The Great Avoidance

Human nature is peculiar is so many ways.  One of the things that both amuses and confuses me is our unwillingness to do what we know to be the right thing, even when we acknowledge that it would be better for all concerned.

A good example would be the frequent consumption of sweets when we know that other foods are much healthier. The same is true of sitting in front of the television when we know that we would benefit from more exercise.  While avoidance of making the right choice may seem more fun at the time, in the long-run we will pay for those choices... and we know that.

In the same light, we avoid both routine and complicated tasks, thinking that by putting them off they will magically disappear, yet they hardly ever do.  Procrastination always comes back to haunt us at some point.

This problem also seems to occur frequently in decision making.  Again, we acknowledge there is a problem that needs to be dealt with, but we keep putting it on the back burner, causing ourselves far more stress and anxiety. 

Another place we see avoidance taking place is in relationship and communication issues.  Rather than addressing issues as they arise, we tend to avoid uncomfortable situations. Rather than being open and honest we remain quiet, or offer up cover stories or feeble excuses.  Yet we know that unaddressed relationship problems will grow and fester, and cause immeasurable harm. 

So why do we do it?  Why do we avoid doing things that need to be done?  Do we have some deep-seated need to sabotage our lives, our health and our happiness?  Sometimes I wonder.


  1. I am avoiding several things presently. My annual physical was canceled due to weather in January. I have not called to reschedule. I have a ton of papers on my desk at home that need to be sorted and filed. If I had only done it as I went along, it wouldn't be the terrible job it is now! There are other things too. It makes me think I'm lazy and that's not a good way to feel!

  2. Funny you should ask. Turns out, researchers have found that the more information we have about our decisions, the worse decisions we make.

  3. I think there are 2 answers -- the easiest one being that sometimes we just don't care enough about the issue to bother. We are capable of caring deeply about things -- but also can be easily dismissive of others. Sometimes we just want what we want and we don't want to accept anything different -- even if it does us harm.
    But the more complicated one is Fear. I think many of the things we procrastinate on are most often rooted in some kind of fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of confrontation. Fear of being along: whatever it may be. Fear causes us to grow roots, instead of wings.

  4. This is thought provoking. For me avoiding what needs to be done is usually a sign of depression creeping in. Once I recognize what is happening I have a nice pity party and a cry and I whine to whoever will listen then I get to work on my attitude and things get back to my normal ditzy self.

  5. The weird part is, a lot of people who procrastinate worry endlessly about the thing they are putting off. So you're harming yourself and stressing yourself. I just don't get it.

  6. I sabatoge my life on a regular basis. It's like some kind of disease. I know it's wrong, I know my decisions will hurt myself or others but still I do it. It's something I will never understand.

    I think there's a lot of avoidance going on in Washington too! lol


Your comments are always appreciated... they make me smile! :-)