Fear and phobia though correlated, have a different meaning. Psychologists define fear as an emotional reaction to anything that poses a threat. Fear is not something new to us since we’re used to it. Fear is a non-offensive response to objects or events. For instance, some people fear snakes; they develop anxiety whenever they come across one. Phobia, on the other hand, is described as the persistent fear of a situation, activity, or thing that causes one to want to avoid it.
Phobia and fear are alike; however, the level of anxiety experienced by phobic people is so severe that it ruins the quality of their life and their ability to perform their duties. Even though many people have a fear of wasps and bees for example, only a small percentage of the population can be considered Melissophobic or Apiphobic. To give another example, people with a phobic fear of snakes may spend a lot of time figuring out how they can avoid coming into contact with a snake and will keep off various places and activities to avoid them.
The Difference Between Fear And Phobia
Differentiating between fear and phobia is worthwhile since the two problems vary qualitatively.
Likewise, we can differentiate between fear of rejection and phobic of rejection. While many people are mindful and observant of rejection, as it’s disgruntling and at times prefer to skip it if possible, there is a group of people that can be regarded as rejection phobic. Even though the two groups “fearful” and “phobic” exhibit similarities, the two are fundamentally different.
Phobic people spend an excessive amount of time or put a lot of unwanted effort to avoid coming close to anything that they fear. There is a vast discrepancy between the extent of the fear and preventive measures and the likelihood of causing harm.
Rescheduling your routine duties and even your life to stay away from an innocuous snake is enormous and unwanted since not all snakes are threatening.
Likewise, making unnecessary efforts to avoid rejection, which does not pose any threat, is a sign of someone who is phobic to rejection. A fascinating trait of people with rejection phobia is their creative endeavor to get accepted. As a matter of fact, it is easy to spot a snake phobic, but it’s challenging to spot a rejection phobic since avoidance can exhibit normal behaviors and those that aren’t easy to analyze.
Apparently, avoidance of rejection entails the skipping of relationships and social platforms. If skipping such things interferes and ruins the quality of your life, then this can be considered as an enormous mental health problem.
However, avoidance or skipping can be extremely difficult to analyze. For instance, spending an exorbitant amount of time on one’s look can be perceived as a form of rejection avoidance. The idea behind this is that if you look good all the time, there will be less likelihood of being rejected. Additionally, if you spend an inordinate amount of time on your natural look to the extent that it affects the quality of your life and discharging of duties, this can be considered as a mental health problem.
Another trait for people with rejection phobia is that they like to rank themselves on top to reduce the chances of being rejected. For instance, you can quickly tell a person who fears non-threatening snakes and one who is snake phobic. This can be done via Behavioral Approach Test (BAT), where you lock someone in a room with a harmless snake and measure in meters how close he or she will be willing to get to the snake. Snake phobic guys will leave the room quickly while those who fear snake will move closer, though they won’t dare to touch the snake.
Unlike phobia, fear is a natural emotion that protects people from anything that poses a real or perceived threat. A phobia, on the other hand, is an extreme fear or anxiety to certain objects or events that do not pose a severe threat as considered.
Phobia is known to cause discomfort as a result of avoidance behavior and the anxiety response that arises when subjected to the phobic object or events.
Fear is natural, which means we cannot do without it. Fear comes with numerous benefits, one of which is protection from harmful substances or situations. It’s only when we’re subjected to fear we think of mechanisms to cope with anything that poses a danger. Phobia, on the other hand, is irrational, extreme, overwhelming and persistent. It’s something that can interfere with the quality of our lives and how we perform our roles. Being phobic is therefore something you should work on to do away with it as it causes unnecessary fear for things that are no longer threatening.
You can learn more about fears and phobias and also the various treatment options available at BeatYourFears.com