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The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share

Separation

The fear of abandonment, rejection, loss of connectedness, unwanted, disrespected or devalued. 

The "silent treatment," when imposed by a group, can have a devastating effect on its target.

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The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share

The (Only) 5 Fears We All Share

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/brainsnacks/201203/the-only-5-fears-we-all-share

psychologytoday.com

5

Key Ideas

The fear of ceasing to exist

The idea of no longer existing is more than just "fear of death". It arouses a primary existential anxiety in all normal humans.

The fear of heights or falling is basically the fear of extinction.

Mutilation

This is the fear of losing any part of our bodily structure or the thought of having our body's boundaries invaded.

Anxiety about animals, such as bugs, spiders, snakes, and other creepy things arises from fear of mutilation.

Loss of Autonomy

The fear of being immobilized, restricted, overwhelmed, entrapped, smothered, or otherwise controlled by circumstances beyond our control. 

Fear of intimacy, or "fear of commitment," is basically fear of losing one's autonomy.

Separation

The fear of abandonment, rejection, loss of connectedness, unwanted, disrespected or devalued. 

The "silent treatment," when imposed by a group, can have a devastating effect on its target.

Ego-death

The fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval. 

The fear of failure or rejection can be read as fear of ego-death. Shame and guilt express the fear of separation and even ego-death. The same is true for embarrassment and humiliation.

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Decide if you should face your fear
Decide if you should face your fear
  • Consider the pros and cons of not facing your fear. 
  • Write those down. 
  • Identify the pros and cons of tackling your fears head-on. 
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Evaluate Risk Level

Just because something feels scary, doesn’t mean it’s actually risky. Educate yourself about the facts and the risks you actually face by doing the things that scare you. 

Create an Action Plan

The key to facing your fears is to take one small step at a time. Going too fast or doing something too scary before you are ready can backfire.

Keep moving forward. A moderate amount of anxiety is good. Don’t wait to take a step forward until your anxiety disappears.

If you can’t actually do the thing that scares you to practice, you might use imagined exposure. 

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The Art of Communication

We communicate with each other as a habit but miss a lot in what a conversation really holds.

Our lack of listening skills, our inner chatter, and the urge to speak about ourselves is clou...

Zeno
Zeno

“We have two ears and one mouth, therefore we should listen twice as much as we speak.”

Active Listening

When someone is coming to you for advice, you have to listen, with intent. You are not supposed to jump into a conclusion and start dishing out advice.

Usually, people just want someone to listen to their problems.

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Reappraising Conversations
Imagining a conversation as a game you are to score as many points as you can. 
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5: Confirmation of an emotion’s legi...
Don’t Be Self-Centered

It’s key to connecting with people to suspend your ego; to put your own needs, wants and opinions aside. Anxiety does the opposite bringing your feelings and expectations to the forefront.

Focus on the other person. Simply listen to what they have to say and ask them to tell you more. 

Reappraisal

Just because you feel it doesn’t make it real. Feelings come from beliefs. Change the beliefs and feelings will change.

Research and anecdotal evidence show that the simple act of positively reimagining something can be enough to decrease anxiety.

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