Avoidant Personality Disorder

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Avoidant Personality Disorder Avoidant Personality Disorder, (APD), is one of the most socially hindering types of psychological problems known to humanity. From the moment a person is born, they begin to develop their own identity, their own personality. Many different factors come into play during the development of one’s personality. Unfortunately, each individual personality may also contain a personality disorder. The American Psychiatric Association describes APD as “a persuasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative evaluation, beginning in childhood and present in a variety of contexts”. When a person views himself or herself as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others, these are all considered symptoms of APD. Other symptoms of APD include: the unwillingness to be involved in activities with others unless there is a certainty of being liked, a constant preoccupation with being criticized or rejected in social situations, and the hesitation to engage in new activities for the fear that they may prove embarrassing (Kantor, 16). Although many people with this disorder still have the ability to relate to others appropriately, that is not always the case. In some cases, a person with APD may end up living a life of near isolation (Kantor, 19). Avoidants, people that suffer from APD, use these traits to hurt others in an emotional aspect so that they can avoid a close relationship with them. They like to display their hostility in an “open” manner by insulting people who try to be friendly. The reasoning behind this behavior is very simple. By the avoidants initiating the first rejection, they are also able to project themselves away from the other person at the same time. This brings about the effect of the avoidant rejecting themself, rather than face rejection from the other person. The basic principle behind all of this rejection is the idea that if the other person is rejected first, the avoidant finds their own rejection less painful because they did not like that person anyway (Costello, 74). Most of the time avoidants reject people who would have never rejected them in the first place (Costello, 66). It is the fear of possible rejection that drives them to do this. Another affected element in an avoidant's life is their speech pattern. In fact, most avoidants use frequent pauses, and speak very slow, while other avoidants may try to be “outgoing”, possibly due to the false belief that continuous talking will prevent death, an avoidants worst fear (Kantor, 105).
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