17 Embarrassing Things Everyone Is Afraid Of

Like a lot of people who have been granted the dubious privilege of existing as a human on earth, there are many things that I am afraid of. These things are, in no particular order: Speaking in front of large groups of people. Eating a sandwich and not realizing that I have alfalfa sprouts stuck in my teeth for the rest of the day. Brushing my teeth so hard my enamel wears off. Nuclear holocaust. Nicolas Cage. That girl on The Bachelor who dressed up as a shark but said it was a dolphin and also, for whatever reason, said that her number one fear is Nicolas Cage.

Now, most of these fears are ones that could probably be placed in the “irrational” category, which, as Lemony Snicket says, are fears that don’t actually make sense. (Like, for example, Alexis from The Bachelor, for while I do feel a great deal of existential fear from her presence, I don’t think she threatens my life. But not so much the nuclear holocaust, which appears to be increasingly possible. Crazy times we live in today!) Still, just because a fear is technically irrational, this doesn’t mean you can’t feel it as a legitimate emotion. And, on that note, I bet that there are many technically irrational fears that, despite being supposed to have outgrown them long ago, you still experience. It’s okay! Most of us do. Check out these things that everyone (okay, fine, “most” people) are afraid of:

1. The dark:

Look–people fear the unknown, and having everything around you being shrouded in darkness is more or less the definition of the unknown. Even if you don’t need an actual nightlight, per se, it’s still normal to get


2. ESPECIALLY being in the bathroom in the dark:


Darkness. Random pools of water. Bloody Mary. There’s a lot to fear!


3. That moment when you wake up after a really horrible dream and, like, you know it technically wasn’t real, but it’s still dark and it’s still scary, so you just lay there until your feeling of paralysis goes away:


This happens!


4. Waking up one day and realizing that everything that has ever happened to you was all a dream and you’re actually a totally different person with a different family and a different life:




5. Driving on the highway after you haven’t driven in a while:


Or, just, like, driving in general. Cars are death traps, IMO.


6. Talking to older relatives on the phone:




7. Or having to call, like, any stranger and actually having to talk to them:


Never know who’s on the other side.


8. Class presentations:


Palms sweaty. Knees weak.  Arms heavy. You get the idea.


9. That occasional suspicion you have that your life is actually a Truman Show-style reality show–that is, you’re being filmed and everyone in the United States is watching you and you have no idea:


Don’t think about this one too long. It’ll ruin your day.


10. The odd conspiracy theory that, for whatever reason, just really speaks to you right now:


Remember Marina Joyce? That was scary!!


11. Getting so freaked out by a particularly spooky book or movie that you either can’t go to sleep or have to sleep with the lights on for weeks:


Happens to us all!


12. Wearing earrings that are so heavy that they rip through the hole in your ears, leaving you with two separate, flaccid flaps:


Perhaps you can relate?


13. Secretly suspecting that none of your friends actually like you:


Not to, uh, make this personal.


14. Lightning:


Look. I’m not Benjamin Franklin. I find random electrical currents to be scary, personally.


15. Strangers:


I believe the phrase is “stranger DANGER,” so don’t play me and try to act like everyone I don’t know on an intimate basis isn’t horrifying!!


16. Swimming in a lake and having your leg brush up against…something:


It’s unclear what it is, exactly, but the only thing you can do in this instance is flail around and scream until you get out.


17. This thing:



Are you afraid of any of these things? Did I forget any good ones? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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