Are you an excessive blusher? Aka…. does your face turn bright red when you’re embarrassed, and even when you’re not?
Blushing can actually be a chronic problem. Its called idiopathic craniofacial erythema, caused by an overactive sympathetic nervous system, meaning it happens without you thinking about it.
In eighth grade, I started noticing how many people would point out my frequent blushing. “Wow, your face is so red!”, “Lucy, you’re as red as the exit sign!”, or “Are you about to cry?”.
It tore me (and my confidence) apart completely. I started fixating on when it would happen next. I would avoid situations, not raise my hand in class, or sit away from people that I know would make me talk a lot. And if anyone knows me just a teeny bit…. you realize this is NOT the person I am. I’m loud. Too loud at times. Confident, brave, never afraid to speak up in class or make a complete fool of myself.
So, how did I get from little eighth grade red face to now?
One, I stopped caring. Before this, I read countless websites about how to make it stop. I made my mom buy face creams. I cried about it. I bought so much green concealer (it kind of works, btw). I would even start faking a coughing fit when I knew my face was turning red, but then people thought I was dying. Smooth move, Lucy.
Then, I decided to stop thinking about it. I changed my mind about it, and realized that there are scarier things (even if excessive blushing seems like the greatest battle).
People would still point it out, and I would think, “Hey. It’s not a big deal. It’s just part of me, and it’s okay.” I also surrounded myself with people who DIDN’T point it out. I became even louder. I screamed my opinions. At the beginning, my face would flush to that horrible tomato tone every class period. Then, because I was more confident, it suddenly began to diminish.
Sure, I hate to say that it still happens every now and then. I’m sure it happens more than I think. Even today, my friend pointed out to me, “I’m sorry if I said something wrong, you’re turning red.” It might be a two steps forward-one step back kind of situation, but each day I don’t let this “chronic problem” hold me back from saying or doing the things I know I can.
And you shouldn’t either! Excessive blusher, I’m on your side. I wont point it out the next time I see that panicked face while you’re forced to read shakespeare in front of your peers. You’re not alone. IT HAPPENS.
Let that worry fly away, stop writing about it in your journal. You’ll feel free!