Confected fear is used all too often to manipulate the behaviour of others. Forever in the history of humanity it has been so. To divide and conquer, to undermine unity, to create desperation and chaos, to minimise rational thought and decency, so that perpetrators can direct the behavioural responses of those they target. Indeed, it is often those who peddle the fear that also market the saviour. Therefore, beware those fomenting fear among us, as in all likelihood, they have a clear objective for doing so.
There are politicians. Vote for me and I will keep you safe. Only I, not my political opponents, can keep you safe.
Terrorists. Fundamentally, they wish to reconstruct a society in their extremist image. First create chaos, and seek to exploit potential weaknesses revealed in a fragmented community.
Salespeople selling an assortment of goods. Projecting subtle fear, that you will be left behind, considered passé, feel inferior, become a failure, etc, unless your purchase their product. Again, they will save us from our ill-considered selves.
Some uninformed coaches, managers, parents, etc, using fear to motivate and condition their desired behavioural outcomes, but simply creating anxiety and loss of confidence as a consequence.
The experience of fear is useful when it is associated with the navigation of a real and present danger. However, when it is confected by others, be on-guard, be alert, and be mindful. If you choose your response filtered through the prism of an honourable value system, courage to act otherwise will trump the fear-monger’s desire that you comply with their devious intent.
Be courageous, even when you are anxious. In so doing, you are more likely to think your way through conflict, and act with wisdom, rather than be regretful later of your impulsive response under duress or coercion.