How holding a spider helps you overcome your fear

Posted at 6:25 PM, Nov 01, 2017

When it comes to scaring us, Hollywood sure likes to have fun with spiders. But it's no fun when you have a real fear of them. So it's no surprise when it came time to see one in person, Cassandra Kidd was a bit nervous.  

"Oh God I'm scared!" Kidd exclaimed.   

She mustered up her strength to hold Rosie the tarantula. And after just a few seconds the fear was gone.  

"It felt kind of like a ladybug but more gentle," Kidd says.    

Kathleen Lewis peered over the wall as her grandson held Rosie.  

"No I'm not as brave as my four-year-old grandson," Lewis says.  

Fear kept her from holding the spider herself.  

"Too many legs moving," Lewis says.

When it comes to overcoming fears like Arachnophobia experts say educating yourself in an environment where you feel safe can make all the difference. The Spider Pavilion at Butterfly Pavilion is an example. Arachnids of all sizes hang out above.  

A belief that spiders want to jump down on you is one of many misconceptions Mary Ann Colley, Vice President of Science and Conservation at Butterfly Pavilion, has heard about spiders.  

"People are always saying, 'Oh, I am going to eat spiders in my sleep,'" Colley says. "That's not true."

Another? The idea they want to bite you.

"Spiders really don't want to have anything to do with us," Colley says. "They want to do their own thing, they want to hunt for their food, create their webs."  

Colley says only a small amount of spiders have a level of toxicity to actually hurt us. Butterfly Pavilion hopes sharing facts can help overcome fear.

"We want to be respectful of nature around us," Colley says. "So we always suggest to observe so just to take a look you can get close but you don't have to touch."  

Seeing spiders in a new light. And facing your fear head on.