Nowadays, it is not uncommon for one to say that anther person has some kind of phobia. When someone has a phobia, it is likely to mean that they have an irrational fear of something.
If one was to say this to someone, it could show that they work in the helping profession; then again, it might not. If it relates to the former, one could be working with a client who feels uncomfortable in social situations, for instance.
A Big List
As a result of this, one could say that this person has a social phobia, and this is going to make it hard for them to socialise with others. But while there are going to be phobias like the one above that will make it difficult for someone to function, there are going to be others that won’t have the same effect.
For example, if someone had a fear of clowns (coulrophobia), it is highly unlikely that it will stop them from being able to live their life. They may just need to avoid circuses, children’s parties and certain horror films, for instance.
A Different Context
If it relates to the latter, it could be a sign that one has heard someone say something about a certain group of people. At the same time, one may have come across something that someone has said on social media.
In either case, someone will have painted a whole group of people as being a certain way. For example, another person may have said that all Muslims are terrorists, and this would have meant that one said that they were islamophobic.
It Doesn’t End There
Alternatively, someone may have said that there is something wrong with people who are gay, and this would have caused them to say that this person was homophobic. One could also say that someone is xenophobic, that’s if they don’t accept people who are from other countries.
When someone’s has these kinds of views, it is going to be clear that they have a number of faulty beliefs. And due to what is taking place in their mind, it is going to be normal for them to say things that are irrational.
Out In the Open
Now, even if someone like this didn’t share their views in this way, what is going on within then is still going to have an effect on how they behave. Consequently, this can cause certain people to feel uncomfortable around them.
If one has come from another country, they could feel as though they are not welcome, or, if they are gay, they could end up feeling ashamed. It could then be said that someone like this is not going to be willing to empathise with people like this.
The Right Approach
Along with this, they are not going to be willing to reflect on what they believe. If they were to engage their brain instead of being caught up in what they believe, it would give them the chance to see how irrational their views are.
And, when one says that someone like this has a phobia, it is going to show that they are not willing to put up with this kind of behaviour. It is then not going to matter where someone has come from or what their sexual orientation is, for instance, as they will see them as a fellow human being.
Taking all this into account, it would be easy to believe that someone is only going to be seen as having a phobia (or a number of them) if they have views that are irrational. This is then something that is completely black and white.
However, what this would overlook is that there are going to be times when one will say this without even taking the time to think about what someone has said. Here, someone can say something and one will instantly accuse them of having some kind of phobia.
As they won’t have taken the time to think about what has been said, they won’t be able to see if this person has said something that is rational. Instead, they will label this person and that will be the end of it.
When this takes place, it is not going to be possible for them to realise that they are behaving in a way that is irrational. One will then have accused another person of that which they are themselves.
They can then see themselves as someone who is better than the people who they believe have views that are irrational, yet it could be said that they are going to be deluding themselves. One might not have any of the phobias that they accuse other people of having, but they may be thinkaphobic – a phobia that makes it hard for them to think clearly.
For some reason, they are not going to want to engage their brain, and this is why they resort to slander. Saying that another person has a phobia can allow them to silence them and they won’t need to provide any evidence.
Thinkaphobia is not a phobia that many people are familiar with, but it is undoubtedly just as destructive as most of the other phobias that exist. This is something that can afflict people from all walks of life; especially those who go to university, or who have been there in the past.
In the same way that it can be destructive for someone in the helping profession to label a client as having a phobia before they have taken the time to understand them; it can be just as destructive for someone to accuse another person of having a phobia before they have taken a closer look at what they have said. Through looking into what someone have said, one might end up finding out that it is indeed irrational, or they might see that what they have said makes a lot of sense.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.