We often bury our heads when the truth becomes unpleasant, but necessary to hear. But problems simply don’t disappear because we choose to brush them under the carpet. They stay until we’re ready to deal with them.
We also take a head in the sand approach, or a head in the sand attitude to life and that’s not good either. All are dangerous, particularly if we’re doing those things around our health. We do it that often it’s become part of us.
It’s also not just something we do when we don’t want to hear something. We ignore what’s going on around us to avoid having to deal with negative feelings. We don’t choose to deal with our feelings, but switching off isn’t great either because that leads to an ‘ostrich attitude.’
We ignore information because of our need to avoid the negative feelings that we associate with the information we need to hear. But being an ‘ostrich’ only gets worse the longer we leave it. There is research to support this theory. Researchers have concluded that people ignore their issues to avoid negative feelings often brought about through guilt that accompany what they deal with in reality.
The research led by Dr Thomas Webb, from University of Sheffield and published in the Social and Personality Psychology Compass journal, suggests that people are actively motivated to avoid information. When we’re struggling we would rather not know how we’re doing in other areas of our life.
We go back in when we’re feeling strong enough to cope. We also avoid conversations where others tell us what they think of us, or our social skills, but in the longer term we can’t ignore what people say about us.
I believe that if someone has something they want to say about us, it is usually based on truth, therefore it’s important we hear what that it is. It’s usually done because they care and want to help us.