More Thoughts on Fear?

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I was starting the theme of this week and a thought came to mind.  Have I done posts on fear before?  Apparently, I’ve done several.  It’s a topic that keeps coming back to my mind as if I never considered it before.  Yet, I can’t shake it.  This leaves me with a challenge in regards to making this fresh.  Well . . . I did think up some curious insights on fear last year, so I’m going to share those.

  1. I think fear is one of the biggest driving forces of human civilization.  We created clothes out of fear of freezing to death or sunburns.  We discovered fear out of fear of the dark.  Locks on our doors exist because we fear that our territory can be intruded upon.  Writing was invented out of fear of history and lore being lost.  It might not have been conscious, but fear was there at some level.  Of course, much of this involves facing and defeating our fear as well.
  2. Fear and anxiety go hand-in-hand, which so many people don’t understand.  Many believe that they are related, but not that closely.  If I’m jolted awake by my alarm, the phone, or cats mating outside, I’m much more on edge and twitchy.  I have been startled and the chance of me having a panic attack by the end of the day has increased.  Also, people use the same phrase of ‘face your fear/anxiety’ for both issues, which does show their relation.
  3. It is difficult for some people to understand the fear of another, especially if it’s something they have no problem with.  I get this with horror movies, which I really don’t like.  I get scared and horrified too easily, but I have friends who love this kind of stuff.  I don’t find being scared an enjoyable form of entertainment and some of them think I’m strange.  So, fear occasionally has a ‘language’ or something barrier.
  4. Inducing fear at a constant rate for a long period of time can cause one of two reactions, especially with large groups.  Some become more distant from the world around them and be terrified of anything remotely connected to the fear.  They come off as highly paranoid and may quickly sever any relations that they think will put them at risk.  Others will become so numb that they will ignore the danger if it is still within the environment.  The two groups can clash over their opposing reactions to fear.

That last one was a stretch, so I think I’ll stop.  What are everyone else’s thoughts on fear and our reactions to it?

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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15 Responses to More Thoughts on Fear?

  1. L. Marie says:

    Great tips. Though fear is so primal (fight or flight), it is hard to write about, because, as you mentioned, what one person fears another might not. And sadly, some people make light of the fears they think others should quickly “get over.”

    Many times in books and in movies I’ve seen fear glossed over, as if the main character shouldn’t seem weak by expressing fear. Though some disliked Avengers: Age of Ultron (I actually liked it), I thought it at least dealt with the subject of fear pretty well and how fear was such a driving force to the actions of the characters.

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    • That mocking of fears does make things challenging. I’d like to think most people can empathize even if they aren’t afraid of the source. We all feel fear. At least we should. I think too many write superheroes as without fear. All Might has a great quote in ‘My Hero Academia’ about always smiling to trick the fear inside him. Strongest man on Earth in that world still knows fear.

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  2. No 4 isn’t a stretch, Charles, it’s happening to both groups of people during this pandemic.

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  3. V.M.Sang says:

    I agree with what you say here, Charles. Although I’d not considered it (to my shame), fear is at the basis of nearly everything.
    And I’m with you on horror films. I can’t understand the pleasure people get in being frightened.

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  4. This is a good topic. It can make for good character development, too. It doesn’t have to be that jolt from a dark alley, but things like fear of loss. In our current world this could be income, employment, loved ones, and others.

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  5. I think number four is right on. Our pandemic, coupled with the turmoil in the government, caused the kind of reactions you described. Well done. Charles.

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  6. I especially agree with number three there. I had an experience soon after losing my sight where the person who was meant to be helping me didn’t understand – or even attempt to understand – the fear I was feeling adjusting to not being able to look to see the sources of sounds, despite it being her job to help people through that kind of thing. A combination of unknown sounds and an active imagination is a bad thing. Anyway, rather than helping me face the fears so I could learn to do some mobility training, she walked out on me, telling me to call her again when I was ready to grow up. I never did. Luckily the next person I dealt with was more willing to listen and at least attempt to be understanding, and – even if she didn’t entirely understand it either – worked with me to help me face those fears. I still have the issue from time to time, but it’s not as bad since she gave me some tools to use to help myself through it. It makes a lot of difference when someone at least tries to understand.

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