A few of the Tea Break team have gotten together to discuss the things we hate the most. From the popular to the weird, check out some of our phobias and let us know if you can agree with them!

Taylor-Louise Rowley: Mottephobia (Moths)
Okay, don’t laugh, but I absolutely cannot, never have, never will be able to deal with moths. Do not ask me why, they just creep me out so much. The way they look, the way they fly, the way they sound when they stupidly fly into a light bulb a million times makes my skin crawl. I literally think I’d break down if one touched me!

My dad lives in the country, so in the evenings the whole house is crawling with them (and spiders – ewww) and if I’m staying over, I make him clear them all out of my room before I go to sleep. (Sorry dad – but isn’t that what you guys are supposed to do?) In recent years, I’ve realized I’m not to bad with the really small ones but I absolutely cannot deal with the huge, furry, beady eyed ones, they give me the heebie jeebies. Like what are you even doing with your life? Why are you even here? Can you not?



Ben Howgill: Shpeksophobia (Wasps)
WASPSI hate wasps. To be honest, I don’t like little flying things in general. But wasps are like the trolls of the nature world. It’s like they just know how much I hate them. They fly around, setting me on edge and making me cry and run away.

These little black and yellow monsters worry me even now as I type. I think it all stems from a time when I was quite young when I was stung on the end of my finger. I felt something tickling my neck so I brushed my hand against it, scratching the itch. The next thing I know, I’ve got a wasp clinging desperately to my finger causing me as much pain as possible and I’m going into shock.

Since, I’ve had a nervous disposition around small things that fly. To my friends amusement, I’ll run half a mile away from what I thought was a wasp only to find it was bee or something.

I just shuddered.



Fiachradh McDermott: Table Corners (no scientific one for this though!)

We all know they’re there. We all fear them. We suppress this fear; it’s natural. But every once in a while one must accept one’s own fate and approach this fear, battle-axe in hand, shaking, wishing to be in some other God-foresaken situation; anywhere but here. Yes, yes, table corners are an everyday fear in which we have been oppressed into accepting. One cannot deny the unholy fear within. They exist passively; their effect is unnaturally intrusive.

You are going about your daily routine: walking in the library, maybe on a stroll to the front of class – BAM – one of these babies sticks itself out in your path and fucks your day up. Your leg is in tatters, yet you cannot do anything. You ask yourself, ‘Why? Why me?‘ You can’t turn around and slam the table, it’s an inanimate object. You can’t even rest your legs on them when you chilling, because they dig in, creating a deep trench of hatred in your skin.

I’m not going to write a big long speech encouraging an uprising. No, I don’t support these endeavours. However, I’m here for you bro. I got you.


Nabilla Doma: hearing people pee (also nothing scientific for this one).
So I have a slightly strange phobia (not that many phobias aren’t strange already). I’ve only realised it recently, as in this year, and it was at an all time high during the summer. I’m going to share this phobia with you lovely people because I feel like you guys deserve a laugh: I have a phobia of hearing people pee.


Now I know, it’s ridiculous, how can you be afraid of hearing someone piss? But guys, honestly, I’m not even making this shit up. I don’t know how it started but all I know is during the summer, I wanted to cry myself to sleep whenever someone in my house went to the bathroom.

In my house back in London, I have the unfortunate please of having my room right next to the bathroom, so this means whenever someone wants to come and take a leak at, lets say 2:38am, I can hear EVERYTHING. As soon as the person gets on the toilet and I can begin to hear the pee come out, I have to close my mouth because, weirdly enough, I feel like the piss is going to fly from the toilet into my mouth. Again, I’m not making this up; this is just how I feel. If I don’t close my mouth I automatically feel sick .Even the thought of it right now is making me gag and cringe!


So there you go! Hope you guys had a good laugh and please don’t judge me for my weird and very funny phobia; I’m still a human being!!!



Victoria Cox: Pill dust (phagophobia is the fear of swallowing pills, but dust? Nothing!)

A generic fear for a girl is spiders, of which I am petrified. But perhaps my more irrational and unexplained phobia of all is pill powder.

I used to suffer with horrendous travel sickness, so bad that even a half an hour journey would have me immediately throwing up into the foot-hold of my parents’ car. So, to prevent this sickness my mum used to force down my throat a “strawberry” flavoured pill, which once consumed meant that I was absolutely fine for the rest of the journey. I say “strawberry” in quotations marks because that’s the flavour the pill box used to claim it was, but it in fact tasted like a boiled sweet found between the cracks in a sofa left for months, with a strange grainy aftertaste on your tongue. Ironically I used to nearly throw up trying to get the damn anti-sickness pill down my throat.

Ever since then, my ability to swallow pills became a major event- Paracetamol being the worst pill of all. Have you ever attempted to swallow a Paracetamol, not quite manage it, and find it slowly dissolving in the back of your throat or on your tongue? If you haven’t, the taste is vile. To solve this problem, my mum used to break the pill and serve it to me in halves. But for some reason unknown to myself I began to develop a phobia for that little bit of dust left on my mum’s palm after she had broken the pill. The only way I can explain this phobia is that it’s purely a psychological association with my incapability to swallow tablets, but the fear is still there today.


Even now I have to psyche myself up when swallowing a pill, and need at least a pint of water just in case it goes wrong. I can now swallow a pill whole, so the event of a pill powder situation is thankfully a rare one.

Of course, unless you happen to push a paracetamol out of the packet a little too hard and it crumbles into tiny, disgusting pieces all over your hand… I can already feel my throat closing up as I write this!

I think this article better end here before I lose my breakfast!



Anna Landi: Vaseline (nothing medical about this!)

When we have conversations about phobias, ones that sparked this particular post in particular, people share the more typical phobias: spiders, needles, heights, stupid people. But when the conversation makes the rounds and lands to me, I almost feel the need to say something in that ‘normal phobia’ category. So when my mouth says ‘Vaseline‘, people have the tendency to laugh or question every single aspect and detail of my life so far that has lead me to HATE Vaseline.



I don’t know where it came from – so don’t ask. But all I know is that I hate it and refuse to touch it. I remember a few years back when I had my nose pierced, I went to the piercing studio to buy a ring for it, and when I sought some advice from the assistant, he said, “make sure your nose, hands and the ring itself is clean, and when you’ve taken the stud out, pop some Vaseline on the ring and it’ll glide straight through.” I zoned out completely, so much so that the rest of what he was saying sounded a bit like it was being filtered through a plastic tupperwear box ten miles away. All I could think was “if he thinks I’m touching that shit, he has another thing coming.

I think it has something to do with the fact that the consistency of it is completely off. Vaseline, or petroleum jelly, looks like it should be firmer and thinner but it isn’t. It’s soft, disgustingly thick, weird smelling, fudge-y and unnatural.
You should have seen my reaction every time my teacher during English Literature at school mentioned the fact that Curly, from John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, had a habit of wearing a glove FILLED WITH VASELINE so his hand would be soft for his wife.

All I’m saying is, if I was Curly’s wife, I would have divorced him a long time ago just to get away from that creepy-as-fuck Vaseline hand.



Natasha Lane: Ear/body stretchers (again, nothing scientific here)

I just find it unnatural that you could put your finger through a part of someone’s body; there are just so many things wrong with it. Firstly, why would you want your ear to be that stretched? Secondly, how can you get a job with your ear that stretched? Thirdly, when the hoop is taken out and the ear hangs down, it looks absolutely grim and painful – I just want to hug someone when I see them without the hoop thing in, but also not be near them. Fourthly, have you seen the photos of ear stretchers that have gone wrong? No? My advice is DON’T. It’s absolutely disgusting. It genuinely makes me feel like I’m going to throw up all over my laptop screen. It looks horrificly and unnecessarily painful and I physically cannot fathom why you’d want to put yourself through that. But mainly, the thing that I can’t deal with is that you could put your finger through their ear and that’s just not normal. I have nothing against people that have them, but ear stretchers just freak me out. Look at this guy! I could fit my hand through his ear and that’s just wrong on so many levels!


Jared Barley – Globophobia (fear of balloons)

I have more phobias than fingers nowadays; this is probably because everything new that I come into contact with seems like a deadly threat. One of my strangest phobias that haunts me to this day is probably the idea that a balloon is going to pop and ping little rubbery evils straight into my eyeball; blinding me or causing me serious bodily harm. It’s literal term is Globophobia if anyone is interested, don’t know why you’d be interested in balloons personally…

JARED PHOBIAI’m sure everyone remembers that EVIL lady that came round to hand out balloons at birthday parties. Whenever she appeared in the room I just ran to the nearest exit. I always made sure to throw her the look of a betrayed child before I left the room. All I wanted was a goody bag with a cheeky slice of cake, maybe some crayons… even a whistle? But nope, she had to go one extra and ruin my life.

Coming back to children, if a young child squeezes a balloon or even attempts to create that squeaky noise then please remove that child from my life. That high-pitched squeal of a suffocating balloon causes me to literally plank on the ground hoping that in some alternative reality, the balloon would disappear if nobody paid it any attention.

If you learn anything from this I hope it is that balloons are evil. Peace.



We had a fun, yet somewhat traumatic experience of telling you what we hate the most – but tell us yours! Use @teabreakdmu and let us know your phobias!


Image: here