Monday, July 25, 2005


I thought I would start examining some of the personality disorders listed in my previous blog and tell how they apply to me. The first is Avoidant.

Here is a description of Avoidant.

  • avoids occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fears of criticism, disapproval, or rejection

  • is unwilling to get involved with people unless certain of being liked

  • shows restraint within intimate relationships because of the fear of being shamed or ridiculed

  • is preoccupied with being criticized or rejected in social situations

  • is inhibited in new interpersonal situations because of feelings of inadequacy

  • views self as socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others

  • is unusually reluctant to take personal risks or to engage in any new activities because they may prove embarrassing

For starters, my occupation, computer programmer, allows me to avoid almost all significant interpersonal contact. Working from home increases that avoidance.

I've gotten better at bullet #2. In high school, I wouldn't even talk to someone unless they talked to me first. I still have a hard time establishing confidence in many scenarios, but it has gotten better.

#3 probably gets me in the most trouble. I think my restraint goes far beyond intimate relationships and into day-to-day relationships as well. I try to ensure that as few people as possible know anything about me (well, this blog breaks that mold, so that's probably a good thing). Even little things like what I want in a career are kept to myself, which makes it very hard for employers to make me happy; they have to guess what I would want, which is, most probably, what I don't want.

#4 just means that I don't talk in social activities because I'm afraid to say something stupid, which is true.

#5 is definitely on the mark. I usually feel that I don't measure up to most people - that I couldn't do as well a job as them or that I would never be able to fill their shoes. This keeps me from pushing too hard for a promotion because I feel I wouldn't do as well as the person there now.

#6 is actually true, I am socially inept, personally unappealing, and inferior to (most) others. If I did not have those characteristics, but I thought I did, then this would apply. However, since those characteristics already apply to me, then I'm justified in feeling that way. So this one doesn't apply.

#7 This one rings true as well. One of the reasons I didn't take a recent job offer is because the people there were much smarter than I and therefore I would look stupid in comparison to them. I don't have to be the smartest, but somewhere in the middle would be nice.

So, I think Avoidant suits me nicely. It doesn't really bother me, I can't say that I'm overly unhappy, so I'll probably remain Avoidant - at least for the time being.

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