What’s your biggest fear? We are all scared of something. It may be spiders, heights, or scary movies. That doesn’t sound too weird, right? In fact, it’s normal to fear things, animals, and people that might hurt us. But what about phobias that seem inexplicable? Phobias that most people cannot relate with at all?
If I’ve piqued your interest, be sure to keep reading. Here are 8 weird phobias you’ve never heard of!
FEAR OF NUMBERS
Math can be exhausting. I mean we all struggled with calculus back in High School, right? (unless you are a natural-born genius). But what if I told you that there are people who genuinely fear numbers? That there are people who start sweating whenever they see or hear “the square root of 2”?
Unfortunately, I’m not kidding. Numerophobia is real. Sometimes it refers to the math taught in schools. Sometimes it’s, as the name suggests, fear of particular numbers. Whatever the case, Numerophobia remains a mystery to psychologists.
FEAR OF BEARDS
Facial hair is a tricky topic. Some love it. Some hate it. But did you know that some actually fear beards? Pogonophobia refers to an extreme phobia of facial hair and beards in particular.
It’s difficult to pinpoint what causes pogonophobia in any given individual, but it could be linked to physical abuse. In other words, if someone you know has pogonophobia, they might have been abused by someone with a beard in the past.
FEAR OF WORK
If you don’t feel like going to work, you’re probably just lazy. But what if you feel paralyzed whenever you are reminded of going to work/finding a job? What if the very idea of signing a job contract makes you lose your senses? Well, in that case, you might be dealing with ergophobia, the fear of work.
This phobia has nothing to do with laziness. In reality, it’s a kind of social anxiety linked to any and all professional settings/relationships.
So, if someone you know doesn’t seem willing to find a job, don’t assume they are a good-for-nothing. They might have a legitimate phobia.
FEAR OF TEENAGERS
Teenagers can be silly, childish, and irresponsible, but can they be… scary? Well, according to Ephebiphobes, they can.
That’s right, fear of teenagers is more common than you might think. I mean, don’t you get stressed when you walk past a group of adolescents? Don’t you feel like they’re judging you? Like they’re about to mock you? That might not be Ephebiphobia per se, but it’s based on the same premise – teenagers can cause significant anxiety or even outright fear with their teenage ways.
FEAR OF LAUGHTER
Laughter is one of the fundamental elements of social interactions. It brings people together and helps relieve stress, anxiety, and anger.
Unfortunately, for some people, it’s the exact opposite. Geliophobia, the fear of laughter of all kinds, affects many unfortunate souls. It prevents its “prey” from properly fitting in with others, and, in extreme cases, it may lead to absolute self-isolation.
How does one develop Geliophobia? Well, it is speculated that bullying, especially in the early school days, might be the primary cause. If you get laughed at day in, day out, then how are you supposed to react to laughter? It’s no surprise that you start associating giggles, smirks, and chuckles of all stripes with something negative, especially if you’re just a kid!
FEAR OF GOOD NEWS
We all hate receiving bad news. Learning about a relative getting sick, hearing about some kind of tragedy, or learning that uncle Jimmy ate the last pizza slice can all put us in a bad mood and potentially ruin our day. But did you know that some people simply cannot stand receiving good news?
Welp, now you know. Euphobia, or the fear of receiving good news, is as real as you and me. You might wonder: “why would anyone feel anxiety after receiving good news?” As it turns out, the main culprit is pessimism. Some people are simply unable to fully accept that something good happened to them. Euphobes can’t help but feel as though their temporary dose of happiness will soon fade, that it will be replaced by something negative, or that those who bring “good news” are simply misinformed.
It’s a dangerous phobia, one that can suck all the fun out of life. If you or anyone you know shows signs of Euphobia, it might be an early indication of depression.
FEAR OF PEANUT BUTTER ON THE ROOF OF YOUR MOUTH
Arachibutyrophobia is the fear of peanut butter… but not just any peanut butter! It’s specifically the fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth.
Sounds absurd? Maybe. Is it still a real phobia? Yup. While rare, arachibutyrophobia does affect thousands of people around the globe, so it can’t be readily dismissed.
But what is so scary about peanut butter? Well, apparently some people perceive the sensation of peanut butter sticking to the roof of their mouth as equivalent to choking. They don’t do it consciously. As is the case with all phobias, they can’t help but feel anxiety or fear.
Thankfully, successful recovery is possible. In other words, if you suffer from arachibutyrophobia, you may still be able to taste peanut butter without the accompaniment of an acute panic attack.
FEAR OF… PHOBIAS?
The fear of phobias is a legit thing, however ridiculous that may sound (I swear it’s not that we’ve run out of ideas!). What’s more, it has a rather fitting name – Phobophobia.
I know, I know. It sounds like a joke. But hear me out. Phobophobia is actually a serious problem that mostly affects people who had already developed a different phobia before. Its origins lie in the fact that people with phobias know how mentally and emotionally vexing a phobia can be. The sheer prospect of developing a new one can be extremely debilitating.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a vicious cycle of ever-growing phobias. If you or anyone you know shows signs of any phobia, however minor they may be, take it seriously. You never know how quickly it may turn grim.