What is it that makes some of us fearless and others a quivering mess when faced with a tin of beans??
I have quite a few phobias, I’ll admit, although none so out of the ordinary as those oddballs on shows such as Freaky Eaters! I can quite comfortably eat beans on toast thank you very much.
But yesterday I found myself a prisoner in my own flat after I discovered a wasp in my lounge. There I was comfortably relaxing on my sofa and then I heard that insistent buzzing – urgh I hate that sound! As soon as the wasp got partly through the gap in the open window I was up, rushing out the room and quickly slamming the door shut. I then sat for over 10 minutes in my bedroom before I would dare set foot back in that room.
I’ve had a fear of wasps (and bees) for absolutely years now, I’ve dropped sandwiches at picnics, leapt up from sunloungers and ‘hid’ behind my hands at the mere sound of those nasty stinging machines.
The weird thing is I’ve never been stung, so what have I got to fear? Well, I think this could partly be it – I’ve built up the thought of being stung to such a ridiculous level now that I am in constant fear of it happening. I’m even quite suspicious that I may have some form of allergy which will see me go into some sort of shock/fit if a wasp or bee were to decide to inflict pain.
Similarly I am petrified of spiders. Now when I was visiting friends in Sydney and we were faced with a spider the size of our open fist I feel this fear was slightly more justified. However I am frightened of arachnids whatever size and shape they come in and even a teeny tiny, incy wincy spider will make my skin crawl. It’s just the way they move. Yuck.
Animals seem to be a running theme actually. I have a real phobia of dogs – something I think I’ve got from my Dad and I get really frightened if I’m out and about and see one, particularly if one comes bounding towards me. And even the video clip of a rat on I’m A Celebrity makes me go cold and covered in goosebumps!
I also find before I go on a meeting with a client I get a bit nervous, I worry I’ll sound like I won’t know what I’m talking about or I’ll get lost and not be able to find their office. However, at least when this happens I find I’m fine when I get in there and face to face with them – I don’t stop talking!!
Although I have quite a few phobias, I guess in a way I’m quite lucky they are relatively ‘normal’. I’ve come across people scared of birds, belly buttons, clowns and squirrels, but I wonder how these fears develop – are we influenced by those around us or is it genetic? Do we come with any phobias that we’re pre-programmed with at birth? I certainly don’t remember seeing anybody crying or nervous with odd phobias when they’re babies or children – it seems to develop as we get older somehow.
According to some sources, 4 out of 5 people have a phobia. The most common apparently include arachnophobia, sociaphobia (fear of being judged negatively in social situations), claustrophobia, fear of flying (aviophobia) and agoraphobia (fear of going out).
Some of these seem pretty understandable in certain circumstances but there are a lot more out-there fears in existence. Looking on this site , it appears people can be frightened of being frightened – photobophobia! Or perhaps that miserable person in your office actually has geliophobia (a fear of laughing). Clearly some people on the train in the mornings have a fear of washing, judging by the smell of them!
So whilst I’m scared of storms, scary films, heights and mice, I’m at least thankful that I don’t have a phobia which stops me living my life – well that is until I come face to face with Mickey Mouse on the Saw ride at Thorpe Park in the middle of a storm!