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Gender Specific Fears

  1. Oct 1, 2006 #1
    I have the TV babbling in the background as I peruse PF and my ear is caught by a guy on an infomercial who makes the following claim: a man's greatest fear (when undertaking a project) is fear of failure, and a woman's greatest fear is fear of criticism.

    His success plan will teach you how to overcome these fears and end up a billionaire, but in the meantime I'm wondering if these thumbnail allegations of a difference between essential fears according to gender hold water.

    If you're a guy is the prospect of failure worse than the prospect of being criticized? If you're a woman, is the prospect of being criticized worse than the prospect of failure?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 1, 2006 #2
    It's a sweeping generalisation, but I think that on average a man will be more goal driven (hence the fear of failure), while a woman will be looking for acceptance and confirmation from her peers instead (hence fear of criticism).

    Again, this are just broad trends I've observerd. Your mileage may vary.
     
  4. Oct 1, 2006 #3

    Moonbear

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    I'm trying to figure out how the two aren't interrelated from the start? Don't failure and criticism pretty much go hand in hand? If you're getting criticized, it's generally because you've done something wrong, not because you were a great success. And, if you fail, isn't someone going to come along and criticize you for it?
     
  5. Oct 1, 2006 #4

    arildno

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    Typical American sentiment. We are not that nice over here in Norway ! :smile:


    (After all, a person with success probably has some personal flaws he wants to hide beneath his veneer of success (that's why he has worked so hard to attain it); our job is to uncover those flaws).
     
  6. Oct 1, 2006 #5

    Moonbear

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    :rofl: I suppose that being flawless myself, I never considered someone might be worried about criticism for flaws they are hiding. :biggrin: o:)
     
  7. Oct 1, 2006 #6
    I love to sit down in front of the TV late at night at learn about the psychology of gender inequalities from an expert infomercial actor.
     
  8. Oct 1, 2006 #7

    arildno

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    A main flaw with many people is their lack of insight in themselves. They go blithely about believing themselves to be flawless, but we Norwegians know better. :smile:
     
  9. Oct 1, 2006 #8
    So, Moonbear, your answer to the question "Is the prospect of being criticized worse than the prospect of failure?" is...?

    Arildno and Rach, your answers to the question "Is the prospect of failure worse than the prospect of being criticized?" is...?
     
  10. Oct 1, 2006 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Fear of criticism? :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: I may not put up with it but I certainly don't fear it. :biggrin:

    Easily, fear of failure dominates when it means getting sued or destroying equipment. When it comes to less critical situations, again, fear of failure because I hate having to do something twice. So I see this as more a practical matter... though I doubt that "fear" is the correct word.

    And my two cents worth as it pertains to the premise of this thread: The biggest reason that people never take a risk is not fear, it is laziness.
     
  11. Oct 1, 2006 #10

    NoTime

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    Fear of criticism?
    Don't think you would do any posting if you had that :smile:
     
  12. Oct 1, 2006 #11

    Pythagorean

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    I'm a man, and I have a constructively mild fear both.
     
  13. Oct 1, 2006 #12
    OK. Assuming NoTime is a guy (the odds favor that assumption at PF) then we have three guys pretty much agreeing failure is a worse prospect than criticism.
     
  14. Oct 1, 2006 #13
    The only fear I have as a man, that I know a woman does not share is having my genitals cut off/skewered/burned (including chemical burns)/hit and basically impacted in anyway with high impulse.
     
  15. Oct 1, 2006 #14
    Thanks for sharing!!!!
     
  16. Oct 1, 2006 #15

    NoTime

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    Yes, your assumption is correct :smile:

    Failure? I call that experience :biggrin:
    I just try to avoid being repetitive o:)
     
  17. Oct 1, 2006 #16

    Pythagorean

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    I think for most people, both fears are actually pretty mild. I think there's actually clinical names for people who make too much of a fuss about their fears.
     
  18. Oct 1, 2006 #17

    Moonbear

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    If the criticism isn't because you've failed, then sure. I'd rather take "friendly fire" to prevent failure than to screw up because I was too arrogant to listen to criticism from someone who was just trying to help.

    I can't quite see how fear of failure is a bad thing though. Afterall, generally it is something one should try to avoid, and if you just run into everything head first without thinking about what you're about to do first because you don't care if you fail, then you're bound to fail a lot more than someone who stops to think first.
     
  19. Oct 1, 2006 #18

    NoTime

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    Sure, you do what you can to avoid failure.
    But, when you're going for something that hasn't been done before, then I would say it's inevitable.
    Testing in a controled environment is key to minimizing the impact.
    Even then the real world, seems to have a knack for coughing up a hairball or two.

    Criticism is fine as long as it's constructive.
     
  20. Oct 1, 2006 #19
    I think the kind of criticism implied here is along the lines of "Oh, right! You're going to go into business for yourself! Good luck, sistah!"

    The fear of failure under discussion is the crippling kind that makes a person give up before they start: "It's never going to succeed so why bother?"
     
  21. Oct 1, 2006 #20

    Pythagorean

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    I'm one of those that believes you can do anything you put your mind to. The major obstruction of production for me is lethargy.
     
  22. Oct 1, 2006 #21
    No problem. As for failure, sure it'd be freakin' awesome to be a rich famous physicist that like unifies GR and QM. But as long as I have enough money to buy video games to play 24/7 I probably won't care if I fail or not. I do however take alot of pride in my intellect and logic, losing something like that through a physical accident or something would devastate me.

    ~Gelsamel

    Edit: On the topic of the fear of criticism I find ALOT of people doing this, especially online. Which I find extremely bizzare. Firstly people online have never seen you, nor heard you or in anyway have insight into who you are. Secondly criticism is good for personal developement, criticism which is false and you know is false is easily ignored. Despite this often you'll have people online go utterly balistic when someone criticises them, you'll see people deleting bad comments on their personal pages etc. simply because it's a bad comment. On Youtube for instance often people lock votes or delete people's posts simply because the post is against them. Is this a cause of low self esteem?

    Edit2: I agree with Ivan, alot of not doing something is due to laziness, I'm like the laziest person alive. When at home and extremely bored with nothing to do, I'd rather do NOTHING then do my homework, I'd rather be bored and do nothing then not be lazy for a while. It isn't as if my grades are encouraging me to do homeowork though.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2006
  23. Oct 1, 2006 #22

    Math Is Hard

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    oh, I'd say there are a few million little girls in Africa who share your fear. (Just so you don't feel alone in this.)
     
  24. Oct 1, 2006 #23
    I know people who would rather work somewhere where they know nobody will intrude on them and nobody will try talking to them. They cannot stand it when they are working and someone asks them how they are doing or something. Im not really sure why.... I know both males and females alike who are like this.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, I forgot to say my fear...heh. I usually have a fear of failure, until I see that it is inevitable... Then I think "heh, this probably doesnt matter that much anyway". With regards to criticism, I try to follow the "what do you care what other people think" role. However, there have been a select few times that I have done exactly what my pre-edit post says.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2006
  25. Oct 1, 2006 #24
    This is probably fear of criticism. I'm like this about stuff before it's at a stage where it's presentable. I don't want people seeing, or prying into, projects that are still undeveloped and confused in my mind.
     
  26. Oct 1, 2006 #25

    Ivan Seeking

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    It depends on what you have at risk.
     
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