A phobia is an extreme and irrational fear of a particular situation or behavior. Many phobias exist in our society. Common phobias include Claustrophobia, which is the fear of heights, and Arachnophobia, which is the fear of spiders. Erythrophobia, which is the fear of blushing, is a common phobia among people who have a proclivity for blushing.
Even though Erythrophobia isn’t one of the most widely recognized phobias in our society, it is fairly common among people who exhibit problem-blushing tendencies. It is common for people who are particularly sensitive to the perceptions and judgments of others to have a predisposition to blush any time they are in a situation where they feel other people are thinking about them, looking at them, or judging them.
Excessive blushing is a physical reaction triggered in response to emotional thoughts associated with being overly concerned with the reactions of other people. Not only do problem blushers blush in response to being in situations where others may pass judgment on them, but they also are concerned with how they appear to others. When problem blushers become overly concerned with how they appear to other people when they are blushing, they develop Erythrophobia.
People with Erythrophobia are afraid of how they look to others when they blush. They become preoccupied with whether or not they are blushing and how their skin appears to others. Not only is this phobia irrational, but it is also a self-fulfilling prophecy. Concern about how they appear to others when blushing can actually result in increased blushing. This can be a vicious cycle for problem blushers. The stronger a person’s fear of blushing, the more likely that person is to blush even more.
To people who have never experienced a problem blushing, Erythrophobia is likely to seem silly and be very difficult to understand. However, Erythrophobia is no laughing matter. For those who suffer from Erythrophobia, it is a very real and serious concern. The tendency to blush excessively, combined with an irrational fear of blushing that triggers additional blushing, can affect every component of daily life.
It is not uncommon for people with Erythrophobia to develop additional social phobias as they seek ways to avoid blushing. They are very likely to experience feelings of hopelessness and withdraw from situations that require human interaction on any level. People who experience Erythrophobia commonly develop depression.
By raising awareness of Erythrophobia and problem blushing, the general public will hopefully become more understanding of the serious nature of this problem. As problem blushing becomes more widely understood for the serious problem that it is, people who suffer from problem blushing may be able to become less self-conscious about their problem.