Fear of the French

This is the people group responsible for a variety of pastries, bread, hats and fashion. They have impressive buildings and visually stunning structures. They have a language that many consider beautiful and their wine is sought after worldwide. They have contributed much to the advancement of global society and love stories are common in connection with the French. The fear some experience in either the presence of someone or something French or in relation to the physical location of France is known as Francophobia, Gallophobia or Galiophobia.

You might be interested to know that Paris, France is one of the most visited places in the world. One of the largest art museums in the world is The Louvre in France. Some common foods we eat such as croissants, quiche, mousse, soufflés, crêpes, pâté, and French bread originated in France. Yet in spite of all the things that make France special there are those who live in fear.

What Causes Francophobia?

History could be a source fear among Francophobes. They may see French battles and conclude the French are an aggressive people that may create problems for those who oppose them.

In truth this is what is known as profiling and operates on assumptions that often don’t need proof to cause individuals to respond to their fear.

If you don’t know the French language you may find yourself intimidated by trying to have a conversation with someone who only speaks French. This can also lead to fear.

Finally, a fear observed is often the greatest stimulus to engage in the practice of fear. When you see the panic expressed by someone you love, and trust there is a transference of fear that often takes place. That fear is accepted as fearful because the personal knowledge comes from a trusted source.

Symptoms of Francophobia

This fear can demonstrate itself in never watching a French film – even with English subtitles, resisting French cuisine, and staying away from the country of France in the greatest act of avoidance.

Other symptoms may also include…

  • Trembling
  • Sense of control loss
  • Air hunger
  • Panic attacks
  • Elevated heart rates
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Crying
  • Screaming

The fear experienced by Francophobes is most often connected to anything having to do with France although there may be some phobic personalities that may only have fear triggers with very specific elements of French culture (i.e. no problem with French food, but lots of issues with the French language).

How to Overcome Francophobia

Early in this article I places some facts about France. Part of the reason for this wasn’t simply to tout their achievements, but to give you some knowledge about the country and its people. This can be am important part of overcoming fear.  When you understand the object of your fear more intimately you have the ability to resist the fear based on logic instead of an emotional response that pays little attention to facts.

A therapist is an ally in overcoming Francophobia. They can work through the issues you struggle with to help you arrive at a sense of wholeness and armed with a plan of action for those times when the fear strikes.

The fear of the French is also referred to as:

  • French fear
  • Fear of France
  • Francophobia
  • Gallophobia
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