FEAR AND JOY PAIRING

Fear and Joy Pairing

A. What is Fear and Joy Pairing?

Fear and Joy Pairing means the process of selecting the most effective Joy to reduce a particular Fear.   It is called pairing because the wine industry has done a spectacular job in helping people choose the right wine for the pallet for each type of food.  

Pairing is not a one-size-fits all; and each individual must select which Joy brings them the greatest satisfaction. 

B. Steps to Fear and Joy Pairing

The following steps are useful guidelines for pairing selections.

  1. Fear Selection. Select the fear that you want to pair.  At first it might be advisable to use your training wheels, that is, select one of the milder fears. 
  2. List the Symptoms. List at least two symptoms that are associated with that fear.  For example, embarrassment causes the face to blush, increased heart rate, a strong tendency to look away or down, release of adrenaline and the urge to flee or run, etc.  The more detailed the symptoms the easier it will be to pick one as discussed in step 3.

3. Select one Symptom. Pick one of the symptoms from the list.  To maximize the benefit select the first symptom that popped into your head.  This is typically your strongest symptom that affects you.

4. Pairing verses Treatment. Conventional treatment methods for a fear are not the same as pairing a Joy to a Fear. For example, the most successful treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, i.e. repetitive exposure techniques.  Sometimes drugs are used to treat the symptom severity.  Sometimes simply stopping a bad habit is the strongest treatment. 

Pairing, on the other hand, deals with finding a specific Joy to help with your fear.  Although treating a fear and pairing of a Joy are different, they are complimentary.  In a few cases a particular Joy may also constitute a Treatment.  That would be ideal.

5. Re-association. This is the most important step in pairing.  Find a Joy that will re-associate a fun, enjoyable, or non-threatening feeling with the selected symptom.  For example, if the symptom is increased heart rate, you may want to select a fun activity that increases heart rate.  Jogging, skydiving, dancing, etc. would meet that criteria.  Therefore, if you are embarrassed your increased heart rate will not be as strongly associated with being afraid, but with a fun activity. 

C. Illustrations of Fear and Joy Pairing

The following Table 1 provides examples of Joy Pairing for a few symptoms.  Enjoy.

Table 1. Fear and Joy Pairing

1. Scream (Passive –Help me I’m in danger.) The scream as used here is a call for help as opposed to an attempt to scare something away.  The latter is an aggressive action indicating dominance as oppose to a fear response. 

There are many fears that have this symptom, i.e. crossing paths with a spider or snake as well as others.

Re-associate the scream with a Joy, which is fun, non-dangerous, or common, such as:

  • Amusement Rides. These rides provide a thrilling and fun place where people scream as an indication of pleasure.
  • Concerts. People often scream during a music performance.
  • Children’s Playground. Volunteer to supervise grade school playgrounds activities.
  • Craps Casino Game. Try your hand a this casino game. And, do not pass up the opportunity to throw the dice.  Be prepared to yell when you roll your number.
  • Sporting Events. Attend any high school, college, or professional sporting events. Actively root for your team.

It is best that you participate in the yelling and screaming. If you do this often, then screaming when you see a spider may feel strangely out-of-place. 

2. Afraid of Being Bitten. There are many fears that this may apply, for example, being bitten by a spider, snake, dogs or other larger animals.

Re-associate your negative perception of being bitten with something non-dangerous or common place, such as:

  • Puppy. Anyone who has ever owned a puppy has been softly bitten many times. To the puppy it is a sign of affection and playfulness.  Adopting a puppy will provide many other benefits as well.
  • Love. Softly biting a lover’s ear is sign of strong affection between couples. If you have never done it, you may want to try it.
  • Fish Pedicures. This involves having certain types of small fish that nibble on your feet to remove the dead skin. It tickles.  (This pedicure has been banned in many States based on health reasons.)
  • Acupuncture. This involves many needles and is a popular technique to reduce pain and other ailments. It is possible that your fear of spider bites may be related to puncturing of the skin, which occurs with needles.
  • Get back to Nature. Go camping, fishing, hunting, or hiking at a National Park and experience the beauty of Mother Nature. It is common to interact with insects and animals during these activities. 
  • Farm Worker. People who have worked on a farm or have been active in gardening have intersected with animals and insects on a routine basis. This could be the reason why very few farmers and ranchers have this fear.  If you are young, you may try working for a farmer or rancher for a summer. 

3. Hiding. (To avoid danger by active concealment.) This can apply to a wide variety of fears, particularly many social anxieties.  

Re-associate hiding and being found with something fun, non-dangerous, or common place, such as:

  • Hide and Seek. This game is played by children in almost every family. It is one of the most effective games to promote social learning and observation.  It is possible your parents did not use this fun game.  Teenagers play a form of this game with squirt guns.  Adults often play a version  using camouflage. 
  • Scavenger Hunt. The first person who is able to follow the clues in the shortest time finds a treasure. Adults often play a form of the scavenger hunt with automobile search trips.
  • Magicians. Watching magicians is a great form of entertainment associated with hidden steps and objects.
  • Chess. This game is a fantastic way of setting up hidden traps involving strategy.
  • Bird & Animal Watching. In order to watch birds and animals close up you must conceal yourself. If you do this often enough then you will begin to associate hiding with being safe and receiving an award for your patience. 
  • Duck Hunting. Duck hunters often use camouflaged tents or blinds to prevent the birds from seeing them. This is not recommended because it might do the opposite, i.e. reinforcing the negative dangers to the ducks associated with a hiding predator. 

4. Freezing. (This relates to unable to move and not to the weather.) Most predators spot their prey by movement.  A person stands out in a crowd when they move.  Social Anxieties are particularly prone to the freezing reaction. 

Re-associate freezing with something fun, non-dangerous, or common place, such as:

  • Marco Polo Game. This is a game where one player is blindfolded and all others are trying to avoid from being tagged by the blindfolded player. Therefore freezing in one place without making any sounds is important.  But when the blindfolded person yells out “Marco” all others must immediately respond with Polo.   
  • Simon Says is a game where a caller gives directions each of the other players are to comply with the directions but only when the caller says “Simon says touch your nose.” The Caller follows along with the commands. If the caller does not say Simon says before the command, then the players are not to move even if Simon moves.  This subconsciously associates “freezing” with winning. 
  • Wildlife Photography. Taking close-up pictures of wild life requires very little if any movement for long periods of time. The more patience the greater the photographic reward. 
  • Bird and Animal watching. Like the wildlife photography, this activity requires being hidden for long periods of time with no fast movements.

5. Can’t Breathe. Perceived suffocation is associated with numerous fears, i.e. drowning, being trapped, tight spaces, etc.  It is one of the most difficult perceptions to manage. 

Re-associate breathing issues with something enjoyable, non-dangerous, soothing, or common place.

  • Scuba Diving. This is most effective Joy to help with suffocation fears. It requires the person to know how to swim, be submerged deep underwater, and must actively suck on the ventilator in order for it to work.  But, the view of the fish and coral life is spectacular and rewarding.  There is also the added benefit of being weightless. 
  • Snorkeling. This is breathing from a tube while watching fish below.  People can spend hours quietly floating around while enjoying the underwater views.   
  • Swimming. This activity does not require any equipment. Timing associated with breathing is extremely important.  Holding one’s breath while under water improves lung capacity and efficiency.  The enjoyment associated with swimming includes: being in control, having mobility in water, being able to relax on boats and ships, and observing underwater beauty.
  • Meditation.  Many different techniques are used. Proper breathing is a core exercise. The soothing benefits from meditation are well documented.
  • Singing. A major element of Singing is breath control. It improves lung capacity and learning when to breathe through the mouth or nose.  Joining a choir group, particularly in a church setting, is less stressful.  It also provides the benefits of social interactions. 
  • f. Playing a Wind Instrument. Playing any of the wind instruments requires lung and breath control. These are instruments like the trombone, saxophone, clarinet, oboe, flute, and the like.  Playing musical instruments provide great enjoyment at any age.  It also provides benefits in working together to accomplish common goals as well as improved social skills.
  • Flower Gardening. Growing and smelling flowers associate pleasant fragrances with breathing. It teaches the benefits of pauses in breathing in order to detect and analyze the odors.  It also improves one’s ability to distinguish and detect individual components making up a bouquet. 

6. Falling/Heights. Falling and fear of heights are different but are grouped together in this pairing analysis. Falling is a movement issue while height is a depth perception issue. There are many effective techniques that reduce this fear and there are treatment drugs for inner ear infections.  These are treatment options and not pairing issues.   

Re-associate falling/height with something fun, non-dangerous, or common place.

  • Amusement Park Rides. Many of these rides provide both falling and heights. They provide a delightful thrill while being safe.  
  • Trampoline. This is a device where a strong fabric is stretched between springs that accelerate bouncing. Bounce heights of 10 to 15 feet are common.  They provide a thrill associated with being weightless. 
  • In-Door Skydiving. This can involve both treatment and pairing issue. Indoor skydiving is a safe and popular recreation for all ages.  iFlyworld.com has facilities throughout the world.
  • Zip Line. A zip line is an aerial suspended cable system allowing people to be propelled by gravity at treetop levels. They provide a thrilling speed along with fantastic views. 
  • Hot Air Balloons. This is a classic treatment and Joy pairing collaboration. For one afraid of heights, this would be difficult at first, but effective to reduce this fear.  Those have a phobia (excessive fear of heights) would need to contact a professional before trying this. 
  • Indoor Rock Climbing. This would be a safe option to start. Once accomplished the hot air balloons may be a second option. 

7. Infection/Illness/Dying. The core of this fear is the fear of death. This includes most of the classic physical fears. Social Fears are less important but sometimes play a role, such as being sick to generate sympathy, etc.    The treatment options often include simply turning off or limiting your exposure to the news and social media. 

Re-associate infection/illness/dying with something that is healthy and makes you happy.  Studies have shown that a happy person is less prone to this fear.

  • Family. Family is the top Joy to pair with this fear. It is the most effective in providing happiness.  There is a separate section dealing with Family Basics and Family Relationships.   In addition the Family provides a source of protection for medical support and reduces fears associated with mobility, sustenance, and decision making. 
  • Pets. Having a pet, particularly a dog, for constant companionship is important. They will listen as long as you talk, will not question your wisdom, will love you no matter what, and will take your mind off of you own problems.  Studies have shown that people have a stronger desire to survive if they are responsible for someone else and a companion pet fits that criteria.
  • Religion. A strong spiritual belief provides strength. People with serious illnesses have been shown to have quicker recoveries using prayer and spiritual support. 
  • Meditation. The health benefits of meditation are documented in several scientific studies.  This would include Yoga.
  • Reading. Reading for enjoyment provides an escape from one’s own problems.
  • Jogging and other cardio vascular activities.  A healthy body suppresses negative health thoughts.
  • Dancing.  This is the top activity for both mental and physical health.  It also has a strong social component.

D. Practice Pairing Excercises

Exercise # 1. Susan is receiving an award next month at her company social event planned in her honor.  She is expected to accept the award and give a short speech.   She is a C-Type personality and is extremely nervous about the upcoming event.  She complains of becoming lightheaded whenever she thinks about it. 

An internet search of lightheadedness could be caused by being dehydrated.  Drinking water will help.  Some of the sea sickness remedies, such as eating ginger, may be helpful in reducing lightheadedness. 

What Joy should Susan select to help her?

Lightheadedness.    Rapid or shallow breathing is one of the causes light headedness.  Drinking more water and taking Ginger may be a helpful remedy to the condition, but those are treatments and not Joy pairing.  

Re-associate light headedness from shallow or rapid breathing with something that is non-threatening, enjoyable, healthy, or normal, such as:

  • Breathing or Suffocation Issue. Many of the Joys discussed under Can’t Breathe (Swimming, Meditation, Singing, Playing Wind Instruments, Flower Gardening) may be helpful.
  • Amusement Park Rides. Some amusement park rides may cause moments of lightheadedness. Taking these rides may help.
  • Other Cardio-Vascular activities.  Becoming involved in jogging, dancing, hiking, etc. might be helpful

Exercise # 2.  John is interested in asking Beth to the senior prom that is about two months away.  He is afraid she may say no.  He has built up his courage a couple of times to approach her.  When he gets near her she looks at him and smiles.  He panics and looks down or away and then walks past her. 

What Joy should John select?

Avoiding Eye Contact.  This is a common reaction associated with embarrassment. 

Re-associate eye contact with something that is non-threatening, enjoyable, healthy, or normal,such as:

  • First to Smile Game. This is a game where participants try and make the other contestants smile. Each time a person smiles, they are eliminated.  Incidental to this game is close observations of each person’s faces. 
  • Staring Game. This game is based on staring into the eyes of another and the first person to look away loses. Hence, winning is staring into someone else’s eyes. 
  • Puppets. Learning puppetry teaches the importance of eye contact between the puppet and the audience.
  • Optical Illusion Puzzles. These puzzles require training the eye to see things differently. It is fascinating to see completely different things from viewing the same photograph.  The only difference is a change in one’s point of view.  If you look at someone with a fearful or negative perception it will likely reveal a different image than if you look at the same person with a more positive point of view.  
  • Rebus Puzzles. These puzzles use pictures and symbols to represent a word or phrase. For example a picture of an eye next to a heart next to a U-turn arrow. This is to represent the phrase, I love you.   These puzzles show various communications based on observations. 
  • Picture Puzzles. This is a puzzle of two pictures of the same person, place, or thing, but something is slightly different. The object is to find those differences.
  • Brainteasers. These games force you to think of alternative explanations for various circumstances or observations. For example a box with the word Head above the word Heels.  The answer is Head over Heels.  It teaches different interpretations from the same observations.
  • Jigsaw Puzzles. These puzzles focus the mind on the minute elements of a picture.  It requires observation and analysis.  No one can solve a Jigsaw puzzle by refusing to look at the picture.
  • Photography.  This requires looking at something with different point of views.  Taking a quick picture of something or someone does not take into account the shadows that are may be crossing the subjects face, or the things going on behind the subject, or whether the light is sufficient to capture the subtle nuances.  The photograph learns the importance of observing these other things.  

Exercise # 3.  Steven is 35 year-old computer programmer.  He has been divorced for 3 years and is interested in dating again.  He wants to ask Elizabeth, a friend from church, out to dinner.  But, he is afraid that he will be rejected.  Each time he builds the the nerve to call her, he backs down.  Twice he hung up on telephone when she answered and said “Hello.”  He began to worry that she would find out who made the call even though he has a blocked number.

What Joy should Steven select to get over his fear of rejection?

Rejection.  Rejection is a fear and not a symptom.  However, a couple symptoms that are associated with this fear are  “hesitancy to make a decision” and “risk avoidance”.  

Re-associate this hesitancy or risk avoidance with something that is non-threatening, enjoyable, healthy, or normal,such as:

  • Rejection Game.  This is a game that is built around Rejection Therapy.  As such, this is more of a treatment method (a good one) rather than a Joy.  However there is a card game that exists around this treatment that has entertainment value.   This would be an example of a treatment method and a Joy pairing.
  • Musical Chairs.  This is a game where participants walk around chairs placed in a circle as music is played.  When the music stops everyone finds a chair to sit on.   Unfortunately, there is always one less chair than participants.  This teaches one that making a quick decision is better than not making a decision. 
  • Read Inspiring Stories.  This section of the website has hundreds of stories of real people that have become successful.  Almost every one had to go through heartache and rejection. 
  • Monopoly® Game.  This game teaches that you cannot win without taking risks and making decisions.  
  • Chess.  This is a game of strategy.  This is another game showing that a player cannot win without raking risks and making decisions.
  • Learn Geometry.  This is directed to C-Type Personalities more than others.  Algebra deals with solving problems by proving what something is.  Geometry deals with solving problems by proving what something is not.  For example, in a triangle, if one angle is greater than 90 degrees, all other angles must be less.   Rejecting something is progress and a scientific method.  A rejection by Elizabeth may be a necessary step before asking out the perfect match. 

Exercise # 4.  Alice is 21 years old and unmarried.  She works as a telephone receptionist for small law firm.  She has no savings.  She was let go because of lack of legal work at her office.   She is afraid that she will be evicted from her apartment.  

What fear does Alice have, and what symptoms go with that fear?

What Joy should Alice select to help her?

Being terminated can raise many types of fears.  Lack of shelter, starvation, low self-esteem, etc.  The symptoms of these fears are widespread as well.    One symptom may be a feeling of loss of control over one’s life.

Re-associate a loss of control with something that is non-threatening, or enjoyable, such as:

  • Games involving removal of one or more senses, such as:
    • bowling while blindfolded,
    •  interpreting a conversation while wearing ear plugs,
    • talking to a potential date in complete darkness.
  • Compliment strangers and observe their reactions. 
  • Learn something new like a dance or foreign language.

Exercise # 5.  Dale is 25 years old computer programmer.  He is the go to expert on a new search program that he has developed.  A large auditorium sized venue has been scheduled for a public debut.  Dale has been selected to lead off the presentation.  When he looks at a large gathering of people he has a hard time focusing on any individual.  All he sees is a large blurry  mass of people.     

What fear does Dale have, and what symptoms go with that fear?

What Joy should Dale select to help him?

The fear is obvious.  He has a fear of public speaking.  His fear is likely very stressful.  Many public speaking experts recommend focusing on two or three individuals in the crowd and talk to them.   But this is a problem with Dale.

Re-associate a mass of blurry people with something that is non-threatening, or enjoyable, such as:

  • One of the things that almost all ballroom dancers do is called a spot turn.   A spot turn is exactly what it sounds like.  The dancer focuses on a  spot on the wall and then spinning 360 degrees.  Each 180 degrees a different spot is selected.  The dancer keeps their eyes focused on the spot while their bodies spin and then quickly moves his or her head to the new spot while their body continues in a smooth circle.  
  • The spot turn is not easy to do, but once mastered allows the dancer to make full 360 degree spins without becoming dizzy.  Everything is blurred out except the two selected spots.
  • Dale should practice spot turns to focus his attention on two spots. 

Now that you Know about Fear and Joy Pairing, the next thing is to Calculate your Joy to Fear ratio.

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