of these look familiar? Until in
true (vs. pseudo) wound-recovery, habitual fear-protections like these tend to reinforce each other
- e.g. "I feel stupid and guilty for catastrophizing all the time,
so I minimize my
worries, don't think about them, 'keep busy,' and I don't tell other people how uneasy I
am most of the time. I know I shouldn't do these things so much, but I can't
When your true Self is steadily
admit fears promptly,
without guilt or shame;
decide what s/he (you)
needs to do abut them and...
what resources you need,
proactively and patiently
fill your needs so fears subside to normal levels.
S/He will also find ways to
rescue scared subselves who live in the past, and use
to help manage significant fears.
How can you tell if your fears are
of Excessive Fears
Dominance of over-fearful subselves causes
common thoughts, feelings and behaviors. The behaviors are
by other psychological wounds. See which of these may feel familiar in you or
someone you know...
1) Over-avoidance of
My partner and I never fight!
pleasing, helping, and/or
rescuing key adults and kids.
Freezing, panicking, exploding, fleeing, or aggressing when others show
4) Equating a raised or intense voice
angry face with
You're yelling at me.
rationalizing and tolerating toxic
(controlling, shaming, hurtful) relationships.
Habitual black/white (bi-polar)
thinking, and/or major discomfort with ambivalence and uncertainty.
anxiety ("worry") over crying or raging.
apologizing (also a symptom of excessive shame).
_ 10) Often walking on eggshells
with key people, and doing nothing about it.
More common symptoms of excessive
and opinions, saying no, or confronting self or others - i.e.
and enforcing appropriate personal
Identifying with or vehemently denying
codependence (also an excessive-shame symptom).
_ 13) Compulsively choosing
approach-avoid or no relationships, despite painful outcomes.
_ 14) Automatically
(numbing) and/or withholding (not expressing) some
or most emotions.
A notable compulsion to
control people, events, perceptions, and/or feelings;
excessive preoccupation with “what if…”.
_ 16) Major discomfort with changing beliefs, behaviors, and/or surroundings (taking
risks); Living an overly-structured, ritualized life; never
going out or traveling.
(wounded) partners and associates, and complaining
denying it or "not noticing" it.
_ 18) Compulsively
truth or lying directly or by omission, and denying it.
_ 19) A history of relationship
cutoffs and failures," including
_ 20) An obsessive need for
lists and clear rules
and plans,” and predicting the future
_ 21) Avoidance of, or inability to tolerate,
emotional and physical intimacy.
_ 22) Avoidance of, or
about, personal commitment.
_ 23) Smiling and/or chuckling
(double messages) when scared, confused, hurting, or
_ 24) Frequent inability to describe current feelings (emotions
and/or body sensations).
Computing what I (should)
feel now vs. spontaneously feeling.
_ 26) Excessive
procrastination and/or being
chronically late, and
claiming "I can't help it"
_ 27) Chronic facial tics; jaw grinding; and/or
muscle, head, or stomach aches or pains.
_ 28) Always being
analytic, intellectual, and in my head.
_ 29) Being unable to describe clearly what I
(don't) like and/or need.
_ 30) Feeling or showing no appropriate shock, anger, and sadness
(grief) over major physical or
abstract losses (also a symptom of
_ 31) Frequently not breathing (breathing
shallowly), and being unaware of that until someone points it out. A related
symptom is frequent use of
tobacco, which reduces oxygen-absorption and mutes feeling emotions like
anxiety or fear.
_ 32) Never arguing,
getting angry or upset, or showing strong emotions without major
anxiety, guilt, and repetitive apologizing.
_ 33) Usually having an expressionless face, a
"frozen" body," and/or a "flat" voice.
_ 34) Periodic
"depressions" and/or uncontrollable rage or weeping attacks, despite painful personal
consequences - including post-attack shame (embarrassment), guilt, and/or fear of losing control again.
_ 35) Frequent
catastrophizing - focusing on the worst possible outcomes of human or Natural
having a steady cynical, skeptical, pessimistic view of life.
_ 36) Stubbornly justifying or denying avoidance of appropriate
professional medical, spiritual, and psychological help in person or in the
media (self neglect)
- also a symptom of excessive shame).
These are typical behavioral symptoms
of excessive subself fears. Do you see yourself or someone else here? Reflect for a moment on your favorite
fears. How have they been shaping your relationships, finances, occupation,
and health? Try completing this sentence repeatedly until you run out of
The more of these fear-traits you or
someone has, the higher the odds
you or s/he is dominated by a well-meaning
this is one of several psychological-wound-assessment checklists.
If you or another has "too many" of these 36 symptoms "too often" (a subjective
opinion), what can you do to reduce them and grow more
serene, and productive?
Catastrophizer, Worrier, and
often keep your insecure
(untrusting) subselves anxious. A creative Magician subself may help by
protectively distorting reality, and a
Numb-er who mutes or anesthetizes
"unsafe" emotions. Often the
Inner Critic heaps scorn on other subselves for
"being a wimp / scaredy cat / doormat / coward / lily-livered / "weak"
/ yellow / timid…", which inexorably nourishes
Inner Kids' excessive guilt and shame.
People who choose to reorganize their
personality subselves under the
leadership of their
(capital "S") can work patiently toward targets like these...
Adopt the attitude that like all
emotions, anxiety and fear are
useful (vs. positive
or negative) responses.
Identify your current
significant and/or chronic anxieties
and fears, Decide which you can and can't
and use this
awareness to fill your current needs.
Learn to recognize...
surface symptoms that
indicate repressed fear (e.g. those above),
the difference between health-promoting and
toxic anxiety and fear.
Investigate possible connections between terrified
Inner Kids and their Guardian subselves and any chronic physical
symptoms you experience - e.g. cramps, muscular tics or spasms, migraines,
asthma, insomnia, "digestive problems," ulcers, … Isolated or mute
subselves can promote such symptoms in a desperate attempt to be noticed
and comforted. For perspective, read
this brief research summary
health risks from "chronic anxiety;"
Tailor this parts-work strategy
for reducing excessive or chronic anxiety and fear to fit your situation
and apply these options for building
here - specially Part 3,