Avoidant Personality Disorder

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    Avoidant personality disorder can be characterized by a pattern of feelings of inadequacy, sensitivity to what others think and social inhibition. It can be quite a stifling and restrictive way to live. Some typical behaviours include:

    Restraint in intimate relationships because of fear of being shamed or ridiculed

    Inhibitions due to feelings of inadequacy

    Avoiding activities that involve interpersonal contact due to fear of criticism, disapproval, or rejection

    Feeling socially inept, or inferior to others

    A reluctance to take personal risks because they may prove embarrassing

    Unwillingness to get involved with others unless certain of being liked

    Preoccupation with being criticized, rejected or other negative reactions

    Constant anxiety and ruminating over consequences and reactions to decisions


    Living in a constant state of worry over consequences and ruminating over ‘what if’ or ‘what about’ could not only be unhealthy for the person suffering but for their relationships also For example partners may end relationships over frustration, reinforcing the persons belief that they are inadequate.

    Over time counselling can help overcome these self defeating behaviours and beliefs. With the help of a skilled therapist you can explore where the feelings of inadequacy have come from and actively challenge them through desensitizing exercises. As you engage positively in therapy you can learn often it is more the fear of the fear rather than the thing itself that holds you back. Some beliefs and behaviours run deep and may be quite ingrained. Just be patient with yourself, build on your successes and learn from your mistakes.



    This article was written by sentientcounselling