Gabriella Mariotti

The denial of fear

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In this contribution we intend to develop the connection between risk (challenge), vulnerability and fear, especially where risk, and the challenge that connotes it, plays a role of redemption with respect to feelings of vulnerability and dependence experienced as humiliating. With respect to the shame that such feelings convey as indicators of weakness, denial acts as a defensive, archaic and regressive mechanism. Fear is thus prevented from declining the healthy protective meaning of its role. On the contrary, it itself becomes a source of shame. All this is inscribed in the current social tendency to deny complex emotions, to avoid any «humiliating» feeling, such as shame and fear: cancel culture is a good example of this. The inability to manage such emotions, which are «uncomfortable » from the narcissistic vertex, represents a real social risk, which can also be ascribed to the transgenerational: the last generations, intoxicated by the hypomanic liberalist excitement, have not been able to pass on the possibility of healthy use of fear, which they themselves deny


  • denial
  • fear
  • shame


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