It can be tempting and easy to ignore our fears and problems in the hopes that they will just disappear or miraculously solve them-selves. . However, the truth is, problems rarely disappear on their own, and the longer you ignore them the bigger the problem can become. This can cause some women to use destructive and sabotaging coping mechanisms. Thus, the earlier you acknowledge the problem, the quicker it is solved.
In many ways, this technique can create new problems making the current situation worse. Avoidance can help some women not deal with their pain. There is a fear that acknowledging that a problem exists may reveal deeper shame of not measuring up to what they think they should be. Acknowledging a problem is about a fear of change. A fear of success. A fear of failure.
Take for example Jane and Tom. Jane and Tom have been married for 10 years raising two kids in small town suburbia. Jane works part time and Tom runs his own business. Jane is starting to feel neglected and unloved because Tom is spending more hours at the office. Rather than Jane and Tom address their problems and talk about their feelings, they create new problems. Jane actively avoids her husband by telling her-self that he is not in love with her, doesn’t find her attractive, or that he is selfish etc. She starts to spend more time with her girlfriends and starts to welcome the attention from strange men. Feeling the tension at home, Tom is reluctant to come to home and will sometimes waits till the kids and Jane are in bed. Intimacy between them start to decrease, creating a bigger distance between them. Instead of acknowledging that there is a problem, they both chose to avoid talking about their feelings.
Acknowledging your problems, requires understanding of when and why you are avoiding them. Below are three tips to help guide you on whether you are actively avoiding your problems.
1. Pay attention to your feelings!
If you find your-self feeling agitated or angry then you may be using avoidance. Check in with your-self. Ask how you feeling? Where is the stress/
2. Pay attention to your thoughts.
Negative thinking can creep up on you unexpectedly, burying itself deep within your soul that it becomes a habit. When you have checked in with your feelings, ask your-self what your thinking? Most common response is “i’m not thinking anything.” But that is a sign that you are not tuned in to your feelings and thoughts. You are on auto pilot. Your feelings will tell you what you are thinking. Ask your-self if you believe something will go wrong, or that you will not be able to cope? Are you telling your-self that my husband doesn’t love me, or I’m not worthy, or there are no good men out there etc.
3. Pay attention to your own Behavior!
Are you drinking more than usual. Are you taking pills to calm your-self down? Are you snapping at your children? Do you find your-self gossiping about other people? Are you avoiding intimacy? Do you feel stuck? If you find your-self taking unnecessary precautions or building safety walls around you, then you may be avoiding that a problem exists.
Become your own investigator. Learn to ask questions. Feelings influence how you think, and thoughts affect how you feel, which will then lead to the way you behave. Work on changing your-self and not others. If Jane acknowledged her problem, she would recognize that she was fearful of her own feelings and was embarrassed to talk about them because she learned at an early age, that expressing your feelings was a sign of weakness. Instead, she focused on Tom and blamed him for the way she was feeling.
While acknowledging that there is a problem can be scary, it can also be freeing and empowering .
Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.” ~ Judy Blume