June 18, 2024
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Welcome to Robust Love. We’re answering your questions on courting, breakups, and all the things in between. Our recommendation giver is Blair Braverman, dogsled racer and writer of Small Sport and Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Dice. Have a query of your personal? Write to us at [email protected].


I’ve a good friend who’s scared of snakes. He’s from Australia, the place the snakes are way more harmful than those who reside round us now. Technically we now have rattlesnakes right here, however I don’t even know anybody who’s seen one, and many of the snakes we now have aren’t venomous. Nevertheless, my good friend remains to be terrified to the purpose the place if we now have a barbecue or hand around in the park, he normally will get startled a minimum of as soon as. We went swimming in a lake and he screamed as a result of one thing touched his leg. It made a scene and was form of embarrassing. How do I assist him understand that he doesn’t need to be anxious right here?

I imply, simply googling Australian snakes makes me jumpy—I can’t think about how way more alert I’d be if I grew up there. Sure, I do know, individuals get used to their environments. Nevertheless it feels like your good friend developed a totally cheap and well-earned survival intuition. Getting startled as soon as on an tour doesn’t strike me as essentially extreme, significantly in case your good friend is open to hanging out exterior and isn’t limiting his plans out of concern. Lots of people wouldn’t even get in a lake in the event that they have been anxious about water snakes. Heck, I keep out of loads of water simply because leeches are gross.

Does your good friend assume he has an issue, or is it simply you? Was he embarrassed when he screamed within the lake, or have been you embarrassed for him? For those who’re unsure how he feels, you possibly can attempt posing a query: “Hey, I do know you’re nervous round snakes. For those who may snap your fingers and make the concern go away, would you?” If he appears baffled, or shakes his head, then clearly he feels simply effective together with his snake anxiousness, and the suitable response is so that you can let it go.

If he says one thing alongside the traces of, “Yeah, actually it’s form of a phobia for me and I want I may recover from it,” then he’s making a gap so that you can provide assist. You could possibly train him a bit in regards to the very good, well mannered, not-gonna-kill-you snakes in your area, or—higher but—take him to a nature heart the place he may encounter some up-close in a very safe atmosphere. (Nature facilities love educating individuals about their native species. That’s an enormous a part of what they’re for!) Training in all probability gained’t make his concern go away utterly, but it surely’ll give him the instruments to speak himself down when he’s startled. He would possibly even begin to acknowledge sure non-venomous species when he’s out and about.

No matter whether or not or not he desires your assist, I feel it could serve you to do some occupied with why your good friend’s startle reflex strikes you as embarrassing. Do you assume it displays badly on him? Do you assume sure varieties of individuals shouldn’t have phobias (or a minimum of present them publicly)? Is it that you just don’t like making a scene? If that’s the case, perhaps that’s a phobia of your personal that you possibly can confront. Know that there’s nothing shameful about being afraid of one thing, whether or not or not it’s rational. That’s simply how our brains work generally.

And in case you’re ever determined for a totally calm exercise, plan a ski journey. Snakes don’t reside within the snow.

I’m hoping you’ll be able to settle a debate I’ve been having with my girlfriend. She’s a path runner and likes to take heed to music whereas she runs. Nevertheless, she says that she doesn’t really feel secure sporting headphones as a result of it makes her much less conscious of her environment, so she performs music on her cellphone out loud whereas she runs. I perceive her logic, but it surely appears extraordinarily impolite to play music aloud on shared trails. There are different individuals attempting to take pleasure in some peace and quiet, and so they don’t need to hear no matter she’s listening to. She says I simply don’t get it. Which considered one of us is true?

You each are. It is impolite to play music aloud on shared trails. Additionally, in case you’re male, your girlfriend has to remain much more conscious of her environment than you do. If she felt snug doing so, essentially the most well mannered resolution could be for her to put on a single earbud and maintain the opposite ear open to her environment. However, given the circumstances—and assuming that she’s solely seeing individuals each jiffy, slightly than being always surrounded by fellow hikers and joggers—I feel it could be applicable for her to play music out loud quietly, so that folk she passes would simply hear it for a second after they’re instantly beside her. It’s not superb, however that’s not her fault; generally an imperfect world forces us into imperfect options. I’m positive she’d a lot slightly reside in a world the place nobody would trouble her and she or he may put on her headphones in peace.

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