Question: If I’m in a group scenario and the attention turns to me, suddenly I go bright red. I then panic as I feel that everyone can see my fear and panic. How do I calm down, slow down and get my gravitas back?
Answer: Visibility and fear of judgement, quite a combination right?! All eyes turn to you…all the eyes staring…you feel cornered, you panic, you blush. And just at the exact moment you should be saying something brilliant you find yourself blushing, frozen with panic, or gibbering something at warp-speed.
I don’t promise to have all the answers. Because if I’m honest, I’m a bit of a blusher occasionally. I’m a pale skinned strawberry blonde – it goes with the turf.
Counterintuitively perhaps, the first thing I’d encourage you to do is embrace the blush. I learned recently that blushing is actually a lovely human quality, because it shows you care about what others think – it shows you have empathy. But I know this won’t convince you – blushing when everyone is staring at you is not something most people want to embrace. When you are blushing all you can do is obsess about the fact that all you can think about is that they know you are blushing, and they are thinking you’re uncomfortable – you’re thinking about them thinking about that, and your colour deepens to a deep mauve and that makes you feel worse and arrrrghh…ENOUGH.
Here’s how to break the blushing cycle of doom
Step 1 – Get the attention off you for a second. The quickest way to do that is to ask a question – it’s fine to ask a question back to a question if you do it confidently, and then the eyes turn away from you for a moment. Phew, you can breathe.
Step 2 – If you have some water drink it. Take a moment to be in your senses, come back to the moment. Slow down your nervous system, tell it you’re safe. It takes seconds.
Step 3 – Then most importantly of all get your own attention off your heated face, and focus it out on the room. Blushing gets worse when we are locked into the “thinking what they’re thinking” cycle, you may have noticed how it deepens your colour from pink to puce.
The key is to break the cycle by consciously noticing something out there in the space that you’ve never noticed before.
Really place your attention out. Something that someone is wearing. Something in the room, a painting, the carpet and a thing that takes your attention off yourself. if you need to be looking at the audience it might be that someone has great glasses, or five people are wearing red. It gets your attention out of your psychodrama and into the room. And when your attention is off yourself, you get back to normal.
I hope you find that with these tips you can flip from blush back to cool and calm, and start to enjoy those moments of visibility more.
I shared a short video about this earlier in the week which you can watch by clicking on the link below.
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