The fear of gaiety is known as Cherophobia. When someone is put off by expressions of joy and high spirits, they may retreat into themselves: this phobia can manifest itself for a variety of reasons.
Why Fear Gaiety?
In our society, emotions are right on the surface. People show more of themselves, on TV, in print, and on the Web, than ever before. For some, expressions of emotion that reveal gaiety are considered distasteful or incorrect. Often, this phobia will afflict the elder generations, who were raised with different standards and moral guidelines.
Sometimes, men will be more disposed to develop Cherophobia. For them, masculinity is tied into the idea of being the “strong, silent type”. From Clint Eastwood westerns, such as Pale Rider, where the lone, stoic cowboy finds justice, without showing much emotion at all…to today’s forensic programs, such as CSI (where Horatio Caine coolly disperses wisdom regarding crime scenes)…men are still perceived as being stronger when they are cool, calm and collected.
The word gaiety puts off some people: they will wrongly associate it with homosexuality, which is against certain religions and moral codes. However, gaiety is really just healthy high spirits and a sense of joie du vivre. It is normal and wonderful to feel and express gaiety. When someone struggles to show joy, they may actually struggle to feel joy. This can be a red flag for other emotional issues.
Whether young or old, make or female, the person with Cherophobia will look at the world with a jaundiced eye. They will look down their noses at those who show their positive emotions freely. They may be very organized, efficient people, who are cold and computerlike in their actions and reactions.
Cool efficiency may net some gains in the career world, but it can wreak havoc on romance and family life. Affection and joy are the hallmarks of happy relationships. When the phobic person turns away from healthy expressions of love and happiness, they may also turn off those who try to love them.
Sometimes, the culture a person is raised in can impact the development of this phobia. If culture and religion place emphasis on modesty, chastity, and humbleness, expression of gaiety may seem too dramatic and perhaps self-indulgent.
Many people who repress their emotions are really storing up anger or resentment. In the case of the person who suffers from Cherophobia, there may be some painful conscious or subconscious memories that block expressions of joy and numb the emotions. Since they operate at a cooler emotional temperature, at least on the surface, they may not understand others who go through life unhindered by emotional damage.
Often, therapy or panic treatment can reveal new pathways to a better life. Getting to the heart of a phobia is the key to unlocking its essence, and understanding its impact. Looking inward will be painful, perhaps, but it will also give you the tools to manage your emotional and physical symptoms.
Learning to accept and enjoy gaiety will lead to an enriched experience of life. While you may never be the “life of the party”, you too can participate in the very real joys of sharing your feelings with other people. Happiness is contagious – and showing your happiness is natural and healthy.
Phobia symptoms often include nausea, headaches, dizziness, and a sense of doom or a need to escape from triggers. Easing your physical symptoms can be aided with proper treatment.
The fear of gaiety is also referred to as:
- gaiety fear
- afraid of gaiety
- gaiety phobia