Metathesiophobia is the psychological term for the fear of change. On some level, we all have a fear (or at least trepidation) regarding change. Whether it’s getting a new haircut, travelling somewhere for the first time or choosing products for our home, everyone has those butterflies when it comes to opening up and making a major change in our lives. This fear is why people wait so long to change their lives or their homes and it is completely normal and completely okay to feel this way.
It always amazes me when clients come into the store and exclaim ‘I need new flooring!’ They go on to list all the things they hate about their current flooring and how they are so desperate to make the change. I’m thinking great, lets get started making your home gorgeous! Then what do they do? Proceed to dart around the samples trying to find a floor that looks just like the one they have in their home. I usually stand back and watch at this point because I am confused as to why they want to spend so much time showing me this old, ugly floor that they had.
This is the fear of change creeping in, even though you have made the decision to leave your dusty rose carpet in the dumpster and update to a new product – the reality actually scares the stuffing out of you. The possibility of making a mistake or having judgement cast upon you by neighbours and friends is paralyzing. The thought of not looking competent at home decorating is causing your palms to sweat. The mess and disruption that is going to happen in your home is enough to send you back to your 1970’s inspired family room and just forget the whole darn thing.
Can you do it? Can you actually choose a new paint colour or new flooring for your home? Is it as easy as the designer guys on TV make it seem? Probably not, it takes a skilled eye and an impartial opinion to successfully change an interior. You can make these decisions but not without a good dose of anxiety while you worry about saving face and having to show your decisions to the world. Including an impartial opinion or designer will definitely help to calm your fears and help the uncertainty.
The unknown can cause a tremendous amount of sweating, especially if you have never redecorated. The thought of ripping, tearing, stripping and demolishing what currently exists inside your four walls may give you chills. Even the words used for demolition are hard and grating to the nerves. Do I need to pull out baseboards? How do I get a giant roll of carpet out of my basement and when should I be worried about removing old items that may contain lead or asbestos? Rest assured you aren’t the only person who has these scary questions and help is just a phone call or Google search away.
The extreme cases out there might need an appointment with their favourite psychologist to talk about Metathesiophobia before embarking on a home renovation project. You may need to learn self discipline to keep your eyes on the goal and not to worry about the roadblocks and diversions along the way.
Kim Wyse is an interior designer with Carpet Colour Centre in Red Deer.