Avoidance is a virtue : In the pursuit of Happiness


Every time I dodge a friend, don’t take a call, cancel a date or make up some lame excuse to avoid a social meeting- my prissy conscience baits me to step up and come up with a plausible reason. It’s not just my conscience that does that, many disconsolate friends have tried to extract a verbal apology out of me, for being too busy, spending too little time talking to them and basically not seeming to care so much.


I have tried telling them, both my conscience and my friends, that it is not a matter of appearance- I really do not care. I care about them the way I care about well, humanity in general. It’s a token of good-will, but confusing it with sentiments like love, passion, affection and loyalty would be an erroneous mistake on my part. In my experience, which is fairly vast when it comes to people and life, one has to learn to care about things that matter and people unfortunately, have never really mattered.

There is obviously the question of avoidance. Why run? Why evade? Why be so elusive from people who for all intents and purposes have your best interests at heart?

That in itself is your, and my answer. They do not have your best interests at heart. This is a very antiquated phrase that expired a long time ago before the advent of pseudo-networking (Internet). My only philosophy regarding people is simple : Wait for a person to prove his goodness, before pronouncing him good. Most importantly, let a person prove that he is good for you. 


Avoidance, escapism and self-preservation are without a doubt, mankind’s most beneficial instincts. I’ve imbibed them for solely one purpose : I value my own happiness.


According to me, if you’re the one being avoided then you must consider the possibility that you’re not bringing much happiness to the person avoiding you. If you truly make someone happy, rest assured, he/she will definitely seek your company. Lot of people are social, extroverted and affable. For most, leisure involves communicating with as many friends as possible in the littlest of time, going for movies, dining out, visiting historical monuments and vacationing on scenic locations- all with their closest friends. There exists however, a slightly disparate race of people, who for some reason always seem to be running out of social time. Their joy emanates from hobbies, learning, music, art, practices,work and is so unreliant on people that they’re often dubbed as anti-social, geeks, loners and outcasts. There is a very specific reason why some people deliberately avoid human contact. If you’ve noticed this phenomenon then you’ve obviously wondered why they do this.


There are three reasons that come to mind. Firstly, such people derive a lot of pleasure from work and accomplishment. Whether the task is simple or extensive, their satisfaction comes from the act itself, the work provides them with more than enough companionship. I’m not saying such people won’t have friends, but the little that they have will be people who mean well. Secondly, they’re smarter than the rest so they’ve quickly come to terms with reality : That the only reason behind people’s unhappiness are other people. It is not death, failure or sickness that causes unhappiness to a person, it is cruelty, antipathy and disloyalty. These are features of people, not life. A person can cope very well with unfortunate events, as long as he/she is surrounded by people who are conducive to coping. And thirdly, after coming to realize this truth, these people have made a decision to avoid those who are in any way a threat to their happiness.

According to me, there are very few people left in this world who are looking for true happiness. In fact, as every therapist comes to observe this about a recalcitrant patient, most people enjoy tragedy. They want to hold on to sad things and what’s more, they display remarkable aptitude for spreading sadness. Sadness is infectious just like laughter- and most of us don’t even realize that we’ve caught it.

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If happiness is truly important to you, or if it is something that you seek in this life then know which people are responsible for annihilating it. I’m not saying you have to play the blame game but give credit where it’s due. Those who care for their own happiness, security and stability will always be very clear about who all can come in the way of that. My point is, if someone makes you so unhappy, why continue getting mired in your issues with that person and why not simply take the simpler and more selfish decision of ‘live and let live?’. Convention forbids this kind of self-gratifying behavior but it also condones decency and if others can’t follow that, why should you?  All the ‘what’s’ in our life are determined by the ‘who’s’ we cohabit with. If your ‘what’ is essentially troubling you, think, ‘who’ is responsible for that?


The next time you come across someone eccentric who makes no bones about avoiding you, I think you’d be better off suspecting that the person doesn’t like you and going along with it, rather than pursuing the person doggedly and being told that they don’t like you. In fact, you’d be well-advised to think ‘she’s just happier that way’. 



Published by: Abby

Abha is a final-year law student; She's a trainee family law advocate, a virtual speaker on sexual violence and a volunteer at the local legal aid cell. She enjoys listening to indie rock, reading romantic thrillers and eating Chinese food. She also loves her dog, but suspects her dog isn't too thrilled about that.

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