• I tell myself it’s okay to feel fear and that it’ll go away on its own: 17%
• I rationalize my fears away: 16%
• I meditate: 14%
• Don’t know—I get a bit preoccupied by fear: 13%
• I end up blaming myself and getting frustrated for not being able to deal with it: 13%
• I talk to a family member or friend—asking for help is the best way through fear: 11%
• I remind myself I’m bigger than they are: 5%
What do you do when you encounter something that really scares you?
30% Can’t move an inch—but they’re dying to get away. Thankfully, another 24% have already made it outta the room! 13% have a compulsion to get their feet off the floor—especially in a theater, and 10% scream like a bear cub calling for its mother.
Some answers we liked:
• Hold my breath
• DO SOMETHING—move, yell, grab my husband!
• Get aggressive and go straight at it
• My hands start to tremble and I try to do what is required
• Swear…and loudly!
• Get in my Muay Thai stance.
• Check it out in a sneaky way
• Check my emotion against what is happening
It’s dark. You’re home alone. There’s an abrupt and loud noise from the other room. What do you do?
70% Say they’d better check it out—it’ll drive them crazy if they don’t. 20% say whatever, something probably fell, back to Netflix. 2% are convinced it’s an alien invader. (Everyone else is wondering if the cat damaged something.)
Are you a scaredy-cat?
What is your biggest fear? Some answers we liked:
• Being wrong
• Gun violence
• The deep ocean (have you seen the photographs?!)
• The rabbits from the Watership Down cartoon
• My ex-wife, then spiders
What’s the most ridiculous thing you’re afraid of?
• Touching toothpaste—it makes my skin crawl
• Open closet doors
• Clusters of very small things, like bell pepper seeds. Weird, I know
• I was once trapped in a bathroom with a chipmunk. It was jumping. I was screaming and giggling but not actually having fun
• Balloons popping
• Escalators when I can’t hold on with my hand
Which would you rather handle?
66%: Visceral scary stuff
33%: Interpersonal scary stuff
What’s the scariest nightmare you ever had?
• I met a talking lion.
• Dying, and being aware of it
• Having to return to finish my Ph.D.
• My daughter was pregnant. She’s 12.
• Hundreds of alligators were trying to enter my house through every opening.
• I was cut up into small cubes and reassembled, but some of the cubes were put back in the wrong place.
• A zombie ate my right hand. I’m a piano teacher.
• Walking through a carnival in a rough area of town where skins of other people were hanging on hooks and we could try them on.