How To Talk About Your Fears

What are you afraid of?

All of us have things we’re afraid of, right? Some of us are afraid of heights, some of us cannot go anywhere near water, some of us are deathly scared of insects etc. A lot of us have quite a few ‘silly’ fears too. They can be situation specific. For example, you could have fallen off a boat and into the water while going boating, and have been afraid of boats ever since. There are numerous possibilities!

We’re sure you would like to talk about it too. Sometimes though, we all have problems when trying to convey exactly what it is we want to say.

Read on to learn exactly what to say, to make your conversational partner understand your fears. Happy learning!

So, let’s start by taking a basic situation that all of us can relate to, and work from there.

*You’re in a meeting with your therapist, she has just asked you what your fears are, whether you think they’re silly or not. You have to answer her*

Read on to find the overall flow, specific vocabulary, phrases, and expressions that can be used for an effective and fluent conversation on this topic. Right below is your guide to having an engaging conversation!

A conversation has specific phases that it goes through. Here is a quick look at we will teach you, to guarantee you a smooth conversation.   

Content : What is it that you are going to talk about

Use the ‘wh’ questions along with the keywords to help you put together the content.

  1. What is the fear? –  Fear of boats, campfires, lizards etc.
  2. How did you acquire this fear? – While boating, camping etc.
  3. How do you deal with this fear? – Counting down, closing eyes, thinking about something else etc.
  4. How long have you had this fear? – Since you were born, After an incident etc.
  5. What have you done to try and overcome this fear? – Gone boating, Made a campfire etc.

Choosing contextual vocabulary to suit the scenario you’re talking about can be very important when it comes to giving depth and clarity to what you’re trying to say, as well as piquing your partner’s attention. In this case, you’re talking about your fears.

Listed below are a few words and phrases that could come in handy while elaborating on the topic.

  1. Phobia
  2. Help
  3. Mind
  4. Situation
  5. Society
  6. Social stigma
  7. Medication
  8. Counselling
  9. Advice
  10. Awareness
  11. Assistance
  12. Anxiety
  13. Mental health
  14. Nervousness
  15. Experience

Similarly. given below are a few descriptive words and phrases that you could use to make your conversation more interesting!

  1. Diverse phobias
  2. Essential help
  3. Clear mind
  4. Urgent situation
  5. Accepting society
  6. Ignorant social stigma
  7. Medication for treatment
  8. Therapeutic counselling
  9. Helpful advice
  10. Spreading awareness
  11. Professional assistance
  12. Aggravated anxiety
  13. Mental health problems
  14. Extreme nervousness
  15. Situational experiences

Initiate the conversation by stating your fear.

I am extremely afraid of boats and ships

Talk about how you developed this fear

  1. I was born with a fear of spiders.
  2. I went boating with my dad once, and fell into the river. I almost drowned, I’ve been afraid of boats and water ever since.
  3. When I was a child, I tried paragliding with my cousins. It was really fun but then my straps broke and my parachute wasn’t working. Luckily I landed on a trampoline and was relatively unharmed. I’ve been scared of heights ever since.
  4. Closed spaces make me nervous. Especially elevators, I underwent a traumatic experience in an elevator in my teens.
  5. I went on a jungle safari in Africa with my extended family. It was really exciting, but a snake almost bit me. After that I developed a phobia for snakes.

Conclude by talking about how you would deal with this fear

  1. I count to ten slowly in my head.
  2. I close my eyes and pretend I am somewhere else.
  3. I listen to relaxing music.
  4. I stare at one fixed spot and focus all my attention on it.
  5. I get the support of whoever is with me at the time.

A model answer would be as follows

I am very afraid of heights. It’s my biggest phobia. When I was a child, I tried paragliding with my cousins. It was really fun but then my straps broke and my parachute wasn’t working. Luckily I landed on a trampoline and was relatively unharmed. I’ve been scared of heights ever since. Whenever I’m in a place at a high altitude, I close my eyes and try to count to ten. It helps me calm myself and slow my breathing. If that doesn’t work, I pretend I’m somewhere else, in a nice flat low-lying area. That usually does the trick!

Karen Niroshana

Author Karen Niroshana

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