Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

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
Anonymous
December 6th, 2017 3:00pm
I think that it is ok. If you can avoid it, well then you go ahead and find a solution. But I don't see wrong if you can avoid it. Take it easy on yourself and go step by step in order to overcome the anxiety that comes from certain situations.
Hound
December 9th, 2017 5:19am
Well, it's definitely going to happen sometimes so I wouldn't beat yourself up for it. It's a very common response when people have worries that feel unbearable. That said, if you repeatedly avoid stressful situations that can become maladaptive. What does that mean? Does it mean it makes you weak or shameful? No, but the more situations you avoid, the more options you end up losing to that avoidance. If you have such a maladaptive pattern going on, you can probably think of ways it's hurt your life. I'm saying this because learning about avoidance provided a lot of insight into my own problems. I formerly avoided almost all social situations with strangers. My aversion feat secretive, shameful, and I still felt constant anxiety about the fears that motivated the anxiety (on top of despair about my diminished options in life). Reading about avoidance in anxiety disorders made me recognize what happened. In my opinion, it's an under-recognized problem. I have never regretted my decision and if you're in a similar place, I hope you can try it someday too. If you don't feel ready to do that or can't do it on your own, that doesn't mean you're a failure. Some people benefit from psychotheurapeutic help when they face their fears (for example, exposure therapy for people with specific phobias). It's also unfortunately true that some people just can't find good solutions to all their problems right away. So avoidance can totally be maladaptive, but some people are going to fall back on that coping mechanism and they deserve patience of they're not ready to confront it. I respect people's decisions, but I hope people can be informed about the alternatives to their avoidant behavior.
Haileyj
December 13th, 2017 3:01am
Giving up IS an option. Our systems can only take so much bs before we feel overwhelmed. Taking a step back and leaving a situation is one of the best things to do before something like a panic attack happens.
Easylistener
December 15th, 2017 8:40pm
It's totally okay to avoid situations that make you anxious. Knowing when you're out of your comfort zone is a healthy sign you're taking care of yourself.
SoothingHope
December 22nd, 2017 6:30pm
Its not giving up. But also i think its not okay to avoid such situations. We have to face them, yes it might be hard at first, but as time goes on we can get used to it. Sometimes we have to get out of our comfort zones
MikeyK
December 24th, 2017 7:28pm
It's totally fine to avoid certain situations that make you anxious, but remember that avoiding many things altogether indefinitely can make anxiety worse. For example; people who struggle with Panic Disorder may avoid leaving their home. The more they do that, though, the more other situations begin to make them panic as well. You can take small steps, using coping tools or things that make you feel safe to help you do what may seem difficult to you. Sometimes, the only way out of a difficult situation is through it. Find support, things that make you feel safe and take really small steps. Now, if you struggle with PTSD, that's different, you don't want to go and do things that can re-traumatize you or trigger your flashbacks. Still, though, try your best to do things step by step. It's okay to avoid certain situations, but don't make it a habit. Really try to consider whether you can do a specific thing or need to avoid it.
kindheartedSoul43
December 27th, 2017 3:16am
It is good sometimes to avoid situations that make you anxious. You shouldn't do anything if you don't feel up to it. If you know deep down you should give it a go but remember it's your choice and no one can make you do anything. It is not giving up, it is wise to avoid stressful situations.
HopeAlways16
December 28th, 2017 4:24pm
It can be okay but for a short period of time. Eventually, you'll have to face those fears you have, at least those rational fears.. I can tell you from my personal experience that avoiding those situations can make it even worse. I find it better to face those situations slowly until your fear is gone :)
Anonymous
December 28th, 2017 9:15pm
It's alright to avoid situations that make you anxious, however, doing things that make you anxious can also lead to being less nervous towards them. Sometimes there are things you need to do which make you anxious, but in those moments it's key to remember to be yourself and try and stay calm.
Colleenyourdamngoodlife
December 29th, 2017 8:25am
It depends on your emotional strength at the time. If you are ready to push yourself through some anxiety go for it. But if you are not ready avoid it for now.
endearingLion70
December 31st, 2017 9:58pm
Protecting oneself is not giving up. A person should be first of all kind to him/herself and only then they can be kind to others
Helpfulhands822
January 3rd, 2018 3:28am
It is ok to avoid some situations, but you cannot let your anxiety let you avoid all situations. You need to have a gentle yet firm grasp. You need to be aware what you are allowing yourself to avoid because it makes you anxious. I fit gets in the way of your life, it is probably time to reevaluate.
Anonymous
January 3rd, 2018 10:35pm
It is not giving up. There are steps to anxiety. If you get anxious about rides you shouldn't start on the highest roller coaster. Start small, but always strive to push yourself a little further.
DestinyyXxXx
January 4th, 2018 2:09pm
The best of things only happen when you are not in your comfort zone ! Althoughit might be scary at first (like everything is!) Do not worry it is normal remember if you want something good to happen step out your comfort zone
lovelyApple48
January 5th, 2018 3:26am
Of course it's okay! Taking time and putting your own health first is always okay, even if our anxiety likes to say otherwise. It most certainly is not giving up, and you are allowed a chance to avoid anxiety-inducing situations.
soundofrebel
January 14th, 2018 6:47pm
No, it's totally okay, because simply we don't need extra struggles with our lives, we need to set ourselves free of every unnecessary load.
Anonymous
January 18th, 2018 6:52am
It’s perfectly okay to avoid most situations when they make you feel anxious! You always need to consider yourself first in any given situation, because if you don’t, who will? Taking a few breaths is perfectly fine, and taking your time before rushing into things is as well!
goodfriend5
January 20th, 2018 3:41pm
Avoiding a situation is never a solution. The more you avoid the more it keeps lingering. We have to face it. Though problem can not be solved in a blink of an eye but we have to keep working on it to reach a solution. Goal needs a path and we have to make it ourselves.
rubywitchcraft
January 24th, 2018 6:31am
It’s definitely ok to avoid situations that make you anxious at all! It doesn’t make you weaker, you’re very strong & don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
MollyCule
January 24th, 2018 10:30pm
I think you've got to kind of pick your battles about that. If something puts you slightly outside your comfort zone, it may be good to push those boundaries. If an activity or environment makes you feel completely overwhelmed just thinking about it, then it doesn't make you weak or a failure if you opt out. Start where you are now, and be patient with yourself.
imaporg
January 24th, 2018 11:28pm
If there is a situation that you know will trigger feelings of extreme anxiety, I believe it is okay to "put them on the shelf" until you are in a better place or have developed skills to combat your symptoms of anxiety, or skills that help mitigate feelings of anxiety
Eifrose
January 25th, 2018 5:54pm
I think every situation is different, but perhaps when you try to fight your fear, you can feel better about yourself and overcoming it! However, you don't always feel that way, so if you know it just won't get better and you feel really extremely anxious, try to take a few deep breaths and calm yourself down knowing the fact you don't have to put yourself in that position. Or - you could try the opposite!
rebecca947
January 31st, 2018 9:49am
We get anxious because we don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. And we’ll never know what’s going to happen, until we face the situation. Otherwise it’ll forever make us anxious, and we will never be able to live our lives freely. Learn to face your fears, and do it slowly if you must, but just TRY. Take it one day at a time. Exposure therapy could be a good thing to try, but research more into it first if you’re interested.
bleedingangel
February 2nd, 2018 10:30pm
If there are situations that make you anxious there isn’t anything wrong with avoiding them if they make you uncomfortable. Only go to those situations when you feel comfortable or more ready.
PosiPotato
February 4th, 2018 6:10pm
Sometimes it is ok, and sometimes it isn't. It's good for us to face our fears, eventually we will become more comfortable being uncomfortable by doing so. Other times, it is good to take care of yourself by avoiding a situation.
eliijaxes
February 7th, 2018 1:02am
Of course, at that moment you just might not be ready to handle the situation, but you will some day. Until then, you can strengthen yourself to get to where you can be in that situation, and while you may still be anxious, it's more controlled.
Anonymous
February 11th, 2018 3:57am
It's natural to want to avoid situations that cause anxiety. Keeping yourself out of situations that can negatively affect your mental health is an important part of self care, but it can become a problem when it starts to interfere with your ability to live life "normally". If you find that your anxiety is interfering with your everyday life, it may be a good idea to consider getting aid from a qualified professional.
Anonymous
February 17th, 2018 7:47am
It depends on the situation...But I would prefer facing it if you avoid it;it will go for a short time of.period but it will definitely show up again...that's why I would prefer to face those situations cause they will make you more tough...and strong...
PipeOrgan
February 18th, 2018 8:41pm
Virtually everyone feels anxious sometimes and in certain situations. Sometimes you may choose to avoid a situation or take on the challenge at another time.
marvelousPineapple51
February 21st, 2018 11:24am
In order to get better it is not always the best option to help with your anxiety. The more you avoid situations that may make you anxious the more you do not want to go anywhere as your anxiety could have gotten worse