To think I'm too bloody old to still be blushing???

(75 Posts)
FaresPlease Wed 02-Oct-13 21:02:37

Just that really. Happens when i speak to pretty much anyone i'm not completely comfortable with, which is basically everyone except immediate family. Even on the phone!! It restricts my life and causes me so much distress and embarrassment and has done ALL my bloody life and I'm sooooo sick of it. Am I unreasonable to expect that in my mid 30's I should have a little more self confidence and composure? I actually have pretty good self esteem, am reasonably intelligent, have managed to get married and have a family, but I must come across as some sort of nervous shy bright red weirdo to most people.

Feminine Wed 02-Oct-13 21:04:00

I'll bet most people don't even notice.


I have this! Even though I dont feel embarrassed my face does. Then I feel it happening then blush more as now I am embarrassed

Feminine Wed 02-Oct-13 21:06:08

In fact, as you are so over it. I'd just let it happen but carry on a normal.

Your body will probably stop doing it once you accept it is what you do.

People are so wrapped up in themselves, they are probably having the same issue.

LittleMissGerardLouiseButler Wed 02-Oct-13 21:07:34

I do this too, and as SPs says the more conscious I am and the more I try to stop it, the more it happens!

Unfortunately I don't think there's anything that can stop it? I hope I'm wrong.

happyhorse Wed 02-Oct-13 21:17:00

Oh people do notice, and the more helpful amongst them feel the need to let you know that you've gone bright red. Arses. I sympathise OP.

I'm 40 and blushed three times today. Neck rash too. Joy!!

People like to tell you that you are red.

I suffer terribly with this. I often go red even at the checkout. It's so awful that its getting to the stage I want to avoid certain events etc.

I'm ok with some family but not all. Mine is mostly a case of not liking any attention on me at all. I blush at my worst when anyone mentions anything sexual. Yet I would happily discuss all with my friends and I have 3 children so obviously not shy about sex in anyway blush

Sparklingbrook Wed 02-Oct-13 21:21:45

I did a massive blush today. Bumped into a neighbour in town. confused I get the rashy chest too-usually making complainy phone calls.

I get a rashy neck and chest when I get stressed

Sparklingbrook Wed 02-Oct-13 21:26:13

If I went for a job interview I would be sat there like a big beacon head with a scarlet chest. Desirable employee or what? sad

LittleMissGerardLouiseButler Wed 02-Oct-13 21:26:21

I blush in work when I see people I know, like if my neighbours come in, yet I'm fine with customers that I know just from work, I blush when managers talk to me too!

And yes I hate it too when people point it out!

If anyone points it out which they usually helpfully do my face and neck get so hot I feel I could explode

Sparklingbrook Wed 02-Oct-13 21:31:41

Once you are made aware of it then it just gets out of control.

I god, I do this. They had a special little trick at uni to make me blush. Someone on the other side of the lecture hall would lick their finger, touch it to their face and say 'Ssssizzzzzzz..'. I'd burn up.

The worst of the worst of the worst thing about it is I only do this with people I know a little bit. Not total strangers. So I have an understandable paranoia that blokes I vaguely know all think I fancy them, what with me going scarlet at their mere presence and everything. So I blush even more and run away.

I am 40 too blush

Aggadoo Wed 02-Oct-13 21:36:42

I have this too! Sounds so familiar - I am not working right now but I did exactly what LittleMiss does - blush when someone I know came in to work, at meetings, in checkout, in a group if someone asks me a q and everyone looks at you to answer, blush when speaking to managers (so embarrassing esp when one was such a creep and then thought I fancied him cos I would blush....I so did not fancy him), it's just that once its in my head that I might blush then I inevitably do and yes people point it out. At one point I did consider a sympathectomy operation. It has held me back for sure, I would love to be a teacher but having to talk to parents at beginning of term and meet the teacher sessions ..... no way. I would look so unprofessional. I hate it. I am sociable and have 3 kids, a partner. I just live with it, it's defined my choices in my life though.

Feminine Wed 02-Oct-13 21:37:06

I think its really cruel to point it out.

Amandine29 Wed 02-Oct-13 21:38:46

This used to happen to me. I also used to become embarrassed because I was blushing and therefore blush even more. And people certainly do like to ask about it. Luckily it just stopped when I was 20 but I understand how debilitating it can be.

Ridersofthestorm Wed 02-Oct-13 21:43:40

Op I could have written your thread, I am exactly the same, an adult who still blushes like a schoolgirl.
I absolutely hate it, I don't look people in the eye when talking to them anymore because I go so red. As a consequence it makes me more nervous in social situations and work.
You would think I would be used to it by now, I've done it my whole life, but no. The thing is when you go red you get really embarrassed and then get redder, and then some twerp says "oh look you've gone so red", at that point I want the ground to open up and swallow me. I try and deal with it now by laughing it off, counting down from ten to one in my head and taking deep breaths. That usually works, but god yeah it's awful, the total embarrassment of it all.

Almostfifty Wed 02-Oct-13 21:46:44

I hate to say it, but I still blush and I'm almost fifty.

I just ignore myself now. grin

BetteDavis01 Wed 02-Oct-13 21:47:39

I blush excessively, face, neck and chest. I have done, ever since I was a child. It's so humiliating. I seem to blush for no reason.

For years I used to wear make up everyday on my face and neck, and if wearing a low cut top, on my chest too.

However, I decided enough was enough and I went to see my doctor this year. He was great; he said women are far more prone to this than men, especially those with a pale complexion. I've been given some medication and it has definitely helped.

Please don't suffer in silence.

impatienttobemummy Wed 02-Oct-13 21:48:38

I do this! I just push through it as I found it was really holding me back. If I feel one coming I mention it before they do saying ooh I'm having a hot flush I find that helps me

FaresPlease Wed 02-Oct-13 21:50:50

Oh golly, so many familiar stories and scenarios there. I too would have loved to teach, and would have been good at it! Apart from my big red head of course!

Always longing for some miracle cure to appear. Anyone considered cognitive behavioural therapy?

kalms1971 Wed 02-Oct-13 21:53:16

medication for blushing? That would be a godsend to me. I blush at any stress, so much so it makes me feel faint. I swear my body temp goes up, even the skin on my arms goes pink.

Aggadoo Wed 02-Oct-13 21:54:45

What medication did you have BetteDavis? I told my doctor and nothing came of it, she asked if I stopped work because of it (no, but it's directed my choices), I think she felt it wasn't extreme enough. I felt too embarrassed about it to bring it up again.

Cantsleep Wed 02-Oct-13 21:57:35

I blush terribly. I hate it. I actively avoid situations that I know will trigger it and its a bit of a joke amongst my family now that I can't order food/drink, pay in shops, answer the phone in front of people or have a conversation or attend social events.

It is a nightmare and if somebody points it out I go redder and redder until I feel like I'm going to explode. I have always had this problem from when I was very young and it has just got worse with age, I console myself that everybody who matters to me knows about it and just accepts it as part of who I am.

I still hate it though and it makes me feel like a twat

tobytoes Wed 02-Oct-13 22:00:15

Oh my god. I blush all the time. When I talk to people,anyone,even family,for no reason ill just go bright red. At work if something is missing I go red and look guilty as sin,when theres doubt about anything I always feel that people think its me because I go so red
If anyone talks about sex,oh my god!!!!!!

abigboydidit Wed 02-Oct-13 22:00:20

I had this except the blushing would start at odd moments. A key trigger was if I saw someone I knew when I didn't expect to (eg in a supermarket) & I would go bright red and sweat and look really shifty. I could do presentations in front of hundreds and not blush at all, then be chairing a small meeting and go purple. Friends told me to ignore it and I tried doing CBT on myself (am trained in CBT) but it was starting to really stress me out.

Spent £60 on a session of hypnotherapy. Wish I had done it years before. I still blush appropriately, if someone is having a joke and making fun of me but it isn't the disproportionate response I used to have. I would highly recommend it.

Cantsleep Wed 02-Oct-13 22:01:14

Not sure if its connected at all but I cannot drink at all, even ONE sip of wine makes my face suddenly go bright red, hot and then has huge red blotches on for hours after and I have to take portion and drink loads of water, probably nothing to do with it but it annoys me I can't even have a drink to relax me to then enable me to go out socially !

Cantsleep Wed 02-Oct-13 22:02:41

Piriton not portion ! !

Sparklyboots Wed 02-Oct-13 22:03:45

I think everyone reaching the age of thirty should be blushing when they split infinitives. Otherwise, sorry OP and everyone, blushing can be totally embarrassing and you have my sympathy

abigboydidit Wed 02-Oct-13 22:04:56

Honestly cantsleep, try hypnotherapy.

Aggadoo Wed 02-Oct-13 22:05:49

Very annoying how a type of social anxiety becomes a joke to others isn't it? They have no idea how much it steers your life. I choose seats in cafés facing away from as much daylight as possible, choose low light areas, avoid meetings (not working but PTA type ones for me now!) where I might have to speak up in front of people. I used to stay in jobs for long times as I cannot bear interviews - go so red in all of them. Wear excessive make up at times when I know blushing will be inevitable to try to hide it. Cough when about to blush so it looks like its from the cough. Pathetic really. I am 40 too!

Sparklingbrook Wed 02-Oct-13 22:06:37

We should all go out on the town together. Would be great. smile

I domt have social anxiety or anything though. It doesn't stop me doing things. Its just the embarrassment of blushing when I'm not even embarrassed and I blush then someone goes "why are you red, why are you blushing"

Then I feel my face burning

Aggadoo Wed 02-Oct-13 22:09:47

Yeah we could BE the lights on Oxford ST!

Sparklingbrook Wed 02-Oct-13 22:11:29

Or the Blackpool Illuminations Aggadoo.

What is the blushing for anyway? Does it serve a purpose from when we were cavewomen or something?

Aggadoo Wed 02-Oct-13 22:11:57

No I don't have social anxiety either but over the years I figure it has to be a form of - as it doesn't bother me if I blush alone. I would say I am quite social, just the blushing embarrasses me when others see it IYSWIM

StinkerBoo Wed 02-Oct-13 22:18:12

Second vote for hypnotherapy, never normally go for that sort of thing but one session sorted me out completely.

bohoec Wed 02-Oct-13 22:18:16

Reassuring that so many of us suffer from blushing!

I have two tactics:
1/ tell myself that most people will feel for me and will not be sniggering about it. If you tell yourself the person you're talking to is on your side it seems much less of an issue.
2/ if the person I'm speaking to is one of the "you've gone red" types, that won't work so I just say matter of factly, "I know, I often blush in certain circumstances. Don't worry about it, I'm not"

Since consciously thinking in that way, I seem to blush far less. I do have the occasional major episode (blotchy chest, the works) but I just carry on. I know it's awful, but try not to let it inhibit you.

LittleMissGerardLouiseButler Wed 02-Oct-13 22:49:31

cantsleep I get red cheeks when I drink alcohol too!

VerySmallSqueak Wed 02-Oct-13 22:54:06

I'm a blusher.

The worst bit is that I turn scarlet if I lie,which can be quite a problem.

I'm not the person to use to cover up anything.

MotherOfSoupDragon Wed 02-Oct-13 22:57:06

This happens to me too and I'm 49. It happens when I'm talking to my boss or colleagues. I hate it.

FreudiansSlipper Wed 02-Oct-13 23:00:12

i do too and i am 41

is worse just before my period, along with being grumpy, teary i blush easily too

slothlike Wed 02-Oct-13 23:10:44

I can completely identify with this!! I have never noticed anyone else doing it. I KNOW it's noticeable with me at least some of the time because I once went to look in a mirror after a conversation when I knew I'd blushed, specifically to see whether it had been obvious to the other person, and MY WHOLE FACE AND NECK were BRIGHT RED aaaaagh. It only started a couple of years ago as well.

Bettedavis01 - if you don't mind me asking, could you give more details about this medication? Is it anti-anxiety meds, for example, or something more blush-specific? Preventative medication would seriously improve my life, will definitely be looking into it.

BetteDavis01 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:23:01

My medication is Clonidine (sp). Dr said he normally gives it out to women going through the menopause ( im in my 30s and not menopausal) but I think it works by blocking stress hormones?

I am very sociable and friendly but whenever I talk to people I blush all over. hmm

I blush in social situations, if I drink alcohol, if I'm hot, during sex, but also... Just randomly. My blushing makes no sense. Dr also wondered if it could be my thyroid gland going a bit haywire and that testing my gland was gonna be his next step if meds didn't work.

My heart goes out to you all, it's so debilitating.

sweetsoulsister Wed 02-Oct-13 23:25:06

I have heard of an operation where they do something in your armpit - snip a gland maybe? I can't remember. A well meaning friend and I were watching this programme and she asked if I would ever consider it. I am blushing just thinking about it.

LostMarbles99 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:25:14

I have this too.

When I'm stressed, e.g. in a meeting at work, at the dr or having a heated discussion I get a crazy red rash all over my chest.

It definitely worse if I think too much about it.

I take beat blockers if I know I'm going to be in a stressful situation and they work brilliantly. Day to day blushing, however I have no control over.

Buddhagirl Wed 02-Oct-13 23:31:19

I treat this all the time! CBT. Google social anxiety. Ask for referral from gp.

LostMarbles99 Wed 02-Oct-13 23:34:12

buddagirl what is CBT?

Have heard of it but not really sure what happens

cerealqueen Wed 02-Oct-13 23:45:37

I still blush, in my 40s. if I know I'll blush I visualise icey cold snow against my face, and it helps. Can also reduce the blush if I think about this quick enough. Nearly blushing writing this FFS.

MomentForLife Thu 03-Oct-13 00:01:49

I don't really blush from anxiety or embarressment much. I do however get really flushed when I'm tired. Or if the heating is on my face is beetroot. I have very white ruddy skin so it's to be expected I suppose. Puts me off going to the gym or anything though.

I think it's so rude if people point it out you.

BrianButterfield Thu 03-Oct-13 06:54:23

I'm a teacher and I don't really blush in the classroom any more although stressful situations do set it off. We have a new head of department though and I blush furiously every time he speaks to me which is really odd as I honestly have no particular feelings or opinion about him so I just can't work out why!

FaresPlease Thu 03-Oct-13 08:05:17

Reassuring to know there are so many others with this issue. And that there might be a few things for us blushers to try in order to improve things.

Like a number of others, I feel confident within myself, but the blushing let's me down, and sort of gives people the wrong impression of me.

Sadly, I regularly turned to alcohol in my younger days, thinking that would help (on nights out only, not in the daytime). It of course did not help, and I ended up waking in the morning with something to genuinely be embarrassed about!

I think I might go down the hypnotherapy/CBT route initially.

I do hope people will report back with any progress or success they have with this!

I am definitely going to look into hypnotherapy. I would love to be free from blushing it literally takes over my life sad

heidiwine Thu 03-Oct-13 08:48:42

I thought I was alone until I read this thread! There are other people out there just like me!
I blush talking about blushing and always blush in front of authority figures - every male boss I've had must think I have a massive crush on them... Of course that makes me blush even more.

Aggadoo Thu 03-Oct-13 11:11:16

Sympathectomy is the operation, here's more info, sounds drastic though:

It's strange isn't it - a number of us who have this and yet I have never met / seen anyone blush in random situations like I do. It feels like your face just let's you down as it's expressing something you don't actually feel!

Aggadoo Thu 03-Oct-13 11:15:46

Also here's someone who had it done - sorry its a DM link

Sahmof3 Thu 03-Oct-13 22:19:27

This is me too. It's has really limited me in life, mainly because people so often comment on it. The thing is, the level of redness doesn't reflect the level of embarrassment I feel. Like someone said here, it could just be bumping into someone I didn't expect to see that leaves me looking like a beetroot!

I've also got Rosacea now which probably doesn't help.

Would like to know more about hypnosis and how to find someone good, if anyone could offer any advice.

abigboydidit Thu 03-Oct-13 22:20:49

Where are you? Just in case I could recommend my hypnotherapist.

elah11 Thu 03-Oct-13 22:37:37

aggaddoo I was thinking that too, how so many people on here have experienced the same thing yet I have never seen it happen to any one else in real life? My gp prescribed clonidine for me too and so far, 4 months in, it has reduced the problem by about 80 or 90%. It's not a total cure but it's a lot better than it was. Gp said around age 40 hormonal changes can occur that make your blood vessels more sensitive and thats why you blush/flush. I found alcohol and caffeine definitely make it worse so I steer clear unless I am at home and there is no one to seesmile

TedMoseby Thu 03-Oct-13 22:42:31

I blush too! Not all the time, but in situations where I bump into people unexpectedly, if I'm being accused of something I haven't done or if I get it into my head that someone thinks I fancy them.

I really wish people would think first before saying things such as "ooooh look, she's going red" as it just makes it worse. I often wonder why they get a kick out of mortifying someone.

bobkate Thu 03-Oct-13 22:57:18

This really gets me too - and I can totally relate to faresplease and ridersofthestorm, well and everyone else really too.
I find myself not looking someone in the eye in case I blush, then in my head I'm thinking that I'm being rude and shifty looking so I'll try to look them more in the eye, then I blush, get flustered, get more embarrassed, feel like I'm making a right tit of myself, blush some more, then go back to no eye contact and feel even more embarrassed and rude and socially inept so blush more. God, and I'm 39. It was dreadful when I was at school - had some nice teachers who wouldn't put me on the spot as they knew my reaction....and some others who either were oblivious to my obvious problem or who asked me outright things on purpose.

Sahmof3 Fri 04-Oct-13 07:55:31

abigboydidit I'm in Sussex. If anyone could recommend a hypnotist that would be great.

I'm really interested in hypnotherapy too. How many sessions is it likely to take? Did you notice a dramatic difference?

I'm in south Leicestershire and already googled a few charging around £90 smile

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 10:12:09

Am in Scotland. Sorry! It was a good few years ago. Ten maybe? And cost £60 and I got a CD to play away with me. The difference was amazing. I was very sceptical but the next day I would feel myself thinking "uh-oh.. Here it comes". But it didn't. And I am talking the full on purple face, sweat on top lip stuff but, no. I still blush but appropriately. So if am feeling guilty or getting teased I will get rosey cheeks but nothing like the crazy blushing that used to happen. I so regret listening to all the people who told me to shrug it off or that no one else but me will notice. They do notice. And sometimes comment. And I couldn't shrug it off hmm

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 10:19:21

What made me decide to do it was a colleague called me up after I had chaired a meeting one day. I had one of my major blushes right in the middle of the meeting, for no reason as it was a group of my peers and I wasn't anxious or anything. She called me up to say she had felt so sorry for me during the meeting as I was obviously struggling with self confidence and had felt anxious in the group. She recommended I do a workshop on public speaking and forwarded me a flier for one taking place nearby.

I was one of the speakers on the workshop confused

sandyballs Fri 04-Oct-13 10:25:59

I'm also a blusher and I'm 45. I'm very sociable and have lots of friends but some situations just make me burn up, it's very odd. It's definitely held me back at work.

Sahmof3 Fri 04-Oct-13 17:05:25

abigboydidit Thanks for the info about hypnosis. I considered having the operation mentioned above when I read about it a few years ago, but it does sound pretty risky. I didn't want to leave three kids without a mum just because of what is, in my view, a problem largely caused by other people (i.e. their bloody insensitive comments which makes it a million times worse). I hadn't even considered hypnosis, but it's something I will definitely look into. Did you need to play the CD afterwards, or was the one session of hypnosis enough? This is a stupid question, but what is hypnosis like? Do you feel as though you've lost consciousness or just very relaxed and are you aware of what is being said to you on a conscious level?

Its so weird. I had a major blushing attack yesterday in front of a bunch of lovely people who just tried to ignore it...but it was obviously painful for all of us and it lasted at least ten minutes at major beetroot colour, probably another ten to cool down! I'm fairly new to mumsnet, but decided to look it up last night and just couldn't believe it when I read this post and realised that there are so many with exactly the same problem. I'm soooo pleased to be able to chat to people who understand how debilitating this condition really is.

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 19:42:29

Hi Sahmof3. Am glad you found us! I wish I had done it many years before as it caused me so much stress. I was fed up listening to people telling me I was imagining it, or to try not worrying about it - or that people wouldn't notice (as if!). As you said, you can feel them getting embarassed for you! The irritating thing with me was that I had a good job and I could do public speaking etc - it was just so unpredictable. The one that always got me though was when I bumped into someone unexpectantly. I must have looked so shifty..

Anyways - onto the session. It was about a decade ago but I will describe what I remember. It was about an hour or 90 minutes. She started with an interview and I explained the issue and general niggles (I explained I was a worrier by nature but wanted to make it clear that it wasn't social anxiety that was the cause). She then talked me through a relaxation. I didn't really think it had worked. During the session I thought I was fully conscious and aware of everything. I remember getting an odd fluttery eye feeling - that's the only way I can describe it! I bit like that feeling of falling you might get if you drift off to sleep on a train or something but without the unpleasant shock sensation. I do very clearly remember her saying a bit about "I wont let the gereral day to day things cause me to worry" & feeling a bit ratty as I hadn't asked her to tackle my worrying! I would say I heard the words she was saying but wasnt always fully following her. It was just a nice soothing sound. Then she counted me up and out, so to speak.

Afterwards we discussed how well it had gone and (I think - my memory is hazy) she described that people have sort of 3 levels - fully aware, partly under and fully under (she had fancier terms for those!) depending on how amenable to hypnosis they are. She said I drifted between partly and fully under, so the fluttery bits I recalled were me actually coming out of a deeper trance (I don't know the right word for it but you know what I mean). When I looked at the clock I realised I clearly had missed huge chunks as I remembered about 10 minutes and about 45 minutes had passed!

She didn't give me any guarantees and said it might take more sessions but it didn't I still use the CD occasionally as a top up if I feel it creeping back in or have something particularly anxiety provoking to do. Hope that helps! Any more questions, please just ask!

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 19:44:11

I should say (think I mentioned it upthread but can't remember) that I tried CBT first but with no success.

abigboydidit Fri 04-Oct-13 19:50:33

This is where I went. It may help see what credentials hypnotherapists should have?

Sahmof3 Fri 04-Oct-13 21:53:02

Thanks so much abigboydidit for all that information. The place where you went looks very good and has certainly given me an idea about what to look out for. I notice that the therapists all have some involvement with the London College of Clinical Hypnosis, so maybe I could make an appointment with one of them in London. I'll definitely give this a go. This thread could change my life! I'm so exited thinking about all of the things I'll be able to do if I don't have to worry about blushing...simple things like being able to express my opinion in a meeting. Eternally grateful!

binger Sat 05-Oct-13 15:03:57

I get this too and it goes right down my neck. I find propranolol really helps. I used it when my anxiety was bad and my blushing has dramatically reduced. I don't really use it now and I hardly blush at all. I guess mines must have been caused by anxiety deep down and I just didn't realise.

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