ace-and-ranty (TUMBLR ACCOUNT)

Well, goodness, this one resonated much more than I was expecting. I mean, I get it. My mind was also blown wide open when I found out “demand avoidance” was a thing that existed, and that I’m not the only weirdo in the world who suddenly wishes it wasn’t her birthday after anxiously waiting for her birthday for days.

Loads of people in the tags are asking how I do it? I feel this won’t be groundbreaking advice, but here is what I have learned:

  1. Previous experience. Really no way around it. Now that I hit thirty, I feel like I have done enough things to know, intellectually, from experience, what will feel nice if I overcome the avoidance, and what won’t. For example, every time I go to the beach, I wake up early and would rather eat a tire than get off the bed. But I remember that every time I got up and went to the beach, I was glad I did it. So I just get up, feeling like shit, and get ready, feeling like shit, and I get to the beach and magic!! I feel great, I love the beach!! Sometimes you just gotta do it scared feeling kinda like shit.
  2. Am I avoiding the thing or getting to the thing? I have a lot of demand avoidance around just, y’know, getting up, getting ready and going out the door. Universal human experience. If I notice that doing the actual thing (Swim in the pool!) sounds nice, but I’m avoiding having to rally myself to go do that (Fetch swimsuit! Sunscreen! Towel!), then I know it’s demand avoidance and I should just fucking go.
  3. Is the thing making me feel excited at all or just anxious? I have had previous occasions when I did the opposite; I convinced myself it was just demand avoidance when I really just. Hated the thing. And wanted to stop. If you feel a mix of excitement and dread, or excitement and anxiety, that might be demand avoidance. But if thinking of doing the thing just makes you feel actively anxious, then yeah. You don’t want to do the thing.
  4. Do the thing a little bit. Used often with dishes. I’ve seen this advice float around Tumblr a lot and it’s correct. Commit to doing just a bit of the thing; a little bit of the thing; the smallest bit of the thing you can do. Getting started will make it clear right away if you don’t want to do it (and in that case, you have permission to stop), or if you just having trouble getting started.

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Born when atmospheric carbon was 316 PPM. Settled on MST country since 1997. Parent, grandparent.

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