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Is it okay to avoid situations that make me anxious, or is that giving up to it?

306 Answers
Last Updated: 12/08/2020 at 11:19am
Is it okay to avoid situations that make me anxious, or is that giving up to it?
1 Tip to Feel Better
Greece
Moderated by

Johanna Liasides, MSc

Psychologist

I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.

Top Rated Answers
DarkSiren92
November 10th, 2018 12:09am
I think it's alright to avoid situations due to anxiety to a fault. If you know that this situation is going to stress you out completely, I would personally wait until I had a plan or someone to be there with to make sure I don't have a melt-down in public. If it gets too bad, I excuse myself and go back home. That's the worst that can happen. The people around you will be understanding and if not, then you should maybe reevaluate where you put your energy towards. Some people aren't worth your time and effort and others will be there to guide you to a better way of life.
Nuki6
November 30th, 2018 1:13am
If things make you feel anxious, you should avoid them. First of all, just because of yourself and because you should respect your own mind and your own health. If you find yourself in the situation, you are not comfortable with, you don’t have to bear it. If you think about it, you only live once, so why should you waste your time and do things you’re not comfortable with? But there’s obviously an another side, if something you’re anxious about is un-avoidable, or avoiding might affect your work,future, you might want to consider doing that, if it’s worth it to feel anxious for a bit , then don’t avoid it and face it, but if it’s not worthy your nervousness then, you don’t have to go through it. It’s not giving up, if you’re doing the right thing for you health, it’s for the right reasons.
semicaitlyn
November 30th, 2018 11:27pm
it is okay to avoid them at first. however, life isn’t always fair and will bring them back. it’s best to work your way up to conquering them. take baby steps, such as paying at the store or interacting with peers more. this may take some time, but it is worth it in the end because the more you talk to people you may know and may not know, it begins to feel more comfortable and you’ll worry less. i know it sounds stupid, but don’t let your anxiety hold you back. situations that make you anxious may suck, but they should be something you work on and better yourself at them.
kindPanda75
December 6th, 2018 12:55am
If you are unwilling to face your fears then why would you ask, surly one of your fears would be asking for help. You have asked for help but you have asked in the wrong place, you should have tried just asking family or friends. & Cups will never be available to help you as all their listeners are in the listener chat rooms saying how great they are at helping people and in over 4 years of being here, I as a listener have only ever spoken to one person from the management team, this makes me feel so undervalued as a person that gives so much of my time for free :(
SaraHoffman
December 7th, 2018 3:02am
It is okay for a time however you can't go around just avoiding things your whole life. So I suggest getting back to trying to avoid those situations.
coalescence7
December 25th, 2018 4:11pm
Ultimately, it depends on what the situation is and how you think said situation will affect you in the long run. If it's something social occasionally, saying no to something is fine. You need to take care of you and that's something that is underrated in friend circles nowadays. If it's something big, you can run from it in the short term, but in the long term it may hamper you and may cause you to miss out on things that you wanted to do or things that you could've taken opportunities on but didn't. We all have things that are only presented to ourselves and to no others. I know you're asking this from an anonymous perspective, and there are things that you will be presented with that I won't be or other readers of this won't be. All in all, make sure you don't just rule it out straight away, assess the pros and the cons and see how they fit into what you want to do and work from there. You should never feel obligated to say yes to anything, but also you've got to make yourself be ready to take a stand as well as realize that anxious situations even if they don't end well can help you grow and be a vital part of your personal development.
Carissaxx
December 26th, 2018 10:22am
It is understandable that you want to avoid situations that make you feel anxious, and totally normal considering the intense physical and psychological symptoms that anxiety can cause. It may be helpful to begin to build your toolbox of ideas to help cope with anxiety-provoking situations, and then you can feel more equipped to enter the situations in the future. This might include grounding techniques, journalling your experiences, having someone with you who makes you feel comfortable etc... You might also find that by pushing yourself to be exposed to anxiety-provoking situations, your anxiety will lessen with each exposure, and you will feel more able to cope
ConallBranagin
January 10th, 2019 3:26am
It depends on how you view this. If this is an overwhelming situation for you, and the best coping strategy for your well being is to avoid it, then it'S not giving up, it is keeping yourself in a safe space. If you feel it is more of a flight instinct and the excuse Is the anxiety which you are avoiding then the situation is different. Sometimes we need to step back and keep ourselves safe by doing things like avoiding a situation, but progress is made through coping strategies. This may mean you avoid one situation and make make sure you have a plan to escape at the next and then maybe a support person you can take a break from the situation with and then maybe just to step out and later avoiding the situation won't be the first thought to mind.
AutumnLeigh
January 13th, 2019 5:30am
Avoiding situations that trigger anxiety is a coping mechanism that can be helpful at times when it is necessary to make everyday life easier. But long-term avoidance almost always leads to a built-up anxiety levels that stress both your mind and your body to a point where it limits everyday activities and becomes a chronic issue needing professional help. Please be aware of how often you avoid everyday activities to escape anxiety. Know your limitations and please reach out for help when avoidance is more of an excuse than an aid. Talking to someone you trust about inner fears and anxieties can greatly reduce the need for professional help in your future!
EncouragingSteps
February 7th, 2019 5:03pm
Most people face problems based on anxiety. Each person's triggers may be different based on his/her situation and environment. Hence, some choose to completely avert the situations that bring out the anxiety while others choose to face them. Either ways, it's you who's deciding to do what's best for you. In any situation, it's necessary we try our best to get our wanted outcome and in this case too, if we can, we should put in our best efforts to beat the anxiety. Sometimes, the way the situations persist cannot make the anxiety go away, so then it would fine to leave it as it is, though it wouldn't be called giving up.
Anonymous
February 8th, 2019 2:25am
I think depends on the situations. if something is making me anxious and i know that i will not be fair then i suppose i can leave it alone for a while until i am fully aware of what is going on and how will i be taking care of it. i feel giving up is a broad point of view. a lot of thing can look like its been give up however it has not been taken in consideration of the detail, and well one is not well inform. i feel in general things cannot be avoid but if time is necessary to take then i go forth it. i do strongly believe we must face reality and truth.
Anonymous
February 8th, 2019 8:53am
Avoiding a situation entirely will build more anxiety and discomfort when you eventually have to face that situation. Avoidance isn't giving up, but instead is putting off the inevitable. The thing with anxiety is that it it can make a situation worse if avoided completely. I have found graduation to be helpful. For example if a particular situation makes you anxious go into that situation and try riding it out for a couple minutes before leaving, and try a little more every time. In the moment it may feel like the entire world is crushing down on you and the fight or flight response will be amped up to get out but this gradual introducing can reduce your anxiety s little.
Anonymous
February 13th, 2019 12:28am
It is fine to avoid situations that make you anxious but I believe by doing so it may only worsen the anxiety or put it off until you are forced to encounter a situation similar to it. I would only avoid it for so long or try to prepare yourself to the best of your ability to confront it so it may help your anxiety of the situation or make the anxious feelings you get surrounding the situation go away . Anxiety usually gets worse the more you avoid something so confrontation may be the best route but only if you are mentally and physically prepared as much as you possibly could be
insightfulSunrise67
March 6th, 2019 10:08am
It’s not giving up. I think it depends on the level of anxiety those situations create. If I have high levels of anxiety, at work for example, then instead of “forcing” myself to do what is being asked, I inform them I can’t. I then think about the small steps I can take to reduce my anxiety in those situations. I think it’s being aware of your capabilities in that moment and knowing it’s okay if you can’t be in that situation at that time. I also try not to put pressure on myself and go with the flow of my anxiety, so to speak. Even if it’s a little step to others, it’s a big step to me and I’m proud of myself for that. Just remember, you’re doing great!
FieldsOfAsphodel
March 10th, 2019 8:23pm
Hey there! Honestly, I think it depends on the situation. If it’s something that you need to do do function, it’s probably good to push through so that you can both function and practice beating the anxiety. However, I think avoiding situations that are not necessary to be in is fine, as long as it’s it’s not something you want to go to. For example, if you were asked to a dance by someone you like and you wanted to go but were worried about the anxiety, perhaps you could offer to go for part of the time and do something more relaxing for the rest of the time.
dxphne
March 28th, 2019 10:04am
It really depends on the situation in my opinion. It's okay to avoid situations that feel way too challenging to you, you don't want to get anxious and worked up for no reason. If it's an important event you shouldn't just avoid it though, try to kind of force yourself but don't continue if it gets too bad. Your health is the most important thing, always keep that in mind. However, if you keep walking away for situations that scare you, it will just get worse, trust me. Overcoming your fear and making new experiences is one of the best ways to get your anxiety under control, but it's definitely not an easy thing to do. Only do it if you feel like you are ready for it, maybe with the help of friends or an professional.
Imheretohelp1411
March 29th, 2019 1:51am
I wouldn't say the question should be is it okay or not, but if it is helpful or not to your overall situation. If it is a one time event, then I'd say it will be harmless. But say you are avoiding something that you often have to do, like go to school or the grocery store because it makes you nervous, then yes, that is a problem. I have been through this many times, so I understand the struggle. Exposure is the best way to get over it. It is hard but it is something that should be done when you're ready so that you dojt have to keep living in fear❤
Anonymous
May 3rd, 2019 3:19pm
If you are strong enough to endure, it can make you stronger. But know your limits, and don't let people push you past them. Yes, put yourself out there- but not into harms way. Giving in doesn't make you weak or wrong. But rather it means that you have the strength and courage to do what you KNOW is best. Not all stressful situations can be avoided, don't avoid the necessary ones because doing so will only make them more stressful later on. But, going into the situation with the right frame of mind, and maybe an idea of what is happening can help to lessen the stress you may feel. Don't give up, just listen to your mind and body, they know what you can handle.
Anonymous
May 8th, 2019 10:12am
We all experience anxiety at some or other stage in our lives. Avoiding situations can become a problem when it prevents you from living a normal satisfying life and enjoying it. Avoiding situations that make you anxious is a temporary solution and ok if it helps you to explore ways to deal with the anxiety. It is only giving up if avoidance becomes a permanent solution to the anxiety. If we do not try and resolve the issues that cause the anxiety, it may lead to other mental health issues. I guess it also depends on the type of situation causing the anxiety.
Anonymous
May 8th, 2019 1:12pm
It's normal to try avoiding situations that make you anxious but think about what trigger your anxiety. Go through step by step, let's say you are feeling breathless and fidgeting, Which motion came first? Try to get yourself comfortable by knowing your anxiety at which stage and slowly understand it to prevent yourself to feel too anxious. Anxiety is part of life, what you feeling might just be too much adrenaline for you, slowly take control and approach it at your own pace without pressuring yourself too much. There is always time for improving, helping yourself is the best first step you take.
SevenSolstice
May 12th, 2019 3:50am
Wanting to avoid anxiety inducing situations (that are actually safe) is only natural. Wanting to give in to this natural inclination should not be thought of as "giving up", but instead as simply unhelpful for our long term well being. Unfortunately, not only does avoiding such situations interfere with our lives, but only reinforces our anxiety, such that the next time we encounter the situation, we get even more anxious. This however, is not to say that we should throw ourselves into the deep end when facing an anxiety inducing situation. Experiencing a panic response will likely only make us more averse to confronting the situation. Instead, it's helpful to figure out what it is about the situation that makes us anxious. Once we understand the specific triggers that cause our anxiety, we can form logical responses to remind ourselves why our anxiety is overblown. Incremental exposure and finding ways of making yourself feel safer are also very helpful. For instance, if large gatherings of people make you feel anxious, attend smaller gatherings first. Bring a trusted friend to be your conversation buddy. Set a goal to speak with one stranger, and have an exit strategy prepared should you feel overwhelmed and need to leave. These strategies can help us become more comfortable in situations that make us anxious, by showing us that these situations aren't actually that scary after all.
ElectricJourney
May 12th, 2019 4:17pm
If you avoid situations it would only make the issue worse. To be able to help ease the issue, you must face it head on. It will be hard but in the end it will be truly worth it. Giving up is when you drop the entire situation and not acting on it for anything. Doing that can only lead to regrets and regrets are a sad thing to have. What I do when situations make me anxious I talk to trusted adults. They have been through things of their own and can help you in ways you can never imagine. They dont have to go through the same exact thing to help you with your own issues.
insightfulRose22
June 2nd, 2019 12:14am
If you feel that is what is right for you then yes it's perfectly OK! You must do what you feel is best for you, if avoiding situations you know are going to cause you stress and anxiety, feels like the best approach then go for it! You know you best, avoiding stressful situations is a good way of ensuring self care, by addressing what effects you, then making sure to avoid such things so you can remain calm is a great way of making sure you look after yourself. You aren't giving into it, you are acknowledging what it does for you and that will surely help!
Beautifulife100
June 6th, 2019 6:13am
Whenever you feel anxious,focus on your current situation,do not escape or leave it ,do not avoid it ,just stay with the feeling as whatever you are feeling is real ,after staying with the feeling for a while,ask yourself " who does it really belong to," if it belongs to me or someone else I destroy and uncreate it all." Just feel your anxiety dissolving in thin air ,do this 3 to 4.Times and see how you feel.All the while focus on the anxiety situation You will feel much better.do it again and again when ever any anxiety situation arises ,eventually it will be gone.
Chrisps
June 12th, 2019 5:08pm
It definitely depends on the context. Self care includes understanding what makes you anxious, and avoiding those situations can help with the stress. At the same time, if you are able to be mindful of your anxiety, exposing yourself to the situation can be good steps toward coping and overcoming it. For me at least, social situations (especially meeting new people) make me anxious and I know I will get stressed/drained; when I have some energy and want to push myself a bit more, I'll try to reach out to some people or put myself in a social environment! It has helped a bit, but I still get anxiety from many social situations of course. You are definitely not "giving up" by taking care of yourself, you can try to push yourself through the situations whenever you are ready.
serenitynyx22
June 23rd, 2019 6:29am
First of all, I am sorry to hear that you feel anxious of some situations. Now, its really okay to avoid some situations that trigger your anxiety and no its not that you're giving up. I know from experience. I avoid crowds because I have social anxiety and each time I am "forced" to deal with it, I tend to find ways to cope. But avoiding it for good is not healthy either. You can avoid them, but there will be a time we also have to face them. I'm not saying you should do it now, no. It takes time.
Anonymous
June 30th, 2019 10:33pm
Personally I do avoid some situations because they make me anxious, while other situations I actively try to be a part of for that same reason. For instance I stopped going to a college club because it made me anxious more then I enjoyed it. I guess that it is kind of like giving up but it is also recognising your limits and understanding when to stop trying and to then focus on something new. Some situations can't be and shouldn't be avoided even if it makes you anxious. What it comes down to I think is what sort of situation it is and if it is beneficial to you to avoid or not.
lyncs
July 4th, 2019 5:00pm
Hello there. Hope you are fine. You can evaluate those situations in order to understand if you need to avoid them partially, completely or if you can implement other mechanisms that help you to overcome anxiety in these situations. I recommend you to visit our material about anxiety, there are some exercises that can help you in the evaluation process and other ways to treat your condition. Sometimes it is not about avoiding situations, people or places but to understand what is the cause of your anxiety and evaluate and implement solutions. Hope you have a great day or night!
Anonymous
July 22nd, 2019 10:16pm
I will use this opportunity to point two different aspects: AVOIDANCE v.s. FAILURE. When you avoid an action or behavior, you give it strength. If you play games, imagine it as a monster or creature that rises in level each time you avoid it. Can you ever beat it? Sure. Will it be incredibly hard if you continue to avoid it for years? Incredible. FAILURE is almost the opposite. Imagine you try something and fail, you feel awkward and embarrass yourself. It's like fighting a monster whose stats are always the same. You will fail once, twice, or maybe a dozen times. It stays the same, so you begin learning what works and what doesn't. Your confidence rises. You lose anxiety and gain strength. This is what happens when you try and fall on your face. You actually end up growing in strength. So ask yourself, as the end of the day, do you want to face an ever-stronger opportunity and help him get stronger -or- will you choose to fall down and learn how to win? You decide.
PositvityScarlet
August 7th, 2019 4:13pm
Yes it is ok to avoid situations that makes you anxious or giving up to it. However, this is not a permanent way to deal with this as it might affect your life. Talk to someone, a profressional to help you build a healthier way whenever you feel anxious or want to give up on it. Sometimes, facing the things that make you anxious is scary and exhausting but after doing it, you will feel better. Don't give in to your anxiety and fears too often! I know you can do it and i am cheering for you !