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Old 02-08-2008, 09:54 PM   #21
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I'm surprised no one has said, "running out of money!"
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Old 02-08-2008, 09:58 PM   #22
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I have a situational fear of heights. I was a military pilot and have no problem with flying. No problem with bridges, high buildings, etc. But climbing on a ladder more than 10 or 12 feet high is uncomfortable. More that 15-18 feet is a no go. When I painted the exterior of the house last year I had to hire a painter to do the high parts. Four areas go 20' or more and I could not force myself to let go of the ladder with one hand to paint at that height.
Our last house was pretty tall with a steeply pitched roof. I would be OK with cleaning the gutters once in a while (with my high-tech ladder with stabilizers). But no way was I going on that roof.

So I called a roofer to fix something on the roof. A pro. Probably 30 years experience. I noticed him at the top of the ladder. Not moving for maybe 20 minutes.

"How's it going up there?"

"I'm coming down. I just need to take a break for a while."

He was a mess. And he was pretty embarrassed that a customer witnessed his fear. Perfectly rational, I tell ya.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:03 PM   #23
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Public speaking. The thought of it absolutely makes me freeze.

They say one tip to help you deal with the fear is to imagine someone in your audience, or all the audience, in their underwear. Instead my whole audience becomes a bunch of tarantulas!
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:21 PM   #24
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I have a situational fear of heights. I was a military pilot and have no problem with flying. No problem with bridges, high buildings, etc. But climbing on a ladder more than 10 or 12 feet high is uncomfortable. More that 15-18 feet is a no go. When I painted the exterior of the house last year I had to hire a painter to do the high parts. Four areas go 20' or more and I could not force myself to let go of the ladder with one hand to paint at that height.
Right there with you - we had an old multi unit roofed this summer - 2 storys and a peaked roof over a daylight basement. For some reason i feel i have to show the flag when people are working on our stuff, so up i went on two ladder sets and a section of lower roof. Going over the top of the upper ladder onto the roof had me shaking. Once there i was trying to communicate with the Hispanic crew - the roof on top with dormer sections was fairly shallow pitch, so i was doing ok until Primo wanted to show me some rotten fascia. He walked the highest roof ridge out to the peak, bent over, and grabbed the fascia trim to show me the rot beneath. Think bending over to touch your toes. Think toes at the peak of a roof 35 feet above the ground. I got to within three feet of the edge and that was plenty for me. Real funny Primo! I give the crew a lot of credit for concealing their grins and laughter as i hastened my return to terra firma..
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:29 PM   #25
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Are we supposed to list just our top fear? Or am I the only one with multiple conditions?

The good thing is that as I revolve around the sun more and more, I seem to gradually 'get used to' some of these in a small way:

Heights: tried walking up the Eiffel Tower - made it to the 1st landing.Couldn't take a single step more above it if my life depended on it. I think with heights, it's a thing where if I feel fresh air on my face, I'm a goner. However, if I'm enclosed (like at the top of the St. Louis Arch), then I'm relatively ok. Also, if it''s on a ladder more than 6' off the ground, I'm a goner too . Which made things really interesting on construction jobsites when I occasionally was faced with possibly having to climb up a ladder. I always took the long way around.

However, during my trip to New Zealand last year, I signed up for a glacier hiking expedition. They didn't tell me that you would have to climb up steps carved in the ice, or climb up a 15' ladder leaning against a giant boulder. Somehow, when I didn't have time to ponder it (and realizing that I paid my $160 and would have to sit there all day and make a fool of myself in front of everyone else), my mind was able to say "awww, shut up you big whiner" and just kicked myself into action. Perhaps I need a financial penalty to get over my fear?

Sharks: I don't know why, but when I was little, I was afraid of swimming by myself in my parents' swimming pool. (No, it wasn't cloudy with algae where you couldn't see the bottom ). Was always paranoid of a shark. Same with being in the ocean. Have since gotten over the pool thing, but still a little weary of being in the ocean.

Running out of money - well, I suppose you could say that. :P . Perhaps that's why I'm such a cheapskate? Or perhaps my thriftiness is independent, interdependent, and co-dependent (all at the same time) with my expenditure style?

Needles: I've noticed that I actually stop breathing when faced with it because I'm so nervous (partly from anticipation of pain that never really materializes - odd, because I have a fairly high pain tolerance). When I had an ingrown toenail a while back and needed a numbing shot for the podiatrist to finish yanking it out, I was so nervous that I simply stopped breathing (didn't realize it at the time). The smart-assed assistant looks up at me, smiles, and says "You've turned white!"

"no sh*t sherlock! Can you do anything to make this poor patient feel even more uncomfortable?"

Have also had a few blood samples taken over the years. Have noticed that I am getting better on those - just have to remember to keep breathing.
I think it's part of a reflex to 'withdraw' away from the needle as much as possible - and for some reason, I'm so focused on trying to draw back into myself that my body isn't worried about breathing.

Fear of the unknown: like walking through the woods or in the basement and I feel a spiderweb brush across my face/hair/shirt. I know the odds are overwhelmingly in my favor that the spider (if even there) isn't poisonous - but it's the aspect of 'not knowing' what the hell situation I'm in that bothers me the most. (No, I don't have a fear of spiders. In fact, I'm fascinated by all animals - it's just the 'not knowing' part...). I suppose that's also why I'm always 'aware' of what's going on around me whenever I'm outside at night. Even if it's out in the suburbs where your chance of catching a cold is 100x greater than being the victim of any crime.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:42 PM   #26
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After reading these posts, I think my phobia list is starting to grow.
Oh yeah, the fears multiply with suggestion. My number one fear (needles) tends to wash out my public speaking fear, fear of skydiving, fear of money loss, and fear of the police. Of course, the police know about my fear and want to exploit it to their advantage...whether I'm guilty or not...oh the humanity!
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:58 PM   #27
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I'm not really afraid of much, and what I do fear is mostly reasonable things such as severe injuries; I don't really consider those "phobias". However, two items that come to mind that I would call "phobias" are conflict with my former wife, and the wind when it makes a particular variable low whistling noise in my house late at night.

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Old 02-09-2008, 12:14 AM   #28
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Years ago I had been in a small float plane flying up in Canada and the pilot had plane trouble and we almost crashed when taking off. .
But what a way to go!! Your canoe strapped to the floats of a float plane headed "Up Nort" to Quetico. Excellent. And by crashing on the way, you avoid bears entering your tent at night and chewing off your left arm!

Oh yeah...... did I mention my fear? Bears! Don't know why. I camp in bear country frequently but feel compelled to bring along bear spray, an air horn, fire crackers, a whistle and a friend who can't run as fast as me!
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:22 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
I have a situational fear of heights........But climbing on a ladder more than 10 or 12 feet high is uncomfortable. More that 15-18 feet is a no go. .....Four areas go 20' or more and I could not force myself to let go of the ladder with one hand to paint at that height.
When I was a kid I was afraid of some heights. I could climb up on the garage roof, but the house roof which is just 1 or 2 feet higher was a no go. We had a 75' radio tower in the backyard with my Dad's HAM radio antennas mounted on it. I could go about 8' up it, and then I'd have to get down. I watched Dad climb it to the top a few times, and thought he was nuts 'cause there was no way I could do that. Well, as he got older and less able to ascend the beast, I was recruited (without a choice of my own) to climb it for repairs. The first time or two were 'white-knuckled' climbs, but after a while it became pretty easy to shinny up there and hang on with one hand, or hook my arm through the tower, and work 2 wrenches to remove and replace parts and nuts & bolts.

So since then I have no fear of heights at all. In fact I was able to go to some rather precarious places when I was out at the Grand Canyon a couple of years ago. I still want to get out on that new 'Skywalk' out there. It's 4000' above the Colorado River on the very edge of the Grand Canyon. That's 4000' not 400'. I think that would really rock!

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....fear of skydiving......
I have absolutely NO fear of skydiving! 'Cause there ain't no way in h*ll that I'm ever going to jump out of a perfectly good airplane without any reasonable or apparent NEED!!! Those people are NUTS!
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Old 02-09-2008, 12:53 AM   #30
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Fear of low heights. Looking off the roof 9' up makes me woozy. Looking down out a 2nd story
window is just as bad. 1000' down the Empire State building, 3500' down off Half Dome or
Yosemite Point, no problem.
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Old 02-09-2008, 05:49 AM   #31
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Without question my #1 is Public Speaking.

In a conference room, no problem, but at a podium, . I actually do OK with tons prep and lost sleep, but as I got older I just said the heck with it. About 4 years ago the governor blew into town on an impromptu PR mission to hand out 3 of those silly big cardboard checks to local startups that won state grants. Two days notice with all the local TV crews and reporters showing up. I just sent one of my extroverts to say thankyou, yadda, yadda. And year before last just after we were acquired the CEO wanted me to make a pep talk to a group of 250 on our first visit to the new home office. My sales guy did that one and loved the limelight anyway.

At least I'm slightly more courageous on the athletic side, and have the damaged body parts to remind me daily
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Old 02-09-2008, 06:51 AM   #32
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Robert--If the tarantulas aren't wearing only their underwear your doing it wrong.

I have no phobia's, because that would presume my fears are unreasonable. My list of reasonable fears is: Falling: I have no problem getting to the high places, but as soon as I start thinking of falling I'm useless. Losing my mind/memory. That about sums it up.
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Old 02-09-2008, 07:01 AM   #33
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I had an unnerving flight where the pilot had to abort the take off 3 times, half the people got off and took another flight, I stayed but it was the last flight I ever took. Then 9/11 sealed my fear of flying forever.

Spiders! Spider webs! I've gotten to the point I can deal with some enough to dispose of them but for the most part even seeing pictures creeps me out. Dh has to go to the cellar several times a year to "deweb" as he puts it or I won't go down there to do laundry (think old stone cellar). He use to make fun of me until he had to go up a ladder to fix something on the garage roof and his fear of heights kicked in, he then understood my fear and cleans the cellar with no complaints.

My third is fear of the dark, I don't know where it comes from but it keeps me from walking alone at night in my neighborhood. We live in what most would call a safe neighborhood but it still bothers me. Horror movies just reinforce that fear so I don't watch them. I also don't like being alone at night here in the house and hate it when dh goes on trips, I'm fine during the day.

Those are the main phobias ruling my life. I have others that "bother" me but they don't cause me to alter my life for them.
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:06 AM   #34
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Heights.

This was of some concern to me some years ago, when my dissertation defense could only be scheduled in a 10th floor corner room with floor to ceiling windows on two walls and dizzying views. Surprisingly, it turned out that I was able to channel my terror and use it to my advantage. I thought I might completely fold up and collapse. Instead, I found that defending on (essentially) a precipice of tremendous height increased my level of alertness, and helped me to focus and counter the toughest of questions. I am absolutely certain that because of my phobia, my defense was the best that I could possibly have provided under any circumstances.

Who would have thought a phobia could turn out to be a strength?
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:35 AM   #35
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My greatest fear is that someone will find out my greatest fear and use it against me. So I won't tell.

Or did I just tell? Oh no!

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Old 02-09-2008, 08:44 AM   #36
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Public speaking. The thought of it absolutely makes me freeze.

They say one tip to help you deal with the fear is to imagine someone in your audience, or all the audience, in their underwear. Instead my whole audience becomes a bunch of tarantulas!
Good strategy!

I read somewhere that public speaking is the commonest fear, rating higher than death for many people.

If you don't need to speak in public, it doesn't matter. If you do, consider starting small, e.g. introducing the speaker. Or try Toastmasters.

I used to be shy, but now I really enjoy public speaking (as long as I know what I'm talking about). I get a lot of invitations to speak. Problem is, I usually have to get on a plane to get there. I am not as scared as Martha, but I completely understand!
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Old 02-09-2008, 08:47 AM   #37
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Was always paranoid of a shark.
I wouldn't call that paranoid. I'd call that rational.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:07 AM   #38
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Heights, tornados/storms
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:33 AM   #39
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People who post like chicken little. I'm getting over it but it has taken alot of therapy.
No, no. This is a valid fear. Experts predict that people posting like chicken little will lead to a collapse of the Internet, and a great depression.
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Old 02-09-2008, 09:57 AM   #40
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My phobia is of people who wear a mask of charm. The ones who compliment you and seem so nice, but then after a while you catch them doing something shady or harmful and you realize they aren't who you thought they were.

I've met two people like this in my life and they've both caused me damage. They both had personality disorders. Both of them also doled out compliments like candy on Halloween. It now gets my attention if a person is constantly complimenting me.
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