Is avoidance coping behaviour productive or not?

Avoidance coping is a choice or behaviour that is based on trying to avoid or escape particular thoughts or feelings like avoiding taking actions that trigger painful memories from the past.

Dr Schomer, speaking to CapeTalk/702's Redi Tlhabi, said avoidance is like going to a dentist, adding that people need to make a choice whether to let their teeth rot or deal with the pain of going to the dentist. He said some people relate avoidance to procrastination.

Most of us avoid what is unpleasant and could be related to frustration or conflict

Dr Helgo Schomer, resident psychologist

Are you a confronter, are you a go getter, a person with energy or you like a comfort zone and don’t like to deal with things, then avoidance can become a big part of your life

Dr Helgo Schomer, resident psychologist

Recognising avoidance behaviour:

  • You avoid the possibilities for people being mad at you

  • Avoiding feeling awkward

  • Not starting a task if you don’t know how you’re going to finish it

  • Spending time on social media when you should be working on something more important

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