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Avoidant personality: 5 characteristics and common features

Avoidant personality: 5 characteristics and common features

April 3, 2024

Every person is a world. Each and every one of us has our own way of being. We all have our own personality.

Some people have acquired ways of acting that directly and actively affect what is happening around them, or they are comfortable experiencing new things. Other people fear the approach to situations, conflicts or even people, avoiding some situations due to this fear and looking for safety. If the latter is carried out as a habitual pattern of behavior we can be talking about an avoidant personality .

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The personality

Personality is the usual and relatively stable pattern of behavior , and what it does when we see, interpret, think, evaluate and act in the world we do it in a certain way. It is an element that is configured throughout our development and that comes in part from the biological inheritance of our relatives and ancestors and in part from the learning carried out throughout the life cycle.


And is that what we live is also very important: throughout life we ​​learn values ​​and ways of acting, we see that acting in a certain way can have its advantages and disadvantages and in general we experiment with different strategies when facing situations having some more or less success for us.

Some end up having a dominant personality, others submissive. Some learn to approach and face risk as a way to achieve their goals. Others learn to think long before acting and tend to look for environments in which they feel safe, moving away from what can be a harm. In any case, personality predisposes us to behave in certain ways .


Characteristics of people with avoidant personality

Although each person is different, there are usually patterns of behavior that are common among people. In the case of avoidant people, we can detect some personality characteristics that are habitual (although not necessarily essential).

Someone with an avoidant personality will be characterized by, as the name suggests, avoid problems and inhibit their behavior as a way of not suffering possible negative consequences .

1. Sensitivity

Generally people who develop an avoidant type personality tend to have a high level of sensitivity, which they experience intensely sensations. They are especially sensitive to rejection and criticism.

2. Discretion and courtesy

They are usually discrete people who do not like to attract attention in excess, and are usually courteous during a casual interaction.


3. Low self-esteem and indecision

It is not strange that these are people who need affection and external approval to maintain their self-esteem, which is generally low. It is common for them to be indecisive people , with difficulties when making decisions unless they receive palpable support. If their position is different from the rest, it is common to be silent for fear of criticism. It is common for uncertainty to generate great discomfort.

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4. Taste for the familiar

These are people who tend to have a preference for routine and feel uncomfortable with the news . In many cases they are homelike and feel well in familiar environments, although in others they would like to be more open and adventurous.

5. Social aspects

At the social level, they tend to be not very capable and they are even likely to be considered inferior to the rest, which leads them to avoid contact or to feel uncomfortable in the presence of strangers or large groups of people. This does not imply that they do not want to interact or that they do not like the contact itself, they simply fear doing it. Nor does it mean that their social skills are bad: in most cases they are average in this sense, only that they do not express them.

They usually have a restricted group of relationships with those who feel comfortable, having with them very deep ties, greatly appreciating the intimacy with friends and family. Although in many cases they are isolated in others they are largely related to who interacts with them, giving the appearance of disinhibition. However, this contact is usually shallow except for a few people.

What are you supposed to avoid?

The fact of avoiding the anxiety-generating situation reassures them, not have to face a stimulation that generates discomfort , although paradoxically the non-confrontation of the avoided will cause the fear of it to be maintained or even worse.

Likewise, non-confrontation can be experienced as a failure, diminishing the self-esteem of the person and serving the subject as confirmation of their possible feeling of inadequacy and inadequacy.

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Why do these types of personalities arise?

The circumstances by which this type of personality arises can be very variable and do not end up being fully known. However, it is relatively common for them to develop in situations in which they have been isolated or marginalized.

In some cases, the feelings that end up triggering the avoidance arise due to the experimentation of abuses and / or contempt towards their person at key moments of development, of experiences in which they have been embarrassed or inferior to others . In this way, a fear of reliving this situation may develop and over time, the consistent avoidance of all those experiences that remind them may arise.

The feeling of being inept, the preconceived idea that they will be criticized or rejected and intolerance to failure and uncertainty are often key aspects that lead these people to try to avoid people and situations.

The evasive personality disorder

These characteristics that we have seen they do not have to be pathological per se.to take into account that we are facing a way of facing life that for some people can be functional, if it does not interfere in the person's life generating discomfort and limiting their performance or does not negatively affect the person or their environment .

However, if these characteristics are taken to the extreme and generating significant suffering and involvement we can be faced with an avoidant personality disorder or evasive personality disorder.

This disorder corresponds to a pattern of inhibited behavior and in which low self-esteem and feelings of inadequacy prevail, the fear of being rejected or mocked, the avoidance of interpersonal relationships and the reactance to take risks and changes. It is also common for those who suffer from it to be hypervigilant most of the time, to be distrustful and reject physical contact and responsibilities.


Summary of all 10 Personality Disorders (April 2024).


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