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Sneaky, tricky dufear

Do you think you know when you're frightened? 

Do you think you know when you're speaking or acting so as to resist your fear? You have no idea. Yes, we can recognize that worrying or feeling anxious about something is fear. We may even recognize that worry or anxiety is a resistance to fear, our attempt to do away with it.

I coined the word "dufear" to mean resisted fear (or dammed-up fear). I've found that almost all of us (including me sometimes) are mostly clueless about the fear that we have that is being resisted and is hidden from us...because it doesn't look like fear or like "worry" where we can easily recognize it. It's sneaky and tricky.

Guilt as dufear

For example, even psychologists rarely recognize guilt as an expression of resisted fear ("Look, please don't blame me, I'm already beating myself up.") If you un-resist the fear that another or others are or would blame you (or would blame you if they somehow knew what you did), your guilt will disappear (see undoing guilt).

Dufear hides like a virus inside of questions

"What can I do to make sure my spouse always remains loyal to me and to our marriage?"

Notice that you didn't ask, "What can I do to limit the risk that my spouse remains loyal to me and to our marriage?" If you asked it this way, you would have to face the fact (feel that fear that you're resisting) that there will always be some risk that your spouse will be disloyal or leave the marriage.

"How can I study so I can pass the test?"

 

Notice that you didn't ask, "How can I study so that I am more likely to make a better grade and even pass the test?" If you asked it this way, you would have to acknowledge your resisted fear that there's no way you can ensure that you'll pass the test.

"What can I do to ensure I make this sale?"

Notice that you didn't ask, "What can I do to increase the chances of making this sale?" Asking it this way you would have to acknowledge your resisted fear that you cannot guarantee the sale.
 

"How can I guarantee I won't lose my job?"

Notice that you didn't ask, "What can I do so that it's less likely that I'll lose my job and I may even get a promotion?" Asking this way would admit that you've got resisted fear and that no matter what you do, you could still lose your job.

Dufear hides like a virus inside confident assertions

"If you just study hard and do your best, you'll be able to get a great job when you graduate."

Notice that you didn't say, "If you study hard and do your best, you'll more likely be able to get a stable type of job in your future." If you said it this way, you'd had to face the risky fact (and ask them to face it too) that studying hard and doing their best is limited in its power.

"If you drop out of school, you'll regret it."

Notice that you didn't say, "Dropping out of school may or may not end up being something you'll regret." If you said it this way, you'd have to admit the limitations of your knowledge (to yourself and to them) of how they may assess their own actions in their future and also your ability to know for sure that it's something that wouldn't turn out well for them.

"If you just believe in and follow the teachings of our faith, it will all work out for you."

Notice that you didn't say, "I'm very much hoping that you'll believe in and follow the teachings of our faith because that will reassure me that I'm doing the right thing and things will all work our for me if I continue to do that. Also, if it all works out well for you and I see that, then that will reassure me even more." If you said it this way, it would open up the sense of risk (and resisted fear) that your whole belief structure is designed to help you avoid feeling.

"if you'll just follow my advice, I'm sure you'll have a better life."

Notice that you didn't say, "I'm fairly confident that my suggestions may work for you. But I know it's possible for me to make mistakes. Also, I know that you may know more about what would fit for you than I would." If you said it this way, you'd have the admit the limits of your own knowledge and power. You'd have to admit that things are not as predicable or controlable as you would like to think. You'd have to face the resisted fear associated with that sense of risk.

Sneaky, tricky dufear

As with an iceberg which is 90% invisible, it's even more so with fear (which is almost always dufear). Dufear is expressed by others and ourselves in thousands of ways. It's expressed in our speaking, our listening, our acting, and our avoiding action, leaving us clueless that dufear is talking and acting much of the time.

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