What creeps us out? And why?
Most fears are learned, but fear of loud noises, pain, and injury appear to be universal. A fear of snakes is common to most primates.
Some of the most common fears:
Bugs, Mice, Snakes, and Bats. They’re unpredictable, creepy-crawly, and possibly poisonous. But irrational fears may lead us to harm beneficial animals. Spiders are the most common phobia.
Heights. We’re afraid because we can’t fly and we could fall. A reasonable reason for being anxious at the top of cliffs!
Water. Fear of deep water can be innate or learned due to a near-drowning experience.
Crowds/Public Transportation. We feel more vulnerable in public crowded places because we have less control over other people or situations. Fleeing is much more difficult, making crowded places a source of anxiety.
Storms. Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and even thunderstorms can cause irrational anxiety – because we know the damage they can cause.
Closed Spaces. Feeling trapped (imagine being in a coffin!) feels horrible. Our need to be free makes this a common phobia.
Speaking in Public. We feel like we’ll be judged; we worry what we look and sound like. We don’t want to embarrass ourselves, especially in front of peers.