What we fear from others is usually what we are capable of doing or being ourselves!
If a person fears he will be cheated and he cannot trust his partners, it can mean he himself is capable of cheating others. Whether he does that or not determines the course of his life, which is a different thing altogehter. Similarly, a person fearing jealousy from others may be capable of being jealous of others’ progress. I am not talking of small or momentary fears in life. I am speaking of fears that are so strong that it is almost always in the back of our minds.
I’ve often noticed that what we fear from others is something that we are capable of doing ourselves or we are already doing it. For instance, I had a client who was so afraid of people’s judgement that she let that fear dictate her every behaviour pattern in her life. To the point, that she would not wear her favourite clothes because of fear of ridicule. In the process of working with her, we explored her views about others. And she was quite surprised to note that similar to her fears, she was judgemental of others’ appearance and behaviour.
Once this was discovered, it was easy for her to work the judgemental attitude out of her and consequently, work her fears out. Today she dresses just the way she wants or is comfortable with and has become more extroverted.
This is just one client of many with similar patterns. A daughter afraid of too much control by her mother could be exacting the same level of control on others in her life without realizing it. A guy who is afraid his friends will desert him can have the capacity to just drop friends in life and move on. These fears about others can indeed mirrors our own behaviour and shortcomings. And by using these mirrors for self-examination we uncover our own issues and work them out.