Ah spiders, these much feared pests. If we are “lucky” enough in the UK not to have very big spiders, we can still find ourselves face to face with fairly sizable characters, which fortunately are never dangerous. But why this deathly fear, that has us screaming in terror when confronted with these itsy bitsy little beasties, which are infinitely tinier than us? Rest assured, you’re not alone -there are 26 million people in the world with a fear of spiders!
1/ Learn about how they live to better understand them
Studying spiders, without looking too hard at the pictures to start out with, is an excellent way of familiarising yourself with how they live and how they look. You know what they say about fearing the unknown. TV documentaries or online articles -there are many great ways to develop your understanding.
2/ Getting used to their presence
Should you cross a spider in your path, don’t run a mile, but see it as an exercise: start by trying to stay near it for as long as you can without becoming too anxious. Breathe calmly and tell yourself that this miniscule creature is the one who should be terrorised.
3/ Try to appreciate their qualities
Underneath their appearance (which some people find repulsive), spiders are actually great allies of humans! In fact, they get rid of thousands of little beasties that we wouldn’t be too fond of if we met them!
4/ Get artistic
As strange as it may seem, drawing spiders can help externalise your fear. Let your imagination run wild with cartoons or caricatures, make them speak like in a comic strip, and make them fun to look at.
5/ Watch films and flick through children’s books that feature spiders
Children’s media often present spiders in a positive and fun way, explaining their value in nature. Don’t underestimate these educational programmes. You may even start to like them through these stories, and start to see them in a new light.
6/ Release them instead of killing them
Has a spider poked its nose out of a corner of your ceiling? It’s now or never! Steel yourself and do your good deed for the day: try to capture it (for example, in a large glass) and to free it. It’s not going to jump at you -by contrast, it will want to get as far away from your house as possible and never again darken the door! Bravo, you can be proud of yourself!