i will not ony pray for myself but for everyone who suffers from this. There are times where i feel no hope, i just wonder how my future will be like. Sometimes i really feel like being famous, but blushing is in the way, so i've decided to be blushing's friend. not it's enemy. I think im doing great now and have decided if nothing goes well, i will tell my mom. im afraid to tell her because i know things will get worse. Right now she has no idea about my problem. she has only seen me blush 2 times, and she's asked why. I just say it's too hot in here and she's like i know it is. and then she completely forgets it happened. I dont wantt her to think im weird\different\strange. I'm really not shy, and i dont blush out of embarrassment i think i blush beacuse of nervousness. Well probably nobody will read this, since it's way to long. Sorry, i just had to get this all out of my heart. I will continue to pray for all us blushers, hopefully one day, God will help us. ALSO, i have 3 recomendations.
1. CONCEALER, (Girls ONLY haha) it will cover the redness, trust me.

2. Get a tan. (If you can)

3. Order this book. it's garanteed to stop blushing, i just cant order it cause i have no money and am afraid to ask my mom!
Well, i wish you the best of luck! God bless you ( us blushers) God, please help us blushers stop blushing. You've read how much pain it causes.
Well, goodbye (: ♥

Hannah37's picture

Maria I have read all these

Maria I have read all these paragraphs about blushing and how our faces get red and I can totally relate but I can mostly relate to yours. I agreed to EVERYTHING on your story. I don't wanna be the shy girl anymore. I went to the mall yesterday to find an Easter dress and I didn't want to go out of the dressing room to show my mom because I didn't want everyone looking at me because my face would turn red. I don't want anyone seeing that. And I mostly started realizing it in 6th/7th grade. I turn 13 in about a week and I am so scared to go to high school because of my face. Idk why I blush so much! It's like it's uncontrollable! I blush in unecessary situations! There have been times when boys have come up to me and talked and My face immediately starts to get red. Idk if I have social anxiety or what. I just hate it. I absolutely hate it. I really hope u see this because I feel like I am different from everyone else and I feel like nobody understands. I have a twin sister in the same grade and I'm so scared that everyone likes her better because she is pretty and she doesn't blush as much as me! Ughhhhh it gets on my last nerve. I never participate in class because I'm too scared to even raise my hand. It's horrible, I can't even raise my hand. When I get to know someone and I become really good friends with them I dont blush often around them. But I still sometimes do. EVEN WITH MY PARENTSSS!!! Agh... It's so frustrating. I will be in class sitting listening to my teacher talk and teach when I look over and see a boy across the room looking at me and I turn super red and it's humiliating. I literally just ugh. All I want to do all day is sit in my room because that's where I feel most comfortable. I feel like at my school I'm the only one who goes through this. It's so hard on myself. Like why? Why do I have to blush for no reason? I'll even sometimes be sitting and nobody is looking at me and I think to myself what if I blush and then I start blushing! I also go to church and this morning I went and my youth group always holds hands and forms a big circle and sings a song. I literally started blushing when we Sang the song. My sister was next to me and she looked at me and gave me this look and I'm like yes Ik my face is red now back off (I didn't say it I thought it tho) in 1st/2nd/3rd/4th grade I was participating in school drama plays and I never blushed ever. School was great! But I feel like my life could be so much easier if I didn't blush. Like why does it have to be me!????!!! I have this dream of becoming an actress and I feel like I might not be able to accomplish it. I always tell myself just believe and u can do anything. But someone will walk up to me or I will look over and someone is looking at me and I uncontrollably start blushing. I'll blush even when I'm not embarrassed or lying or anything! I never lie anyway!!!! UGH UGH UGH UGH. Lol I don't think ur the only person here writing a big story... Anyway... About my "dream"... Blushing just gets in the way of everything. I have no clue where to start in becoming an actress or even like performing in plays but I want to. I feel like sometimes the only reason I want to become an actress is because I feel like I'm different and that I won't be remembered. But I feel like becoming an actress is actually something i want to do. Ok it feels amazing to let all this out. I also blush around high schoolers. Like a lot... If a high school boy looked at me my face will get red. I'm super nervous so go into high school. I want to be super friendly and just have a good life and set goals for myself and stuff. And I try to not let blushing get in the way but even when I think positively to myself it just gets in the way. I just want it to stop. Is that too much to ask for? Ugh. My face is also very pale. Well actually my whole skin tone is very pale and I don't tan easily. I mostly burn... Heh heh. And about makeup... I really wanna learn how to do it but I don't even wear mascara to school like I suck at makeup. But I really wanna try stuff out. I feel like my Reddning face goes deeper than just embarrassment. I wonder if it's because I think bad of myself. I really don't know. Man you're right it is nice to let all this out. I'm sorry I just read this now... Oh wow... I wrote that in 2011. U might be out of highschool by now. Huh... Whoops. Well anyway... That's my story. Ugh I just wanna have a happy life. And my life is happy, it just could be better without my Reddning face issue.

mollys's picture


Reading Ashley's comment about blushing being connected to a traumatic event; I'd say that's often the case. I never blushed until I had a really traumatic relationship break up in my late twenties that I felt very responsible for. A few weeks later my friend caught me out over a small fib I told and I could feel the beginning of a blush starting. I managed to get away before it turned into a full blush, but that was the beginning of a blushing problem that lasted for 8 years and completely stifled my life. I couldn't tell even the smallest fib, even to be kind to someone, without my face giving me away. Anything that showed me up to be less than perfect sent me scarlet, even something as small as saying I'd had a filling at the dentist. I never connected the problem to the trauma, but five years into the problem I saw a hypnotherapist, who asked me when the blushing started and then asked me what had happened at that time in my life. As soon as I worked it back, I knew straight away. I didn't go through with the hypotherapy, but the hypnotherpist said that the blushing was my sub-conscious telling me that something needed sorting out. Three years after that I finally saw a counsellor and talked through what had happened. That really helped, but the thing that finally knocked it on the head was saying affirmations and particularly the one "I forgive myself for all the times that I am less than perfect" and finally I did. And I stopped blushing. For sure, it might not be the answer to everyone's problem and that particular affirmation might not be the one that works. If I'd known that's what I needed to do to address the problem, I think I would have done it a lot sooner and saved myself a lot of years that were crippled by my blushing.

Serendip Visitor's picture

what to do?

im starting college soon but am afraid of reading in front of the class as im not good at reading and the subject im doing is hard so i know ill struggle with it! what should i do as i dont like being publicaly embarrased?

Serendip Visitor's picture


I have really bad social anxiety, and speech class is a requirement. I'm thinking there must be a way to get out of the class if you have anxiety...But I don't know who to go to, and plus telling anyone is embarrassing on it's own! I'm thinking of even quitting college...

However college is a but more flexible, and you can tell teachers you can't present in front of the class, and ask them if you could do something else. I asked my psychology teacher (I knew she would understand) and she said I could do something else in place of the presentation.

I'm still questioning myself though, if I should continue with college, because I can't sit down forever. My best advice would be to see a psychiatrist, AND

TAKE ST. JOHN'S WORT!!!! It helps tremendously with anxiety (it's not a miracle worker, I still have lots of anxiety), but it seemed to help A LOT for me.

Jerry's picture


I understand how you feel, looking back, it was very difficult for me to get through certain classes like Speech, and Arts because you have to give presentations. What I did was to read my presentations. Eventhough the teacher said NOT to read, but what can you do when a person has social anxiety. So, whatever you do, dont drop out of college. Dont ruin your future because if you do not face your fears now, I can guarantee you that you will in the future. I am almost done with a Masters degree, and it has been tough for me. At work I hardly speak out, and presentation in front of the class are horrible. But what has helped me is to ask questions (in class) even if they are simple. You learn eventually to interact with the instructor and other students.
Believe me when I say that it feels awkward some times, like you are "stupid" and you think that other students are thinking bad about you. But in reality they are not thinking that, it is your own thoughts that are swrirling in you head.

Here is what you can do to combat the self-negative thoughts: have 3x5 cards ready in your hand. In the cards, you are going to put all the nice things about you, for example, "I am a nice person," I am creative," "I am a good listener," "I am smart," "I have a right to be heard," "I am valuable as a human being," "I can learn and grow" ect. And, next time when you have a self-deffeating thought, the moment it comes to you, pick out a card and read it. Reading the card will automatically intercept the negative thoughts. And one more thing, DO NOT dwell on your defeats, it will only make it worst. Harbor your accomplishments no matter how small. For example, if you go to the store with someone, stand kind of far away from the person, then call out the name or say something louder than usual. What happens to most of us that are "shy" is that we avoid calling attention to ourselves. But when you are in the company of a stranger that you will never see again, shyness does not have the same grip.

good luck!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Don't despair!

This has been a huge problem for me since high school. I can relate to everyones comments and have plenty of horror stories of my own. It feels better knowing that so many other people have the same issues. What I don't like to see is when people assume this problem will be with them their whole lives and that there is nothing they can do about it.

I'm 28 now and have made much progress since high school. For me it really has been a matter of confidence and just learning to relax around other people. Blushing is not the underlying problem, it is just a symptom of a more general social anxiety. It is a self-reinforcing cycle that can be hard to get out of and can make it seem like it will never end. For me, breaking the cycle was a matter of learning how to be more confident and just learning simply to relax around other people.

This is a challenge but it can definitely be done. Don't expect to improve over night and don't get discouraged when a flare up occurs. But know that gradual progress can be made and eventually you can dig yourself out. Just like we all know it a self-reinforcing cycle that makes you blush more and more, it is also a self-reinforcing cycle which gets better and better once you start to see yourself improving.

So please don't despair! Its hard to see some of you suffering so much because I've been there myself and know exactly how it feels. But just make that effort to figure out how to make yourself feel more confident and I promise you you can overcome it. For me it was about getting myself in shape physically and working on my speaking voice and eye contact, though I'm sure it will be different for everybody.

Thanks for reading and good luck!


It is really voiding me!

hy dis is rosni,really dis blushing behaviour is voiding me n myself continious!evry time i collect &recollect all my thoughts not to show d reddy presence all with face covered with sweats or wateva!but at the time every boundary crosses evry limits to explore my RESULTS! THE BITTER RESULTS! with tacky heart that now i cant do anything . i cant face conversate present my better qualities even what can I DO??? PLZ respond me.will this problem hunt me ever ?i m a good composer(i can say) &wish to sing & rock in front of great mass but really this startling pain is burning me perpetually!

Serendip Visitor's picture


I thought I had it bad.... I believe most of it really is in the mind. I have gotten a bit better recently just by believing it wasn't an issue. I took this free 6 week self confidence course which for me was very connected with the blushing. Although I have only done 3-4 or so, I am feeling better. I bet you could find it online. They send you an e-mail every week with something to work on. So anyways some stuff that help me is believing that they think I am just like them. I also think about how we are all just people sharing the earth togther ....we're equal. The solution is not avoiding situations, it's going into the situations feeling confident. After practicing being the confident person you envision yourself wanting to be, it becomes easier, then you can become more you again in front of people. Best wishes, I know you can do it! :) Take the initiative, and feel your confidence! <3-Krista

Anon's picture

Blushing now ruining my son's life

I am 47 year's old and have always blushed in all kinds of situations. I blush when I am the centre of attention (which I've always hated) and when I notice I am blushing I have what can only be described as a panic attack and must get away from the situation which often leads to very embarrassing situations.

There are so many things I can't do or avoid doing because of my blushing and it really is a curse. I hate it.

Now it's starting to affect my 7 year old as going back to other people's houses for play dates etc is something I dread as I know there is a high chance I will start blushing. I feel awful as I am now even avoiding doing this and my son is suffering because of me.

Does anybody know of a cure for this?

Jerry's picture

A long road

Hi everyone. I don't know where to begin, but for the first time in my 48 years of life, and the first time in over twenty years, I was able to stand in front of a class and give a presentation and when it came to answering several questions, I did not blush! Oh Jesus, what a great feeling.
Three years ago, I posted on this website. I encountered many aughfull situations where I blushed in front of co-workers and friends whenever I was put on the spot. People would tell me "you are red" I hated it. But you know what its been working for me?
One year ago, I joined an organization that UNDERSTANDS your troubles and is SENSITIVE to your needs. I joined ToastMasters. You know what? it has done a tremendous benefit for me. Please, Please, Please, if you can, find out about this organization. Dont wait. The benefits are enormous.

I feel great. My level of self-confidence is over the roof!!

Joseph Robbins's picture

Red Blushing Embaressment

Hi my name is Joseph im 18 nearly 19 been reading these comments and cant beileve how many people are like me just wanna say im excactly the same my cousin asked mme today to go out with himj to meet his gf family and i said no because im actually Scared about getting embarressed i just cant meet people i can just about meet 1 person at a time or maybe 2 but when another person comes i have to make a quick escape or im gonna get embarressed.

i work in ground maitenence and i actually fear every meeting because we get together in a samll room and there is about 30 of us and i am red and imbarressed like the whole time.

i dont evan wanna meet girl because of my redness i used to be cofident with girls i evan get red around my family i have had this problem for about 2 years now i cant cope
just with there was a cure ihave a meeting this week and im trying to find any excuse to get out of it.
just glad im not the only 1 made me feel alot better that more people like me.

thanks for reading any1 hears anything let me no

Serendip Visitor's picture

Im a guy and I blush whenever

Im a guy and I blush whenever someone is looking or talking to me. except for my close friends. unlless I do something stupid like crack or somthing. but whenever a girl catches me looking at her I blush alot and start to crack. It sucks. my peers say most of the time Im really quiet and shy... buy Ive beat up 3 people so... I think I might have social anxiety disoder or whatever. It sucks.

angel torres's picture


i seen on websites that hemorrhoid cream stops blushing i haven't try it but Google it. supposedly shrinks the cell that makes you go bright red. im about to go to high school this august and i been blushing since about 6 months it feels horrible seing people laughin at you but you have to stay srong and accept how God made you .

blushy flushy's picture


i am 14 and i blush ALL THE TIME! and just like many people have said, for no reason because most of the time i'm not embarrassed at all. i think that getting red in the face should not control my life, but sometimes i cant help it. i love to talk and make people laugh, but i have stopped speaking out in class and that, because i know i will blush. i blush especially hard when i am singled out and that is sometimes often because i find most of my classes really boring and i love to chat with people so my teachers always call on me and tell me to be quiet and ask me a really hard question or something and that really fires my face up. and when i am embarrassed and flustered my head pounds and my face burns and i cant think straight becuase i am too worried about how i look so of course i can never answer the question correctly, which gets me even redder because im wrong. i think this is a really big problem but i am so happy and thankful that i now know that there are many other people suffering from the same thing because i don't know anybody who blushes as much as i do. i also have extreamly fair skin which of course makes the problem even worse. i rarely answer or ask questions in class because i know i will flare. last year i went to a dermatologist and she said that i have light rosacea and thats why my face flares often, but then i went to a different one this year and he said that i dont have rosacea but that i am just a flushy blushy.
i really wish there were some kind of food or natural remedies or even pills that could help and reduce redness. if anyone knows of any, that would be greatly appreciated.
p.s this article has also really helped me understand and learn

Alice2204's picture

A solution for fair skin.

I've commented on this post before with the same problem. I'm 18 now and still blush all the time. Most of my situations are the same yours but I also go red from over exertion i.e. exercise.
I am glad to say I have found a solution. I too have fair skin, quite ivory in colour so redness really shows. I found in most pharmacies, a concealer, it is green in colour and is meant for covering spots. It's really cheap and I often put cream on my cheeks, as that is where it blazes red the most, first to stop my skin drying out and then I rub the green in on top until I am satisfied with the colouring. It does make me seem very pale but I am anyway, I always put a light powder on top to match my normal skin tone. I cleanse it off my face everyday so that it doesn't block my pores. I have found when my friend tried it that it really doesn't work on tanned or olive skin. So if you do try it you should let me know how it works out for you.

Hope I could help.


Anonymous's picture


I despise blushing! I get all red when I'm nervous. It's crazy. If someone accused me for something, even if it wasn't true, my face would be boiling red. It's terrible... And when I just see my crush I can feel the temperature rising in my face. *sigh*. Life is hard when it doesn't go your way...

Ali's picture

Going red isn't a big deal! Really!

I'm a 28 year old guy, and I get embarrassed and go red much more often than I want to. I have always done so since I was in my teens. I remember when I was about 16 and my school mates in maths class would just need to say something like "girls" to me, and I'd go red! Funny thing is that since then I've come out as gay, but anyway.

Today I went red because a work colleague told someone else that I'm like a bottomless pit when it comes to eating cakes. Someone had suggested to bring in a cake in for the staff. I thought to myself, previous to the red moment, during the conversation about cakes, that if my work colleague says something to me I'll get embarrassed. When I did, she pointed it out. I laughed and ran off.

It's so silly sometimes... I can be by myself and remember an embarrassing moment and go red, even though I'm by myself.

I find it difficult to speak in public or groups, and I'm almost guaranteed to go red.

My point is this: If you go red, so what?! It's who you are, and maybe a problem to you, as it is me, but you shouldn't avoid situations that make you go red. In many cases, the more you experience these difficult situations, where you might get embarrassed, the more comfortable you will become with these situations, and the less likely you are to become embarrassed.

I'm going to try a few of the simple techniques I've read online to see if I can control these moments, but at the moment, it seems I just need to accept that I will react that way, while I continue to try and experience the social interaction that is the trigger much of the time.

The next time someone points out to me that I've blushed, I'll stand there and say, I know, no need to remind me, I'm just having a hot flush or so, and forget my redness and continue on with the conversation or whatever I was doing.

Above all, all that happens is that you get a red face and feel a lot funny, but it's not the end of the world, and at least it shows people that you are a sensitive and thoughtful person, which is a trait that many lack. Don't let it ruin your life.

Becka's picture

Grounds for losing your job?

I feel that someday I might lose my job over my occasional instant blushing. I know co-workers & managers have talked about it. Makes for good gossip.

Luke's picture

What I think

I'm 16 male, and as you may have guessed I have said issue. Any time anyone who is not a close friend or family (and even sometimes family) talks to me I do said thing.

But all the ppl here seem to want to get rid of it. Ya its annoying and totally destroys my social life, because people get uncomfortable with it after a while, but well its one of those things that makes me me.

Ya Id like to control it more, but I'm proud to blush.

jenna_turns_red's picture

I turn red... I'm not OK with it.

I am 12 years old, but I look like I am 16 or 17. I am actually 5'8 and people always think I'm older than I am. Yepp, that's one way I blush. Being notcied for my hair, skin, height, weight, e.t.c. alwyas maked me blush/embarrased. Like any other young girl, I have crushes on boys. One day, I accidently slammed the door on this really cute 17 year old boy's face. I sat down next to a teacher and she asked "Jenna, why are you so red? You are like a tomato!!" and I come up with a retarted excuse. So I blush in front of EVERY SINGLE boy I have a crush on!! I am part italian, part scottish, part british, and a little bit of cherokee. I have very interesting skin, it's very fair, and red splotches (not apart of the blushing sequence) on my arms and legs. Since I am part cherokee and italian, you may think I would be tan, but I am also part british and scottish, so instead I have red and fair skin. Anyways, I blush everytime I get infront of my class, or become noticed with people I don't want to be noticed with. I turn red whenever I get accused of stuff, and I turn red whenever I play sports or get sweaty. There are all of these pretty girls that don't turn red. Whenever I am sweaty, I always get noticed for being red. I hear I inherite that trait and God made me that way, so I just have to learn to accept it. And I feel comfortable about talking to all of you about it. Thank you xoxo

meredith's picture

i am 15. i blush all the

i am 15. i blush all the time. i am a straight a student but i am always scared to raise my hand or talk in class because i know my face will turn red. this didnt start until the 6th grade when i moved to a new town. one time i was at church and an older man wh is a family friend always jokes around. he said something to me and even though i wasnt embarrassed i became nervous and that set my face off. he called me out and was like i didnt mean to make you blush and then called my dad over there because he thought it was funny. another time my favorite teacher asked me where i went over spring break and my face was so red and hot i thought i was on fire. when ever someone who isnt my friend or family talks to me i turn red. even at stores. i hate it so much. i wonder if there is a treatment. i want to go see a dermatologists but i dont know how to ask my mom. i cant live my life.

Jonas's picture

To Meredith

Hi Meredith,
Was happy to hear you attend church. I'm a believer myself. Well I can't give you any wonder cure. Just advise. It's really important that you talk with your parents about it so that they can know you are struggling with it. Then it also becomes your joined fight and not just your own thing to carry around. Your parents are really the best to talk to. If you don't have a good relationship with them, try grandparents, aunts or other close ones that you have an idea would understand you.

Trust in God, share with Him your burdens and lay them out. Be patient. Hang out with people you trust and that have a good influence (maybe from church?), then you can relax in their company and learn to handle the blushing. It might never go all away, but it might fade as you learn to handle situations.

When I was a 15 I got red when just a girl looked at me. Now I only get red when something really embarassing happens or if someone make fun of me. We're all in a process - have hope!

I will pray for you
Jonas from Europe

Anonymous's picture

Neck blushing

I have not been a life-long blusher, but I've only been neck-blushing in the past four years. When someone points it out to me, I just smile and say that its hot flashes from menopause - but only because I have no other explanation for it. I am completely self-confident, but when I'm under a bit of stress then it appears and I really don't know if anything can be done for it.

Ellen's picture

reduce the blush

i blush all the time...cant get enough of it, its so obvious that my face is on fire and i am uncomfortable in a particular situation...everyone notices...BUT my question to you fellow red faces, is:
what colours do you suggest will reduce my rubyness? as white is clearly out of the window? as it makes me shine like a becon, any suggestions to dull down the blush would be appriciated!!! thanks Ellen x

Jonas's picture

Hello Ellen

Green is the anti of red. It should help.
Haha what's up with that. Makeup tips coming from a guy !

However I knew a girl who have a reddish face and always used so much makeup. I hope you will not do the same. I would really prefer her with normal colour and then blush once in a while instead of looking all artificial with all that makeup.

An advise is do try to work on it by being together with ppl you feel comfortable with and then try to face your fears slowly.

Best wishes

Ray's picture

Helpful tip?

I suppose that I ended up on this page the same way we all did: googled for help or, even better, a cure for blushing. Like me, you probably also found some comfort in knowing this problem is not as limited to yourself as you thought and that the reasons and symptoms are similar in most cases.

I did notice too that a lot of people have mentioned it happened in class and I can't help but draw the conclusion that we must all feel more vulnerable than normal when we are in a situation where we are learning, as if we expect ourselves to know everything instinctively.

I haven't read all the replies so I hope I am not repeating what has already been said but a revealing point that was brought up by Serendip is that blushing is a reaction to a somewhat misappropriate behaviour, justified or not, conscious or not, felt by the person blushing. Since, as Serendip mentioned, young children do not blush because they haven't learned "proper social behaviour" yet, it seems obvious that we have also "learned" to blush. Actually, a more accurate way to describe it is that we have been "programmed" to react in such a way.

I am just back from class where, of course, I'm sure I could have lit the whole room red if someone had dimmed the lights but, I don't know if this was a subtle way for the teacher to address what he had just witnessed but he started talking about Neuro-linguistic programming which is the second thing I googled when I got home. I am now pretty convinced that the key to curing blushing is to reprogram our brains probably by understanding the original events that caused us to develop this reflex. So, this journey starts right here and now for me. I would love to hear from fellow blushers to share, learn from you and know what you think about NLP.

I'll be looking forward to read your posts or better yet, feel free to write me directly at


Anonymous's picture

Always Going Red..... Ruining My Life.

Hey i too am a blusher. It is ruining my life and i try to tell myself that it shouldnt but it does! I HATE being asked a question in class as i cant even think about what the teacher has just asked me as i am too busy worrying about how red i am going and what everyone will think of me! I am also terrified of making a fool of myself for some reason? My worst nightmare though, would have to be doing talks infront of my class in english, as soon as i am at the front of the classroom, and i see all those faces looking at me, i go soo red! and this ruins my whole talk as me blushing is all i am thinking about. I sometimes have to not do things or skive school as i know there is no point in me doing them as i would just BLUSH. I am not at all shy though, just really self-consious, if that makes any sense? I am still at academy and 14 years old. I ENVY people who do not ever go red and feel so annoyed how they call me names like 'usher blusher' etc. but i cant do it back to them as they never blush! I also feel like people are always looking at me and this makes me start to panic incase something is wrong, or they have heard something bad about me, i have such a lovely life at home and have friends but i just feel that if this HUGE problem in my life is gone, then i will feel much happier with myself. Your blog is really good though, as i was reading it, i found my head nodding, so that must be a good sign. Thank you x

Hannah's picture


I used to blush more than I do know when I was a child than i do now, though it's still frequent. I feel the heat on my cheeks and ears; usually a response to constructive criticism. I recently started taking piano lessons and that involves performing in front of my high school class. I blush every time, but I'm learning to control it. Usually, I'm so nervous that my hands are cold and clammy enough to rest on my cheeks and cool my face down. That Usually works for me.

~Ashley~'s picture

Hi,my name is Ashley,I'm

Hi,my name is Ashley,I'm 19,and I too have suffered from this unexplained blushing.Only,when I blush people sometimes say,"you have the rosiest cheeks,I wish I were like you and didn't have to apply any blush." Other times(with people I don't know)they say,"Wow,why are you so red?!Or"You're as red as a tomato!" When it's occurred with the people who think I just have really rosy cheeks,it almost hurts more than the people who dislike it,because it's almost as if they're saying that they like a disease and wish they had it too.What they don't know is that it's painful,it burns,makes you self concious and really nervous.

Well,I once considered myself to be a fairly outgoing,confident,talkative person,and had many friends.Once the anxiety attacks,nervousness and redness occured,it was as if all of that just dissappeared and I wasn't myself after that;it made me timid,more quiet,and lose my best friends.It came to the point where I couldn't bare being in a public highschool anymore because as soon as I got off gym after running or swimming,I would look in the mirror and see a bright red face.Also whenever I was near a cute boy or had to talk in front of any group of people,it would almost be like a switch automatically turned it on.That was the embarrassing part,people noticing.Other than that,I didn't have a reason to blush,yet I still felt nervous and bright red.My other symptoms included my heart pounding fast,my temperature rising,and me sweating a lot.Any stressful or physical situation would make me feel that way it seemed.

My very light complexion has been no help to hide it either,I even grew a hatred towards my light skin because the redness would be so apparent and make things worse.So I decided to look for good make up like liquid foundation and facial powder to cover it up.The powder didn't work well on its own,the red would show right through.However,the foundation actually was a big help,it sort of served as a mask and made me feel more comfortable and less worried of blushing.The thing is,I still have the nervousness, which to a lot of people,is very noticable.

It recently got to the point to where I would avoid most social situations at all costs,I would even lie and say that I was sick or had to take a shower or something;I would say anything to avoid feeling that pain where I would end up squirming in my own skin.
The mall is a big thing for me;the thought of seeing someone I know was unbearable.And the large crowds which you have to walk in front of like in the foodcourt,is plain torturous.

I've actually done an okay job of hiding it from my family though(not that I'm proud of it).Mostly by covering it up,or avoiding bright light and hot temperatures which seem to trigger it.Although when they have noticed,I've been asked why I get sooooo red by them,and I can't tell you how annoying that is,especially because I don't know for sure why.
I'm no doctor or intellectual,but my theory is that it's caused or triggered by something emotional or traumatic.For me,it just so happened to occur right after my parents got divorced.After that I was really depressed,had major anxiety,and then it later sort of manifested as the redness,etc...
What I think is that maybe the brain triggers the symptoms when we're in situations that are uncomfortable in our minds,because the body has been through emotional turmoil in the past.Maybe our emotions and/or nerves are somehow overly sensitive,causing the body stress that makes us nervous and creates the burning sensation,redness,etc. we've felt.

Anyways,on another note I just have to say,before visiting this site,I never realized that I wasn't alone in my misery.And you know what they say"misery loves company".That's so true,it gave me a sense of belonging,atleast in the sense that we're all in the same boat.I can really relate to all of you in some way,it's nice to know there are actually people out there like me.I just wonder why it's never really talked about;maybe becaused the people experiencing it are too embarrassed to talk or do anything about it,I wouldn't be surprised.I just hope and pray that there's a cure for it soon.

I just hope none of us stop living our lives because of it though.We should all instead support each other and help one another conquer our fears.I truly don't believe it's something we should have to live with,if it's triggered in our minds,I say it's beatable.

May God bless and help each and every one of you who have suffered through this as well.Don't give up,and remember,you're not alone.

lyssa's picture


your response really touched me because when i was reading it I really felt you're emotion and can relate. This whole "blushing" thing has become a daily battle for me. Every time I go somewhere or talk to someone i have to prepare my self and it is getting so exhausting..I just want to be normal, and everytime i blush i want to beat myself up! If it is triggered from our emotions, then why isnt it easier to stop it. Why is that even though i tell myself it will b ok, only god can jugde u and all of us "people" are equal and i tell myself that I'm no different, that i still blush. This illness is hindering my life terribly. I try to keep moving on but the more i realize that I have to even deal with it in the first place makes me even more depressed, why me..? Why us? I could see if it was just an occasional blush , but this thing is draining the life out of me, it seems to be getting worse as i am getting older, Im also 19 and I am so scared of blushing in front of others I am too scared to even apply for a job because I want to avoid the interview. I don't want to live like this anymore, I want to be comfortable in my own skin. I an enviouse of those who are. But i'm gonna keep praying to god that this be taken away from me so that I can live my life in confidence and joy..but until then , good luck to everyone and god bless! dont give up, because once u do this thing will consume u .

vicky's picture

i've got to the point where i don't want to go on!

I have been sat here reading every ones story and i realised im nodding my head...i can relate to every thing being said.
I have been aflicted by this cruel curse for 12yrs, I had an operation to cure it 2yrs ago the operation nrealy killed me! but for 6 months i was blush free i didn't even get the anxiety, incresed heart rate or facial burning...i felt so alive...i did things i would never do, i taught a pole dance class of 7 for 3 months i stood infront of these people and it felt great...but it was all taken away from me in the blink of an eye...i have been getting worse over the past few months...i avoid going to shops, seeing friends, family and i even panic about seeing my partner..this is a cruel curse and i have been praying for more than half my life to be normal...there just doesn't seem to be any operation didn't cure me, wearing fake tan and foundation can't hide it... i had to move back to my parents because i couldn't work, i have no money and i feel like my life is not worth living if i have to suffer any more with this blushing! god i wish there was some thing out there to help us!!!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Blush reflex

Started in High School as a Junior. Joel, a Senior and on the football team, knew I blushed easily. He would simply look at me and say, "Harold, you are blushing." Even though I wasn't blushing at that time I immediately lit up like a Christmas tree. I suppose I have some social insecurities that contribute to this curse. I'm now 58 and I still blush quite easily. Does chronic blushing lead to Rosacea??? Even with this ailment I managed to have a successful career wth the Navy and I presently teach public school. I try to live by this simple philosophy; Do not worry about things you have control of and do not worry about the things you do not have control of.

Anonymous's picture

Life is hard (male 19)

Its interesting how we have all come together threw searching on the internet lol.

>>> I feel that I have a split personality. One side of me is a confident 19 year old student who is active and outgoing, the other is an emotionally insecure and troubled person. I always feel that I go BRIGHT RED at random times, merely because i think to myself...yep you go red in these situations...and its tough. There are people who say 'Who cares what they think man?'...and I dont...I DO NOT CARE...I care about my face going red in situations. ITS A VICIOUS PSYCHOLOGICAL CYCLE...the fear of going red.

I wish I could wear a mask to cover my stupid face.

I think we should all move to our own desert island, funny thing is...I don't think we would go red.

To anyone thats reading this,I think we are all going to waste our lives away by trying to find a cure for this...lifes too short.

The next time anyone feels a RED FACE coming on, RUN :p

Peace out x

Anonymous's picture


im 15years old and im blushing very much to you know from a idea to stop blushing any pill or any thing.thanks

Katie Kerr's picture

going red! grrrrr.

hey! its just started to happen since i started high school! in class when the teacher talks to me my face turns red! my best friend is the same too and goes red! but not as much as me! it makes me really upset and sometimes i try and avoid going to school because of it! sometimes when i get really nervous i start to stutter badly, and sometimes a panic attack. it sucks! whenever someone says 'katie, why do you always go red?' it makes me go soo red and i feel like crying! it doesnt happen when im with family. gosh i wish their was a cure