Why Some People Deny Aging

By Alex Golob

There are many different reasons the idea of getting older might be difficult for some to process. Aging can mean a lot to some people, and each birthday can be a lot to endure. Aging is also changing, and I think a lot of us can relate to fear of change and the discomfort that can come with change. Some people deny aging due to looks/societal standards, self-implemented time lines, and fear.

Our society holds so much value on physical appearance. Anti-aging products are everywhere; basically telling people that looking younger and being young are better than the alternative- aging. With all these messages and images spewed in front of all of our faces, it is difficult not to want to look like this “ideal.”

I hear a lot of clients talk about how they are “behind” or that they want this or that to happen by a certain age. And the question I ask in response is, “Whose time line is this?” Especially with social media, people are caught up with comparing themselves and their lives to others. Instead of focusing on what makes you happy and fulfilled, you are looking at a stranger’s Instagram page thinking, “Why don’t I have that too?”

And that takes to me to my last point, and that is fear. Fear of aging and not being beautiful, fear of falling short of a timeline, fear of others having what you want, and even fear of dying. Fear is such a strong emotion that can overpower us sometimes. Fear is an emotion that people will try to avoid feeling! So it is no wonder so many people will deny the aging process. It is easier to deny than to face these fears. Although I do understand this classical avoidance, it is in someone’s best interest to face these fears head on. Speaking to a therapist can provide a space to do this, which will in turn help you lead a more satisfying life.