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Worry vs. Concern: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Published on January 7, 2024
Worry implies anxiety or unease about a potential or actual problem, whereas concern refers to a more general interest or care regarding a situation.

Key Differences

Worry often involves a sense of anxiety or apprehension about something that may happen, indicating a more troubled state of mind. Concern, however, denotes a milder, more considerate interest in a matter or situation, showing care without the agitation commonly associated with worry.
Worry typically conveys a negative emotion, implying fear or distress about specific issues, often leading to unease or restlessness. Concern, on the other hand, is more neutral or even positive, suggesting thoughtful consideration or attention to someone or something's well-being.
The intensity of emotion is generally higher in worry, which can manifest in physical symptoms like tension or insomnia. In contrast, concern is less intense and does not usually lead to significant physical or emotional distress.
Worry often focuses on future events or outcomes, especially those with uncertain or potentially negative implications. Concern, while it can also be future-oriented, is frequently more immediate, focusing on current states or issues requiring attention or care.
In terms of duration, worry can be persistent and long-lasting, particularly in cases of chronic anxiety. Concern tends to be more transient, emerging in response to specific situations and resolving as circumstances change or improve.

Comparison Chart

Emotional Tone

Anxious, troubled
Considerate, attentive


Potential or actual problems, often future-oriented
Immediate or general situations, well-being


High, can cause distress
Milder, without significant distress

Physical Manifestation

Can lead to tension, insomnia
Rarely causes physical symptoms


Can be persistent, long-lasting
Generally transient, situation-specific

Worry and Concern Definitions


Worry involves a state of concern over matters, often leading to restlessness.
His constant worry over job security kept him awake at night.


To concern is to affect or involve someone or something.
The new policy changes concern all employees of the company.


Worry is to feel anxious or troubled about actual or potential problems.
She couldn't help but worry about the upcoming exams.


Concern involves showing care or consideration for something.
Her concern for the environment led her to volunteer for clean-up drives.


To worry is to torment oneself with disturbing thoughts.
He worried endlessly about his health, despite being fit.


Concern means to relate to or be about a particular matter.
The book's primary concern is the impact of technology on society.


Worry can refer to the act of thinking about problems or fears repeatedly.
They spent the evening worrying about their financial future.


Concern can also refer to a matter of interest or importance.
The main concern at the meeting was the budget deficit.


Worry can also mean to harass or treat roughly.
The older cat would often worry the younger ones during play.


Concern can denote a business or organization.
The family-owned concern has been operating for over a century.


To feel uneasy or concerned about something; be troubled.


To have to do with or relate to
An article that concerns the plight of homeless people.


To seize something with the teeth and bite or tear repeatedly
A squirrel worrying at a nut.


To be of interest or importance to
This problem concerns all of us.


Does worry affect physical health?

Worry can affect physical health, leading to symptoms like tension or insomnia.

Is worry always negative?

Yes, worry typically has negative connotations, associated with anxiety and stress.

What does concern mean?

Concern refers to care, attention, or interest in someone or something.

What does worry imply?

Worry implies a state of anxiety or distress about potential or actual problems.

Is concern always about serious issues?

No, concern can be about any matter, serious or otherwise, that requires attention.

Do worry and concern have the same intensity?

No, worry is usually more intense than concern.

Does worry require a real problem?

Not necessarily; worry can be about imagined or unlikely problems.

How does concern manifest in behavior?

Concern manifests as considerate, attentive behavior towards a situation or individual.

Can concern be positive?

Yes, concern can be positive, reflecting care or consideration.

Can concern be about oneself?

Yes, one can be concerned about their own well-being or interests.

How do people express concern?

People express concern through supportive words, actions, or gestures.

Can worry be controlled?

Worry can be managed through techniques like mindfulness or counseling.

Can worry be chronic?

Yes, worry can be chronic, especially in cases of anxiety disorders.

Is worry a mental health issue?

Excessive worry can be a symptom of mental health issues like anxiety disorders.

Is worry always future-focused?

Worry often focuses on future outcomes but can also relate to current issues.

Does concern always require empathy?

Concern typically involves empathy, but it can also be a formal or professional interest.

Are worry and concern interchangeable?

No, they are not interchangeable due to differences in intensity and connotation.

Can one feel concern without worry?

Yes, one can be concerned about a matter without feeling worried.

How do societal norms affect expressions of concern?

Societal norms can influence how openly or in what ways people express concern.

Can concern lead to action?

Yes, concern often leads to taking action or offering help.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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