The Money Avoider is one of the most common ways we show up for money. This makes sense as money is a source of stress for so many of us emotionally and practically. She focuses on the positive and pleasant in an extreme way and avoids difficult and unpleasant tasks and conflicts related to money.
To understand how your Money Avoider might be showing up, I recommend reading through the descriptions of the Avoider Saboteur provided by Positive Intelligence. Make note of what resonates as there are multiple ways the Avoider shows up in how we relate to money.
Characteristics of the Avoider
Avoids conflict and says yes to things one wouldn’t want.
Downplays the importance of real problems and tries to deflect others. Has difficulty saying no.
Resists others through passive-aggressive means rather than directly.
Loses self in comforting routines and habits; procrastinates on unpleasant tasks.
Thoughts of the Avoider
This is just too unpleasant. Maybe if I let it go it will take care of itself.
If I deal with this now, I will hurt her feeling. I’d rather not.
If I get into conflict with others, I might lose my connection with them.
I've found balance. I don’t want to mess with it. I’d rather give someone else their way than create a scene.
Feelings of the Avoider
Anxiety about what has been avoided or procrastinated.
Fear about hard-won peace of mind being interrupted.
Suppressed anger and resentment rather than expressed anger.
Justification Lies of the Avoider
You're a good person to spare others’ feelings.
No good comes out of conflict.
It's good to be flexible.
Someone needs to be the peacemaker.
Impact on Self and Others of the Avoider
Denying the conflicts and negativities that do exist prevents one from actually working with them and turning them into gifts.
Feeling numb to pain is different than knowing how to harvest the wisdom and power of pain.
What is avoided doesn’t go away and festers. Relationships are kept superficial through conflict avoidance.
Others’ trust level is reduced as they are not sure when negative information is being withheld.
Original Survival Function Avoiders could rise from both happy and difficult childhoods. In happy childhood, one might not have learned the resiliency of dealing with difficult emotions. In a childhood of high conflict and tension, the Avoider might come in to play peacemaker and learn to not add any negativity or tension of one’s own on top of the existing family tensions.
What to Do
The most important first step is to notice how your Avoider Saboteur is showing up in your relationship with money. Do you procrastinate on paying bills or having money conversations with a loved one? Do you tell yourself it's good to be flexible -- to not cause conflict? I can relate to this one! If any of this resonates either with yourself or someone you know, consider the following options:
Schedule unpleasant tasks first thing in the morning and set a time limit. Some call this "eating the frog." Simply looking at the money in your account and thanking it for being there can be a good place to start.
Center in a place of gratitude before and after. When we take 2-3 minutes to calm our body before and after something that raises our blood pressure, we are less triggered.
Consider the higher purpose. When we connect what we're doing to a deeper purpose, we're more motivated and grounded in what matters most.
Break the tasks into small steps. We often take on far more than we can do at any one time and so get overwhelmed. If you need to "get out of debt" think about a first step like reaching out for help or setting up a money date with yourself or a loved one.
Track progress. If you take those steps mentioned above, track how it goes. Celebrate progress and get curious about what got in your way.