BRAIN FOOD: Are you suffering from ... Avoidant personality disorder

BRAIN FOOD: Are you suffering from ... Avoidant personality disorder - If you have an APD sufferer in the office, tread carefully: comment on a report, they'll leave the room before you've finished (conclusion: you hated it); say 'Can we have a chat?' and

by HELEN KIRWAN-TAYLOR, helen@kirwantaylor.demon.co.uk
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

If you have an APD sufferer in the office, tread carefully: comment on a report, they'll leave the room before you've finished (conclusion: you hated it); say 'Can we have a chat?' and they'll say 'Don't bother' (conclusion: I'm sacked). APDs spend their life avoiding significant personal contact for fear of criticism or rejection. Look them in the eye, they look away; say hello, they mumble into their shoes. Hit-and-run artists, jumping from job to job and affair to affair, they get out before they're pushed.

Yet APDs work twice as hard to avoid criticism, and stay on full smile alert in case you think they're unfriendly. MAOI antidepressants or cognitive behavioural therapy can help, but a shrewd boss puts up with the mumbling, fumbling and blushing because they'll never ask for a raise.

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