10 Common Fears and the Hidden Facts They Reveal About Your True Personality

July 3, 2019 Updated: July 9, 2019

Everybody’s afraid of something. Some kids are afraid of the dark, and while many grow out of it, some people’s fears haunt them way into adulthood. Maybe your particular bugbear is, well … bugs! Maybe it’s clowns, spiders, or speaking in public.

Whatever you’re afraid of, it can really hold you back. Or, it can tell you something you never knew about the depths of your own personality. If you locate your fear in the list of 10 below, you might just be floored by what it reveals to you about yourself.

Fear of the dark (“nyctophobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | Darius Murawski

If you’re afraid of the dark, then you are, in fact, a joyful person with a childlike exuberance. You are wonderfully creative and may even have a creative vocation or hobby that you love.

You owe your fear of the dark to your overactive imagination. But far from having to keep the lights on, which actually keeps you awake longer, try using a dim nightlight, instead. Use your imagination for good and not evil. Join an art class, or take up creative writing!

Fear of public speaking (“glossophobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | Terdsak L

If you’re afraid of speaking in public, then hello, introvert! You are at your happiest when alone with your thoughts, and possibly even alone altogether. But you love your close-knit group of friends.

While you can certainly avoid the gaze of the crowd, you don’t have to become a wallflower. Try coming out of your shell by saying “yes” to more social invitations from friends, family, or co-workers.

Fear of snakes (“ophidiophobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | Anton_Ivanov

If you’re afraid of snakes, that’s because you are deeply afraid of a perceived threat to your loved ones. In fact, your snake aversion is pretty instinctual.

Live Science suggests that “this ability helped humans survive in the wild,” so it’s not completely irrational. However, while protecting your loved ones is a valiant venture, don’t forget about yourself. Strike a balance in your relationships and make sure you are also getting what you need.

Fear of blood (“hemophobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | Linda Bestwick

If you’re afraid of blood, you may be surprised to know that this means you are usually a balanced and centered person. You may view your body as a temple, and any threat to bodily health is simply too much for you to bear.

Much like a fear of snakes, this fear may be deeply rooted in primitive reflexes. Blood indicates a problem, right? Right! Just don’t let it get out of control. Harness the power of your calm, centered approach to life and get really into yoga or meditation.

Fear of germs (“mysophobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | Aaron Amat

If you’re afraid of germs, then we hate to say it, but you might be a little uptight. You are known as tidy and organized by your friends and co-workers and pride yourself on keeping your life in order. However, as a result, you might sometimes find it hard to loosen up.

Anxiety, as we know, is not the best thing for long-term health. Harness the courage to literally “mess things up” a little by puppy-sitting, inviting a friend’s kids over for a finger-painting session, or throwing a party. They’re only cushions, after all.

Fear of spiders (“arachnophobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | verbaska

If you’re afraid of spiders, then join the club! Although far from alluding to a nervous disposition, a fear of spiders actually indicates strength and great leadership skills. You might even be a team leader or a boss at work.

According to Health Research Funding, over 30.5 percent of the entire population of the United States suffers from this “intense fear.” But nobody can be in charge all of the time. Take a break and let somebody else run the show for a while.

Fear of clowns (“coulrophobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | nito

If you’re afraid of clowns, then you can’t stand dishonesty. You expect truth and transparency from other people, much the same as you would offer them.

However, what about science fiction? Masquerade balls? Even costume parties? Sometimes duplicity can be a lot of fun, so start exploring your silly side (just stay away from the circus).

Fear of being alone (“monophobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | PR Image Factory

If you’re afraid of being alone, then it’s because you’re usually a social butterfly. You adore entertaining and being surrounded by friends, and you often find yourself in a relationship, even if it’s with the wrong person.

The ability to be alone is vital for your long-term mental well-being. Make sure you’re getting enough personal time. If you don’t know what to do with it, then take up a new hobby! We recommend baking (delicious).

Fear of heights (“acrophobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | Pressmaster

If you’re afraid of heights, then get ready for an ego massage; you are a pretty complex human being. Yes, you love meeting new people and are always game for new experiences, but on the other hand, you are intensely afraid of the unknown. Is this a paradox?

It’s not, actually. Think about it. In order to have developed a fear of heights, you must have been trying something daring to begin with (think scaling a mountain, climbing the Eiffel Tower, or even riding in a glass elevator). Expert tip: practice simplifying your life!

Fear of crowded spaces (“agoraphobia”)

Illustration – Shutterstock | G-Stock Studio

If you’re afraid of crowds, then you definitely like a lot of personal space. Both physically and emotionally, you don’t like people to get too close to you unless it’s on your terms.

Means allowing, you probably live on your own, but while looking out for yourself is a great quality to have, you might be missing out. Really get to know the people you already have in your life, and invite some new ones in, too.

So, did you find your fear and learn something new today? Share with everybody you know who has ever had the shivers!

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