Anxiety · Personal

I’m Scared, Apparently – How We Use Our Words

My partner told his nephew that I was anxious (our visitor who is staying with us from Europe) but apparently it came out in translation as me being “scared.” He said he didn’t really know the corresponding word but figure that “scared” was good enough. I really hope he made it clear that I’m not “scared” all the time, otherwise I feel a little foolish.

Isn’t that funny how if you change the word of emotions you experience that the meaning can change so drastically. I mean, I think I am less offended to wear the label “anxious” however “scared” seems a little too silly – but if you think about it, those words express the same thing, right? Anxious MEANS I’m scared and scared may MEAN I’m anxious.


You know what? I think in some ways using the word “anxiety” and “anxious” takes the responsibility away from me.

If I say “I’m anxious” it’s almost as if I’m saying “something else is causing this uncomfortable sensation within me, therefor it is not my fault and I don’t have to do anything – it’s the situation that has to change.”

However, if I say, “I’m scared” I am saying “there is literally something happening right now that is scaring me because of my own beliefs and how I feel about it.”

I know that a lot of people reading this may not be following my stream of thought, but I’m discovering more and more that if I change how I view myself and situations that scare me the less and less I actually feel anxious. Perhaps if I now use the word “scared” to describe how I’m feeling it will constantly remind me that it’s my decision how I intend to deal with whatever situation I find myself in.

Don’t get me wrong, I know anxiety is far more complex than two little describing words. There are so many personal experiences and thoughts at play that what works for one person may not work for another.

I’m just wondering if perhaps now the word “anxiety” has become way too loaded with meaning, with experience, with unpleasantness. I’m thinking that now I should rename it to something less threatening; something that makes me laugh a little when I think about it.Perhaps I should call it “foogle” or something with an “ogle” at the end…

“I am feeling foogle.”

Saying it out loud makes me laugh.

What’s your relationship like with the word anxiety? Does it carry lots of meaning and feel so weighted? Do you think you should rename it too?

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