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A Phobia Worse Than Death?
You’ve heard it a million times: the number one human phobia is Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. It seems like nonsense, doesn’t it? That speaking in public could be more terrifying to more people than, say, death, or being stuck in a lift with Kanye West. But consider the consequences.
Inclusion in a social group is a fundamental human need for most of us. Public failure can mean shame, mockery, and ultimately exclusion. So technically you’re not irrational to be afraid of public speaking, or at least, failing at public speaking, even though the consequences usually aren’t as dire as we imagine. What’s irrational is allowing your fear to stop you doing it. Why?
So there you go. We’ve just solved one of the greatest evils in the world – the terror of public speaking.
BUT! Phobias make up an important part of self-identity. Are you resisting our confidence-bestowing training simply to cling to this important character trait? Fear not! Or rather, fear something else! You may like to consider replacing your fear of public speaking with one of the following interesting phobias.
Alektorophobia: dropped casually in conversation, it sounds like you’re afraid of elections, which is understandable these days. It’s actually a fear of chickens. Nasty scaly-legged clawmonsters, direct descendant of the Tyrannosaurus Rex, all mad eyes and cloaca. Horrors.
Nephophobia: Most of us are afraid of our nephews. They’ll put sticky fingers on your good Prius. They’ll start talking about Minecraft and never, ever, stop until they’re 19 and start asking for a job. But Nephobobia isn’t the very rational fear of nephews, it’s a fear of clouds. Now that’s an intriguing phobia. What about clouds? Their deceptive fluffiness? Their malevolent ability to shut out the sun? Their habit of looking briefly like other things, sort of, if you squint? This phobia has the pleasant quality of variety, with new, unexpected clouds coming to terrify you daily.
Nomophobia: We all have this, we just didn’t know its name. It’s the fear of being out of cellphone coverage, or not being able to connect to the internet. Forget burning 5G towers, some of us would strap one to our head if we had half a chance.
Turophobia: fear of cheese. This is a real dinner party icebreaker. Win the fascination of your fellow guests by turning down the caprese salad AND the gruyere and broccoli soufflé. Then the cheesecake is followed by the cheeseboard and you hide in the scullery, whimpering quietly, trying to edge further away from a packet of Twisties. That’s way more interesting than a fear of public speaking, although you may not be invited back.
There we have it, some interesting new phobias to choose from once you’ve conquered your fear of speaking in public. We’re behind you all the way, unless your phobia is someone being behind you. Did you know there’s no name for that? Which makes it even scarier somehow. Sorry. The Pickering Group is here though, to coach you through your fears and beyond, into inspiration. Download our white-paper on persuasive speaking, Evasion to Inspiration here, our courses here, our virtual training options here, or follow us on social media. Not too closely.
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