I'm learning something new today, so I might as well share. My doctor pointed me to Avoidance Behavior today, and reading up on it is like reading a depressing autobiography of myself. But here's some info on it, for all of us, in case it's new to you too -- but really just an old friend that's been around all this time, you just could never remember their name. Susan? Sally? Sanchez?
avoidance behavior. (noun) a pervasive pattern of avoiding or withdrawing from social interaction; a defense mechanism by which a person removes himself/herself from unpleasant situations.Dictionary.com
Avoidance coping refers to choosing your behavior based on trying to avoid or escape particular thoughts or feelings. It can involve "doing" (e.g., someone who excessively washes their hands to try to get rid of fears about contamination) or "not doing" (e.g., when someone avoids having an awkward conversation). Avoidance coping causes anxiety to snowball because when people use avoidance coping they typically end up experiencing more of the very thing they were trying to escape.Psychology Today