A strong sense of responsibility is a trait that is highly valued in personal relationships as well as the workplace. Workers who show the most responsibility are either on a fast track for a promotion or considered a premiere asset for the company they work for. However, there can come a point when the fear of failing in responsibility becomes Paralipophobia.
To be clear we are not talking about someone who has a strong sense of duty and sacrifices in many ways to ensure that responsibility is met to the best of their ability.
Sometimes this fear can be called a ‘Savior Complex’. This comes when an individual feels as if they MUST assume absolute and total responsibility for something they may not be totally responsible for – nor are they humanly equipped to manage such awesome responsibility. It becomes very difficult when that individual eventually understands they can’t fix every issue, they can’t make enough money and they can’t save someone who refuses rescue.
What Causes Paralipophobia?
This phobia may have its roots in guilt. It is true that this tactic can provide inspiration to do something better, but it is also true it is often used as a tool of manipulation. Guilt can convince someone to marry someone they don’t love or take care of a family member that may have the capability of working, but won’t. If you can be convinced that it is your responsibility – and your sense of duty demands no failure – then you will work as many hours as needed, stay up as late as needed, rise early and find your stress level out of control in an effort to ‘rise to the occasion’. This fear can also be found in soldiers who assume significant responsibility, but refuse to share.
This fear may start when the statement, “You owe it to me,” is internalized. If you can be convinced to assume the role of caregiver or ‘go to guy or gal’ then you may discover that others will take advantage of you. Their abuse may even be recognized by you or others, but you fear failing in your perceived responsibility more than your sense of justice is compelled to demand others share in the responsibility.
Symptoms of Paralipophobia
An individual with this fear will be the first to accept any additions to a responsibility they have already accepted. They may even insist it is no problem.
Other symptoms include…
- Increased stress
- Air hunger
- A secret loathing of those who they feel have taken advantage of their responsible nature
- Anxiety attacks
- Mental breakdown
The video below points out some of the effects of stress that can originate in the fear of neglecting responsibility.
A person with this fear will have a laundry list of things they need to accomplish and they don’t allow anything to stop them from completing their tasks. They may grumble and complain about their schedule, but they also will not generally allow anyone else to assume even a portion of their duty. This would mean failure – that is never tolerated by the paralipophobe.
How to Overcome Paralipophobia
In the case of this fear there may need to be a family or workplace intervention. It is possible family members or an employer may be blissfully ignorant of the fear. What they assume to be a strong sense of duty may be a fear. When those involved in the life of the Paralipophobia begin to understand this phobia they can be a support group of sorts in helping the Paralipophobe address the fear and place responsibility in a place of life balance. A therapist can help these individuals through the fear by showing them better ways to respond.
What follows is another video supplying tips for reducing your stress.
The Fear of Neglecting Responsibility is also known as…
- Fear of neglecting duty
- Neglecting responsibility fear
- Neglecting duty fear