Xenophobia: The Fear of the Unknown

Xenophobia: The Fear of the Unknown

Xenophobia: The Fear of the Unknown

You might have heard the word “Xenophobia” in time past, especially during the South African discrimination against people of other colors or from other places. As such, xenophobia is the fear of strangers or foreigners.

However, a good study of the word will mean something slightly otherwise.  It is a word to describe the fear of the unknown or unfamiliar. Xenophobia is the tendency to be scared of things you have close to no information about.

This is what some researchers have gone on to call intolerance for uncertainty. In essence, uncertainty makes you upset, anxious, and scared.

Naturally, humans are primed to fear what they do not understand. In early times, there was the belief that because humans were not so familiar with their environment as we are today, everything looked like a threat. Hence, we grew a thick skin against the uncertainty and embraced caution and care.

Our systems and structures have thus become structures to train us to embrace certainty and stay clear of uncertainty by doing everything possible to kill our creativity, curiosity, and courage. Meanwhile, those who have dared to do anything meaningful did it with the above three listed Cs.

What is the Cause of the Fear of the Unknown?
  1. Lack of Predictability – we have learnt to embrace order and discourage dissent and chaos. This is because we want to have it all planned out. We want to predict what will happen next even though, down within us, we know we can’t. Not being able to predict an outcome of events scares us and causes anxiety and fear. As such, we think uncertainty is bad for us.
  2. Lack of Control – we want to predict things to be in control. We want to be in charge. That’s why we plan and strategize to get things done. When we are not in control, our world seems to fall apart. We think the world is against us. In reality, we have no control over anything. The school system promises you that you’d have control over your life if you follow their rules and do as you are told for about 18 years.

Look at your life today. Does it seem that you have a clue what you are doing? Doesn’t it seem like uncertainty is more of a friend than an enemy? That job came when you least expected it. The people in your life came without your planning. You met your mist Favour people in the most random of places.

Life is filled with random but beautiful events. Trying to predict and control these events, even though impossible, is living on the edge. The Fear of the Unknown is crippling you. Eating you up.

We are largely unhappy, depressed, and suicidal because we cannot control and predict how things will go. We want things to happen to us how we want and plan them. But it doesn’t

Maybe, just maybe, it is time to learn to embrace uncertainty.

to be continued…

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One Comment

  1. Humm. This article unmasked valid realities the mind tend to conceal, adding up to being an apt eyeopener. Gained clarity, a really good read.

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