Avoidance is simply a way of coping by not coping, dodging uncomfortable situations, evading discombobulating challenges.
There is great temptation to sidestep things that upset us, challenge our self-concept or our world views. Avoidance is a major defense mechanism in some people’s lives. When feelings of discomfort appear, we find ways of not experiencing them. Procrastination is a mild form of avoidance.
At the other extreme, avoidance may even morph into denial, finding ways to not even think about the topic, to deny the problem exists. Which is fine until whatever it is we are avoiding comes up and smacks us in the face when we are least prepared. Avoidance and denial are terrific coping methods until reality intervenes!
Every now and then, I find it a useful exercise to sit down with my journal and ask myself: What don’t I want to think about? What am I avoiding? Why?
“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” – “Gone With the Wind,” spoken by Scarlett O’Hara