Why Is Change So Scary?
Hello Everyone! Hope you are all having an awesome day! Today I wanted to talk to you about change. I'm sure everyone can relate when I say the word change. We have all experienced some sort of change in our lives. Some people have experienced larger or more significant changes than others. This can be the change from primary school to secondary school or maybe something much bigger. Anyway, my point is that change is something we can all relate to, we can't avoid it because it's just another part of life. However, at times it can seem very scary and I want to know why it makes us sick to our stomachs.
Before we jump in to this, what exactly is change? Well, according to the Oxford Dictionary:
verb: change; 3rd person present: changes; past tense: changed; past participle: changed; gerund or present participle: changing
- 1.make or become different."a proposal to change the law"
- 2.take or use another instead of."she decided to change her name"
You may be wondering why I decided to create a blog post for such a deep topic. Well, if you are then it's story time. If you aren't then oh well because this next bit is very significant to this post and may help tie things together for you. So whether you want a story or not, I'm going to tell you one anyway:
Yesterday evening my cousins who are currently staying at my grandmother's house (which is just slightly down the road) came over along with their parents, my aunt and uncle, and my grandmother. They are over from Scotland for the summer so we had invited them round for dinner.
We ate in a separate room from the adults because there wasn't enough room. Throughout dinner my oldest cousin Harry* kept asking me about the school system over here and the difference between it and the Scottish one. I answered all his questions, and explained everything he wanted explained. "So, I would be in what year if I went to school here?" he asked.
"Well, you are a year younger than me so you would be going into year 10 (third year) if you went to school over here," I replied.
"What about me?" asked Harry's younger brother Charlie*.
"You would be in year 9 (second year) if you went to school over here," I answered.
"What about George*?" enquired Charlie looking over at his younger brother.
"You are nearly seven aren't you, George?" I asked. George nodded.
"Alright," I said, "George you would be going into Primary 4."
"Oh right!" exclaimed Harry, " So although I would only be going in to second year in Scotland, I would actually be going into third year over here?"
"Yes," I replied.
I failed to notice anything unusual about these questions or the sudden interest they had in my school life. However, later on I found out the reason for their interest. After a big announcement, that involved everyone gathering in the TV room, we were told that they were moving. Due to their Dad's new job they had to either move here or to Glasgow. They didn't know anyone in Glasgow, but pretty much all their cousins lived over here so they decided that here would be the best place. We were the first cousins they had told and they were anxious to see our reaction. We were thrilled, of course and very excited.
The rest of the evening was spent with everyone quite spread out. The adults went back to the room they had been occupying before the announcement. My brother, sister and George went to play on the Xbox, while Harry, Charlie and I watched a movie. Harry occasionally telling me how weird it was that they were moving over here.
I found out later that they had only found out about the move about an hour before they came round for dinner. Harry hadn't been happy with the idea and I understood why. I couldn't do it myself, leave everything behind. They now had to leave the little town in Scotland which all three of them had been born in and no doubt each knew like the back of their hand. They were leaving that to move across the sea to a huge city that despite the fact they came over annually to visit they barely knew anything about. They were leaving all their friends, everyone they knew!
So this is an example of a big change one which must seem very scary for my cousins, but why.
1. Fear of the Unknown: Well, as they say, "The oldest and strongest emotion of mankind is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is the fear of the unknown." As human beings we do not like any nasty, unexpected surprises, that may be why the unknown is so utterly scary to us. This form of fear ties in very well with the 'fear of the new or different' because we don't know that much about what we are dealing with. When moving to a new school, for example, there are a lot of questions that we ask ourselves such as 'Will everyone like me?' or 'What if no one talks to me?' The important thing is not to think about all that. Don't let it get in your head, especially the 'what if ' questions. The 'what ifs' are the worst as your mind is contemplating the worst possible things that could happen. Then fear kicks in and makes you scared of the change in you life that is happening.
2. Unexpected: Some changes comes out of nowhere and are therefore unexpected. You haven't had time to think things through properly and you have therefore made a poor decision. Or worse, just like my cousins you didn't get a say. That was it, it was all decided for you by someone else or by life. When change comes out of the blue you have less time to mentally prep yourself for it and this makes it harder to adapt to the change.
3. Can We Cope With It: This is very important, if our mind thinks we can cope and quickly adapt to this new change then it won't be that big of a deal. The easier it is to cope with a particular change, the less scary it will be. If we feel like it is too much for us to handle our mind will begin to fear the worse.
How to Face Change
Fear is all mental and the way to overcome it is to accept and acknowledge your fears, you can then work on tackling them. Ask yourself "What is scaring me?" "What are the consequences I am fearing?" "What is the best way to help deal with this change?" "Who can I rely on to help me?" The thing about change is that once you are aware of it you can't pretend it is not going to happen. Instead look at ways that will make the change easier to cope with. Depending on the change, see if it is avoidable. The change for my cousins is unavoidable therefore the best thing for them to do is to prepare for it.
Well guys I'm no expert on change that is just my understanding of it, however if it helped you in any way then that's great! Sorry that this was such a long post I just thought it was necessary because it is relevant for everyone at some point in their lives
* = all names were changed for privacy purposes, and yes I am aware that the names I changed them too are characters in Harry Potter! ;)