“Anxious [avoidant] Personality Disorder is characterized by feelings of tension and apprehension, insecurity and inferiority. There is a continuous yearning to be liked and accepted, a hypersensitivity to rejection and criticism with restricted personal attachments, and a tendency to avoid certain activities by habitual exaggeration of the potential dangers or risks in everyday situations.

At least four of the following must be present:

  • Persistent and pervasive feelings of tension and apprehension.
      (E.g., “I usually feel tense or nervous.”)
  • Belief that oneself is socially inept, personally unappealing, or inferior to others.
      (E.g., “I feel awkward or out of place in social situations.”)
  • Excessive preoccupation about being criticized or rejected in social situations.
      (E.g., “I worry a lot that people may not like me.”)
  • Unwillingness to get involved with people unless certain of being liked.
      (E.g., “I won’t get involved with people until I’m certain they like me.”)
  • Restrictions in lifestyle because of need for security.
      (E.g., “A lot of things seem dangerous to me that don’t bother most people.”)
  • Avoidance of social or occupational activities that involve significant interpersonal contact, because of fear of criticism, disapproval or rejection.
      (E.g., “I keep to myself even when there are other people around.”)