When an individual receives a gift they are likely to express joy knowing someone thought enough of them to make the gift available. The recipient is often thrilled to know there is something new waiting for them. The joy of receiving a gift starts in childhood, and for some it never gets old. However, there are those who fear receiving new things. The fear these individuals live with is known as Kainolophobia.
This fear extends to novelties such as gag gifts. In the case of new things there can be a fear of the unknown qualities of something new and a resistance to embrace something unfamiliar. In the second case there can be a fear of that which is frightening or unusual about a gift that is not what it seems at first glance.
What Causes Kainolophobia?
A person with this fear may have grown up in a home where an adult guardian went out of their way to repair virtually everything in the home. A sense of frugal living may indicated to the phobic personality that new things were bad. The sense of familiarity and a lack of change became a comfort zone that made it difficult to break away to something new. In some cases these individuals may continue to live with their parents in adulthood or return to their childhood home after their parents passing.
An individual who was genuinely frightened by a gag gift or novelty can also swing the direction of wanting no gifts at all simply because they believe that it’s possible another gift might result in a similar frightening situation.
For these individuals it becomes much easier to stick with the familiar and only purchase something when absolutely essential.
Symptoms of Kainolophobia
This individual will be reluctant to celebrate a birthday or holiday unless everyone who would come agrees not to bring a gift. They are less inclined to shop and may appear frugal in their behavior. If this individual is pressed about their phobia they may be inclined to sever a friendship than risk having their choices questioned.
Other symptoms may also include…
- Air hunger
- Elevated heart rate
- An urge to flee
- Control loss
- Temporary elevation in body temperature
The response given by this phobic personality may be anything from a panic attack to anger. There is help for those who suffer with this phobia.
How to Overcome Kainolophobia
It is true, you do not need to accept gifts from anyone. However, a gift of something new is generally considered a sign of friendship and affection. This means that your refusal to accept something new from a friend may communicate that you are not interested in their friendship.
A therapist can help you learn to cope with the fear you may have of either new items or novelty gifts. The fear may be embarrassment, but a quality therapist can help you learn to overcome the fear and reengage life in new and welcome ways.
The fear of new things is also referred to as:
- New thing fear
- Novelty fear