Could we agree to say fear is a great enemy?

Fear in my experience has inhibited me from achieving many things from social endeavours, new experiences or intimate relations and generally pursuing more of a life without getting overly concerned about the consequences.

However, some may argue that fear can be a positive emotion, as it's involves us to critique with rational thinking.
For example consequences of jumping off a damn cliff or something.


Most Helpful Guy

  • I think you're "conflating" the word "fear" with the definition of "anxiety."

    "Anxiety" is not "fear."

    "Anxiety" is the short term for what psychologists more accurately refer to as "apprehensive expectation."

    "Anxiety" = "Apprehension" about your "Expectation."

    "Fear" = an emotional response to certain or almost certain (i. e., "imminent or highly probable") "DANGER."

    "DANGER" is the magic word. Danger usually means anything related to your "immediate" survival (i. e., if you don't feel "FEAR" and you go ahead and "ACT," then you're most likely going to "DIE"). For that reason, you can see how humans that had a very properly developed sense of "FEAR" "survived" (and therefore, reproduced) compared to those that didn't (well, we know what happened to them).

    "Anxiety" is totally different. With anxiety, a person has a certain "expectation" about the future or distant consequences of their choices or actions. That "expectation" is usually "negative" or "over-conservative." As a result, the person is very "apprehensive" every time they even "think" about their "expectation."

    For example, a husband comes home from work. He "expects" his wife to not be in the mood, or tired, or some other excuse, so when she comes next to him and wants to be affectionate, he acts cold, detached, unemotional, disconnected, etc. He feels "apprehensive" about the idea of either him trying to initiate sexual activity, or her trying to be affectionate (because it will then make him feel turned on, and his "expectation" is that if he tries to initiate any kind of sexual activity, he will just be "shut down" and end up feeling negative, rejected and frustrated. So, he is "apprehensive" (meaning, he looks for ways to "avoid" what he imagines to negative consequences).

    "Avoidance" is the key characteristic of "anxiety."

    Avoidant "behavior" is not the main problem, it's avoidant "thinking" that's the problem. Avoidant "thinking" happens when the initial "apprehension" towards a perceived expectation occurs. At first, the brain simply wants to avoid what it perceives as a likely "negative" or "uncomfortable" (emotionally) situation. But very quickly and almost immediately thereafter, the brain does something remarkable - it "creates" (rationalizations) and (supporting justifications) to support and justify "why" a person engages in avoidant "behavior."

    • For example, someone who is "agoraphobic" may convince themselves that they just don't like taking the subway back home, because it's packed, and it smells, and they hate waiting for the train or fighting to find a seat, etc. "Those" are the reasons why they don't like going into the subway (i. e., "not" agoraphobia) . . . (again, this is not actually REALLY the case, but that's what the mind tells itself). So, paying $50 for a taxi cab to and from work every day makes complete sense, because: (a) it doesn't smell, (b) you never have to wait that long, there is always a cab available when you want to go somewhere, (c) you don't have to fight for a seat, (d) it's comfortable and not crowded, etc.

      Now, this person needs cognitive behavioral therapy, because they have literally surrounded and buried themselves in this mountain of rationalizations and justifications. That's how "untreated" anxiety works.

    • You can see how the same thing can happen with the "thought" of being in a social situation, especially with a person you may be interested in. "Ultra-conservative" thinking may start to kick in, and as a result, a person may be brought to complete inaction (i. e., paralysis). Then, almost immediately, the brain will start to defend the person's "identity." "No! It's not because my 'expectations' about the negative outcome might not be 100% rational or accurate. . . it's because maybe I'm shy, or maybe I'm just not into clubs or bars, or because I'm so smart and other people are so stupid that I can't possibly bare to participate in their idiotic and immature forms of entertainment, socialization, or even flirtations. . . or. . . what's the point, I'm too fat anyway, I'm not very attractive... I'm not on the Forbes 500 list."

      That's "anxiety," not "fear."

      "Fear" is when you realize the girl you flirted with was a Bragda (Russian mob) captain's girlfriend.

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  • it can be either positive or negative

    positive like as u said... if someone felt NO fear at all... he'd jump off a cliff without mindin da consequences

    negative coz fear's stopin u from doin things... like fear of heights. u won't fall anyway if u r at some high place...

  • Hm.

    In some ways yes, in other ways no. A little fear is a good thing, it's that little voice in our head telling us that we're about to do something incredibly stupid that is going to harm us.

    Knowing the right time to ignore it, and control it is pretty crucial though, so yeah, in some ways you're right about that too.

  • Yes, I agree fear is the greatest enemy.

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