9 Words for Someone Who Is Afraid of Change

People are afraid of change for all kinds of reasons. Some people simply don’t appreciate it because it scares them. Others might not like it because it goes against their traditions or beliefs. This article will explore some good words you can use to refer to these people.

Words for Someone Who Is Afraid of Change

The preferred words for someone who is afraid of change are “neophobe,” “conservative,” and “diehard.” You can use these to show that someone is against things changing in their lives. They prefer things to stay the way they are because they are more comfortable like that.


“Neophobe” is the best way of referring to someone who doesn’t like change. It is a type of phobia that relates to people’s fear of new things appearing in their lives. It works well because it shows that they are resistant to things making them uncomfortable.

“Neo-” is the Greek word for “new.” It comes from the original Greek term “neos.” “Phobia” is a great word meaning “fear or aversion.” When you combine the two, it shows that you have a deep fear or hatred of new things in your life.

The definition of “neophobe,” according to The Collins Dictionary, is “a tendency to dislike anything new; fear of novelty.”

  • I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a neophobe. I don’t know why anyone would be so happy to welcome such drastic changes into their life.
  • I’m not a neophobe, but I definitely like being comfortable. I don’t want you to have to tell me that I can’t do things I like to do.
  • He’s a neophobe through and through. I don’t think you’ll ever be able to get him to change his ways. He’s just not built like that.


“Conservative” is a great word you can use to show that someone doesn’t like or trust changes. They are especially resistant to sudden changes because they believe they are going to cause problems for the society they live in.

The definition of “conservative,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not usually liking or trusting change, especially sudden change.”

  • As a conservative, I have a hard time accepting that things need to change. Why can’t we just keep the world the way that it is?
  • I thought you were more conservative than that. I’m quite surprised by you. You’ve done a really good job with all of this.
  • You’re not too conservative to be able to see that these are positive changes, are you? Don’t be silly, dad!


“Diehard” is a good word used to refer to someone who will never change. They often have opinions that they will be happy to stick with, even if someone has managed to prove that their opinion is wrong.

The idiom “I will die on this hill” is commonly associated with “diehard” people. It shows that people are willing to fight for their opinion, even when so many other people go against it.

The definition of “diehard,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “someone who is unwilling to change or give up their ideas or ways of behaving, even when there are good reasons to do so.”

  • I know you’re a diehard supporter of this idea, but it’s time for you to hang it up. Nobody is going to argue with you about it anymore.
  • I thought you were a diehard. Maybe you’re not as strong-willed as you thought you were. You are starting to accept change.
  • As a diehard fan, I can’t allow my opinion of this franchise to change. I’ve got to die on this hill if it comes to it. That’s as far as I will go.


“Traditionalist” is a good word used to show that someone is stuck in their traditions. It mainly relates to older people who like things to be kept the way they always were when they were younger.

You’ll often find that grumpy older people have a hard time accepting the things that kids get up to. They do not like the change because it makes them uncomfortable.

Some of the resistance also comes from feeling like they’re stupid for not keeping up with the changing trends.

The definition of “traditionalist,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “someone who believes in and follows traditional ideas.”

  • I know you’re a bit of a traditionalist, but I think it’s time for you to change your mind about a few things. Times have moved past you.
  • I think you’ll find that I’m a traditionalist. I like things to be done the way they’ve always been done. It’s as simple as that.
  • You’re too young to be a true traditionalist. You should stop pretending that you are and don’t act like something that you’re not.


“Fuddy-duddy” is a good way of showing that people have old-fashioned ideas. It’s another one that refers mainly to older people who like their own opinions.

Fuddy-duddies often don’t let other people sway them or their beliefs. They do not see the point in listening to what other people have to say, as they will not allow their agendas to change.

The definition of “fuddy-duddy,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a person who has old-fashioned ideas and opinions.”

  • Well, aren’t you a little fuddy-duddy? I always knew you were a bit of a grump, but this is just taking it a bit too far, Grandad.
  • I’m not a fuddy-duddy. I simply like things the way they did them in the olden days. I’m not going to change myself for anyone.
  • Sheila is a fuddy-duddy. You won’t be able to convince her that any of this change is a good change. He’s set in her ways.


“Fogy” is a decent way of showing that someone is afraid of change. Again, it relates to older people who have traditional values and methods that they believe are dying out. They will often judge younger people for not sticking with them.

The definition of “fogy,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a person who is old-fashioned and likes traditional ways of doing things.”

  • Do you have to be such a fogy all the time? Do you not realize that you’re the only person here who can’t seem to accept it.
  • I’m not a fogy, but I do like my things the same way every day. I don’t know why that’s so difficult for all of these people to understand.
  • You’re being a real fogy right now. I think it’s about time that you apologize to your grandchildren before they resent you.


“Fossil” is the last term you can use to refer to older people that are afraid of change. This time, it refers to people who are so old that they refuse to accept any new ideas or innovations.

This often leads the younger people in the fossil’s life to pick up the slack. They will usually require a lot of help from the younger people to help them get something new sorted out.

The definition of “fossil,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “an old person, especially one who will not accept new ideas.”

  • Dad, you’re a fossil these days. You can’t seem to accept anything new in your life, and it’s becoming completely unbearable.
  • I know you’re a bit of a fossil, but don’t you think you can see this from my point of view for once? I think it might change your life.
  • He’s a fossil, so you won’t be able to convince him this is a good thing. I don’t think he’s ever known anything beyond his comforts.


“Square” is an insulting term you can use to show that someone is boring because they don’t like new ideas. It is often used by people in groups that find that one of their members doesn’t want to take part in a group activity that the others are happy to do.

The definition of “square,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “a boring person who does not like new and exciting ideas.”

  • You’re such a square, and it’s causing these people to stop trusting you. They don’t want you anywhere near them now.
  • I’m not that much of a square. I just like to be comfortable, and I feel like all of my friends are trying to make me uncomfortable.
  • She’s the resident square in this accommodation block. Good luck getting away with having a party without her snitching on you.


“Leery” doesn’t strictly refer to someone being afraid of change. It instead refers to someone not trusting other people or things, which can result in them being afraid to accept the changes that those people might introduce into their lives.

The definition of “leery,” according to The Cambridge Dictionary, is “not trusting someone or something and usually avoiding him, her, or it if possible.”

  • I’m a bit leery of these changes because I don’t trust the people putting them forward. I feel like they have an ulterior motive.
  • You’re very leery, and that’s quite offputting. Can’t you just let us have our fun for once without trying to stop it?
  • I know you’re being leery for a reason. Do you not trust us to behave ourselves when it comes to all of this?