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Fear and guilt - the emotions that come with the festive season

20 December 2014, 17:46

Fear and guilt are two emotions that can come to the fore during the Festive Season. As we are not born feeling certain guilt or fears:

How to face a social acquired fear and dissolve it:

Fear is an assumption that you are about to experience through your senses in the future more pain than pleasure, more risks than rewards, more drawbacks than benefits and more losses than gains from someone or yourself.

During the Festive Season, a fear of certain social situations can become a common emotion, even though this is supposedly a time of celebration, a joyous time when people are to relax after a hard year and take part in Christmas festivities.

However, those who are not comfortable in social situations may fear the close social intimacy involved at this time of the year.

Just the opposite of social intimacy, loneliness, is another prominent fear that can occur at this time of the year, when most people are spending precious time with their loved ones.

Those who are unable to spend the Festive Season with family, and those who do not have family to spend this festive time with, may experience the fear of being alone.

 To dissolve fear of an assumed worst case holiday social scenario:

1: Strategise how you might reduce the probability of the feared event from even happening.

2: Set up contingency plans on how to act wisely if they do happen instead of reacting.

3: Review the benefits gained from any previous time either of the fears occurred.

4: Identify at least seven benefits or opportunities that would also probably emerge in the social intimacy situation or when you’re feeling socially alone.

Once the actual or potential benefits are equal or more than the assumed drawbacks the feeling of fear dissolves.

Getting over guilt at Christmas

Guilt is another major emotion at this time of the year. I define guilt as an assumption that you have caused with your actions in the past more pain than pleasure, more risks than rewards, more drawbacks than benefits and more losses than gains to someone or yourself.

Perhaps you are feeling guilt because you are trying to divide your time between loved ones. Maybe it’s for another reason altogether: the Festive Season is often a time of excess, whether it’s spending too much money on gifts, or indulging yourself with good food and drink.

To dissolve guilt of an assumed previous action

1: Identify at least seven benefits or opportunities to the affected parties involved that emerged when the actions or inactions leading to the feeling of guilt occurred.

2: Review the benefits gained to any previous parties involved from any previous times the actions or inactions occurred.

3. Identify alternative actions under similar future scenarios to allow for alternative and possibly more moderate responses in the future.

4. Ask any affected parties involved what you can do to either compensate for any misperceived grievances or have them realize the benefits or opportunities that are occurring, or will likely occur.

Remember, it’s important to honour the unique way in which you perceive a situation and act upon it. It’s also important to see both sides. Every crisis has an opportunity.

When you take action, and balance out the perceptual equation most fear and guilt will fade.

- Women24

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