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ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Arachnophobes - are you able to maintain some degree of calm when a spider lands on you?

Asked by ANef_is_Enuf (23285 points ) September 9th, 2011

Just a little bit ago I was curled up in my comfortable bed, when a big, black spider fell off of the ceiling and landed on my arm. In the split second it took for my brain to register that it was a spider, I was already out of the bed, flailing around, holding my breath, and frantically slapping my own arm.

I lost the spider.

And it occurs to me that if I did not immediately react like this: “bug!bug!bug!getitoff!GET IT OFF!” I might not have lost the spider, and I might be back to being comfy in my bed… but there is definitely no logical reasoning behind it. The reaction is instant.

So, fellow arachnophobes- can you keep your calm when a spider lands on you? And if you can, have you always been able to do so, or did you learn to chill out?

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29 Answers

shego's avatar

Nope, I can’t. About a month ago I was on my balcony, and a spider fell on me. I swiped it off my shoulder and it landed on the front of my shirt, and I attempted to hit it again and lost it. Before I even made it all the way inside my house, I was already stripping my clothes off. I the took a shower went back to the living room and used the broom to carry my clothes to the washer.

DrBill's avatar

they have no effect on me

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@DrBill that’s why I directed the question to arachnophobes. I wouldn’t expect someone that isn’t afraid of spiders to freak out if a spider lands on them. ;)

Vunessuh's avatar

Well, I’m assuming that all arachnophobics have a difficult time remaining calm if a spider is crawling on them or they wouldn’t be considered arachnophobics. I used to freak out a lot more at the sight of a spider, but over the past few years, I’ve been better at remaining calm if I see one. However, it’s a completely different story if there’s one actually on me – I lose my mind and shit my pants.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Vunessuh right, I don’t think anyone that is afraid of spiders would particularly like it, but is everyone as much of a spaz as me? I would be so much better off if I didn’t panic and jerk around like a maniac… I just wonder if anyone has mastered the ability to flick the spider off or smash it, without freaking out first.

Vunessuh's avatar

@ANef_is_Enuf I think most people afraid of spiders just want to get the creature off of them as soon as possible, so we tend to have more dramatic reactions due to that fear rather than calculated ones, which I’m guessing would only come into play if we weren’t afraid. The two emotions of fear and calmness are hard to mix together and fear often times raises our adrenaline level making it more difficult to stay calm. So, you definitely aren’t alone. :)

Brian1946's avatar

In case anyone here is interested, here are some answers regarding the missing spider situation.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

Ohhh, I remember that question! Now I know why I had deja vu when I asked this.

wundayatta's avatar

I think there is something worse than having a spider land on you. With that, at least, you can see the object of fear. But when you walk through an invisible spider web, you have no idea if there was a spider in it, or it is just a dead web. In either case, the web stuff is really creepy. Plus it’s hard to get off. You keep on feeling it and no amount of brushing seems to matter. And it’s all in your hair and your face and you have no idea if there is a spider on your somewhere or not.

Now I will not go to the extremes some go to. I won’t wash clothes and whatnot. But I bat at myself like a madman until I can’t feel anything any more. If it’s in my mouth, then it’s spitsville for about half an hour. It it’s humid, then it’s skin crawly-ville for an equal length of time. I want nothing more than a bath. Unfortunately, there usually isn’t time.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@wundayatta I think I’m allergic to the web silk, because every time I walk through a spiderweb I get an itchy, burning sensation wherever it touched my skin.. and the skin will actually turn pink or reddish.
Definitely, not knowing is the worst. I always try to explain that to people who are not afraid of bugs or spiders. I’m not necessarily afraid that they are going to hurt me… I am just creeped out that they are so sneaky and can crawl into small spaces without you even knowing it. :\ You can never be sure of where they are. Eek.

Cruiser's avatar

I hate to admit it but I like spiders and frankly I want more spiders as I know what they eat in my house!!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@Cruiser you can have mine. :D

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t mind spiders at all—so long as they don’t make webs where I’ll walk into them. We’ve had some big-ass spiders in webs on my porch. Not a problem, since they were obvious. It’s when I walk down the alleyway between our houses at night without remembering to take a broom to sweep the air ahead of me that I run into problems.

CWOTUS's avatar

You guys slay me. Thanks for this.

faye's avatar

I just hurt my neck checking my ceiling.

mazingerz88's avatar

Well I beg your pardon for barging in but I’m not an arachnophobe and even I twist and bop like crazy when a spider lands on me without notification. So how much more you?

YARNLADY's avatar

I have learned to force myself to stay calm, but it is very difficult.

Only138's avatar

I do not soil myself if a spider gets on me, but I use all my attentiion to make sure it gets off me asap, and dies shortly afterwards.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@mazingerz88 it can’t really be described in words.

faye's avatar

I was pulling out of a campground one day in my van- pulling a trailer. I looked to my right, then I looked left – into the eyes of this gigantic spider on my driver’s side window. Not getting into an accident while trying to drive while sitting in the passenger seat was a trick!! Turned out the beast was on the outside. It is such a knee jerk reaction. I would never endanger my kids like that if I had a millisecond to think. I actually had pushed the brake with my left foot and held onto the steering wheel with my left hand whilst begging my kids to get it but we swerved some before that. Physically on me makes me jitterbug all right.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

@faye yesss. The spider in the car is the worst. I am convinced that is how I will die, someday. My response to a spider in the car, especially on the highway, is absolutely dangerous. That is such a good example!

athenasgriffin's avatar

I like spiders, and I still freak out when one lands on me. I screech. It is very embarrassing.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Does instant cardiac arrest answer the question?

ucme's avatar

It’s the walking into their bloody webs I can’t stand. Like being shot with silly string when you’re not expecting it. If a wasp lands on me, well that’s a different story. I instantly become a human windmill & scream like a six year old girl. I fucking hate wasps!!

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

A human windmill… haha. Perfect visual.

tranquilsea's avatar

I’m better about this now than I was. It seems the panic goes up the closer they are to my head and the bigger they are. I can handle jumping spiders and the spiders that are fairly common around where I live now. But wolf spiders have been known to have me springing backwards. I can’t kill them so I keep my eye on them and trap them under a glass to be freed outside.

and yes I know the buggers probably come back in.

SpatzieLover's avatar

My sister is a big phobe…She has more than once called me to tell me that she will not be sleeping in her bedroom due to a spider. She is of an age where I feel she should be able to wage a war with a spider without a phone call to me, her “little” sister ;)

She’s slept in her guest bed or on her couch on the two times she “saw a spider dangling down over the bed”. She completely freaks out when she sees me get a glass and paper to put a spider out of my home which I do often.

She’d probably crawl right out of her body if she had one on herself…Me? I just brush ‘em off or put them in a safe place in the garden. I often have spiders crawling in my hair after a good day of pruning out in the yard ;P

faye's avatar

Gaah, @SpatzieLover, I’d have to shave my head!!

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