Phobia of asking questions

30 May
sam philip

Phobia of asking questions

Hello eWellness Expert,

Whenever I have ask a question to my teacher, I become anxious, what if my question is very trivial? What if every else knows it and they laugh on me? I will not be able to ask question but I will continuously keep thinking over the same question and will not be able to focus on what the teacher is teaching.  I keep thinking is a loop, and my heart starts beating faster, every time I tell myself, that now is the time to ask the question


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Responses 14

  • Kushi Gothi
    Kushi Gothi   Jun 06, 2017 05:28 PM

    Heyyou.  I hope you're having a good day 

    It's comepletely natural to ask questions. You can't blame curiosity and it's good to have knowledge about everything.  Don't worry about what people are going to say or think. Sometimes, there are people in our class who fear asking questions but you can be a great help to many such students as you are curious to know the answer which they, may not have the guts to ask. Don't be anxious or don't keep thinking you'll be judged or hated.  It's comepletely okay and normal to ask questions and it's good,too. 

    So, be brave and get answers to all your question whether it's silly or not. At the end, you're going be beneficial not others who constantly mock you =)

  • Khushi Khanna
    Khushi Khanna   Jun 06, 2017 11:45 AM

    First of all I would like to tell you that the phobia of asking questions  is very common  among students.  So, don't think that you are the only one. You know what the students  in your class might also be having doubts but they don't ask because  they also think they would sound like a fool, the same way as you think. 
    You could ask your friends sitting near you about your doubts. If they answer your question  then well and good otherwise you now know that they also don't know the answer so, you could now ask your teacher. In this way, you will feel that others also are having doubts and this will make you feel comfortable while asking from your teacher. 
    You could also go to your teacher's office when class is over and ask your questions. In this way, there would be no one to laugh at you(as you think) and your doubts will also get cleared.                                
    Either you first discuss with your friends or personally discuss with your teacher but remember  one thing teachers always appreciate students who ask questions because they are also aware of this phobia. So, face your fears and get rid of them. Don't be a part of crowd(all having phobia to ask) stand among them and you will also end up motivating them.

  • Priya Ratti
    Priya Ratti   Jun 05, 2017 09:17 PM

    Hey, Sam!

    Asking teachers questions can indeed be very intimidating for students. But I want you to know that it not only makes you stand out from the whole class, but also assures the teacher that you are focused and listening to what she’s saying! Teachers always appreciate students who ask questions because it gives them an impression of the student being a keen and curious learner. So ask as many questions as you want! Teachers usually also say that no question is stupid, and I want you to believe in this! The question that is stupid to you may be a genuine query that another one of your classmates may be facing, so by asking your question, you would do him a favor too! Don’t hesitate or hold yourself back. If asking questions in front of the whole class makes you feel embarrassed, talk to your teacher after the class gets over. You could even make a list of all your doubts and have a session with your teacher so that all your queries are answered in one go. I would suggest you try sitting on the first seat- it will help with your fear of asking questions because it will make you feel like you’re close to your teacher, and the rest of the class being out of sight will really help your confidence. Don’t fear voicing out your doubts. You’re spending so much of your money on getting educated, might as well make the most of it!

  • Upasana Sridhar
    Upasana Sridhar   Jun 03, 2017 12:00 PM


    It sounds like you have a form of social phobia which may or may not be limited to asking questions in public. I would highly recommend Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to reduce your anxiety associated with asking questions. You can either consult a therapist who would guide you properly through the procedure or follow the below steps and see if it helps.

    Firstly, practise asking questions at home. Imagine a scene similar to the one at your school, and imagine having a question you want to ask your teacher. Now, breathe in slowly and deeply and breathe out. Imagine that you are breathing out all your anxiety and breathing in confidence. After doing this a few times, actually get up and ask your question to the mirror. Since your mind is already filled with all the possible negative outcomes, it is very important to imagine all the possible positive outcomes. Imagine your teacher appreciating your question. Imagine your classmates applauding at your question. Imagine that your question initiates a discussion in class. Imagine yourself beaming with pride.

    The second step would be to partially recreate the atmosphere of your school. So you can ask one of your parents or friends to act as the teacher, and a few friends or siblings acting as fellow classmates. Now practise the same thing.

    The last step is to actually ask the question in school. Start with a question which you feel confident about. You can even check with a few classmates seated near you on whether it is a good question. Then do the breathing exercise, imagine the positive outcomes, stand up, and ask.

    If you feel it is too embarrassing, you can skip the second step. Of course, this is just my way of dealing with this phobia. For best results, it is better to consult a professional. I hope this answer helps you. All the best!

  • Satinder kaur
    Satinder kaur   Jun 02, 2017 08:04 PM

    We all have to pass from that situation once. At that time we worry more about the humiliations than the knowledge. What is a strong word? What if I ask some silly question that I wanna have an answer about. What if all start to laugh when I ask something that will harm no one but only benefits me? Aren't these questions little bit silly? Have ever occurred to you that why it's only you that have asked the question? Why not others? Be the odd one out. Nobody will be in your place when you will reach your dreams. Nobody will laugh when you become what you want. You have to start from somewhere. The faces that are laughing will not study hard with you at nights. They will not have sleepless nights with you. It's all about you. It's always been. So laugh when they laugh but ask what you want because that's what education about- to discover what you seek. So next time don't feel shame. Be proud of youself because you have the guts to stand when everyone sits in fear.

  • Gourab Banerjee
    Gourab Banerjee   Jun 02, 2017 11:56 AM


    I really miss my high school days. Enjoying with friends, bunking classes, going out altogether with friends when only one had received the punishment, and the teachers. Teachers are considered next to mothers because when you are away from your home, teachers are the ones who nurture you and help you grow. We spend a lion’s share of our life in schools and colleges. I myself am a college student, yet I miss my school days more. So if you consider your teachers are your mother or father, then there is no need of panicking or thinking twice about questioning them, because do you do so while asking for anything from your parents?

    The answer is a big NO. I mean why should we? They are the closest to us than anyone in this world. Same goes for your teachers too. Never ever think twice before asking them because teachers are waiting to answer their students’ problem. Einstein had once told, well I can’t remember his words exactly, but to sum up, he had said that more the questions, more inquisitive you are. Our brain acts as a lump of clay. It will grow up and take its formation like the way you want to shape it up. It doesn’t matter if you ask questions, answers to which your friends might already know. Think of it this way. You are asking a question which someone else might be afraid to ask. So while you are getting the answer, someone else might too. And that’s something to feel good about, isn’t it? Also, being up front to your teachers or any elders in the say will help you boost your confidence in the long run. I have been the captain of my school and the class monitor simultaneously. Trust me, it was a sticky wicket! I was the microphone between my friends and the teachers. Sometimes, I fumbled too. But the good part of it was that my teachers held me strongly and help me grow as a person.

    So I would say buckle up, boost yourself, and shoot whatever question comes to your mind. As long as the question is relevant to the subject and your teachers don’t have any problem with you asking questions, you are good to go. Good luck!

  • Arushi Adhikari
    Arushi Adhikari   Jun 02, 2017 02:36 AM

    Overthinking is pretty common and obvious too. It's a part of human human behaviour So relax you need not to worry about it. When i was at your age even i suffered from this issue, To deal with such situations what you can do is if you feel uncomfortable or shy or feels like if you'll ask questions then everyone will laugh at you so you can do one thing talk to your teacher and tell her that you are not comfortable while asking questions in class and then what you can do is make a list of questions which you want to ask and ask those questions once the class is over. This will give you answers of your questions and satisfaction as well, from which you'll not overthink and will be able to concentrate on what is going on in class and secondly you should overcome this fear with time as well like start asking the questions which you are writing down in class itself, first few days or time you'll feel uncomfortable but it will be beneficial for you. We should try to overcome our fears, because till when we'll run from them. I hope this will help you out, good luck

  • Sayantani Dey
    Sayantani Dey   Jun 01, 2017 10:59 AM

    Hi dear. First of all,when you are a learner, you have full right to ask questions and clear your doubts.If you have enough knowledge about that subject, you don't need to go there.

    Basically, you go there because you want to know.So,ask question to learn properly what you are learning.If the concept remain unclear, your learning will be wasted.

    You are worried about how others will react.Let me tell you one thing,our fingers are not equal in size. Similarly, we all have different intelligence.One person is fast and learns instantly.Another person need time to understand.You are of the second type.

    Teachers are always there to help their students.They all are same for them.

    So have faith in yourself.If you feel uneasy to ask questions publicly, note it down and ask later when class is over or you have recess.

    I hope my answer is helpful for you. Stay happy and healthy.

  • Manaswini Venkateswaran
    Manaswini Venkateswaran   May 31, 2017 12:11 PM

    What you are facing is quite normal. I went through the same thing during my school days. 

    The important thing to remember here is that whether or not you decide to ask the question ultimately affects you and nobody else. In other words, if you ask the question, you get to clear your doubts and learn something. If you don't ask at all, you don't get to learn anything and hence there is no scope for growth and improvement. The views of your peers come nowhere in this equation, because the decision you make does not affect them in any way.

    So when you look at it from this perspective, asking questions will always benefit you in the long run. I'm sure your teachers will be happy to answer any queries that you have, as it is their job to make sure that the whole class is on the same level of understanding. 

    Not everyone can grasp the same things at the same speed, so (ideally) no teacher should hesitate to answer questions from students. Just be sure that you have been paying attention, that the same question hasn't already been asked and that even if you do require something to be explained a second time, you ask politely. 

    An alternative solution is to write down your doubts and approach the teacher with them later if you really are that keen on avoiding embarrassment.However, since you mentioned having trouble concentrating on what the teacher is saying due to your doubts, I suggest you clarify them right away. 

    Yes, at this age it can be quite daunting to say what's on your mind because approval from peers matters to us a lot and makes a large contribution to our self-esteem but you need to keep in mind what will help you most in the long run (which in your case, is asking questions and clearing doubts). 

    If you do find yourself getting anxious at the thought of asking questions in class, I suggest you take a few deep breaths and tell yourself that overcoming this fear will beneficial for you. 

    All the best and I hope you muster up the courage to do what's best for you!  

  • Anamika Das
    Anamika Das   May 30, 2017 09:54 PM

    I understand your question well. At a younger age in classroom settings, students often engage in judging other students on a number of factors. Questions posed in class might be just one of them.

    Classrooms are set up for students to learn and the process of learning very naturally requires questioning. Every student within the classroom will have a different line of thought. So, even if your question is something that other students may already know the answer to, it is only natural as other students may have questions that you may know answers to as well. Also, as you may have realized while participating in class, it often happens that at least one other student may have the exact same question that you have, and due to your initiation, his/her question might be getting answered as well! smile

    By not asking what you have in mind, you are doubly affecting yourself – you are curbing your curiosity and as you mentioned above, you repeatedly keep thinking about it and cannot concentrate further. So perhaps it will help you if you just ask away what you want, and let people deal with their odd habit of judging something that is a natural aspect of being in a classroom. Best of luck smile


  • Alveera Sheikh
    Alveera Sheikh   May 30, 2017 09:14 PM

    Fear of asking doubts in class or at work can be quite a loss for the person facing this fear. I was, for quite a while, like that. I was too afraid that someone would ridicule or scoff at me, or probably the teacher would call be stupid for having such a silly doubt. But the point is – What is the worst that can happen when you ask a doubt? Before the fear takes hold of you, ask yourself this. They’ll probably laugh for a bit, give looks and the worst could be they’ll ridicule you for a while. But at least the question you ask will be solved, which is exactly what you want!

    Being nervous in front of an audience is quite natural. But what will diminish is this very fear is when you face the problem head first. The best advice I can give is do what you fear. Ask the questions that come to your mind, speak your heart’s content during class discussions, and eventually the fear will fade off. Do not contemplate too much about asking – just ask. The first few times you might feel embarrassed, but once you learn to deal with the embarrassment – you’ll be a pro at speaking in front of a class! Personally, this approach helped me face my fears, and within a few weeks, I was fearless in front of an audience.

    Always remember that what others think of your questions is not important. Because every question anyone has is valid. Valid because if you have doubts – it means you think through what is being explained in class and are being attentive. Our doubts will also help you in the long run as we tend to remember what we have asked along with the clarification.

  • Rhythm Makkar
    Rhythm Makkar   May 30, 2017 05:11 PM

    Hello, hope you're doing well. I'm sure each and every student has gone through a similar problem in their school or college life. It is completely normal to have such thoughts. First of all, there are high chances that other students also have the same doubt that you do and are also hesitant to ask. So, instead of laughing at you, they will probably feel a sense of relief as their question will also be answered because of you. Next, students who ask questions in class, irrespective of the question, are looked upon as being confident. Other students would not risk laughing at a student who's confident enough and doesn't care about what others would think about him. Even if someone laughs, you will be more glad that you asked your question and got a deeper understanding, rather than being upset that someone laughed at you. Asking questions also tells the teacher you're paying attention and so he/she will also pay attention to you and make sure that your queries are solved. Lastly, you should give priority to your understanding of the concepts being taught. I hope my response helps you. Have a nice day! 

  • Shubhi Jain
    Shubhi Jain   May 30, 2017 03:49 PM

    Getting anxious in front of an audience is one of the most natural things and is experienced by most of the people. We all are stopped at times to raise our voice by self-doubt, self-consciousness and the fear of getting laughed at by our peers. But it is not very difficult to overcome it, you should just have the knack for learning and you should allow yourself to loosen up more.

    For learning things, we need to ask questions so that we can clear our own doubts or maybe pitch in our ideas. So, whenever you are in your class trying to understand the concepts and sit there like no one around you exists. Basically, you need to focus only on your teacher and after that, you won’t really be affected by the presence of other students. But this level of concentration level is difficult to attain but not impossible. Just do a thorough study of the subject and lose yourself into it, then you will start having a different kind of fun all together in your class.

    The other thing you can do to resolve this situation and to ask questions (not to let the fear disappear because everyone gets scared even if they are world-famous speakers) is to just imagine what is the worst that can happen if you did ask a stupid question. The worst that can happen is that your peers laugh at your question in that period, maybe the entire day, maybe the entire week, but eventually everyone will move on and find something interesting to do. And what if they make fun of you, they won’t decide anything in your life, your friends won’t leave you alone just because you asked a stupid question. So, the people who matter will still be by your side and you should learn that others don’t matter.

    There are times in life when we think our image among our peers matters the most. But remember that Bill Gates, while leaving the University, didn’t think of how everyone was laughing at him or when Richard Branson sold his magazines on the streets and his peers bullied him for the same, it didn’t stop him to do so. When they didn’t let the world stop them, why should you? Besides, most of the people who remain silent now, remain silent their entire life and get nowhere or at least not where they deserve. So you should be self-confident that you are the one trying to understand, unlike the others who don’t ask questions and this will help you lifelong.

    Another thing is, don’t ask questions in haste because most probably you will get the words messed up then. So, think about your question with an open mind, explain yourself why you want to know it and then ask it. So, when others laugh at you or something, you can ask them the answer. And you know we feel fear first few times, after that you will see that you are automatically at ease with voicing your opinion in front of them and asking questions. So, dare to do it the first time! Take that first step. You will be surprised by the amount of satisfaction you will get and it will slowly ease out your fear.



  • Pranshu Rastogi
    Pranshu Rastogi   May 30, 2017 03:05 PM

    Hello there, hopefully, you are doing well.

    You know the man that they're more than billions of people in this world, own with their different mindset. If you get affected by each one of them opinion, then you can realize how great the trouble would be.
    You feel anxious in asking a question to the teacher, tell me one thing will the opinion of others will really matter in the future?

    No, absolutely no, nothing is permanent in this wicked world, nor you neither me, not even the opinions of others. Just do what do you think is right. Nobody really cares.

    At last I want to say if you don’t ask, you will never know.

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