Fear of flying and shame, or «I’m ashamed of my fear»

15/07 Fear of flying and shame, or «I’m ashamed of my fear»

Today we’ll talk about a widespread type of aerophobia. It is called – «I am ashamed of my behavior».

Here is an excerpt of a letter written by an aerophobe:

«I think the thing that worries me the most is my behavior and how terrified I would be in case of getting into the aircraft crash”.

Can you see in these words a mistake in the way of thinking? Most people, who are NOT prone to an aerophobia, can see it with half an eye.

The NOT phobic reaction is: «who the hell will care about my behavior if it is the end». Many anxious travelers, whose root of the problem is somewhat different, will react in the same manner.

But for many people suffering from fear of flying this way of thinking is understandable and reasonable. Why?

The point is that any phobia is usually rooted in early childhood. Some parents, by the reason of their own suspiciousness and obsession about «how do they look in the eyes of others», «what will people say» and so on, – these people instill in their children wrong understanding of importance.

In case of phobia this mistake manifests itself in a hypertrophied form. A child grows up and starts seeing the critical importance in absolute and constant control over himself, his behavior and emotions.

The parents’ reproaches, such as «behave yourself, I’m ashamed for you» are already recorded at the back of mind. The child’s mind knows that the parental love (and therefore safety) is being given only in case of «good behavior», and «not making the parents be ashamed for you». Therefore if «you misbehave», or «make your parents being ashamed for you» — there will be no safety.

And if there is no safety, you’re scared. And if you’re scared, you’re ashamed. «If nobody is scared, you shouldn’t be either». It’s like an endless circle.

Every day we get a lot of calls and letters. People write «I’m not going to take the courses, what can you tell me that I don’t already know? That a plane is the safest mode of transport? Or about how does it fly? I already know about it, but it doesn’t help me». As seen from today’s topic, which is actually irrelevant to the subject of planes, the knowledge about aviation and aerodynamics is only a tiny part of matters, with which we’re dealing during the courses.

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