Why do we ignore our problems

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do we ignore our problems

Why do people keep ignoring their problems?
Don't their problems make them feel bad?
And isn't it likely that good things will happen if those problems were tackled?

Well this isn't always the case as there are many other variables involved in this process.
We humans have a brain that was designed to help us avoid any kind of pain even the short term one. A typical human would want to avoid unpleasant and annoying tasks at ll costs.

When i talked about procrastination earlier i said that the desire to avoid unpleasant tasks can be one of the main reasons that motivate people to procrastinate.

But even if that's the case still this doesn't explain what's so painful about dealing with our problems.

This is why facing problems is very painful

To solve any life problem a person will have to go through a painful process especially while taking the first steps. The pain associated with those steps ,usually the initial ones, motivates a large number of people to keep avoiding their problems and to ignore them completely.

Here are some of the very painful steps involved in dealing with problems:

  • 1) Stopping the denial: In so many cases people tend to deny the existence of their problems just not to find themselves obligated to take actions to solve them. Moving from the denial phase to the phase where a person admits that he has a problem can be very painful to many people. See Escaping from reality
  • 2) Admitting the mistakes: Even when people don't deny their problems still the act of admitting that they made some mistakes can be very painful to some of them. Some people might prefer not to bring a certain matter to their attention just not to admit that they have been doing certain mistakes. See Why do some people never learn from their mistakes
  • 3) Fear of taking responsibility: Some people are OK with the fact that their lives are going in wrong directions but they are also totally afraid of taking responsibility. Those people prefer to blame others in order to ignore their problems simply because they are too afraid to take responsibility for their actions.
  • 4) To avoid unpleasant effort In order for a person to make real changes in his life he might have to take some actions such as waking up earlier, working more...etc. Those types of actions can be very unpleasant to some people in addition to the fact that they go against the basic human nature of laziness

How to stop ignoring your problems

So if change is surrounded by unpleasant emotions then how can someone actually face their problems?
There are two basic steps that you need to do in order to change and fix your life.

The first is understanding that change involves pain. When you understand how change feels like you won't get disappointed when you face unpleasant emotions and so you will have more emotional capacity to keep going.

The second step is realizing that if you didn't respond today then your problems will keep getting worse until you will reach a stage where you will be forced to take an action. But this time it's going to feel 10 times more unpleasant than if you have acted earlier.

In other words, you have no option but to respond to your problems and fix them. The earlier you do it the less the pain you are going to experience.

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