Our neurosis- repetitive and sterile ways of relating to others and the world is not caused as much by the suffering generated by what happened as by the ways we find to defend ourselves from it. The “cure” is less about learning techniques of unlearning and deactivating our usual mechanisms of avoidance.
In addition to generating a neurotic behavior, the avoidance behavior produces an effect that makes it sustain over time while maintaining fear intact.
By not facing the situation that causes uncertainty, we never prove that we are capable of going through it. Consequently, his perspective becomes increasingly frightening.
Like those comic monsters that feed on the fear of their victims, so the feared situation grows and becomes more powerful every time we avoid it.
To prevent this mechanism from continuing to advance and affect more areas of our lives, it is essential to recognize it and begin to undo the road traveled. To do this, when we feel stuck, we could return to that old Fritz question: “What am I avoiding?”.
Surely the answer will come to us easily because the fears are always there beating.
Once identified what we avoid, it will be a matter of heading there. Fear must function as an indicator that, instead of dissuading us, guides us.
It is about daring to face what we fear: to run the risk of losing something, to sustain a confrontation, to endure a rejection.
As the strategic therapist Giorgio Nardone said, “if you see yourself in the need to avoid something, avoid avoiding.” If we manage to do it, our profit will be double:
We will abandon a neurotic behavior that generates discomfort and stagnates us.
We will learn what we need to cope with the different manifestations of the same conflict on all occasions when it comes to us in the future.