Skip to Content

Why do people fear what they don’t understand?

Why do people fear what they don’t understand?

It’s often said that people fear what they don’t understand. And there’s definitely some truth to that. When we encounter something new, our natural tendency is to be cautious and even suspicious of it.

After all, we don’t want to put ourselves in danger by accidentally coming into contact with something we don’t know much about. But at the same time, there’s also something to be said for curiosity and open-mindedness. If we never stepped outside our comfort zones, we would miss out on a lot of great experiences. So it’s important to strike a balance between caution and curiosity.

In today’s article, we explain the reasons for which people fear what they don’t understand. This way, you can find the specific reason for which a specific person is fearing something new. Hence, you can work on helping them to stop being so closed off to an idea, concept, or ideology to be more open and more accepting.

4 Reasons why people fear what they don’t understand:

1- They’d rather stay in their comfort zone:

People tend to be creatures of habit. They like things that are familiar and they’re comfortable with. So, when they come across something they don’t understand, it can be fear-inducing. I

t’s easier for them to just stay in their comfort zone and not venture out into the unknown. This is especially true when it comes to people’s beliefs. They’re more likely to only come into contact with things that reaffirm what they already believe instead of opening their minds to new ideas.

So, when presented with something that goes against their existing beliefs, they may react with fear because it challenges everything they know. Fear of the unknown is a powerful motivator and it can cause people to dig their heels in and refuse to budge, even if there might be some benefit to doing so.

2- They don’t want to admit to being ignorants:

Another reason why people fear what they don’t understand is that they don’t want to look like they lack knowledge. They would rather stay in their comfort zone and pretend that they know everything, rather than admit to having lived with a certain degree of ignorance.

This is especially true when it comes to topics that they feel are important, or that they should have a firm understanding of.

However, the only way to truly overcome this fear is to confront it head-on; by learning about the things that we don’t understand and having the full picture in front of us. If our position is truly the right one then we will not fear looking at a topic from all angles and sides.

After all, it can only be beneficial because it will either confirm our initial ideas or it will arm us to be able to make an informed decision. Only then can we dispel our fears and misconceptions.

3- They fear accepting something new means having to change:

A third possible reason why people fear what they don’t understand is having to change their lifestyle, and way of thinking; if they take the time to learn about that new thing they fear.

People tend to fear what they don’t understand because they might be afraid that they’d have to change if they understood the thing they’re afraid of. There’s no way of explaining this further, if not by giving an example. So here it is:

Someone might be afraid of flying and be very reluctant to book a flight; because they don’t understand how airplanes stay in the air. If they learned how airplanes stay in the sky without support, then they may have to question everything they thought they knew.

It may mean having to admit that science is the answer, and not whatever hidden power or spiritual being they secretly attributed such a miracle to. They might be less afraid because they understand how the airplane stays in the air. But, they may be unhappy about having found a logical and better explanation.

People might also be afraid of things that would require them to change their lifestyle if they understood it. For example, someone might not want to learn about how bad pollution is affecting the planet because it would require them to change the way they live their lives and do better. So maybe, they’re not ready for that. In general, people are just afraid of change, and understanding something is a form of change.

4- We think new things can be more dangerous than they seem:

One of the most basic human emotions is fear. It’s what keeps us safe from harm, by alerting us to potential dangers and making us take action to avoid them. But sometimes, fear can also be irrational and unfounded.

People can be afraid of things that pose no real threat, simply because they don’t understand them. This is often seen with new technology. As it becomes more commonplace, people become less afraid of it.

But when something is new and unfamiliar, it can trigger a feeling of unease. This is because our brains are wired to pay more attention to negative information than positive information. So when we encounter something that we don’t understand, our natural tendency is to assume that it’s more dangerous than it might actually be.

In other words, our fears can sometimes be self-fulfilling prophecies, when that new thing turns out to be dangerous indeed and that’s rewarding in itself. But it is not a good thing to go through life with such a pessimistic, closed-off, and negative mindset. Learning to have a positive mindset and being more open to new things can help us make better choices and be more knowledgeable.

So next time you find yourself feeling afraid of something new, try to remember that it’s often just a matter of understanding it better.

    error: Content is protected !!