Chapter 4. Blushing

Darwin on blushing

Charles Darwin described blushing as “the most peculiar and most human of all expressions.” “If, then, there exists, as cannot be doubted, an intimate sympathy between the capillary circulation in that part of the brain on which our mental powers depend, and in the skin of the face, it is not surprising that the moral causes which induce intense blushing should likewise induce, independently of their own disturbing influence, much confusion of mind.” “Blushing is not only involuntary; but the wish to restrain it, by leading to self-attention actually increases the tendency.”


A shy boy seems, to his aunts and women other than his mother, not only shy but cute, and blushing makes that even more so.


Older people blush less, it seems, maybe feeling less shame or having less to shame them. Either they live better or they don’t care.

Non-conscious affect display

of which its display using your cheeks as its billboard makes any provocation seem like an invasion of privacy.


Erythrophobia makes you anxious because you’re anxious as if there were a naked intruder in your room who is using your phone to call your mother and old school teachers. Everyone else is already there behind the curtains. Debilitating fear— never something to brag about.