Getting a job as a greeter with the United Nations is probably not the best career option for someone who suffers from xenophobia, a fear of foreigners or strangers.

Xenophobia has its roots in fear — literally. Phobia comes from the Greek word meaning "fear." Given that the fear in question is of strangers, it makes sense that xeno- comes from the Greek word for — you guessed it — "stranger, foreigner." In the case of xenophobia, the fear is irrational. Someone who is xenophobic might distrust a neighbor he's never met, or a sheikh who lives halfway around the world. Xenophobia is like racism, but instead of fearing or distrusting people because of the color of their skin, you fear or distrust them because of their nationality, or because they are — or seem — foreign to you.

Definitions of xenophobia

n a fear of foreigners or strangers

Type of:
social phobia
any phobia (other than agoraphobia) associated with situations in which you are subject to criticism by others (as fear of eating in public or public speaking etc)

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