People who are diagnosed with avoidant personality disorder desire to be in relationships with others but lack the skills and confidence that are necessary in social interactions. In order to protect themselves from anticipated criticism or ridicule, they withdraw from other people. This avoidance of interaction tends to isolate them from meaningful relationships, and serves to reinforce their nervousness and awkwardness in social situations.
The behavior of people with avoidant personality disorder is characterized by social withdrawal, shyness, distrustfulness, and emotional distance. These people tend to be very cautious when they speak, and they convey a general impression of awkwardness in their manner. Most are highly self-conscious and self-critical about their problems relating to others.
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