Mastering the art of avoidance — and living to regret it

You know what’s easier than dealing with a problem? Avoiding it. So when I recently discovered I had a tooth that was becoming increasingly sensitive to just about everything, I did the logical thing — I ignored the pain and hoped it would go away.

Shockingly enough, the pain didn’t magically subside. I casually mentioned this to my sister one day who responded with a matter-of-fact “Go to the dentist.” While that sounded like fairly reasonable advice, I had an equally reasonable and rational response: “I don’t need to go to the dentist! I’ve never even had a cavity in my life!

Famous last words.

I should have realized how ridiculous it was when I said it, and part of me did. I know now that I was more afraid of facing the truth than I was of anything else. I didn’t want to hear bad news. And I didn’t want to have to deal with the consequences of that bad news. But at the time, the overwhelming fear of the dental chair led me to concoct absurd justifications in an effort to avoid reality.  

So finally after months of nagging – which quickly turned to harassing – from my loved ones, I begrudgingly made an appointment with my dentist. And boy, am I glad I did. As it turns out, I didn’t need a filling after all!

Nope, I needed a root canal.

Do you know what’s worse than a root canal? Nothing! Do you know what’s more expensive than a root canal? Perhaps getting my teeth plated in gold and encrusted with diamonds.

To top it off, my dentist told me what I knew all along. If I had taken action at the first sign of the problem rather than ignoring, avoiding and making excuses, the solution would have saved me a lot of pain and a lot of money.

When you think about it, this moral can be applied to just about every aspect of your life – especially your finances.

Avoiding your financial reality because you’re afraid of facing the truth may seem like the easy way out, but just like a cavity, debt doesn’t magically disappear. And ignoring it will only make it harder to handle.

So whether you are in the midst of a financial crisis or you feel like you just need a financial check-up, do something about it. Don’t let fear keep you from facing the truth.

Come to think of it, there actually is something worse than a root canal: living in constant fear and worry.

So contact a counselor today for a free debt and budget evaluation. Trust me, you won’t regret it. But you know what you will regret? Avoiding it.  

Jessica Horton is a former copywriter and community manager at MMI.

  • Better Business Bureau A+ rating Better Business Bureau
    MMI is proud to have achieved an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), a nonprofit organization focused on promoting and improving marketplace trust. The BBB investigates charges of fraud against both consumers and businesses, sets standards for truthfulness in advertising, and evaluates the trustworthiness of businesses and charities, providing a score from A+ (highest) to F (lowest).
  • Financial Counseling Association of America Financial Counseling Association of America
    MMI is a proud member of the Financial Counseling Association of America (FCAA), a national association representing financial counseling companies that provide consumer credit counseling, housing counseling, student loan counseling, bankruptcy counseling, debt management, and various financial education services.
  • Trustpilot Trustpilot
    MMI is rated as “Excellent” (4.9/5) by reviewers on Trustpilot, a global, online consumer review platform dedicated to openness and transparency. Since 2007, Trustpilot has received over 116 million customer reviews for nearly 500,000 different websites and businesses. See what others are saying about the work we do.
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development - Equal Housing Opportunity Department of Housing and Urban Development
    MMI is certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to provide consumer housing counseling. The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD provides support services directly and through approved, local agencies like MMI.
  • Council on Accreditation Council On Accreditation
    MMI is proudly accredited by the Council on Accreditation (COA), an international, independent, nonprofit, human service accrediting organization. COA’s thorough, peer-reviewed accreditation process is designed to ensure that organizations like MMI are providing the highest standard of service and support for clients and employees alike.
  • National Foundation for Credit Counseling National Foundation for Credit Counseling
    MMI is a longstanding member of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling® (NFCC®), the nation’s largest nonprofit financial counseling organization. Founded in 1951, the NFCC’s mission is to promote financially responsible behavior and help member organizations like MMI deliver the highest-quality financial education and counseling services.