What things trigger your "automatic avoidance" routines?

what things do you encounter in your daily lives that you go out of your way to try to avoid, if you encounter them, you try to put as much distance between you and the thing you’re avoiding?

for me it’d have to be…

kids, especially screaming brats, but kids in general skeeve me out, showing me a kid is like holding up a cross to a vampire

i know exactly what caused my dislike/avoidance of kids, about 8 years ago, i was working the “Job From Hell”, a traveling photographer with american studios (subcontractor with wally-world), once a week, i’d have to pack a mobile portrait studio in my Dodge Shadow, arrive at some wally-world out in the boonies (different one every week) find a cheap grubby hotel, set up the studio and spend a week taking pictures of kids

each week i had to deal with screaming, whiny brats who didn’t want their pictures taken, but their parents were forcing them to

before i took the job, i could have cared less about kids either way, after i quit the job (the job drove me this close to snapping/mental breakdown) i would do whatever it takes to get away from the annoying little genetic packets, i still feel the aftereffects of the job to this day, screaming brats activate my mental “SHUT THE ZARK UP, YOU BELGIUMING LITTLE BRAT” routine (i don’t say anything out loud, but i think it quite loudly)

(job details about job-from-hell are available if anyone wants to hear them, but it would be a long (potentially boring) post, let me know if you want the gory details)

so, what things activate your “red alert, evasive maneuvers” routines

Things that activate my auto-avoidance routines?

The Scientology building on Yonge Street in Toronto. I will cross the street rather than walk past it.

Groups of Angry Young Men, age 15-20ish. I was pummeled enough as a kid, and the distrust remains.

People walking dogs. I maintain a respectful distance (at least three metres) if possible.

Certain people at the office who refuse to actually think before asking a question.

Certain people at the office who would rather over-react than be reasonable.

Dammit! People in general. I would like to avoid most everyone through the day.

Literature toting evangelicals. It’s pretty easy in my neighborhood: If you’re wearing a suit and tie or a dressy dress with hose, and it’s not Sunday morning, you’re peddling Jesus.


My aunt who is 75 years old and insists on kissing people hello and goodbye on the lips and they are always wet kisses. Bleh!!! Ewwww!!!

Cat people.

People who have that reptillian or rodent like quality about them.

  • You know who you are! Don’t pretend like you don’t!*

Certain people on my floor whom I hate. Certain people at home whom I hate. Certain people in my classes whom I hate. That greasy kid who makes those wierd noises. ::shudders:: I feel I’d get sick just from being within ten feet of him. Most of the deaf people on campus, (there are tons) but that’s just because they don’t seem to take too kindly to us hearing folks.

just remember.

“You want to test my personality? You can’t handle my personality”
'The last person to test my personality is still having nightmares"
“Sorry I don’t have a personality, I gave it away to the Hari Krishnas”

Whiny lefties with petitions that want to educate me about their latest “cause”.

Bums who look like they’re going to hit me up for change. The next one is really going to get an earful.

People on waiting at street corners with clipboards. I hate being surveyed or asked to sign anything.

Those same people at the mall.

The Mall. Any Mall.

Perky coworkers. Especially the ones who want me to have a super day.

Anyone firing a gun into the air while screaming, “Get them off me! Aaaaaaaagh!”


People who don’t know how to capitalize.


After I got married, I just didn’t see the need to talk to the rest of them anymore.

Kids in front of the grocery store selling or collecting for something, scouts, soccer team, dance team, cheerleaders, football team. I try to rush by with my head down and a “don’t talk to me” scowl on my face (except in the case of GS cookies then I might stop and get a box or two, girl’s got to have priorities, right?)

My ex-husband who is a first class idiot.

The old lady who lives upstairs. Because she won’t shut up. She’ll talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and talk and keep talking even as I’m walking away. If she’s getting out of her car in the parking lot I’ll sit in mine until she’s up the stairs.

Hype… I mean “mass marketing strategies” (or whatever today’s buzzword is).

Basically the more and the harder you hype something, the less interested I become. If I am looking to go see a movie (for example) and there are 2 ads in the paper, the first ad is small and understated and the second ad is a full page thingie with multiple exclamation points I am going to the first movie everytime.


Well, whose floor is it anyway? If it’s your floor, can’t you just pick them up and dispose of them? This is just bad housekeeping on your part.

My list:

People I’m attracted to.
People I’m not attracted to.
Local news on tv (nothing but “reality” shows and religion).
People who correct my non-PC speech.
Old people who wear way too much makeup and/or dye their hair shoe-polish black.
People who misuse apostrophes.
Cat vomit just where I happen to be stepping.
Dead animals outside.
Dead animals inside.

Any “big box” store (Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Target, Home Depot, etcl) anytime on a weekend or on a weekday after 5.

I can’t stand being that close to so many people at one time.

I also concur with the previous posters regarding anyone asking for money, a signature, or time. It is amazing how avoidance #1 coincides with avoidance #2.

Cigarette smoke
Political and/or religious TV shows (radio too, I guess, but the radio in the Zappamobile is DOA at present)
My middle brother (fortunately he lives too far away to be much of a nuisance)
Really loud crowds - elicits the fight-or-flight reflex.

Elevators, subways, gum stuck to the underside of seats or on old newspapers.

Middle school and high school students in large groups. I refuse to go to movie theaters on Fridays or Saturdays, for instance. I even avoid a close-by grocery store because they usually only have all teenagers working. I hated them when I was one, and I still distrust them in large groups.

I refused (and still refuse) to see “Shrek 2” because of the hype machine surrounding the movie. There are usually great hype around cartoons, but Shrek just seemed to be EVERYWHERE.

Shrek and the Donkey in several commercials on TV (like Wal-Mart and Hewlett Packard). Shrek and Donkey on products in the grocery store. Shrek balloons outside of Burger King. Shrek ads all over the Internet. Even a Shrek ink stamp on envelopes in the mail! When I saw that, I think a little part of me died forever.