Avoidance is natural in new and unfamiliar situations, but it will never help you get past your problem and your discomfort. Research shows the more you avoid, the worse your fear, phobia, discomfort and anxiety becomes.
The reality is if you are avoiding something or someone, and wish to take action, you have to be willing to feel uncomfortable.
Learning how to be comfortable being uncomfortable takes practice. Exercise or deep breathing can help reduce the anxiety.
Rather than see every new person and new experience as something to dread, think of it as practice — and it will get easier.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.