Random compliments are a huge mood booster and can make your day, but there are some that truly stand out from the rest and stay with you forever.
One such compliment I received is one I will not soon forget.
I have often gotten compliments on how I look younger than I actually am – no complaints there.
But one individual at work was slackjawed when I revealed to him my age.
He told me I was "well-pickled."
Aww, shucks. I'll take it!
Curious to hear about the comments that stayed with strangers, Redditor wubdubbud asked:
All About Looks
Who doesn't like being complimented on their looks? Not these Redditors.
"I was having an eye test, and I was on a machine that measured the pressure of your eyeballs. Mine came up elevated, so the 70-year-old optician took another reading, and just said, 'miss, you have the thickest corneas I have ever seen.' And for the rest of the appointment, he just kept telling me how great my corneas are."
"A random guy at a coffee shop wrote, 'I just wanted you to know, I think you're EXTREMELY CUTE!' on a scrap of paper and dropped it on my table as he walked out."
"It's still taped to my monitor and this happened in 1998."
ETA: pic of note - Note https://imgur.com/gallery/eVjlqyO"
"I thought you'd be taller in real life; you have such a powerful presence online. It's still there...I just thought you'd be taller"
"Idk about best, but it was one of the most unique."
These compliments are the ones that get you choked up harder than any Hallmark card.
A Child's Approval
"My 6 year old said 'Im proud of you, daddy' one day after a long day of school and work. He had just learned what 'proud' meant and was using it a lot, but this one hit differently."
The Devoted Pet Owner
"'If I were a cat I would want to be your cat.' Spoken by the veterinarian after my little furry guy lost his battle with lymphoma."
"So many people don't visit their sick pets when they have to stay at the vet. I came every day to sit with the cat and pet him and feed him out of my hand. It makes a difference. A lot of animals don't understand they're in pet-hospital. They think they're being abandoned and get really depressed. The extra love didn't save my fur kid but it bought him time and he knew he was loved."
"The vet even made a donation to a veterinary school in my cat's name. (It's rare but it happens). About the sincerest compliment it's possible to pay."
"My gf earlier this evening told me 'I feel safe when I' m with you.' As an addict in recovery, that is a huge one to hear. Very humbling. Probably made my whole next week."
Words From A Father
"I'm proud of you."
"---my dad, after I managed to get my bipolar disorder stabilized, built a life for myself, and repaired the fractured relationships with my family members."
"I didn't realize how much I craved his approval until I finally got it."
Appreciation From Unexpected Places
Just because you don't know them doesn't mean they don't deserve to hear your praises.
"Someone once told me, a stranger, that I seemed like a good person. For some reason coming from a stranger it felt really nice."
"When I was in college, I put those silly reindeer antlers on my car at Christmas time."
"One day after class, I got a note on my window saying that they love my car & it cheered them up every time they saw it. I have no idea who left it. I still have it."
"A couple years later, I sanded down my car and covered it in chalkboard paint. I leave out chalk for people to draw. Now I get smiles (and strange looks) all the time!"
"An old lady on the bus told me women would only dream of having hair as beautiful as mine. I'm a guy."
You never know if anyone is struggling on any given day, so it's good to know that a simple positive acknowledgment can make a huge difference.
So the next time you're impressed by someone's hair-did or by their accomplishments, let them know.
We could all use an extra ray of sunshine these days.
Recently I was shopping in a Walmart and my day had been a cavalcade of suck. I'm still carrying Covid weight, my hair is greying and uncut and before I went to the store I opened a Diet Coke that blew up in my face and stained my new white shirt. So naturally, I went to the liquor store to preserve what was left of the hours before me. I didn't bother to change. Why? Nobody is looking.
While I was in the checkout a woman tapped me on the shoulder and said... "You have beautiful eyes. I noticed them above your mask. I saw you in the aisle and I just wanted to say that." I thanked her and we parted. After I stopped crying in my car while eating a rotisserie chicken and drinking a vodka/diet (in my mother's driveway... not driving) I reflected on that woman's kind words. They were short, simple and her intentions were only good. Yes, she was giving me a superficial boost, but, I needed it. And tomorrow was a better day because of it. Sometimes... a little compliment goes a really long way.Redditor u/akar17 wanted to hear about all the ways we can make others smile by asking... What is the nicest compliment you have ever received?
Crushbashful snow white and the seven dwarves GIFGiphy
A older friend of mine told me his daughter (teen) had a crush on me (not a teen) and said he was glad because that meant she had good taste and would find a good man when she grew up. I still think about it because although I was slightly uncomfortable I knew that must have been even harder for him to say which to me made it that much more meaningful.
fathers & sons
I lost my dad when I was in high school and a friend's mother wrote a condolence card that said "I never knew your dad but I do know the young man that he raised, and because of that I know what an amazing father he was." I got a lot of condolence cards around that time and that is the only one I remember.
Edit: thanks for the kind words, everyone! It was almost 20 years ago so it doesn't hurt quite so much anymore. We will all lose our parents someday unless they lose us first - and those are the real tragedies.
Let's do Trivia....
This was when I might have been 8-9 years old. I used to do well in trivia and quizzing. Not insanely good just good enough for people to notice. In our school sometimes if a teacher was absent a different teacher used to fill in their classes and these periods would be self study or something boring. One of the teachers who knew about me used to call me to the front of the class and frequently asked me to be the quizmaster and organize a mini trivia contest as an activity for that period.
I usually had some references books from where I used to source the questions.
One day she asked me to host the trivia competition for my classmates but I told her that I didn't have the book with me that day. In reply she told me that I should be fine because at that point I would know more than that silly trivia book anyway.
The confidence boost that one single line of random praise that I got that day still helps me tackle life's problems one at a time. I can essentially trace my confidence in my abilities to that one sentence uttered by my teacher. I'm eternally thankful to her words from that day.
Ride or DieKisses GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy
Actually, I have two that are dear to me. The first was from a friend who had died way too young who told me that when he writes the book of his life, I would have my own chapter. The next was from a coworker who was ex-army that told me he would follow me into battle.
"you're so pretty!!"
7 years ago I was heading into the office to a job I hated, and stopped at McDonald's on the way.
I pulled up to the first window to pay, and after the young kid gave me my card back, before he closed the window, he said "you're so pretty!!" with a high voice and so much energy, and closed the window with a huge smile on his face.
That was when I was at my heaviest, nearing 300lbs and at one of the worst stages of my life physically, mentally, and emotionally.
I bawled my eyes out the entire ride to work after that. I'll never forget him and how he made me feel.
I Miss You
Probably not the nicest but one of the most memorable. I used to work as a runner for a delivery company (someone who helps drivers deliver stuff buy doesn't actually drive). If I was ever working with drivers I disliked, I would intentionally talk to them less and try unload the truck a lot faster than normal. If I liked the driver, we would go slower and have a lot more banter.
On my last day a driver I disliked came up to me in front of the boss and said "She's really fast and efficient, I'm going to miss working with her."
This made me realise that I spent way too much time getting frustrated at people who genuinely appreciated my help.
I am very patient and usually overly-optimistic. I tend to think the best of others and the worst of myself.
In a morning status call recently, a coworker announced that she was "going to try to be more bubbly and patient, like me. A couple of coworkers agreed that they'd try and do the same and that everyone should try and emulate me a little bit. Typing this out, it sounds like some crap you'd see on r/thathappened, but it actually did happen, nobody clapped. I wish I had been recording the call. It was a huge boost to my mood and self-esteem and honestly one of the best (if not THE best) compliments I've ever received.
One time when I was talking with a girl that I liked, she told me I have a soothing voice. I normally have trouble accepting compliments and actually believing them about myself, but that one kind of stuck with me.
Nicest compliment came from a little girl. She told me I had pretty hair, which is not anything special. But about 10 years on and I still remember this little girl I didn't know having the confidence to give a stranger a compliment. I dunno, it's stuck with me because SHE was so sweet.
Healthy MindPop Tv Thank You GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
That I was the most emotionally intelligent person they know. (By two different people on two separate occasions) I hold this closely to my heart.
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Secondhand embarrassment is like siphoning gas from one car to the next. Except instead of gas it's cold sweats and red blushing cheeks, and instead of a car it's your central nervous system.
Also, you want no part of it.
But it happens. Someone in your field of vision--or, even worse, someone you're interacting with directly--is so supremely awkward that you lose control of your own body so that all 206 of your bones can dedicate themselves to cringing.
It happens in a variety of places, for a variety of reasons, and lasts for anywhere from mere seconds to excruciating minutes that feel eternal.
TeachMeTheWayz asked, "What's the story behind a time when you felt secondhand embarrassment?"
Big Day Spray
"Had an interviewer come into our office for an important role, and she warned us that morning that she had been sprayed by a skunk the previous week so she might 'have a teensy bit of the odour lingering.'"
"Well we got in the interview room with her and it wasn't 'teensy.' We were wincing, coughing, and she looks mortified saying 'oh, oh god, it's really that bad? I've taken 100 showers, oh no.'"
"Super awkward interview."
Playing it Cool
"I was out walking my cat at night and sat down on one of the steps in my complex. My other neighbor comes out for a smoke. I smile and say hi. He lives in a building on top of a small hill."
"He asks who's that next to me and I say "my cat." But he didn't hear me. I kept saying it was my cat. She must have been in a shadow."
"He started walking closer to hear me better and he fell, rolled down the hill and his pants fell off.
I pretended like it happens every day."
Peering Over the Wall
"My boss accidentally kissed her work friend's dad on the lips in front of his wife and daughter and I low-key witnessed this unfold over my cubicle wall."
"The work friend had her parents visiting from Europe and was giving them a tour of our office. My boss was trying to do the European cheek-kiss greeting when meeting the dad, but leaned in to the same side by mistake and got his mouth."
"It was awkward as hell, so I pretended I didn't notice to save my boss from further embarrassment."
Break Room Banter
"A girl at work was talking about how her and her girlfriend went out over the weekend. Not explicitly mentioning same sex anything, just what they did."
"Another female coworker of ours literally goes, 'I've never been with a girl, but I let my one friend go down on me once.'"
"I wanted to die..."
Lunch Break Comes Early
"I started my career in a call center that handled calls from extremely wealthy people and their financial advisors. I eventually moved into a training role."
"Part of the job was to sit connected to a trainee's headset and observe the calls, help out, provide post-call feedback, etc."
"Well, one day, this guy is talking to a big client and his adviser. In the middle of a sentence, he lets out the loudest belch ever."
"That was bad enough but instead of apologizing, this knucklehead says, 'Mmmmm, meaty banana!!!'"
"That was his last day there."
That Should Do It
"My friend was giving a 15 minute presentation in 10th grade English class an about 4 minutes into it says, 'Yeah I don't feel like doing this anymore' and sits down."
"The teacher just stared at him agape like she couldn't believe what happened and asked him if he would like to continue. He was really red from embarrassment and flat out refused to go back to his presentation."
"The teacher got livid and started threatening with detentions and was shouting all kinds of insults at this poor shy kid because he didn't listen to her or respect her authority."
"I was embarrassed for the teacher."
"A teacher at my school was in a rope pulling contest as part of a fun school activity."
"It was teachers vs students, performed in front of the rest of the school. Said teacher was extremely strong and essentially won for the teachers despite competing against a lot of male student athletes."
"But he wasn't super well-liked, so when all the teachers were giving celebratory high fives, he was left hanging."
"I worked for an engineering and land surveying company. My aunt was the office manager. We were supposed to go to a company wide 401k meeting."
"One of our summer hires (seasonal work) did not want to attend. I can understand why someone who is only working there for 3 -6 months would not want to go."
"My aunt proceeded to ream this guy out for 20 minutes, ending with 'You just don't give a sh** about this company!' I wanted to crawl under a desk."
Reading the Room
"Kid I knew in high school was a total Sonic kid. Had a hat shaped like Amy's hairstyle that he'd wear and everything."
"One day he was a giving a presentation in History class and was rushing through it. Teacher told him to relax and slow down. Without skipping a beat he says, 'Sorry, I like to go fast.... if you know what I mean." and winks.'"
"Total dead silence as the teacher responded, 'I don't want to know, thanks.'"
Hard to Get
"I was watching my buddy talk to his crush, he got a little 'excited' during their flirtatious conversation and when she was leaving and went to hug him goodbye he declined bc he didn't want to poke her with his wood."
"She was hurt and confused while he was pained. I loved every second."
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Over the past few years, but especially the past few months the video parade of Karens has been non-stop. The phrase-which is now an infamous part of our lexicon-labels a person due to their hideous public behavior. Too many moms (and dads) seem to believe the world is beholden to them and they let the world know it with each breath they take. These people seem to have no shame with such actions, but the people who know them and have to claim them as a loved are embarrassed and cloaked in shame. Children of these people are especially affected.Redditor u/Matster04 wanted the children of "Karens" to share how they tend to the day to days with their moms by asking.... Children of "karens", what is it like to be their child?
ProfessionalsKaren GIF by moodmanGiphy
I got used to embarrassment at a young age so that a pro I guess. Once my mom hit someone in a paint store cause they ask her to wear a mask.
She also doesn't allow me to wear mask and crap.
Now I Know....
Not only is this actually my mother's name, it accurately describes her personality. Growing up I didn't realize how self-centered she was. She was my mom and that's all I knew. As an adult I can't even get along with her. She's always got to be number one in the room. If she's not the center of attention and she's not catered to, there is an impending shit fit coming. She shuns blame for anything she does wrong. It's always someone else's fault.
Looking back I understand why things were the way they were. Why she didn't have friends. Why she couldn't keep a job very long. I understand now that she knows how to stab someone in the back with a smile on her face, and that's why I never knew any better as a kid. It looked polite to me when I was little, but now I know it was all rude as hell.
Not with my Energy
When I was young, I hated it. She would yell and throw fits in public when she didn't get her way. As an adult I think its made me way too easy going. I remember the anxiety and anger that she would exude. It was exhausting. So now I am careful with who I keep around in my life as to protect my energy. I try not to worry about things I cant control. And I have respect and empathy for people.
Woe is her....Karen Narc GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Yeah my mom used to cry and stuff and about how she didn't know how we'd make rent and so on. As a kid, I'd be like, "Don't cry mom, you can use my college fund." Lol, there never was one-- she made it up because???
My mom "enjoys" (her words) being outraged and upset. It energizes her. But it exhausts me. Her whole attitude exhausts me. It's always a, "woe is me. Screw it, if I can't be a good example I'll be a terrible warning."
Makes me so disappointed in her. Took me a long time though! I came to the realization she did the best she could-- her best just sucks. But oh well, I have more to be grateful for than to wallow in.
My mom's name is also Karen and she acted and still acts exactly like this, down to never being able to keep a job a long time. I'm pretty sure she's a straight up narcissist, and it makes having a relationship with her extremely difficult. I used to hate going out with her when I was a kid (and honestly still do), because things would get so humiliating. She'd complain about things, make a scene, raise her voice. It was mortifying.
My dad is bad at restaurants, he'd always find a way to complain about something and it was super uncomfortable, so me and all my siblings are like you and way too forgiving in those settings. Oh, I ordered a steak but you served me an old car tire filled with razor blades? No worries, mistakes happen, this is basically the same thing.
At the Drive-Thru....
Growing up it was super embarrassing. We lived in a small town, so while she's having a fit at some poor grocery store kid because they're out of basil there is a REALLY high chance I would run into someone I knew from school.
Now I am almost always nice to service people. I think it's a combination of being a normal person with sense, having seen how outrageous my mom came across, and I've worked in call center management, so seeing or hearing people do it to our agents adds a ton of empathy.
The one thing that's hard is a major part of her Karen-thing was that everything was a conspiracy against her. There's a line at a drive thru? Grand conspiracy against her. Sometimes I find myself falling into that trap (never to the degree she would, but to some degree of 'woe is me') and I have to actively make myself knock it off and calm down.
Dump the Sauce on him....Water Douse GIFGiphy
One time a family friend came to the city I was living in and asked me to come join their family for dinner - their treat.
The dad was always a bit of a male Karen but was really on it from the moment we were seated. Ordered for everyone. Ordered off menu.
At one point he ordered roast chicken and an Alfredo pasta on the side. The waiter said they didn't have Alfredo on the menu and his response was "you have cheese? You have cream? You have butter? Then make a freaking Alfredo pasta like a real freaking restaurant"
I slipped away to the restroom and said the same to the waiter and slipped him a 20 and he told me "your mom (actually the mom of the family friends family) already came by and did the same thing. You're good but thanks".
For a 20!
Any time we go out to eat, I always immediately excuse myself to the ladies room but instead find our server. I prepare them for what might happen and apologize profusely. Then go ahead and hand them a 20 dollar bill and tell them I will do my best to keep her contained.
Edit: Thanks for the gold and love! In response to some comments, no she doesn't know that I do this. And she wouldn't care (or change) if she did. For the tirades I fail to prevent, I don't sit idly by when she goes off - I do everything I can to shut her up. My favorite is to interrupt her and say something along the lines of "You need to shut up. I really don't want to eat spit tonight."
They just don't care....new girl facepalm GIF by HULUGiphy
She showed up at my house with my step dad to get their kayaks out of my garage 3 days after he tested positive for Covid and was showing symptoms. Not only do I have a high risk husband, but also have a 22 month old and was babysitting my 14 month old niece.
I remember trying to point out that she was making a scene and I was embarrassed.
"I don't care what people think, this is about the principle of (whatever bull she was upset about that time)"
Ok but I care what people think, I hate confrontation and just want to go home. Why does every outing have to turn into some self-righteous crusade again perceived injustices toward you?
Poor Blokes....So Sorry GIF by memecandyGiphy
I was a server at a fancy steak house. This was not uncommon. I probably received a Karen mercy tip once a month. Always from an embarrassed son or just whipped husband. They were correct. EVERY TIME. I would put on a show for them. I just had to deal with her for a couple of hours. Those poor blokes had a lifetime.
My mom wasn't the worst Karen, but I think my least favorite thing was when she would try and put it on me to go complain or make a big deal out of something. Most of the time I just wouldn't, doesn't help that I am/was always a pretty shy kid. Now whenever she has to deal with customer service I sometime end up taking the call over to figure it out and she is always like "wow how are you so good at dealing with them" and internally Im thinking, its called treating them with some level of respect and being polite, which makes people more likely to want to help you, instead of get rid of you. But I always tell her some BS instead.
She's not Me.
I didn't realize my mom was a Karen until after I left home for college. Now I can't stand to be around her, it's just exhausting because you never know what's going to set her off. Sometimes I have to look myself in the mirror and say "you are not your mother" to remind myself that I'm a good person after a personal attack from her.
EVIL!i am in hell GIFGiphy
Literal hell. she was an emotionally abusive monster at home, would complain and moan and cry 24/7 about how everyone was out to get her and she was so perfect, why did no one respect her. We don't speak anymore; best decision I ever made. I've made it my life's mission to be nothing like her.
"dad, it's fixed"
My dad. At one point he was yelling into the telephone about an internet problem. I couldn't take it anymore. I called them myself, while he was still yelling. I got through the waiting line, talked with a support employee, got the problem fixed. I hung up, walked to him to find him still yelling at that poor customer support person. I told him "dad, it's fixed".
The yelling stopped. He looked at me in amazement. He checked the computer, we had internet again. He asked me how. I just told him "maybe if you weren't busy yelling to the customer support and just be polite they could actually help you".
To my amazement he changed his ways after that. I've never heard him yell at customer support anymore.
My mom was a complete Karen. I used to carry cash with me to tip waitstaff because 95% she would leave extremely paltry tips if any tip at all.
You tend to compensate as the child of an abusive narcissistic parent. I'd carry cash with me for tips. I'd always make sure I had another way home if she offered to drive. I never had to do anything like that with my dad but then he was sane.
Learning in Stages....
When you're very young (0 to 5 yrs), you have no idea. Once you're old enough to realize it (7 to 10ish), you get super embarrassed. When you're around the age of going through puberty, you start to apologize to people for your mom or dad's behavior.
Then, FINALLY, you are old enough to get away (14 to 18) and if you're lucky, you have a lot of excuses to not go places with them - practices, games, rehearsals, concerts, homework, a job.... and so on.
When you're an adult, if you have the balls to do so, you start to point out to them in the moment how absurd and ridiculous they are acting and they learn to not act that way around you... but they still do it when you're not around. You're not around a lot.
I grew up pretty poor. My mom was what I like to call Trailer Park Karen (we lived in a trailer). I remember we were in a KFC and she asked how much a bucket of chicken was. The girl told her and mom starts yelling about how that's ridiculous and she can do better at Albertson's and she stormed out.
The Good Girl....Giphy
My mom was kind of anti-Karen; every now and then, she would ask to speak to the manager and then commend the employee and say that they should be given a raise. Good times. Stuff like that is probably why I make very few enemies. Only 1 in my entire life.
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Sitting on your porcelain throne is a sacred moment, and there's a reason why bathrooms have a lock on the door.
In one specific case, the lock served no purpose and it had nothing to do with preventing someone from accidentally opening the portal to a world of embarrassment.
After getting caught with his pants (and underwear) down as a result of an intruder, a shell-shocked Reddit user survived to tell his story on the TIFU (Today I F****d Up) thread – a community in which people share stories about "moments where we do something ridiculously stupid."
He was trying to get out of the bathroom before flushing and you would have too.
Let Redditor "jellyjack" set the scene.
"This happened on Friday, and I'm just now able to relive it without experiencing Tourette-like outbursts of random noises and profanity from my extreme discomfort from the embarrassment."
Meet Jen, the neighbor whom the protagonist barely knows.
"I'm sitting on the toilet in the downstairs bathroom (which is right by the front door of our house), I have the door mostly closed, but it's not latched. Doorbell rings, my wife answers it, it's her friend Jen."
"Jen comes in the house. I should mention that Jen is a friend/neighbor we've known for just under a year and I don't really know her that well, which, for me, makes this worse."
Meet the third character in the hair-raising one-act making a grand entrance.
"I'm just finishing up, getting ready to wipe. I pull on the first piece of toilet paper, and as the toilet paper unrolls this big, and very fast spider comes running from behind the roll, brushing against my hand."
The encounter alone is traumatizing at such a vulnerable moment, but it didn't end there.
"Instinctively, I jump up and away from this spider, as I do this, the door to the bathroom opens, there's Jen, we both scream, me because my fight or flight (in this case flight) response automatically kicks in from my lizard brain thinking I'm getting attacked by this spider, and Jen seeing her friend's husband with his pants and underwear down between his legs leaping toward her screaming."
It seems the accidental flasher gave new meaning to the word "streaker."
Life resumed once the dust settled, but he's still losing sleep over the boo! during his number two.
"A lot of apologies and light uncomfortable laughter afterwards, and I haven't slept well since."
While many sympathized over the arachnid's visit, one user was more concerned over one thing in particular.
"Oh man, that's a tough one to recover from. Was it at its smallest?" – jayeffoh
"Oh yeah, plus it was cold in the morning. You're making me shudder again with the memory." – jellyjack
Umm, we would rather not think about this detail, but there you go.
"Is nobody going to mention that all this occurred while you were still unwiped?" – Nougat
"Sadly (or weirdly) that's all I could imagine is just that feeling of being unwiped ugh. Though I'm also deathly afraid of spiders so that, the spider, the stranger, and my self-consciousness about my body...boy it'd be a real battle of emotions." – ColoneISanders
Are you aware of this established rule?
"For future reference, restrooms that are the main floor of the house especially near the front door (my house also has a half bath next to the front door) should be used for #1's only. All #2's should be done in a more private bathroom." – Av3ng3d0wnt
"I've always been a bathroom door locker. What's with the door open poops?" – PigeonFace
"When it's just me and my wife, neither one of us locks the door, been like that since our college days." – jellyjack
"If you ever are home alone try pooping with the bathroom door all the way open. It's a glorious feeling for some reason." – BringBackOldReddif
So what prompted Jen to be at the wrong place at the wrong time?
"Why was she coming into the bathroom? Because of your scream?" – Merbel
"I didn't ask, but I'm assuming she was coming in to use the bathroom or wash her hands or something. Her or my wife didn't know I was in there. After the incident, she didn't end up using the bathroom." – jellyjack
So what happened to the spider?
"Did you neutralize the threat though?" – Mash_Ketchum
"I couldn't find it afterwards. Fell in my magazine basket, then after I finished up, I couldn't find it again." – jellyjack
One takeaway from the spider caper is:
"Stories like this are why I close and latch the bathroom door even when home alone." – ShinePDX
They say the spider is usually the one that is scared in these encounters, but the character more likely to be scarred for life in this scenario is a tossup.
If you want to play a little prank on your significant other, you can get 100 pack of fake spiders here. Who knows what will happen if you scatter them around the house?