The majority of the people I know HATE spiders. Personally, I kinda do too. To the people who read my gardening blog post, you would know that I recently remodeled my little garden. In the process of moving storage boxes that have been slowing collecting spider webs over the years, my arachnophobia began to bug me again. I have never been terrified of spiders, but it’s kinda freaky when one crawls its way onto my ankle as I am watering my garden.
The problem is, and I notice this with others too, is that I do not know why I’m afraid of spiders. Really, I just don’t like their “spidery-ness”. Being a person who loves to spend their time outdoors, a fear of spiders can be really frustrating. For example, when I was redoing my garden I had to remove several “spider-infested” stacks of plastic chairs that were covered loosely by a black tarp. I guess you can imagine the kind of spider-paradise it must have been under that tarp. Because of the number of spiders I found during my project, I am pretty sure that I am a well-known spider murderer amongst my garden now.
Now looking back at my actions, I realize that spiders are the same as any living creature. They never had any intention to harm me or my garden, and I just barged into their peaceful home and ruined everything. To prevent this in the future, and to help my fellow people who fear these creepy-crawlies, I have gathered a few tips on how to see the real beauty of spiders.
1. Educate Yourself
When I wanted to get over my fear of spiders, I headed straight to the library. I felt this need to answer my previous question: Why are people so afraid of spiders? Learning as much as you can about spiders will help. I recently checked out the book by Lynne Kelly called Spiders: Learning to Love Them, and it has changed the way I look at these creatures in a good way. It’s also hilarious when I hear a yelp and quick footsteps heading in my opposite direction because the person who wanted to talk to me was met by the face of a giant spider that stares at you from the front cover of the book. Anyways, even in the first few pages of Lynne Kelly’s book, I have begun to work on enjoying the accompaniment of my eight-legged friends rather than squish every one I see. I guess that I feel bad for ruining the lives of innocent beings for no good reason other than the fact that I fear their “spidery-ness”.
2. Don’t Kill the Spider!!
I know this sounds kinda crazy but it’s really important not to kill a spider if you are trying to get over your fear of them. The next time you see a spider, don’t race to get your dedicated spider-killing shoe. Instead, do your best to tolerate it being there. This may seem impossible for some people but I assure you, the spider you are facing has no desire to bite you or attack you in your sleep no matter what you’ve read about them. The most likely scenario is that the spider was in the wrong place at the wrong time and just happened to find a welcoming dark crevice that just happened to be a part of your house. Sadly for the spider, they have no idea that they are probably heading off to their death.
3. Try Naming Your Spiders
Again, this probably sounds insane, but this tip has helped me SO much! I used to get so annoyed by the daddy-longlegs that always somehow found their way into the corner of the garage where my bike is. Every day a new spider makes its way onto the wall that I have to pass by in order to get to my bike. I have stepped on so many daddy-long legs and the guilt is starting to wear on me. Anyway, after reading Lynne Kelly’s book I decided to name the new daddy-long leg who is currently guarding my bike. I don’t know if it’s a girl (do spiders have genders?) but I decided to name her Samantha. If there is a Samantha who is reading this blog, sorry, I’m not sure why the name Samantha occurred to me when I was naming my spider. Now that I refer to the spider as Samantha or Sammy, I find it a lot harder to squish her. It just seems wrong to kill her as an individual. She is simply my companion who shares the same living space as me. On a positive note, she has probably eaten many of the annoying bugs who also weasel their way into our garage. Yes, I know this sounds crazy and yes, I know it may be difficult to simply not kill a spider, but give the guys a chance.
This has been a very… different kind of blog post, but I truly hope that my few tips help all of you who have a fear of spiders. After reading Lynne Kelly’s book I just had to share some of her tips and tricks. Good luck!