Knowledge is power.
It is ironic that many rappers strive for Scarface levels of (money) power and respect, but are scared of knowledge. The fear of learning is a medical condition known as Sophophobia.
If you know a wildly unsuccessful rapper, it is possible that they are literally scared of learning.
Symptoms of Sophophobia include cotton mouth, asking daily to be excused from going to school, feelings of unreality or of being detached from yourself, and inability to articulate words or sentences.
Let’s take a quiz:
Does your friend have a hard time forming complete sentences when they post on Facebook?
Did they (or do they) skip school a lot to get high/drunk and freestyle with their friends?
Do they ever pretend to be something they aren’t?
Do they often mention needing a beverage to help with their cotton mouth?
If you said yes to any of these questions, your unsuccessful rapper friend might have Sophophobia.
Refusing to learn from others is a great way to fail at everything forever. A lot of rappers are unwilling to learn from their predecessors, and are forced to recreate the wheel with every step towards their success. (Imagine trying to become a cook, but never taking the time to open up a cook book? If you are paying for a service, are you going to go to pay someone with experience or the guy that is figuring things out on the job?)
Not confronting them about their phobia is basically saying that you do not care at all if they are unsuccessful forever.
The good news for your rapper friend is there are treatments for Sophophobia, but first, let’s look at the causes.
I did a quick search on Google and discovered that Sophophobia can be based on the fact that an individual’s parents never finished school and they may feel like educating themselves dishonors their parents. They may also be scared of being ridiculed if they try and fail.
(Does this fit your friends description?)
“A common way to deal with phobias is with the flooding technique which involves introducing someone to their phobia in excess. Basically the goal of that is to overwhelm someone with the phobia so that when they get it in smaller doses, it doesn’t bother them and eventually they are over it,” said Nate VanSlochteren who received his B.S. in Psychology at Western Oregon.
“Another technique is standard therapy, which involves getting to the root of why they don’t like learning. It most likely stems from a traumatic experience as a child. The hope is with therapy they will realize why they have the irrational fear. Over time they will accept what caused the phobia and learn to work with it and not let it be a barrier.”
All you have to do to help your friend beat their Sophophobia is try to understand why they are afraid of learning and then surround them with knowledge!
Next time they ask you for a ride, force them to listen to NPR and take the longest route possible to get where they are going. Share links to grammar articles with them via Facebook. Email them links to news articles they might be interested in.
Do whatever it takes.
Stop thinking they are in a stage that they will grow out of. They aren’t. They will be scared to learn until somebody takes the time to confront them about it.
If you know a rapper that suffers from the fear of learning, please let them know it is okay to get help.
Sophophobia is real.