I wanted to see how different people would respond to the same question. So, I asked some of my friends of different ages and backgrounds one question over text and recorded their answers anonymously. The question I asked everyone was: “What is your biggest fear?” These were their answers.
“My biggest fear is falling in love. It seems kinda sad, but I have seen it fail many times. I have also been hurt a few times. We live in a society where romance is seen as something that we need to have to have a happy life. With the religion that I was born into, we are supposed to “love thy neighbor”, yet when it comes to the same sex falling in love it’s a problem. Falling in love seems so scary because you have to give yourself fully to someone, yet they can leave at any moment or take advantage of it.”
“One of my biggest fears is the unknown and the uncertainty of all situations. I hate not having a plan, or not knowing what to expect. I like to be prepared at all times, and I like consistency. When something does not follow a specific path, I get scared because I fear for the worst. I know that it is just cognitive distortion, but it causes a rush of anxiety over me.”
“One of my biggest fears in life is feeling trapped. I hate being in situations where I feel like there is no way out. My whole life, I have avoided situations where I might end up in a place where I didn’t have any control of the situation around me. This has always applied to physically being trapped, but it includes other things like being trapped in conversations, my own body, and in relationships. My fear of being trapped in relationships manifested into my fear of intimacy and commitment. It is hard for me to commit to things knowing that I could be trapped with no way out.”
“As a person in the creative field, my biggest fear is that people will not appreciate my work. Being a writer, filmmaker, graphic designer, and social media project maker, I want my work to be seen. I have spent countless hours perfecting my craft, and I fear it could all go to waste from the naysayers who are opposed to my work. Sometimes criticism can be spiteful. Being a creative person has made me realize how cruel the world can be.”
“My biggest fear is disappointing the people I love. I grew up being known as "the mature kid,” the one adults could rely on to do the right thing. I loved the praise, but always feared that I would mess up and lose the respect that had always defined me. Even now, I fear that being anything less than perfect will drive away the people I care about most, or change the way they think about me. I want to be the person everyone believes me to be, but I worry that if I can't be that person the people around me will leave.”
“My biggest fear is not finding love and dying alone. I was raised on Disney as a kid and saw my favorite characters have their “happily ever afters,” and I always was afraid I was never going to find mine. Dying alone with no one by your side is a very scary thought to think of. I saw it happen with my grandfather as my grandmother passed when I was a child. He had no love by his side as he passed last November, and I can’t imagine being in his position. I am luckily in the most amazing relationship right now, and I’m pretty sure I am going to marry him, but for my entire life my biggest fear was not finding love, not having my forever, and/or dying alone.”
“My biggest fear is that I will lose everyone around me and that I will be alone. I fear being abandoned and losing those that I care about and love. To some, this may seem improbable, however, I have been abandoned, manipulated, abused, and been isolated my whole life. I trust very few people and when I do, I always have that fear that they may leave me or that they don’t truly love me. To deal with things, I have had to form a mask and hide parts of myself from others, so once the mask is removed, I know there is a chance they might not like who I truly am. Having insecurities about your relationships with people, abandonment issues, and rejection sensitivity is really hard and causes me to fear losing everyone I hold dear.”
“My biggest fear is having something happen to my loved ones and I can’t save them. My Mom, Dad, brother, and closest family and friends are most important to me. Without those people, I’m not sure where or who I’d be. They have helped me grow into who I am, and I cannot thank them enough. I enjoy helping others, so when I see someone in pain, whether emotional or physical, I always try to help. When I’m in a situation where I can’t do that, especially if it involves my loved ones, it breaks me. I can’t fathom ever seeing someone I love in pain, especially if it is life threatening. I have other fears, like tsunamis and sharks, but the thought of seeing someone I love in serious pain hurts more than if I myself was in pain.”
After doing this I realized how different we all are. We all have different beliefs and fears about life. Getting to see how my friends answered this question gave me an insight into the different things that motivate our hopes and fears. I knew going in that people would have different answers, but it was still interesting to see the variety in their responses. Since I knew all the people I asked, I was able to look at each person's answer and really see how their unique personalities shone through.