Fear is an emotion that is inherent in every living being on the planet, whether you have two legs or four. It is an unconscious reaction that occurs due to undesirable (subjective) occurrences of certain situations. A vast majority of the human population has already experienced this emotion, and the ones who haven’t are those who are still in their diapers. Literally. There are many manifestations of fear – psychological, societal, religious and some (we’re sorry to say) outright stupid.
Things People Are Afraid Of
Thunderstorms and Lightning
Now this is what we call a primal fear. There’s no denying the fear that you feel when you hear lightning or thunderstorms outside your home during or before heavy rainfall. And if you have a dog in your home, you know what we’re talking about. Called astraphobia, this is one fear which is common to both animals and humans. And even though thunder and lightning are very natural phenomena that rarely affect humans, the fear remains ingrained in many living creatures across the globe.
This fear, called musophobia, arises in most people more out of disgust than actual fear. Mice are tiny little creatures, but they have a bad rep for being “dirty” and carrying a lot of “diseases”. And this is something that people fear more than the rats themselves.
Snakes are one of the most common things people are afraid of, most probably because people are afraid of being bit by a venomous snake and dying slowly and painfully. The irony, though, is that most people are so afraid of snakes, but a majority of them have never even seen a snake in person!
Although not as common as the fear of falling from a great height, meaning literally falling to their deaths, the fear for heights, also called acrophobia, is definitely one of the most common fears among the human race. People suffer from this fear may even have panic attacks when visiting places of great heights.
Also known as claustrophobia, this fear can make the simplest day to day tasks such as riding an elevator seem like a monumental achievement. A common fear of those suffering from claustrophobia is being buried alive. And let’s be honest - this fear is disturbing enough to be scary, and definitely makes the list of things people are afraid of.
Flying in Planes
This fear has been ranked as the worst psychological fear of most humans. It’s more to do with how the media sensationalizes plane crashes and makes them appear more common than they are. We can also blame the TV series LOST for fuelling this fear.
Actually, people don’t fear the dark as much as they fear of what may happen to them in the dark. This includes fear of getting robbed, murdered, mauled or killed by animals or even being attacked by paranormal entities.
Admit it – you have this fear as well. This one is the most understandable because you’re afraid of messing up and making a fool of yourself in front of a big audience.
Every person fears failure, right from the winners to the losers. A lot of this has to do with the pressure society puts on people to be successful and has their worth measured by the amount of money in their bank accounts. Failure is one of those things people are afraid of universal across the globe, irrespective of one’s age, race, ethnicity, gender or religious beliefs.
Fear of what happens to your soul after you die is a common fear encouraged by religious beliefs across the globe. While many religions like Christianity and Islam do not believe in souls, religions like Hinduism and Sikkhism propagate strongly that every human soul is eternal and changes its body after the death of the body (reincarnation).
Going to Hell, Not Heaven
This is yet another fear that plagues theists, especially seeing how terrifying the images of hell have been propagated in various religious books, right from the Bible to the Vedas of Hinduism.
Of course, the intensity of physical pain differs from person to person, but there’s no denying that pain is something that every human being fears, right from babies to adults to senior citizens.
Ah, the fear of being hurt by the dentist intentionally or accidently. It’s completely irrational because the statistical probability of actually being hurt by a dentist (even by accident) is very low because the dentist would most probably end up losing her license. There are greater chances of you winning the lottery than being hurt by a dentist, but then again, exactly how many people in your life are rational to that extent?
As you’ve seen, everyone is afraid of something, and what might seem funny to some might be viewed as terrifying by others. Fear is a purely subjective feeling, and it doesn’t really matter whether they’re rational or not – what matters are that there are always things people are afraid of and everybody is afraid of something.