There is an assumption that when we avoid a stressful situation, we are burying our heads in the sand and not really dealing with the issue. Which is true in one aspect. There are times when avoidance is a wise way to handle stressful situations. Anita Avedian breaks it down in more detail and gives us several types of avoidance in her Anger Management Essentials workbook, but we will address one.
Thoughtful avoidance is explained using two examples. The first description is when one takes time to respond to a situation instead of immediately reacting to it. This will give you an opportunity to calm down before discussing the triggering matter, and It will help you think logically on the best way to move forward.
The second example of thoughtful avoidance is an intentional decision to choose your battles. Some anger triggering situations need attention, while others, for the sake of maintaining peace for yourself and others, you can choose not to address concern. If we decided to tackle EVERY issue we have a problem with, we would be exhausted and worn out; emotionally, physically and otherwise.
As you begin this new year, be mindful about picking your battles. You are not capable of fixing or solving EVERYTHING. Pause between an occurrence and a response. This will help you have productive discussions. When you take this short time to ponder and think about things, be sure to come back to the issue when you said you would. It could look something like this;
“Can we please discuss this in an hour, when I have the mental capacity to be present? “– then be sure to return to the matter at hand in an hour. Returning to the matter as promised helps build trust in relationships and reduce the frequency of reacting with an emotional charge and regrettable approach.
Avedian. A. Anger Management Essentials, page 107, 2015.
Avedian Counseling Center offers individual, couples and family therapy to those in the Greater Los Angeles Area. We have relationship experts and therapists to help you improve with communication skills.