What is Francophobia?

Anti-French sentiment (Francophobia) refers to a dislike or hatred toward France, the French people, the French government, or populations that use French as an official language.

Francophobia is also called Gallophobia.

The root word 'Francus' is Latin meaning 'French' or 'France' and the word 'phobia' comes from the Greek word ‘phóbos’ meaning 'fear.'

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Symptoms of Francophobia

  • Extreme Anxiety, Dread

  • Shortness of Breath
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Heart Palpitations
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Dry Mouth
  • Confusion / Inability to Articulate Clearly
  • Lack of Focus
  • Irritability
  • Shaking
  • Feelings of Powerlessness
  • Obsession with the Subject of the Phobia
  • Fear or Feelings of Losing Control
  • Avoidance Behavior
  • Headaches

Learn more about phobia symptoms ›

Causes of Francophobia

Francophobia is a specific (or “isolated”) phobia, centered on non-social key factors. Isolated phobias tend to have some previous trauma (often in childhood and often physically injurious) as a root cause; a fear of bees may stem from an injury in childhood, for instance.

Upbringing can also play a role, such as parental warnings about a direct threat (such as “snakes can bite and kill you”) which is especially notable in cases where a threat is more imminent. (An allergy to bees or peanut butter, for instance, would naturally reinforce a real medical concern.)

It is thought that genetics and hereditary factors may play a role in specific phobias, especially those related to a danger of injury. (A primal “fight or flight” reflex may be more easily triggered in those with a genetic predisposition, for instance.)

By contrast, social phobias (like a fear of body odor or touch) are less well-understood, are driven by social anxiety, and are broadly labeled as “social anxiety disorder”.

In all kinds of phobias, external experiences and / or reports can further reinforce or develop the fear, such as seeing a family member or friend who is affected. In extreme cases, indirect exposures can be as remote as overhearing a reference in conversation, seeing something in the news, on TV, or in the movies.

Francophobia, like most phobias, stems from a subconscious overprotection mechanism, and as with many phobias can also be rooted in an unresolved emotional conflict.

The progression from dislike to phobia is one of degree, so this fear is often rooted in politics, past human rights abuses, wars, racial or religious hatred, or even a good-natured sports rivalry.

Historic French colonization may be seen as a negative experience because of the perceived dilution of or damage to one’s culture.

Other triggers of Francophobia may include the French alliance with America or the European Union. Sufferers may perceive the French as “arrogant”, etc. due to differences in standards of living and the concept of “royalty” may contribute as well. As with most phobias, while such triggers seem trivial, the phobic takes them to irrational extremes.

Learn more about the causes of phobias ›

Treatments for Francophobia

  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

  • Habit Strategies To Relax
  • Cognitive Therapy (CT)
  • In Vivo Exposure
  • Response Prevention
  • Hypnotherapy
  • Group Therapy
  • Psychotherapy
  • Energy Psychology
  • Medication
  • Meditation

Learn more about phobia treatments ›

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