A Culture of Fear

Trying to understand the nuances of foreign cultures can be fascinating and sometimes a bit confusing. We often find ourselves saying, "Why do they do that?" or "That's crazy people live so differently." Falling prey to our ethnocentric perspectives, we sometimes wonder how being different could possibly be better or more desirable than the social norms we are used to. 

When I contemplate my own perspectives or experiences, I have to admit that changing any of them can be difficult. Sometimes, myself included, we forget that our own social norms can often be improved, altered, or even scrapped altogether. 

For example, consider three main life events many people experience: buying a house, getting married, and having children. All three of these life moments have a startling connection. They are built underneath a culture of fear. 

When a couple becomes married, it's typical to hear throwaway phrases, such as: "oh you just wait - the honeymoon phase ends," "marriage is tough and a lot of work, it won't be the same after a few years," or even "when you've been married as long as I have, you'll get it." 

When a person(s) decide to have a child, it's typical to be cautioned. Often we hear comments, such as: "don't do it, you won't have a personal life anymore," "prepare to not sleep for the next eighteen years," "you'll always be broke, college is expensive!" or even the opposite. When a person(s) express a lack of interest in having children, they're warned how much they'll regret it, or even boldly stating you'll change your mind. 

When someone considers buying a house, they are warned about defaulting on a mortgage, how expensive maintenance is, the risk of bankruptcy, a thirty-year commitment, the difficulty of being homeowners, or even how it would be foolish to purchase a home independently. 

Oftentimes, people may think they're giving you a warning about how much you're getting into or to be prepared for misery or even failure. But I can't help but wonder why. What purpose does throwing worst-case scenario to the top of the conversation and leave the positive aspects firmly at the bottom even have? Many people experience one or all of the life moments listed above as a positive and rewarding experience, so why do the negative aspects dominate the conversation? 

Because we live in a culture of fear. Spending our time worrying about how bad a situation may become completely overshadows the positive elements woven into the experiences. How we respond to adversity is a personal choice. I once read a great quote that has strongly influenced my outlook on life. It goes, "The way they treat me is their journey; the way I respond is mine." The same philosophy can be applied to those pivotal moments in life that can include challenging times. If you purchase a house and some issue comes up, how you respond will determine your experience. 

Let's say your sink is leaking in the kitchen. Before getting upset about the repair, worrying about the cost, or even feeling overwhelmed that you need to find a solution, consider your options. You can use it as a learning opportunity by hopping on YouTube to see if the repair is something you could handle yourself. Next, you could research repair personal and the associated cost. Either route you go, you will have the chance to learn. Ask the repairman why this happened, if it could occur again, and if personnel has any tips or tricks to spot a needed repair before it causes damage. If you go this route, you won't be as upset. Because you were able to learn from the situation, you were able to not react simply because it happened. The culture of fear that surrounds many moments in life can cause us to panic, to think we have made a mistake if something goes wrong. Letting outside negative influences permeate your life experiences can be easy, but there are ways to learn how to respond to a situation rather than react. Once you regain control of the problem, the power of fear is significantly lessened. 

From someone else's perspective, the fear may be hard to understand, but that doesn't mean it isn't real to you. If you've wanted to buy a house, townhouse, or condo but you're afraid of the process or any potential consequences, let us help you. We can help you respond and not react to any trying situations we encounter during your home buying/selling partnership. The Advisory Realty Group values education, understanding, transparency, and client resources so you can feel comfortable navigating situations that might stressful for you. Don't let the culture of fear hold you back. In my experience, when people are in the process of growth or change, it can feel overwhelming and stressful. However, I've learned that the prize on the other side of fear is understanding and the comfort that with the proper support, almost everything is possible.


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