We’re all avoidaholics to some degree. It’s human nature to avoid pain, and we do it instinctively. While avoiding pain is a useful impulse when it comes to real danger; it can be highly detrimental when used to avoid the pain inside ourselves. Most of us have memories and thoughts that cause us to feel some kind of negative emotion; and burying these is the most common way of dealing with them.
The problem is — even though you may not be consciously thinking about it, if it’s buried, it’s still with you. It’s still inside you.And if it’s inside you, it’s affecting you. We all have different ways of avoiding feeling emotions we don’t want to feel — and each of these ways can be just as addictive as drugs and alcohol.
Coping Options for Avoidaholics
Although some of these options are perfectly harmless when they are used for pure pleasure rather than to avoid pain, those who try to escape their bad emotions using any of these activities are simply burying the problem rather than escaping it.
- Watching TV
- Fixing things
- Helping others
… and anything else that is used to distract from emotional pain or discomfort.
As you will have noticed, there are items on this list that we think of as good things to do; and they are good — as long as they’re not used as a form of escape from facing what is inside.
Imagine you have a rotten egg in your hand; and you don’t want to smell it, so you put it in your pocket. The odor may be a little less intense, but it will still smell. So, you spray air-freshener around you, and perfume all over yourself; you also stuff some tissue into your pocket, on top of the egg.
The perfume and air-freshener may distract from the smell of the egg for a short while, but they’re going to wear off fairly quickly — and the smell of the rotten egg will seep back into your awareness. You may not notice it for a while; it may come out in a subtle way when someone near you reacts to the faint odor… and as it gets stronger, it will take over again.
In order to get rid of the smell, instead of burying the egg in your pocket and trying to cover it up with other scents, you need to get rid of the egg itself. And in order to do that, you need to face it. It’s not going to just disappear from your pocket. you need to take it out of your pocket (which means holding it, feeling it, smelling it and seeing it for the last time) in order to throw it away — to be rid of it for good.
As long as you’re carrying it around with you, no amount of air-freshener or perfume will cover it up completely — no matter how deep you push it into your pocket or how much tissue you pile on top of it.
Anything you do to distract yourself from facing your emotional pains and discomforts is the equivalent of stuffing a rotten egg deep into your pocket, spraying air-freshener and perfume around, and expecting the smell of the egg to vanish.
My Name is __________ and I’m an Avoidaholic
How do you know you’re using something you enjoy as a form of escape, to avoid healing a part of you? Start paying attention to how you’re feeling throughout your day, and when you find yourself feeling bad, notice what you choose to do in that moment. Do you feel the feeling, and then address the root cause of it, or do you turn to something outside of yourself in order to feel better?
When you’re looking forward to doing something you enjoy, take a moment to check in with your feelings — what’s happening inside yourself? Are you feeling good, and simply looking forward to the activity, or are you feeling a sense of relief at the idea of doing this thing that will help you to feel better than you were feeling.
If you’re feeling anything but good, instead of trying to feel better by doing something that distracts from the bad or uncomfortable feeling, notice how you’re feeling — feel it for the last time — and then use the FasterEFT technique to flip it. Go to any memories you have that may be connected to that feeling, and address those using FasterEFT until they’ve flipped.
Now You Can Really Enjoy the Things You Love
Once you have cleared the feelings you were trying to avoid (once you’ve got rid of that rotten egg completely) then your level of enjoyment in doing the things you love will increase beyond your expectations. You will then be doing what you love, purely for the enjoyment of it, rather than as a futile attempt to escape pain and discomfort.
And when you’ve finished doing that activity, you will still be feeling good — when the perfume and air-freshener wear off, there will be no return of the rotten egg. You will continue to smell good since you will have got rid of the egg altogether.
You can completely transform your life simply by addressing your emotions in the moment using FasterEFT instead of burying them using distractions.
For more information on how and why FasterEFT works, read: The REAL Cause of All Your Problems.
For directions on using the FasterEFT technique effectively, read: The FasterEFT Technique — Step-by-Step.
To hear Robert G. Smith (founder of FasterEFT) explain how the mind works, and to see him demonstrate the process on real people, addressing a wide variety of issues, watch the videos in the FasterEFT YouTube Channel.