Saturday, January 30, 2016

Discussing Amerophobia with a German

Amerophobia is the irrational fear of Americans and their culture.

Some Americans and non-Germans residing in Germany....after about six months of living here....will amusingly note that they've seen this slight hint of the phobia when dealing with some Germans. 

It'll be a comment here and there.....mostly over some criticism, opinion, or judgement.  You will stand there for a minute....thinking that you might have started this by insulting your associate or friend.....going back over the past hour and what you might have said to get them disturbed.  Eventually, you will realize that you never crossed that line and never insulted them.  So you stand there....wondering what the heck happened or if this was some psychological problem with your associate.

As time passes, Amerophobia comes out occasionally.

The majority of Germans could live their entire life and never exhibit a single episode of Amerophobia.

It is my humble opinion, that this only affects around ten percent of German society....mostly people who profess some intellectual capability or great insight.  These are people who will utter Xenophobia at least once or twice a month.....but when you ask them what the irrational fear of Germans is (Teutophobia)...they will mostly stare at you and think there is no such irrational fear of Germans.

So at this point, you drift into an education phase with your German associate.  You note that the US Institute of Mental Health says that roughly 18-percent of society (across all spectrums of and poor, educated and uneducated, etc) in general suffers anxiety and phobia disorders.  You also note that such people (those with anxiety/phobias) are three to five times more likely to go to a doctor over anything (true, perceived or fake) health-related.

You can chill-out your German associate with the Amerophobia by letting them know that this disorder comes from a general list of items: genetics, brain chemistry, stress, personality, and actual events in life.

You might ask about their drug habits (if they were a weed-smoker), their personality trends, or if they had been harmed by American beer, American food, American television (Knight Rider, Bonanza, and ALF regularly run on German TV), American music, American politics, etc.  You could ask if they've been under a lot of stress lately....maybe love went south, their cat ran away, or a immigrant family moved into their building.

Let your German associate know that you are praying for them, and would be eager to help them through this rough stage (thus showing you have no irrational fear of Germans or the culture of Germany).

The best way is to invite them to the local pub, and buy the first round of beer for them.  Let them know.....together, through a number of can help them wipe out this irrational fear of Americans and American society.

One or two things will happen at this point.  Either they accept your offer and their Amerophobia starts to lessen (after the beers of course), or they grit their teeth to such an extent.....that they have a dental problem and have to visit doctor at the earliest possible opportunity.  In the second's now possible that they will develop a new phobia....Dentophobia (fear of dentists).....which is much worse than Amerophobia (at least in my book).   

1 comment:

Jess Short said...

Every German I have a conversation with usually begins with, "Why are you here in Germany.?" In the past, I answered with things like 'I like the country, the people, the cars.' Now I just say, " I'm here for love." This response usually gathers a few ooo's and aaa's, until I finish with "I love the beer."
That statement normally eliminates any chance of Amerophobia from rearing its ugly head.