Xenophobia - Definitions you find online describe it as "The fear of the unknown." It's derived from the Greek word "Xenos," meaning stranger or foreigner. I have faced this phobia for years now. With babies, you find that they often have stranger anxiety for the first two years of their life, peaking from six to twelve months, although it is usually overcome at two years old, as I just mentioned. I am twelve years overdue to overcoming this obstacle. But my phobia works in a weird way. I am scared to be around my family.
I come from an Arab descent, and know Arabic. But I struggle to speak it, and feel embarrassed by my lack of an accent. My parents somehow think that I can grow an accent and speaking vocabulary overnight though, so the pressure only increases my fear. What if I say something wrong? Will my relatives, you have a reputation for gossiping, somehow turn this into a story that will only upset me? Or just laugh at my sentence, right or wrong? The strangers are usually English speakers looking for a conversation or friend, both of which I like and prefer to be in an English speaking environment, since it's my stronger language.
Again, xenophobia is the fear of the unknown. I'm scared of being ridiculed more than I already am, making my family feel like strangers. Maybe they won't make fun of me, but that's the problem. After so many years of it, I am in the doubt of that, in the unknown. Any help on getting over the fear?
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