That's Why We Blush

You call someone with a wrong name, or you accidentally break into pieces the glass in the restaurant. Does your face happen to be turned on when you least want attention to complement the disturbance? Yes, that's not fair.
Last Updated
May 27, 2020

That's why we blush


Blushing Face


Even more bizarre is that blushing can also be triggered by positive attention, for example, when you get a compliment.

Blushing is a phenomenon that is completely unique to people and is still somewhat a mystery. Here's what we know. 

What's blushing?

Blushing is a product of the sympathetic nervous system, the same that activates the fight-or-escape reaction. 

When you experience some emotional stress, such as the inconvenience of spill someone's coffee or the thrill of encountering an attractive person's eyes, your body gives off adrenaline. This causes your blood vessels to dilate so that your blood and oxygen can move faster in your body. The veins on the face also dilate, which leads to an influx of more blood to it and hence the telltale redness.

Some people blush more easily than others and some even suffer from fear of flushing known as "Erythrophobia".

Why do people they blush?

Charles Darwin wrote that "blushing is one of the strangest and most human of all expressions." Scientists have not yet agreed on the question of why people they blush, but there are some interesting theories.

Ray Crowger, professor of social sciences at the University of Cardiology and author of numerous articles and books on blushing, writes that it has evolved as a kind of non-verbal apology related to social conditionality. If you do something that violates a norm, your red face indicates that you are conscious .

Is there any way to avoid it?

More like No. The sympathetic nervous system is not controlled Volevo. Even the people who can complain at will can not blush on purpose. 

This fact can theoretically be used to avoid it – if you try to blush, you will not succeed. Victor Frankl, the famous author of the book "The Man in search of meaning" called this method "paradoxical intent" – the purposeful practice of a neurotic habit in order to identify and eliminate it. 

And in spite of everything – it's easy to say, it's hard to do. The only safe way to avoid blushing is to take a deep breath several times and leave the tide of blood and adrenaline to pass. If you feel uncomfortable with being uncomfortable, things just get worse.


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