Ways To Stop Blushing When You’re Totally Embarrassed, Ashamed, Etc.
I blush a lot. More than a lot, actually. I am an above average blusher. It’s more likely that I’m in a state of rosy, flushed cheeks than not. I’ve thought, I’ve prayed, I’ve hoped that my blushing was just a phase — something I would grow out of and learn to control. But so far, I’m 25 years in and that day has yet to arrive.
People that don’t blush often (or ever?) just don’t get it. They can’t seem to wrap their minds around why I would categorize my inability to manage the level of pinkness in my face as a problem. They think that the dominating pigment in my complexion is “cute” or “sweet” or other endearing adjectives that, to me, my red face is NOT.
The act of blushing can be quite upsetting for the “blusher” because it implies that they are: embarrassed, nervous, ashamed, overly self-conscious, sex flushed? I don’t know.
For all of the moments when I’ve noticed my face arbitrarily heating up without my consent, I have been left to wonder — WHY ME? I know I am not alone in this. Hardly. But during that fight or flight instance where my body chemistry takes the reins over my appearance, it’s hard to feel anything but isolated and exposed.
So if you too are a self-proclaimed frequent “blusher” and have found yourself thinking, “shit-it’s-happening-again-quick-what-do-I-do,” I have an answer for you. Seven answers to be exact. I recommend referring to the list below the next time your blushing tries to sabotage your life:
- Hide your face using an object within arm’s reach. A book, a paper bag, a baby, a chair, your scarf — whatever you can find. Do what you have to do and make it QUICK. If someone asks, just tell them you’re playing hide-and-go seek and that you’re waiting for them to find you.
- Fake an allergic reaction. Maybe you’re at a dinner party and your blushing decides to strike. Or perhaps you’re on a date and you feel the temperature in your face start to rise. Remain calm and begin to make comments about the “air” or the “shellfish” you just ate. Be resourceful. People can be allergic to anything, like wood or alcohol or other people. Just commit to something and start asking around for Benadryl.
- Pretend there’s a natural disaster. Or just claim that you’re preparing for the next one. Get on the floor, roll around, take the fetal position, hide your face underneath your desk. People may find all of this strange, but they will also respect you for your proactivity.
- Drop something. This could be your glass of wine, your phone, your entire meal, whatever you want! What you drop is not important. The goal here is to redirect your company’s gaze away from your face and toward the ground. Plus, faking clumsiness gives you a legitimate reason to be uncomfortable and rosy. Your soy latte just slipped out of your hands and onto the floor? “How embarrassing.”
- If you’re in a room, locate the light switch and quickly turn the lights off. You know that New Boyz song “Better With The Lights Off”? I am INTO this idea. Dim lights are a blusher’s best friend.
- If you’re in nature, run. Just start running really fast. People in nature do this all the time. If the person you’re with asks you what you’re doing, just tell them you’re training for a 5K or something. No one seems to question people who are training for a “race.”
- Act like you’re having a hot flash. Start blotting yourself with your forearm or napkins, if you have them. Claim that you suffer from early onset menopause. If anyone questions this, they look like the asshole, not you. Remove a few layers of clothing like your scarf or jacket and be sure to carry around a travel-sized portable fan to make your hot flash extra authentic.
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It started with a right swipe, a little green heart. Tinder of course.
Though I acknowledge and appreciate the differences in human experiences, and while your heartbreak is (and always will be) uniquely and completely your own, I must urge you to consider that I have been where you are.
With his hat cocked back, body tilted away from his cane, and right forefinger pointing directly at his audience, Joseph Ducreux commands the attention of those viewing his self-portrait.
I was born in 1990; he was born in 1973. I’m 23; he just turned 40.