Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Have Spiders For Friends?

I'm all for personal development. Getting over fears. Stepping into rather than away from challenges. Yet, there are two fears I can say with confidence that you will NEVER see me attempt to conquer: heights and spiders. Sure I've heard of people jumping out of planes and getting cozy with spiders to make them friends, but me thinks no thanks. Never. Nunca. Jamais!  It's against the natural order of things.

How about micro exposures? Isn't that how most phobias are challenged. Fear of crowds? Hang out in a lobby. Fear of snakes? Hang out at the zoo. Fear of spiders?

Spiders of Massachusetts

Maybe exposing myself by viewing spiders in a safe environment like on a computer screen could help me along? Nothing crazy there. Why not try it?

So I googled "spiders in Massachusetts," and low and behold there's a beautiful page with photos dedicated to the 39 species of spiders living in my state, about 38-37 more than the couple types I've seen since moving here (and a Facebook and Google+ link in the event you want spiders in your social network and circles). I thought that maybe scrolling through the photos and reading about them might help me be less fearful … here are some noteworthy key words:

"Mature females are enormous …"
"This robust spider …"
"Spin dense, non-sticky, sheet-like webs, with a funnel-like retreat where the spider hides [italics mine]."
"The circular webs are built close to the ground …"
"This striking patterned species is a wandering hunter …"


That's about as far as I could scroll -- the Six-Spotted Fishing Spider -- before my scalp tingled and I started to get that barfy feeling in my mouth. Is anybody else surprised to learn that spiders go fishing?

How to Overcome the Fear of Spiders

Thought I'd share this uber visual article on How to Overcome the Fear of Spiders for any of you who would like to attempt facing your spidery phobia. I could barely get through the illustrations. It's not a rational reaction, I know, but turns out seeing them on the screen is as real to me as seeing them in person.

Do you have a fear of spiders? Or have you gotten over a fear of them? How did you do it? If you're not afraid of them (lucky you), why not?

Please share your logic!