Do you often find yourself staying clear of certain people or places in order to avoid conflict? Have you ever missed work or not picked up the phone intentionally? Do you tend to say “yes” to things that you really want to say no to?
Avoidance in life is a concept that most people don’t understand or may not even realize they are doing. While it is ideal for everyone to live a conflict-free, harmonious lifestyle, avoiding people, places, or things that may cause disruption is not always the answer. Sometimes we use our ability to avoid situations or feelings in an unhealthy way. This usually results in unresolved conflicts, or continuous feelings of insecurity, anxiety, fear, and/or stress about the situation that we don’t want to face.
Some avoidance strategies include: avoidance as denial, escaping the situation, hiding from life or isolating oneself, lacking the courage to face someone/something, using “busyness” as an excuse, fear of taking responsibility, and/or avoiding communication, uncomfortable feelings, grief, pain, stress, or repressed feelings.
It’s necessary to recognize the importance of facing issues, conflicts, fearful situations, etc. to overcome these anxieties and resolve the problem. Ways to help yourself can include individual therapy, positive self talk or picking up a self-help guide to facing conflicts and becoming more assertive in life such as The Disease to Please by Harriett Braiker.