| FYI |

5 Things I Wish You Knew about Being a Germophobe

I’m not sure if I’d be clinically diagnosed as an actual germophobe, but germs really creep me out, much more so than my friends

A germophobe is scientifically defined as someone with an extreme fear of or obsession with germs. There are different levels of fear, and sometimes an actual germophobe can also be dealing with OCD. I’m not sure if I’d be clinically diagnosed as an actual germophobe, but germs really creep me out, much more so than my friends.


Germophobes like me have an intense fear of germs. I’ll admit that some girls go crazy with it, and on the other side, some girls realize how gross germs are, but are not majorly bothered by them. They might not try so hard to avoid germs, because it doesn’t bother them as much as it bothers us. Some of us are so bothered by germs we’ll do just about anything to avoid them! The way we see things is that we can’t stand the thought of billions of microscopic bugs (germs!) that are always on and around us. So we’re always spraying Lysol disinfectant on things, we avoid touching the buttons on an elevator, we try not to touch doorknobs — anything that people touch all the time.


Although we might not show it, being a germophobe is actually really hard for us. We are constantly thinking about and fearing something that is always there, and distracts us from having fun. Sometimes we really wish we weren’t such big germophobes, but no matter what we do, we just can’t shake the icky feeling. Sometimes girls think that we’re mean and snobby and big drama queens, but we’re really not trying to be mean or rude if you catch us disinfecting a pencil that you just returned to us. We just can’t stand the thought of germs. We still want to be friends with you and we really don’t mean to be offensive. Please try to overlook it if we do things like that, or don’t join activities.


Let’s say a girl is sharing a bag of chips, and other girls happily stick their (germy!) hands into the bag. A germophobe may desperately want those chips, but she is too scared of germs and doesn’t take any. Like I said before, doorknobs or things that other people touched really freak us out. And seeing girls share a drink? Ewww! No! Just NO!


We’d rather girls not dwell on our germophobic tendencies. Don’t talk about it, make comments, or even ask questions. For sure don’t make wise cracks or germy jokes! Lots of us are actually embarrassed that we don’t feel like everyone else, and trying to talk us out of it is unhelpful. So even when you say things like, “Germs are good for your immune system,” or “Why do they bother you if you can’t even see them?” or “You can still get sick if you’re obsessed, so there’s no point,” these comments never help, so it’s best to just kind of ignore it as much as you can.


Have a unique circumstance you wish the world knew about? Email us at teenpages@mishpacha.com with a short summary and your contact info.


(Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 930)

Oops! We could not locate your form.