“…Mind over matter, if you don’t mind it doesn’t matter” – Mark Twain.
All of my life I’ve been afraid of dogs and cats. My fear has lessen its severity as I grew up. I learned to be calm and compose. Although, it was something I wanted to get over, it was still very hard for me not to think that all dogs want is to chase and bite me. I had experiences where dogs had chased me, but that wasn’t the cause of my fear. It developed on its own, perhaps I haven’t been exposed to animals during my childhood. I’ll describe my process and how it has positively affected me. A year ago, I was still scared of animals (especially dogs and cats, since they’re the most prominent). I’ve met a guy (yes, so cliche haha) and he lived with a housemate who owns a medium-sized black lab mix. So whenever we wanted to just stay in to cook a meal or relax and watch a movie at his place, I would have to encounter the [sweet and obedient] dog. To a person that has a fear with something, it’s a LOT harder to withstand than one who doesn’t might think. Having the frequent interaction with your fear and having that fear be a sweet and well-trained dog helped me a lot. Overtime, I’ve become more familiar and comfortable with the dog.
Let’s summarize so far:
1. Be mentally prepared and say to yourself that, “YOU ARE GOING TO OVERCOME WHAT YOU’VE BEEN AFRAID OF.”
2. Make the effort to face your fear. For me it was interacting with my boyfriend’s housemate’s dog.
3. Step by step, make progress. If you can’t do it the first time, try again another time. Don’t give up.
My next step was meeting my boyfriend’s family who owns five [cuteeeeee] dogs that like to [bark] say hello whenever someone enters the house. Of course that frightened me so bad! After hiding behind my boyfriend for a good solid 10 minutes before I was comfortable enough to stick my hand out to touch their lower dorsal. When the dogs calmed down and doesn’t find you exciting anymore, I went to pet them. That is when I realized that DOGS ARE SO FURRY AND CUTE!!!! They were like stuffed animals, I could just hug them to sleep!
4. After being comfortable, challenge yourself to handle a bigger quantity of your fear.
Of course, I was still afraid of their dogs on my initial 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th.. visit. But now, 1 years later, I’m so comfortable with most dogs and cats. I would actively go approach them to pet and hug them (with the owner’s permission).