You were probably asked during your childhood, what’s your biggest fear? The most common answers were things like fear of the dark or being left out by friends. Although our concerns felt valid at the time they were superficial in comparison to the fears we face in adulthood. We didn’t realize our fears wouldn’t go away, they would simply morph into something more stressful than the things that perturbed us as children. On Reddit one person posted in the thread “askReddit” and asked what people are scared of as an adult that they weren’t scared of as a child. There were many hard-hitting answers and here is a list of 17 of the most interesting.
Most Common Fears of Adulthood:
1. Losing a parent.
One of the most common fears among adults is losing their parents. No matter the state of your relationship with your parents, the thought of losing them is likely to have a profound impact on you. However complex our relationships with them may be, they are there for many of our firsts in life.
Another fear that many people have is unemployment. Life is full of expenses from transportation, to medical, to daily living expenses. Losing your job can cause spiraling impacts that may take years to overcome.
3. Lack of Money
Lack of money follows closely behind unemployment as a huge fear amongst adults. This is because it can be stressful trying to stretch funds in order to keep up with the cost of living.
4. Being Homeless
Many adults have expressed concerns involving homelessness. Homelessness has increased greatly due to rising costs of living, Covid related job loss, and rising drug use. So much so, that there are literal “tent cities” within major city limits.
While there are several treatments available for types of cancers that were not available in the past, the treatment process is still daunting for many adults.
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Many people find death to be unsettling. This is likely because no one knows for sure what happens when we die. There are many religious beliefs that offer possible outcomes as to what happens but these outcomes are based solely on faith. They require someone to believe, without finite proof, which can often feel reminiscent of a fairy tale.
7. Alzheimer’s/ Dementia
There are funny memes highlighting that our brains age, as we do. Less amusing though, is the diagnosis and impact of Alzheimer’s or Dementia. The thing that makes both diseases so scary is their unpredictability.
8. Breaking a Bone
Breaking bones is particularly scary as an adult for many reasons. One is, that you may be out of work. This can lead to even greater problems such as the inability to pay your bills and support your family. The other downside to breaking a bone as an adult is the recovery process. Recovery takes much longer because our bones are not as pliable.
9. Getting Injured
Getting injured can have the same adverse effects as breaking a bone. A long recovery time may lead to too much time off work and without income. Depending on where you live and what type of insurance (or lack there of) you have, you could end up with sky-high medical bills.
10. Getting Older
Growing older is an inevitable part of life but for many adults, this is actually a very scary concept. Our bodies don’t work the same way they used to. Sleeping wrongly can cause neck or back pain. Staying active and fit becomes much more challenging. Most importantly, getting older increases your risk of diseases and diagnoses.
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11. Acting Silly in Public
Many adults feel concerned about what other people might think of them if they act silly, sing, or even trip in public. In my experience people who judge others are simply trying to divert attention from their own unhappiness or shortcomings.
12. Riding in Someone Else’s Car
We all like to feel like we are in control and driving gives us the illusion we are in control. For that reason, many adults feel uncomfortable and even afraid to be in the passenger seat of a car, as opposed to the driver’s seat
13. Making New Friends
The biggest issue with meeting new people, as discussed in Number 11, is that people are way too concerned with the opinions of others. Another issue that makes meeting new friends seem scary is that we don’t have the same kind of extracurricular activities available to us. As children, we had ample opportunity to meet friends with common interests.
14. Fear of Heights
Balance gets worse as we get older and this can lead to a greater risk of injury (which is another reason people fear getting older). A fear of heights is something that never goes away for many of us. In fact, some people developed it later in life.
As frustrating as paying taxes can be, it is an inevitable part of life. What makes it more frustrating is that there are people who can more than afford to further contribute to society but choose not to, and find loopholes.
16. Losing Teeth
Losing your teeth in a dream is common amongst adults. If you’re one to look into the meanings of dreams, you might be surprised to find out that losing your teeth is actually a metaphor for something else. Oddly, you might enjoy losing your teeth when you’re younger. That’s of course if the ‘tooth fairy’ pays you a visit.
17. Long Necked Birds
Birds like geese are territorial so they often attack unprovoked.
Children look forward to adulthood because of the common misconception that adults can do whatever they want, know everything, and aren’t afraid of anything. Upon entering adulthood, we realize those things aren’t true. Sometimes a gentle reminder that we are not alone on this journey can be helpful because living in fear as adults has a greater impact than it did during childhood. No matter what fears you have, remember there are many methods of support in coping with them.
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