With news this week breaking about a woman suffering from ‘Simon Cowell-itis’ (a unique, bizarre fear of seeing the music mogul himself on the small screen) OVO Energy has surveyed 2,000 Brits to find a list of all the peculiar things that strike fear into the hearts of the nation.
Wasps, octopuses and multi-storey car parks have been named among a list of the strangest things which strike fear into the hearts of women, it emerged yesterday.
A fear of the dentist and the dark burden many, while the thought of going on a rollercoaster and looking at old embarrassing photos of themselves also made the list of women’s 40 weirdest fears.
Interestingly, the research found that spiders prove the most common everyday fear for both sexes, while being trapped in a lift and even flushing airplane toilets were also included.
Men proved more affected by heights and the dreaded thought of crying in public was more prominent for them.
The research into the little scares experienced by British men and women, which was conducted by energy firm OVO, saw women cite basements and moths among their fears, while the thought of using public toilets led many to feel unease.
Other things to have a lady on edge included dogs off the lead, while being pulled to the stage for karaoke or the dread of getting singled out during a stand up comedian’s act is something us Brits are horrified at the thought of.
People who stare too much, the tube and opening the monthly bills were among the other fears that emerged for the average modern woman.
Yesterday Justin Haines of OVO said: “Everyone is unique so there are inevitably many different aspects in life, both big and small, that can worry or scare someone.
“There’s luckily a huge support network out there to help people overcome fears, from the common to the more unusual, ensuring these worries don’t impact on everyday life. Talking fears through with friends, family or even just a friendly face and voice at the end of the phone can often help put tensions at ease.”
The study also found the prospect of ageing, thought of breaking up with their current partner and thunder and lightning among the top 40 fears for the country’s men and women.
While an unease around pigeons and a fear of beards narrowly missed finishing in the top 40 fears for women.
Financial worries or the thought of redundancy plagued men while constant worry over their hairline and whether it’s receding is a top 10 fear for Britain’s men.
The thought of speaking in public sends a shiver down the spine of many chaps, while holding a baby, plane take-offs and landings and having to step up and be best man at a wedding were other fears inside their top 40, along with the mother-in law.
And huge blokes at the gym and, strangely, mannequins narrowly missed out on the top 40 little scares for men.
The results also showed the average person experiences two scares a week in some form, while one in six people studied said they spent more time afraid than they should.
Brits deemed taking their driving test as the scariest situation they’ve had to face in life, while becoming a parent, going on a first date, asking the boss for a pay rise and meeting their partner’s parents for the first time also have us holding our nerve.
More than a quarter also said that thinking about life admin and the complexities of energy bills and switching suppliers worried them.
Justin Haines of OVO continued: ''There are lots of little things that can make us uneasy. Despite being extremely money savvy, a large percentage of Brit consumers tend to think that switching energy suppliers is a scary process with 62% reporting to have never switched supplier or tariff.
“In fact, it couldn’t be simpler; taking only a few minutes to enter your details online – leaving the rest to companies like OVO. People who have never switched could save up to £250 a year.”