Wednesday, March 15, 2017
I’m avoiding you, ‘cause you’re avoiding me….
What is avoidant personality disorder? According to multiple sources, including the trusted Wikipedia; Avoidant Personality is when an individual often vigilantly appraises the movements and expressions of those they come into contact. Their fearful and tense demeanor may elicit ridicule from others, which confirms their self-doubts. They are very anxious about the possibility that they will react to criticism with blushing or crying. They are described as being “shy”, “timid”, “lonely”, and “isolated” (psyhcentral.com).
I stumbled upon this term after completing a relationship questionnaire; the questionnaire is designed to predict what kind of attachment you display while in a relationship. Surprisingly, I was not shocked or in disagreement. I do become distant in terms of my feelings and thoughts in past relationships. I was so curious about this topic; I did more and more research that led me to scrutinize my childhood (attain most learned behaviors). A precious time that can go so wrong or so right and ultimately shapes your outlook on life, mannerisms, and so much more. As a child I moved A LOT, that contributed to my detachment, I was isolated, I have only been to one slumber party, not many birthday parties, and minimal play dates. It was not until I was in high school that I tried to develop these social skills, but even then, I only had one real person I felt secure with and developed a true friendship.
Security really is a big factor in most if not all the decisions I make. I am very observant of my surroundings and people that I meet; almost like summing people up before they even know and can say otherwise (reading a book by its cover). Which for a long time I thought was a positive; I have made some accurate character judgements and been thankful for that inside voice.
However, I do experience periods of awkwardness and intimidation. I do not doubt that I am a sociable person, but why do I have a noticeable limitation. Quick Story Time: A short while after New Year’s 2017- an old friend and I were walking through the mall, talking amongst ourselves when a man approached us trying to strike up a conversation and flirt (I am assuming). I found myself smiling and looking away, still walking, as if he had not said anything, my friend responds and mentions I do not like “awkward situations”, we both laugh and go on our way. I did not think much of the incident until weeks later, after I took the questionnaire. I have never had a conversation about my social skills, it was ironic, and more eye opening for me that my friend said it aloud, as if it had previously been a secret.
I have always had an issue speaking in front of others (public speaking). Rushing through the speech, heart racing, and inability to make eye contact for the entire duration.
Just FYI I am just self-diagnosing I have NO medical training whatsoever and I have not sought psychiatric opinion/perspective.
Therefore, what are the next steps, what are some solutions…?
Well I have started this blog and my YouTube channel as an outlet to getting in front of a camera as a step towards being able to talk in front of an audience (strangers). My course load in college requires that I make presentations and collaborate on assignments, and just my will/desire that I have to become more sociable.
Let me know what some of your suggestions!!!
In addition, stay tuned for Tuesdays talk about the college life, with a focus on HBCU’s.
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By TalksWithToni at March 15, 2017
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