One of Scarlett O’Hara’s most memorable quotes is, “I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.” Now, when you’re feeling upset, agitated, flustered or frustrated, it might seem sensible to wait a day or two before dealing with your problems…but is it, really?
Everyone is born wanting to avoid pain and suffering. When you get burned you pull your hand back, don’t you? It's only human to want to avoid pain. And this is the appropriate way of dealing with this type of pain.
The problem arises when we deal with pain and suffering in inappropriate ways. Here are four inappropriate ways we try to avoid issues. Take a look.
Escape Emma feels estranged from her husband. Their relationship is not like it was before. They never talk anymore, not like they used to, but instead of broaching the subject and telling him how she feels, she turns on the TV in the den whenever he tries to talk about things. Instead of TV, we may eat, drink, shop, or gamble—all different ways we try to escape and avoid dealing with difficult issues.
Dump/Vent Sarah deeply resents the fact that her mother in law treats her like an incompetent idiot and always butts in when she should just mind her own business. But instead of talking about it with her mother in law, she calls her best friend Tina and tells her, in very colorful language, exactly what she thinks of the woman. Sarah can go on for hours. After such a session, she feels relieved, but poor Tina feels awful. Sarah has managed to avoid the real issue one more time and the problem stays the same.
Stuff It Every time Tom feels unhappy at work or gets the nagging suspicion that he should change jobs, he chooses to ignore reality—how he really feels–and goes about his business. After all, the economy’s bad and now’s not the time to think about changing jobs. The problem is he has felt this way for years. Unless Tom faces his unhappy situation, nothing will change. Denial and projection are two classic ways of “stuffing it” –avoiding reality and staying stuck.
Submit Helplessly George is is feeling overwhelmed–hopeless. He can’t control his eating habits and his weight gain is spiraling out of control. He has stopped seeing people socially because he’s too embarrassed to be seen in public. He just stays in more and more, eating more and more. Being obese and out of control has become part of his identity. He’s believes he can’t change and that there’s nothing he can do about it.
Want to know how to deal with problems like these in more appropriate ways?
In her self-help book, Become the Person You Were Meant to Be – The Choice-Cube Method, Dr. Beth Cujé sets forth tools and steps to help you move toward health and away from behaviors that are getting you nowhere.
You can retrain yourself, change and grow, and engage life more fully.