7 Attitudes that Disguise Fear

Fear might make us develop attitudes that disguise fear. Disguising fear might seem perfectly acceptable to us. However, it might keep us from living a full and healthy life.
7 Attitudes that Disguise Fear

Last update: 15 July, 2020

Fear is one of the most disguised emotions. It can be difficult to attribute an exact cause for this behavior. An example would be “the fear of being afraid”. We frequently avoid admitting that we’re afraid since we believe our fears will get worse if we do. As a consequence, people try to protect themselves through attitudes and mannerisms that disguise fear.

The first step to beating fear is acknowledging it. Like other emotions, acknowledgment is a necessary first step. Unfortunately, doing so is often associated with weakness. People don’t want to seem vulnerable to others or themselves. For this reason, people assume attitudes and mannerisms that portray anything but fear.

Pretending that you’re tough or near-invulnerable doesn’t work. On the contrary, it’ll make your fears grow stronger. In turn, this won’t allow others to detect your problems and help you out. For this very reason, paying attention and detecting someone who’s living in fear is important.

Here are seven signs that may indicate someone is scared.

“Of all the liars in the world, sometimes the worst are our own fears.”

-Rudyard Kipling-

1. Over-planning

Planning is obviously a great and healthy way to organize ideas, save time, and prevent problems. In other words, planning is a way to overcome uncertainty and act with confidence.

However, you shouldn’t overdo it. Over-planning will give you a false sense of having successfully dealt with your fears. From there, it’s very likely you’ll  become a control freak. Over-planning is just another way to disguise fear.

 2. Impeccable manners

Having good manners is a sign of good education. Manners also aid in social interaction. Additionally, it never hurts to be polite. Many social protocols are a valid way to “break the ice”. Moreover, manners not only help keep communication fluid, but also allow you to conduct human interactions on friendly terms.

Conversely, excessive use of manners will make you look fake or like a robot. This tendency stems from an effort to protect yourself by hiding your fear of others by seeming inoffensive.

 3. Excessive caution to disguise fear

Excessive caution is similar to over-planning. It encompasses not only future actions but also present ones. Excessive caution implies that when it’s time to act, you start to doubt yourself.

Doubts will possibly produce negative consequences. An example of such a consequence would be missed opportunities due to an inability to act as a result of such doubts. Excessive caution leads to extreme passivity and inaction.

Excessive caution as a disguise of fear.

 4. Avoiding new experiences

We’re all a little afraid of the unknown. It’s impossible to know if the unknown brings risks. You might be unsure if you have enough resources to deal with such eventualities.

It takes a lot of courage to step off the beaten path. When you’re presented with the choice to experience something new, fear might take a hold of you. Hence, you might cement yourself in the comfortable surroundings of what you know well. However, if you never stray from the beaten path, you’ll miss out on or fail to recognize many opportunities for positive changes.

 5. Living through ritualization

This is somewhat similar to the aforementioned point. You might create rigid routines that allow you to live an organized and easy-to-control life. Rituals are great excuses to avoid changing. You may simply state that you’re very disciplined and don’t enjoy mixing up your routine.

This attitude may not seem like one people use to disguise their fear. However, extreme routines will limit, but not eliminate, unpredictability and opportunity. While it allows us to live in a controlled comfort-zone, an over-ritualized lifestyle will impede novelty and excitement.

Disguising fear through ritualization.

6. Rejection of everything that’s different

An excessively strict lifestyle will often produce rigid ways of thinking. In turn, rigid ways of thinking might make you intolerant towards different values and ways of life. You could end up shunning everything unfamiliar. This is another attitude to disguise fear.

To help you subsist in such conditions, it’s easy to pick up prejudices and use them as guidelines. Thus, you may start to fear unfamiliar situations and people. You might interpret such experiences as a threat to your apparent stability. In the end, this perceived threat is nothing more than fear of possibly having to reconstruct your routines and rituals.

 7. Dismissal of foreign concepts

Fear often stands behind envy and excessive criticism. You might unjustifiably feel that other people are out just to judge you. On the contrary, it might be you who feels the need to criticize the way others behave.

It’s not strange for people to judge others for behavior and characteristics that reflect their own limitations and fears. We subconsciously compare ourselves to others.

Although some attitudes may seem harmless, they may be used to disguise fear . Perhaps if we could be a little bit more honest with ourselves, it’d be easier to find or create ways to deal with our fears or even beat them.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Cardona, J. M., & Labarga, J. M. C. (2006). Liderazgo y gestión por 8 hábitos. Del miedo a la confianza. Ediciones Díaz de Santos.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.