Do you avoid or do you engage when something critical needs to be talked about?
Here’s the truth…
We tend to put people in categories, groups or turn them into this kind of person or that kind of person as a way to get some kind of understanding for how we are and how they act in the world.
While labeling others or ourselves may help make sense of the world, it usually ends up putting barriers between us and those we love or even the strangers we meet.
When we put the labels “avoider” or “engager” on another person or ourselves…
If you look closely, we are all both.
Sometimes we avoid certain topics, certain people or certain situations…
And sometimes we engage in situations that would ordinarily make other people uncomfortable.
One of the tricks to understanding how to deal with somebody who we’ve determined is an avoider or an engager in a situation you find uncomfortable or want to talk about…
Is to understand that we all always do what makes sense to us in the moment.
And for most people, one of their most important desires is to be safe and to make sure that their needs are met.
Whichever you or someone else is doing in the moment–avoiding or engaging–
It’s always a strategy for getting needs met.
Most of the time we all are totally unconscious of what we’re doing and why.
Years ago, in her previous marriage, Susie might have been perceived as an “avoider” although she thought of herself as open and engaging with others.
She avoided looking at the truth of her relationship and immersed herself in work and outside activities for years.
Somewhere inside she unconsciously fooled herself into thinking she could avoid hurt and stay “safe” by not looking honestly at her marriage.
This worked until it didn’t.
The point is that in that situation…
Susie did avoid looking at and dealing with her relationship because in her thinking, it was too painful.
We all tend to avoid what we perceive as painful.
But when she did finally look squarely at it and spoke honestly from her heart…
She later was able to invite the relationship with Otto that has proven to be nourishing and feed her soul.
Most of us avoid some situations and people in our lives while also engaging with others.
Meeting this all with love for ourselves and for others instead of attaching labels…
Creates a happier, easier life.
And that’s the truth!