In the last post, How Fear of Blushing, aka “Erythrophobia”, Affects People (Besides Blushing), I outlined the effects that erythrophobia can have on people. But what exactly triggers this fear of blushing that can severely restrict the life of those afflicted? And why is it so hard to break away from the self-destructive behavior that pulls eries into this vicious circle of every blush feeding the fear of the next one? How does it start in the first place?
Some people blush more easily than others due to pale or “thin” skin – it’s simply a physical predisposition. This doesn’t automatcially lead to erythrophobia. In fact, most of these people never worry about blushing just because they do so easily. But – and you knew there was a but – if a person is easily embarrassed and becomes (or worse, is made) aware of their easy and visible blushing, it may cause them to worry about the next time a situation will make their face light up. When this next time comes around, and the blush occurrs, this worry is confirmed and justified. Often, one or two incidents like this are enough to start the ever-growing ball rolling.
In most cases, erythrophobia begins during a person’s teen years, when hormones run rampant, when the approval of peers is vital, and when you’re at your most vulnerable and uncertain about the person you are and want to be. A tease or laugh here, a pointed finger there, and bye bye self-confidence and self-esteem. Hello self-consciousness. Welcome, Worry-About-Other-Peoples’-Opinions.
From then on it feels like the Universe is playing a sick game with you, because the more you blush, the more you worry that others will notice, and the more self-conscious you become, and the less self-confidence and -esteem you have. Which makes you blush more and more, again and again. Bascially, that which triggers erythrophobia is also worsened by it. Blushing begets blushing.
Ergo, these are the main culprits that may trigger or deepen erythrophobia:
1. Low Self-Esteem
2. Low Self-Confidence
3. Low Self-Respect
4. Low Sense of Self-Worth
5. Overdeveloped Self-Consciousness
6. Continuous Worry About Other Peoples’ Opinions
Once an ery understands the root of the phobia, and the vicious downward spiral it brings, measures can be taken to stop and even reverse it.
It involves daily reflection, a radical change in the way you see yourself, and will probably take a whole lot longer than you’d like. But every little step in the right direction helps. You just have to take that step.
From now on, most of the posts on this blog will deal with methods, impulses, and exercises that may help you become a more confident and blush-free version of yourself.
For now, I want you to take a notepad and write down the vision you have for your life – a life in which you’re blush-free, in which the confident You doesn’t base decisions on fear.
What would you do if you weren’t afraid of blushing?
What dreams would you pursue? Where would you go, who would you meet? Who would you become?
Who do you want to be?
Write down this vision for your life. All of it, no matter how crazy or unattainable it sounds to you now.
Keep this list somewhere within easy reach. Take it out and read through it when you’re feeling low. It will remind you what you’re fighting for.
Someday, it may no longer seem out of reach.