What do people fear?


People of each age group have their own individual fear projections, though some fears are common to all ages.

The fear of losing a loved one transcends all other fears across age groups.  This is followed after a long gap by the fear of being embarrassed in public.  Then comes the fear of pain and death, followed closely by the fear of loneliness.

Each age group has its own peculiar fears, though interestingly certain fears,Gran such as the fear of heights and creepy crawlies, is consistent across age groups.  The dread of accidents, getting assaulted and natural disasters is also consistent across age groups.

fearA fear that did not crop up in any other group except the 15-25 year olds is the fear of ghosts.  Other fears of this group had to do with not being able to achieve success at work, or not finding work that challenges their mind enough.  This was followed by the fear of not being noticed or being unable to discover the purpose of their lives.  A few interesting fears that cropped up in freewheeling discussions are the fear of depression, addiction, Black Magic, terrorists, clowns, spiders, rats, impulsiveness, people and God.

What is strange is that emotional fears such as betrayal or fear of love did not find any weight with youngsters.  It is the age group 25-35 that embroils itself in emotional turmoil and fears betrayals and rejections.  Men and women in this age group also fear growing old and dying.  Fear of failure, losing control and aging are their key dreads.

FearIn the age group 50-70, people’s fears change completely as is to be expected.  The greatest fear that incumbents of this age group have is becoming useless and dependent on others, and of illness.  Women are fearful of their children being unhappy, and men worry about losing respect in the eyes of others, leaving behind unfinished business and losing friends.  Loneliness and illness are also fears of this group.

Surprisingly, fewer fear death than one expected.  That is because people seldom think of death.  It is pain and suffering that people fear more; death is oblivion.  As one person put it, “Frankly death is not my problem.  What I fear is suffering or not living a good lifestyle in the manner I wish to.”

People have several other phobias that could be the result of several factors.  Each fear has its own origin and psychological projection, and needs to be dealt with differently.

Though leader Karl Albrecht in his newsletter BRAINSNACKS explains all fears as basically falling in five categories —— Ego Death, Separation, Loss of Autonomy, Mutilation and Extinction.

———–   vinitadawra.nangia@timesgroup.com.           

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