How do you handle Fear?

I have been in some difficult situations in the past few days. Today morning, I found my Googling ‘How to deal with fear?’

In retrospect, I realized I have been afraid all my life. Of course, like most things, the phobia has its origins in my childhood. My father was (and is) a strict parent. Suppose, my brother and I were playing and we accidentally broke anything, I kept worrying through the day how father would admonish when he came to learnt about it.

In school, I have always been the model student, trying hard not to break any rules. I was only once punished by my fifth grade English teacher for not doing the homework. Years of abiding by rules has created this image of me: I am seen as a ‘good’ girl, and even after I finished school, I found that was the image I was constantly trying to fit in. I wouldn’t get into arguments with anyone except my immediate family. That is not to say I do not feel angry when someone says or does something bad to me, but when the bad thing happens, I would avoid it but saying to the perpetrator on the face. Afterwards, I will be feeling bad and fuming inside, trying to confide in the people who care about my side of the story. In every bad situation, I have an inherent trait to feel like a victim.

I am not saying arguments are good. In fact, as Dale Carnegie said, “You can’t win an argument.” I do believe it is true. But then again, not saying my side of the story to the person who drags me through mud makes me feel extremely bad about myself – like I can not protect myself. It makes me feel vulnerable. Because I am not used to being in arguments, I would stop short of saying anything even when I know I am more right than the other person, because I am scared that the other person will bring up some logic that I will not be able to refute (people do crazy things when they are in arguments, they lie and manipulate and you can never argue with a liar and a manipulator without yourself being one). I am not very imaginative (which is why most of my stories are reflections of my own life), and that is also why I am not a good liar. At the same time, when I stay silent, I feel disgusted when I imagine the other person is thinking me weak, because I said nothing. When you trash someone and that person does not revert, don’t you feel you have the upper hand in the situation?

But as I see more and more of the world, I feel that whatever I was taught in school is failing miserably in the school of life. When you are small, you believe there is justice. But the more I see of this world, I realize, justice is a concept and not a practice. And so, my fear of humiliating myself continues, because every time a bad thing happens, my first instinct is, “I can’t handle this.” I think I fear humiliation more than I fear Death. In other words, I fear people (and what they might do) more than I fear isolation.

What are you afraid of? Do you think we can ever get rid of every fear that we have and be strong? How do you handle your fears? What tips do you have for me? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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About Arpita

Arpita Pramanick is a little, young woman with a bright face (who'd rather not look directly into a stranger's eye) you'll find walking on the corridors of Mu Sigma, Inc. She tells herself she wants to be a properly published writer (by which she means she wants to be published from the likes of Penguin), but isn't really so sincere about writing everyday. So if you see her, tell her to go write. She'll love you for doing that!
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19 Responses to How do you handle Fear?

  1. When I was in school I also avoided being in an argument but recently I discovered a new side of me. It was just a normal argument which rose exponentially and for the first time I allowed my anger to cut loose. I realised that if you want to live in this world keeping quiet doesn’t help and one day or the other we have to face our fears and its the only way to conquer them. No one will take your stand unless you stand for yourself. You can’t clean the mud without getting dirty.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. sarthak0501 says:

    I fear(not based on reality) being ignored or given less importance to. And over the time I developed a habit of not opening up with people, thinking “what if they think will not like to talk to me.”. My poor gossip quotient aggravated my social skills(I have not watched friends, how I met your mother etc :p ). But I think that there is nothing wrong, if not great, in my social skills as I tend to talk a lot when the topic is from my side of table. Now I try to interact more with people without thinking much about my fear. I am not very successful yet but I should keep it up because you know “Darr ke aage jeet hai” šŸ˜‰

    Liked by 2 people

    • sarthak0501 says:

      *what if they will not like to talk

      Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      Haha. I haven’t watched Friends and How I Met Your Mother? either, but I did make it a point to watch Game of Thrones because a lot of people suggested I see it. šŸ™‚ I am glad you raise this point: in today’s world a lot of us feel the pressure of fitting in: watching TV series/reading books which will help with our conversation in a community. That, then, starts to shape who we are. I also have similar fear, that I will not fit in. I fear I will humiliate myself because I am not on the same page with the people I’ll spend time with.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. mterrazas32 says:

    “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt
    Growing up I to was model to be a good student or I was the nerd in the family. Just like you I followed the rules and try not to break them. I avoid confrontation whenever possible, but also had help from a fellow students or teachers would back me up. I guess cause the majority of the teachers had my older brother and sister, so they knew the family. Reflecting back on being the quiet, good student, kind of hurts you, but then it give you a advantage. It hurts because there are times you need to take a stand and I’ve learn that people will try to take advantage you, if they know you won’t speak up or take a stand. The advantage is you know how to control your self and it make you unpredictable. People will never know if you will react or not react.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Annie says:

    Growing up being “good” and always wanting to do the right thing doesn’t mean you’re afraid. I’d say you’re cautious and you think through your actions and words carefully. Also, not saying anything doesn’t mean you’re weak. It means you’re wise enough to keep quiet. When I was younger I used to worry about what people might think of me. Over time, I realised that I don’t need their approval, that I have my own voice. You’ll learn this along the way; all I can say is “listen to your heart”, and you’ll know what to do šŸ™‚

    A side note: your award images inspired me to put a similar widget on my blog too šŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      Ah! You know I dream that one day I would wake up and I would be 35 and finally happy in my skin. But your words give me hope.

      I am glad you used the Award images! I use a Gallery widget for that, you can try that too! šŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Annie says:

        Yes, I did the slideshow thingy too. Quite entertaining actually. I was just wondering if it makes downloading of the site a little slower.
        You don’t want to wake up and be 35 just like that… You want to savour each year, its successes, its failures… It’ll be worth it šŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arpita says:

        I hope it is! šŸ™‚

        Oh, and it might make the loading of the site a bit time-consuming, but you can judge by my site. Is it slow to load?

        Like

      • Annie says:

        It will be šŸ™‚
        Your site loads just fine; but then I’m on home wifi which is quite fast šŸ™‚ what about my site, does it load alright?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Arpita says:

        Yeah, it does. But then again, I also use braodband connection. When I use internet on the mobile, I just check the reader and not the individual site. But of course, images are supposed to make things slower.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. sukanyasaha says:

    “But as I see more and more of the world, I feel that whatever I was taught in school is failing miserably in the school of life. When you are small, you believe there is justice. But the more I see of this world, I realize, justice is a concept and not a practice.”

    Very nicely written. Everything is so true. The reader could connect himself/herself with this.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I have gained much wisdom on this journey called life. This is the biggest blessing of getting older. I sweat the small stuff much less. I no longer worry about being embarrassed. It is liberating to not care what other people think. So while I am saddened by my body’s aging, I am grateful for the knowledge and peace I have attained. Arpita, my tips are that you keep questioning and be open to the answers. Nothing wrong with being introverted and/or shy…as long as you keep learning. Don’t let your perceived limitations stop you from experiences. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Don’t be the one in the corner watching everyone else having a good time. Make sure to HAVE FUN! THE JOURNEY IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT; SO MAKE IT A SATISFYING ONE.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Arpita says:

      Thank you so much. Your words inspire me very much. Since writing this post, I have started something called the ‘Fear Journal’, in which Iist in detail whatever worries me. I think clearly when I have things written down.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Day 16 of Writing 101: How important is Scribbles@Arpita for me? | Scribbles@Arpita

  8. We are much alike. I deal with fear and how I handle it a lot on my blog. Check it out at
    stretchingyourfaith.net

    Liked by 1 person

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