Irrational fear of authority | INFJ Forum

Irrational fear of authority

Discussion in 'The INFJ Typology' started by SpaceCowgirl, Mar 23, 2010.

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  1. SpaceCowgirl

    SpaceCowgirl vanilla cat

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    So I have always had this fear of people in a position of power. But not because I think they are bad people or out to get me, just when they talk to me I assume I have done something wrong. As a kid I was terrified when I got called down to the principals office even though it was NEVER because I was in trouble and I never had any reason to believe so. Even with my parents I would be nervous when theyed take me aside to talk to me even if I hadn't done anything wrong. Needless to say I'm also afraid of authority when I have done something wrong but that goes for most people I'm sure.

    Does anybody have this or have you at any point in your life?
     
  2. randomsomeone

    randomsomeone Well-known member

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    I think everybody has this at some point. I still distrust authority a bit because not everybody handles it so well. Even so, I realized some years ago that it was not so much that I didn't like authority, but that I really, really thrive in the arena of collaborative efforts. When authority serves an appropriate role on a team made up of other competent people...well that's just fine with me.
     
  3. Tzimzai

    Tzimzai Mildly Misanthropic
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    I don't think the fear is irrational. People with authority can make your life miserable just because they think they know what is best for you. I think it is perfectly rational to fear having control over yourself taken away from you. People with authority often try to exert it.
     
  4. Peppermint

    Peppermint Well-known member

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    #4 Peppermint, Mar 23, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
  5. Soulful

    Soulful life is good

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    Yep, I know (I think) exactly what you mean. I used to feel that way too. For example, I used to feel extremely nervous walking through security detectors at a store, even though I've never shoplifted. I'd feel nervous that it would beep and I would somehow "get in trouble" even if I hadn't purchased anything and walked out empty handed! Same thing would happen with other authority 'figures', real (people) or otherwise.

    Over the years I've begun to feel more comfortable and am able to talk myself down from it quite a bit. I think for me it came with feeling more confident and secure in my rights as a person and hence feeling that I am not inferior or a secondary person to those in authority. I know what I do, I know what the laws or expectations are, I'm fortunate to live in a democratic society and interact with people who tend to abide by these principles, so if I haven't broken any rules then I decide that I'm all right.
     
    #5 Soulful, Mar 23, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2010
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  6. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    I have struggled with this for years, and I have typed as 6 on enneagram of personality before now (during times of great stress). As soulful indicates though, it does get easier as the years go by and as I grow into myself, and away from the authority figures who used to tyranise me, and who triggered my phobic behaviour patterns.
    I begin to accept myself, as I am, and redefine myself according to my own truth, rather than the judgements and projections of others, and so the power of those in authority affects me less, as I realise that their authority impacts only on certain external factors in my life, and not the real me - the me inside.
     
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  7. TinyBubbles

    TinyBubbles anarchist

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    I think everyone's afraid of authorities to some extent, and it's hardly surprising, considering that we're born and grow up in a society where people are constantly telling us what to do, and inflicting punishments when we don't. All that negative conditioning has to leave some impression.

    I've read several studies that state our fear of speaking out against authorities can overwhelm our basic moral integrity. For example, when questioned individually, people would say it's wrong to steal, but situate those same people in a gang situation where there are clear leaders who support (and enforce) the idea that stealing is fine and even encouraged, and it's much, much less likely that those people will speak out and defend their moral viewpoint. They'd probably go along with the group.

    For me personally, I don't really fear authorities unless I feel I've done something wrong (then the fear can paralyze me), but often I feel annoyed that they have this control over me. I'd much rather there be an equal platform upon which we can all mutually agree to a decision, rather than having one person make all the choices, which would affect everyone. I want to have a say in what happens, you know? Otherwise you're having your life led for you. Although I suppose in some situations, when one person really is more experienced and knowledgeable or for whatever other reason more suited to the role of decision maker, it makes sense (and would be quicker) to designate them a leader, than to go the alternative route and propose a group consensus.
    Hehe, kind of like the difference between a autocracy and a democracy, isn't it?
     
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  8. Norton

    Norton XXXX

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    Sorry to say this, but wait until you start paying taxes! That's fear of authority, authority personified, because it really costs you. I just delivered all my 2009 stuff to my accountant. Not a lot of fun!
     
  9. christmas

    christmas is such a boss bitch.
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    LOL! I'm a 6 too!

    I rarely trust authority. The one time I got pulled over for rolling a stop sign, I was such a bitch to the police officer. He let me go with a warning. I felt sooooo bad. I don't roll stop signs anymore.
     
  10. Kavalan

    Kavalan Has risen

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    I've only have issues with police and have had 4 runins with them. Of those time one I was in the wrong and three of the four times they were complete asshats...
     
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  11. emmly

    emmly Community Member

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    I don't think I've ever been consciously afraid of authority, in fact, I find that most authority figures just irritates me. I refuse to accept a person's authority over me unless I feel they have earned it.
     
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  12. Morgain

    Morgain defective wisdom
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    this is a great post!

    I'm also terrifed with authority If I let myself slip. Being affraid going through metal detectors on the airport, getting a repremande from my parents, or even just walking out a store without having purchased anything...

    What I also concider as authority are the popular people, the leaders of the group, whether in high school or at work. It seems that I never dare to talk to popular people. I think I want them to know as little as possible about me because if they think ill of me, I'm affraid they will start gossiping and I'll and up alone. When that do happen, I get very phobic!!!

    but as Elf said, it helps when you feel more confident about yourself. The more you accept yourself as who you are the less influence these people will have on you. Because indeed, they may tread you ill or say that you suck, but it is there image of you and in the end it doesn't matter what they think. As long as you stick to yourself, they can't affect the real you!
     
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    #12 Morgain, Mar 24, 2010
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2010
  13. OP
    SpaceCowgirl

    SpaceCowgirl vanilla cat

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    hahaha oh gawd :m100:

    thanks all for responding! There is some interesting stuff here. And soulfull, elf, christmas, morgain is somehow comforting to know other people struggle with the same thing. I think your right becoming comfortable with yourself is the key. If I know that I'm not doing anything really wrong and not hurting anyone then its no big deal. Man I wish I could get this through my head.
     
  14. muir

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    Fear of authority is natural because we instinctively know it is wrong for people to exercise control over us.

    We should listen to people we respect, not people we fear

    Power should rest with the people and if it doesn't then inevitably people will be exploited
     
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  15. DoveAlexa

    DoveAlexa Chaz's Lovey Bunny
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    I had this problem for a while, but when it was in certain social groups, I found myself rather attracted to a man in power/leadership just because of the leadership. Though mostly I'm the same as you guys, including the bizarre leaving a store without buying crap.

    Recently though, I got a bit lucky. I got abused and otherwise treated unfairly by my bosses where I work, to the point where I lost my preferred shift over no fault of my own (they made it seem so, to hide the fact that they were getting rid of night crew since we were to expensive, but I was told soon after.) an now my bosses won't barely tell me to do anything now.
    I even think my one boss is scared of me. I find it refreshing. I tend to seem very intense and powerful at work, cause I put on my "work face".
     
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  16. Bored Now

    On Holiday

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    I don't have an irrational fear of authority, though I have an irrational mistrust of authority. If I respect the person in authority,I'm fine. i keep my mouth shut and try to see what I can learn from you. But if I have any reason to doubt either the authority figures motivations or qualifications, I'm going to openly question why they believe I should respect their authority.There was a teacher who didn't find this quirk of mine particularly endearing in high school.Heh.Good Times.
     
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  17. emmly

    emmly Community Member

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    ^^ This. Same deal with the teacher, too... Haha, that was a fun time. :mjedib:
     
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  18. Korg

    Korg ▄ ▄

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    An irrational fear? No. An irrational resistance? Sure.

    I don't like the idea that authority figures will leech ego fulfillment from me (aka: narcissistic supply) by observing me act in accordance with their demands. Generally speaking, hierarchical power structures trigger negative thoughts and feelings in me and I can be quite childish about them. It's probably due to a fair amount of projection on my part, to be honest.
     
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  19. fatkattykat

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    I have wondered about having an irrational fear of authority myself. It is not that fear the person so much as the kind of power they have. Sometimes they are professors...because if they don't like you, they can fail you out of a program you have worked so hard for. Other times they are bosses because I live in an at-will state and I have seen people get fired just for looking at a boss the wrong way. I very much a 6 in lots of ways and fear that loss of financial security. Typically, if the authority figure is genial and makes me feel at ease, then the intimidation goes away, but if they have this "I am out to get you" or "I am better than you because I am in X position" vibe (i.e. ESTJ's), I do get intimidated. Of course, my fear of these people is not synonymous with respect; I just do what they ask and deal with it so I can complete my goals (complete my education and have a financially secure life), unless their treatment of me is outright unacceptable.

    I usually do not get intimidated by law enforcement, IRS, airport security because as long as I am a lawful citizen, I know I won't have a problem with them. It is people who can literally change the outcome of my life for sometimes completely subjective reasons that I fear the most.
     
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  20. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    I notice it from "the other side" - about 30% of the people I have authority over seem to have an irrational fear of me.

    What is worse, the more I try to ease or calm those fears, the more they seem to suspect that I am about to haul them over the coals for no reason. I don't think it is because they have something of "guilty conscience" and that I am going to "find them out" and punish them. I think that it must be because some people's early significant experiences of authority was not a good experience.
     
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