Fear of Criticism

As you probably are aware this site deals with common and sometimes abstract fears. A few have even suggested that some of the fears we have covered make no sense, and truly that is the point. Fears do not require rational thought to find expression. This is true with the idea of a fear of criticism or Enosiophobia. This particular fear has a double meaning. It not only covers an unnatural fear of criticism, but also a fear of having committed the unpardonable sin mentioned in the Bible.

This fear may exist even if the individual cannot tell you what the unpardonable sin is. The truth is there is debate on the issue, but even so the phobic personality sill gravitates toward attempting to make the right choices, yet fears they have done something wrong. This is why criticism falls under the same fear category. When someone criticizes you the fear may be that the failure they see in your life may in fact be that one thing that displeases God and prevents his forgiveness.

What Causes Enosiophobia?

This fear is often instilled in children who wish to please their parents or loved one. If they grew up in a hyper-critical home they may always feel as if they can never measure up to the expectations of that loved one. And if they can’t please a relative what chance do they have of pleasing God?

This is why these individuals fear criticism because while they hope beyond hope that they can live life well. A verbal critic can pull the proverbial carpet out from underneath them and leave them convinced God could never accept them.

This fear can also grow in individuals who follow certain faith traditions that seek to instill a fear of God to encourage a prescribed behavior. The end result is the enosiophobe no longer sees God as loving, but a harsh taskmaster that only desires to see them fail and then punish them for it.

Symptoms of Enosiophobia

This individual will likely be very awkward in social situations and may struggle with social anxiety. They may only gain a measure of comfort in their own home and will avoid anything they believe God might disapprove of.

Other symptoms may also include…

  • Trembling
  • Panic attacks
  • Air hunger
  • Elevated heart rates
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Elevated body temperatures
  • An urge to flee
  • Crying
  • Screaming

You can imagine the depression that could come from feeling as though you let down the deity you claim to live for. This is the struggle every enosiophobe faces.

How to Overcome Enosiophobia

This fear may abate through the assistance of a therapist with a spiritual background. They will be sensitive to your religious convictions while bringing balance to your perspective and logic to your fear reaction.

This is important because if the issue is religious in nature it may be problematic to work toward a recovery with someone who simply views your convictions as the stuff of fairy tales.

The fear of criticism is also referred to as:

  • Criticism fear
  • Enosiophobia
  • Enissophobia
  • Fear of having committed an unpardonable sin
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