Fear Of People: A Cultural Perspective

Many would fear spiders, ants, flying and even dogs. However, there are some people who have anthropophobia or the fear of people. People who have this phobia fear of having interpersonal relationships and thus tend to isolate themselves.

The main characteristics of this people are being too timid, shy or cannot stand gazing at others. Most of the time, people who have this phobia will also feel terror by performing in front of people or even having communication with them.

peopleHowever, there is a notion that this fear of people may somehow be cultural. The reason for this notion is because most people who have this is not found in Japan. Thus, the interpretation of this phobia differs from the western perspective of America and Japan.

Anthrophobia is not that dominant among Americans or in the American culture. Hence, the detailed definition of this phobia is not found in the DSM IV. The DSM IV is a document where the criteria of psychological or mental disorders are found. So, anthropophobia can just be defined as another form of social phobia. If you will also take a look, this phobia defined in western perspective is the fear of embarrassing oneself or being criticized negatively by other people.

Taijin kyofusho, Japanese culture’s form of anthropophobia, is very prevalent in this country. This is the reason why this fear is considered as culture-specific among Japanese. The Japanese perspective of this phobia is that they are scared of any harm that they can cause others. So, instead of thinking about themselves, they avoid interpersonal relationships because they might offend or hurt them in the process. Just the same, they would rather isolate themselves than try to mingle with others.

As of current times, it is still being discussed whether it is culture-specific or not. However, the only thing that is established is that fear of people can be very detrimental on how people will go about their daily activities and thus affect their success and productivity.

Get help to overcome your fear of people here.