It can be incredibly difficult and unfulfilling to develop and maintain a love connection with someone who has an avoidant personality or the severe personality disorder known as Avoidant Personality Disorder, unless certain prerequisites are met. We’ll talk about such issues later, but for now, it’s critical to list the signs of this difficult personality type.
The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed., DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) defines avoidant personality disorder as a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, inadequacy, and hypersensitivity to negative judgments in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following
- Avoids work-related activities that require a lot of human interaction because of a fear of rejection, disapproval, or criticism.
- Is reluctant to engage in social interaction unless they are certain they will be loved.
- Demonstrates restraint in intimate interactions out of a fear of scorn or embarrassment.
- Is concerned by the idea of being rejected or criticised in a social context.
- Is terrified of new social situations because they feel unqualified.
- Believes they are socially awkward, ugly, or beneath other people.
- Unusually wary of taking personal chances or trying new things because of fear that they would be embarrassing.
It is obvious that the symptoms of this personality disorder can have a very negative impact on the quality and level of emotional closeness in a romantic relationship, even though the criteria stated above do not expressly address this issue. The vast majority of relationships will suffer as a result since true emotional intimacy necessitates that both parties be open to displaying vulnerability and conversing about their thoughts and feelings, with one exception to be discussed later.
Whether they are male or female, people with avoidant personalities frequently find partnerships to be emotionally and mentally taxing. These people have evolved a life philosophy based on independence (meeting their own physical and emotional needs).
They feel awkward and frequently resentful when a romantic partner counts on them to take care of their emotional needs because they have grown accustomed to relying nearly entirely on oneself. Since they find it difficult to deal with their own emotions and frequently lack self-awareness in this area, they find dealing with others’ emotions to be much more perplexing and irritating. In other words, whether the feelings are their own or those of another person, avoidant people often dislike and rebel against any negative emotions.
The fact that avoidant personality disorder isn’t a diagnosis that people frequently hear in casual conversation or the media contributes in part to why avoidant personality is so perplexing for spouses.
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