15 Examples of Avoidance
John Spacey, December 17, 2021
Avoidance is the practice of avoiding that which you find unpleasant or inconvenient. The following are common types of avoidance.
ProcrastinationProcrastination is the avoidance of tasks or activities that you feel you should do but find reason to put off.
Path of Least ResistanceAlways doing the easiest, most convenient and most comfortable thing in order to avoid stress. In the long term, this can make a person fragile and incapable of dealing with the slightest stress. It also guarantees mediocrity or less as it is difficult to develop talents and capabilities by avoiding effort and challenges.
Risk AvoidanceAvoiding risk can be a reasonable way to deal with risk. However, excessive risk avoidance can create large secondary risks. Risk taking is the basis for all value creation and human experience such that over-avoidance of risk is problematic. For example, a smug employee who mocks the failures of risk taking colleagues only to be completely surpassed by them as risks pay off or failures forge talent and comradery.
Conflict AvoidanceAvoiding situations that are likely to generate conflict, even where they require attention. For example, a small business owner who avoids firing an employee who is dramatically unprofessional.
Emotional AvoidanceA fear of "negative" emotions such as fear, discomfort and sadness. This neglects the role of these emotions in your development and well-being. For example, a individual who aggressively avoids sadness after losing a loved one.
CopingAvoidance is a coping mechanism whereby an individual seeks to deal with stress by avoiding it. For example, a person with a fear of flying who avoids flying. This may tend to allow fears to linger or to become worse.
Motivated ReasoningMotivated reasoning is the process of finding excuses to do what you want to do. For example, someone who is afraid of flying who convinces themself that travel is a bad thing with various one-sided logic.
DenialIgnoring obvious truths because they are inconvenient. For example, denying an obvious problem because solving the problem might involve an effort, change or cost that you want to avoid.
Delusional ThinkingInventing substitutes for reality in order to avoid something unpleasant. For example, imagining that you possess talents that you do not possess in order to avoid feelings of inadequacy. Imagination plays a role in shaping the future but often isn't useful in dealing with current realities. For example, if you imagine that you are so lucky that someone will magically pay your rent for you, this may not actually happen.
Ambiguity AvoidanceAvoiding things that involve uncertainty. For example, dining at the same restaurant week after week to avoid the stress of dealing with an unfamiliar menu and environment. Ambiguity avoidance is one of the reasons that recognizable brands and chain restaurants do well.
OverthinkingUsing thought processes to delay a decision that needs to be made. For example, a student that thinks so much about their major that they never end up completing a degree. This may be due to an avoidance of commitment and the responsibility involved in making a life decision.
DishonestyBeing dishonest with yourself or others in order to avoid something unpleasant. For example, lying to a teacher in order to avoid a punishment.
Accountability AvoidanceAttempting to avoid accountability for your failures or poor behavior. For example, a hotel manager who blames low level employees for a room that is not repaired despite multiple customer complaints.
Passive-Aggressive BehaviorA strategy of attacking others while technically doing nothing wrong. For example, an airline employee who reassigns a customer to a terrible seat because they dislike them. This avoids accountability for bad behavior with the technicality that this isn't against any rules.
SideliningSidelining is a social strategy that attempts to ignore someone in order to avoid something such as competition. For example, a manager who feels threatened by a talented individual on their team who assigns the person to meaningless work and doesn't invite them to join important meetings and projects.
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