The Welwyn group braved the cold weather to discuss the things that scare us and scary experiences. This included driving through the alps, encounters with ‘unstable’ people whilst hitchhiking through Australia, being tossed around in a light aircraft due to an approaching storm and then noticing that the window was held in place by a sticky plaster. And, luckily not on the same occasion, the engine falling off the aircraft whilst taking off.
We recalled experiences of being caught up in a terrorist attack and how at the time you ‘just get on with it’, only later reflecting on how dangerous the situation was.
Life can be scary, not knowing what is around the corner. So is change – going to university where you don’t know anyone, starting to be sociable again, particularly after the pandemic.
We heard how an acquaintance had worked at Bletchley Park during the war and how scared she was about making an error that could change the outcome of the war.
We learned that babies are born with only two fears – the fear of falling and loud noises – and pondered how scientists would have discovered this. Most fears are learned and are developed at a young age by our environment and culture. The most common phobias include:
- Arachnophobia: an intense fear of spiders and other arachnids
- Ophidiophobia: an intense fear of snakes
- Acrophobia: an intense fear of heights
- Aerophobia: an intense fear of flying
- Cynophobia: an intense fear of dogs
- Astraphobia: an intense fear of thunder and lightning
- Trypanophobia: an intense fear of injections
- Social phobia: an intense fear of social interactions
- Agoraphobia: an intense fear of places that are difficult to escape, sometimes involving a fear of crowded or open spaces
- Mysophobia: an intense fear of germs, dirt, and other contaminants
We hoped that tonight’s discussion wouldn’t give anyone nightmares and recommended reading a cheerful book before bedtime!