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The Avoider: How Avoiding Conflict and Difficult Situations Leads to Missed Opportunities

    Are you someone who tends to avoid conflict and difficult situations? Do you find yourself putting off important tasks until the last minute or even avoiding them altogether? If so, you might be the avoider.

    Being an avoider can have serious consequences, especially when it comes to personal development. In fact, Shirzad Chamine, author of “Positive Intelligence,” identifies the Avoider as one of the nine saboteurs that can hold us back from reaching our full potential.

    In this article, we’ll explore the Avoider in more detail, discussing its characteristics and how it can impact your life. We’ll also provide tips and strategies for overcoming this saboteur and living a more fulfilling life.

    The Avoider: Tries to avoid conflict and difficult situations, often leading to procrastination and missed opportunities

    What is the Avoider?

    Ah, the Avoider. The sneaky little saboteur that likes to hide in the shadows and avoid conflict and difficult situations. This little guy can really wreak havoc on our lives, causing us to procrastinate, miss out on opportunities, and generally feel stuck in a rut.

    But what exactly is the Avoider? Well, it’s a bit like a little gremlin that sits on our shoulder and whispers in our ear, telling us to avoid any situation that might be uncomfortable or challenging. It’s that voice that says, “Don’t rock the boat” or “It’s not worth the hassle.”

    the avoider

    Now, don’t get me wrong, sometimes avoiding conflict can be a good thing. We don’t want to go looking for trouble or unnecessary stress. But when the Avoider takes over, it can really hold us back from achieving our goals and living a fulfilling life.

    Picture this: you have a big project at work that you’ve been putting off because it seems too daunting. The Avoider is telling you that it’s better to just avoid it altogether and hope that someone else takes care of it. But deep down, you know that this project could be a great opportunity to show your skills and impress your boss. By letting the Avoider win, you’re missing out on a chance to grow and develop in your career.

    So, what can we do about this pesky little saboteur? Well, first of all, we need to recognize when the Avoider is taking over. When we start to feel that sense of dread or fear about a situation, it’s likely that the Avoider is at play. By acknowledging this, we can start to take steps to overcome it.

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    One way to do this is by setting goals and breaking them down into small, manageable steps. This can help us to see that a big, scary task is actually made up of lots of smaller, more manageable tasks. By tackling them one at a time, we can chip away at the Avoider’s power and build our confidence.

    Another way to overcome the Avoider is by practicing assertiveness. This means learning to speak up for ourselves and set boundaries in a clear and confident way. By doing this, we can avoid getting sucked into situations that are not in our best interests, while still maintaining positive relationships with those around us.

    Ultimately, it takes time and effort to overcome the Avoider. But by recognizing when it’s holding us back and taking steps to confront our fears, we can start to take control of our lives and reach our full potential.

    How does the Avoider impact your life?

    Well, my dear friend, the Avoider can have quite a big impact on our lives, and not in a good way. This sneaky saboteur can cause all sorts of problems, leading to missed opportunities and a general sense of feeling stuck in a rut.

    Let me break it down for you with some handy bullet points:

    • Procrastination: When the Avoider takes over, it’s all too easy to put things off until tomorrow, and then the next day, and so on. This can lead to a buildup of stress and anxiety, as well as missed deadlines and opportunities.
    • Missed opportunities: Speaking of opportunities, the Avoider can be a real hindrance when it comes to taking risks and trying new things. By avoiding challenging situations, we can miss out on chances to learn and grow, both personally and professionally.
    • Lack of fulfillment: When we let the Avoider take control, we can start to feel like we’re not really living up to our potential. This can lead to a sense of dissatisfaction and a feeling that something is missing in our lives.
    • Negative self-talk: The Avoider can be quite the chatterbox, whispering negative thoughts and doubts into our ear. This can lead to a lack of confidence and self-esteem, making it even harder to confront difficult situations.
    • Strained relationships: By avoiding conflict and difficult conversations, we can inadvertently strain our relationships with others. It’s important to communicate openly and honestly with those around us, even if it means having uncomfortable conversations.

    So you see, my friend, the Avoider can have a big impact on our lives, but it doesn’t have to be that way. By recognizing when the Avoider is taking over and taking steps to confront our fears, we can start to break free from its grip and live a more fulfilling life.

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    How can you overcome the Avoider?

    Ah, now you’re talking! Overcoming the Avoider may not be easy, but it’s certainly possible. Here are a few tips to get you started:

    • Face your fears: The first step to overcoming the Avoider is to face your fears head-on. This might mean having that difficult conversation you’ve been avoiding, or taking on a new challenge that scares you. By pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll start to build confidence and resilience.
    • Break things down: Sometimes, the thought of tackling a big project or task can be overwhelming. To avoid getting stuck in procrastination mode, try breaking things down into smaller, more manageable steps. This will make the task feel less daunting and more achievable.
    • Get support: Overcoming the Avoider can be a tough journey, but you don’t have to go it alone. Reach out to friends, family, or a therapist for support and guidance. Having someone to talk to can make all the difference.
    • Practice mindfulness: When we’re in the grip of the Avoider, our minds can be racing with anxious thoughts and worries. Practicing mindfulness, such as meditation or deep breathing exercises, can help to calm the mind and reduce stress.
    • Set goals: Setting goals can be a powerful motivator to help you overcome the Avoider. Start by setting small, achievable goals, and gradually work your way up to bigger challenges. Celebrate your successes along the way, and don’t be too hard on yourself if things don’t go according to plan.
    • Challenge negative self-talk: The Avoider loves to whisper negative thoughts into our ear, but we don’t have to listen. Challenge those thoughts by asking yourself if they’re really true, and try to reframe them in a more positive light.

    So there you have it, my friend – a few tips to help you overcome the Avoider and live a more fulfilling life. Remember, it’s not going to happen overnight, but with persistence and determination, you can break free from its grip and achieve your goals.


    1. What causes someone to become an avoider?

    There can be many reasons why someone becomes an avoider, including fear of failure or rejection, past experiences of trauma or abuse, or a lack of confidence.

    1. Is it possible to overcome the Avoider?

    Yes, it is possible to overcome the Avoider with time, effort, and support.

    1. What are some common signs of the Avoider?
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    Common signs of the Avoider include procrastination, lack of assertiveness, indecisiveness, and avoidance of challenging situations.

    1. How can setting goals help someone overcome the Avoider?

    Setting clear, achievable goals can help someone overcome the Avoider by giving them something to work towards and motivating them to take action towards their goals.

    1. Can professional help be beneficial in overcoming the Avoider?

    Yes, seeking professional help from a therapist or coach can be beneficial in overcoming the Avoider. They can provide support, guidance, and tools to help you overcome your fears and develop the skills needed to confront difficult situations.

    1. How can assertiveness training help someone overcome the Avoider?

    Assertiveness training can help someone overcome the Avoider by teaching them how to express themselves in a clear and confident manner, stand up for themselves, and set healthy boundaries.

    1. What are some small steps someone can take to confront their fears as an Avoider?

    Some small steps someone can take to confront their fears as an Avoider include practicing deep breathing exercises, visualizing success in challenging situations, and gradually exposing themselves to uncomfortable situations.

    1. How can the Avoider impact someone’s career?

    The Avoider can impact someone’s career by causing them to miss opportunities for growth and advancement, avoid important conversations with colleagues or superiors, and struggle to make decisions or take action.

    1. Can the Avoider be beneficial in any situations?

    While avoiding conflict and difficult situations can sometimes be helpful in avoiding unnecessary stress or conflict, it is important to recognize when avoidance is holding you back from achieving your goals and taking action towards personal development.

    1. What are some other saboteurs that can impact personal development?

    Some other saboteurs that can impact personal development include the Judge, the Controller, the Victim, the Pleaser, the Hyper-Achiever, and the Restless. It’s important to recognize these saboteurs and develop strategies to overcome them in order to reach your full potential.


    The Avoider: Tries to avoid conflict and difficult situations, often leading to procrastination and missed opportunities. While avoiding conflict can sometimes be helpful, it can also hold us back from achieving our goals and personal development. By facing our fears, practicing assertiveness, setting goals, taking action, and seeking support, we can overcome the Avoider and live a more fulfilling life. Remember, it takes time and effort to overcome this saboteur, but with perseverance and determination, it is possible to reach our full potential.

    Here is another saboteur that can stop you from growing…


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