Office Life

The 7 Most Inconvenient Phobias to Have in an Office Environment

What are you deathly afraid of? Whether you suffer from Acrophobia (fear of heights), Glossophobia (fear of public speaking), Galeophobia (fear of sharks), or my personal hell called Arachnophobia (fear of spiders — honestly, just typing out that word makes me cringe), we all know what it’s like to be extremely terrified of something.

If the thought of this on the roof of your mouth terrifies you, you may have Arachibutyrophobia.
If the thought of this on the roof of your mouth terrifies you, you may have Arachibutyrophobia.

As anxious as we get about our fears, imagine if your phobia meant you’d be afraid of things that are a part of everyday life. You know, like things you’d be forced to encounter when you go out in public. Such as…

  • Fear of fruit (this phobia name changes depending on the fruit type, but it does exist)
  • Fear of music (Melophobia)
  • Fear of the color purple (Porphyrophobia)
  • Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth (Arachibutyrophobia)

Kind of ridiculous, right? It would be challenging to have a phobia like one of these because they involve objects in our lives on an everyday basis. What a nightmare to have things like these control your life! But, I suppose it could be worse; be thankful that you don’t experience a phobia that keeps you from getting a job (like Ergophobia, a fear of work itself).

If you have a particularly unusual phobia, then it could affect your productivity and work ethic in an office environment. Which one of these phobias would restrict you the most?

Anthropophobia: A fear of people and society. Being afraid of people would be absolutely impossible to get over while in the work place (and in life in general, for that matter). Communication is a big part of a business, and if you freak at the thought of dealing with people then nothing will get done.

Telephobics fear phones -- not convenient for an office!
Telephobics fear phones — not convenient for an office!

Telephobia: A fear of telephones. To many, phones simply deliver messages. But to others, phones are terrifying! This is another phobia that would be hard to get away with in an office. Phones are typically part of an every day job. You have to deal with customers and your coworkers, and the phone is a natural way of doing so.

Cyberphobia: A fear of computers. I cannot think of any office job that does not have computers within their company! Being afraid of computers would prevent you from accomplishing almost anything in an office, unless you use old technology like typewriters (which is not very efficient).

If time and clocks get under your skin, you may be chronophobic.
If time and clocks get under your skin, you may be chronophobic.

Chronophobia: A fear of time and clocks. No matter how hard I try, I can’t wrap my head around this one. No matter what you do or where you go, time is always there. Yeah, you can try your best to avoid fruit and spiders…but time? There’s no way out, buddy. It’s just there.

Papyrophobia: A fear of paper. Paper cuts suck, but getting one doesn’t usually cause us to forever avoid pieces of paper. Paper is used in every job out there — not just an office job. So if you’re afraid of paper, good luck finding a job where you won’t be sitting on edge all day!

Sinistrophobia (left) and Dextrophobia (right): A fear of having objects on either the right or left side of you. I guess this wouldn’t be as big of a deal as a few of the others I mentioned, but it is still bizarre. You would have an extremely cluttered desk if you needed to relocate everything to one side.

So there you have it: some weird, but actual, phobias that would cause you problems in the workplace. I didn’t think these phobias were legit before I looked into any of this, but after doing some further research I was surprised to find that some people actually do fear these things and cannot handle having a job because of them.

So, the next time you blurt out every curse word you know because you have seen a spider, imagine being someone who can’t even handle seeing a piece of paper. (Although, I should probably take this advice before I give it!)

Which one of these uncommon phobias is the strangest to you? Do you experience a phobia that’s not listed here?

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