Do people think it’s weird to see someone act nervous and blush for no apparent reason? Maybe you’ve been misjudging other’s reactions for years. Learning a little about ANTS or automatic negative thoughts can help you to understand more about this.
Since blushing is instantaneous and uncontrollable, it is a huge issue for many with social anxiety disorder. Not everyone with social anxiety blushes and not everyone who blushes has social anxiety. However, for a majority the two do go hand in hand.
The element of surprise can often trigger blushing in people who are pre-disposed to it as a result of their social anxiety. Being put ‘on the spot’ or made the center of attention unexpectedly can have a serious detrimental effect on you. The resultant blushing then further embarrasses you and you wonder what people must think.
Since the physiological responses to blushing are devastatingly real to those who suffer from social anxiety, it is important to note that it is often set off by situations that aren’t rational. Our perception is what causes our response, and not reality. If we view the situation as embarrassing, that determines why we blush, and everyone has his own triggers for when they blush. Some people only blush when made the center of attention in a large group, others may blush even when someone says hello to them. It is this type of strong fear of blushing that often brings it on in very minor social situations, since we are worried and obsessive about it, which causes our brain to focus on blushing. So, you see that worrying about blushing feeds our fear and causes further blushing.
Learning that blushing is just something that happens and will pass is paramount in conquering your fear, and your ANTs. Automatic negative thoughts (ANT) are unfounded, and generally incorrect. Not everyone notices you blush, judges you, and feels poorly about you because of it!