Avoidant personality disorder can make most activities and interactions extremely difficult. While receiving treatment is already a challenge, it takes more courage to continue challenging yourself in your daily life. This includes pushing yourself to attend social gatherings, make conversation, and more. If you’ve been struggling with avoidant personality disorder, there are various ways to find motivation and challenge yourself.
Discover Your Hopes
As you may already know after speaking with your therapist, avoidant personality disorder can hold you back in order to avoid embarrassment or rejection. Meeting new friends, trying a new hobby, traveling, and other activities can be situations you genuinely want to experience but are too worried to partake in.
When you make a list of all the things you want to try or experience, you can take steps to do them one day. Don’t hold yourself back. Write down everything you want to do in the future, whether going on a date or visiting a museum. There are many things that you likely didn’t even realize were being restricted by avoidant personality disorder.
Take Steps to Reach Your Goals
Once you know what you want to work toward, you can take small steps. What will get you closer to these activities or scenarios? Mentally preparing yourself and visualizing beforehand can better help you handle a new situation. Perhaps instead of going to a large social gathering, you can spend time with one friend. Over time, you can increase how many friends you socialize with and how often.
When you expose yourself to these situations, even just slightly, you can sooner realize that they’re not as intimidating as they originally seem. Since everyone is different, you may take these steps at a different speed than others. That doesn’t make you any less courageous. While you should challenge yourself at your own pace, you should also ensure that you are somewhat pushing yourself toward your goals.
Face the Risk of Rejection
Avoidant personality disorder causes you to expect rejection from everyone when this is nowhere near reality. While most people are more accepting than you imagine, there will be individuals and situations that are unpleasant. However, that’s life, and you shouldn’t avoid life not to feel embarrassed.
Once you step out of your comfort zone, you’ll realize these embarrassing or uncomfortable moments aren’t as terrible or life-shattering as you originally thought. If you’re working with a mental health professional, you likely have already heard them discuss how an unhealthy thought process can lead to catastrophizing. This is when you expect the worst possible scenario to occur. What’s the worst-case scenario? A bad date? Failing in front of others? Whatever you imagine, it won’t kill you. It will make you stronger.
Understand Other Perspectives
One issue that can worsen avoidant personality disorder is not being able to understand the emotions of others. If someone were to fall or embarrass themselves in front of you, you wouldn’t react with judgment or hate. You would likely try to help them or simply even ignore their mistake. What you would do is often what the majority of others would also do.
When you can better understand other perspectives, you can be less afraid of what others may think or how they’ll react. Research has shown that the basis of avoidant personality disorder, and other personality disorders, is difficulty in relating to others. One way to improve your understanding and empathy is to expose yourself to others. Talking with friends, family, and even strangers can show that they are not so different from you.
Avoidant Personality Disorder Treatment
If you are not yet receiving treatment for avoidant personality disorder, it’s never too late to discover all that you can achieve. Our expert staff at Avalon Malibu knows better than anyone that no single treatment plan can work for everyone.
Every person is different, and they all come to us with various difficulties and needs as well as varied histories and experiences. Each of our clients receives a customized treatment plan. We employ every tool at our disposal to ensure that individuals with avoidant personality disorder are as relaxed and supported as possible throughout their treatments.
Clients often find that cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is quite successful in overcoming anxieties and acquiring positive new behaviors. We’ve discovered that CBT works best for avoidant personality disorder because treatment places a strong emphasis on altering negative thought processes and avoidant behavior.
Through promoting distress tolerance, emotional control, acceptance, and mindfulness, dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), a different type of psychotherapy, can also aid in the improvement of social skills. At Avalon Malibu, we can help you find the treatment plan that works best for you and your unique needs.
While your mind might be telling you to stay away from unknown scenarios and people, you deserve to live a full life with new experiences. When treating avoidant personality disorder at Avalon Malibu, you can learn new tools and methods for overcoming your disorder. We offer various therapeutic treatments from compassionate, knowledgeable staff who can guide you on your new journey. While you may be intimidated by the thought of treatment, remember that there is so much you can accomplish in return. Alongside our traditional therapy, we also provide holistic treatment such as art therapy, music therapy, and physical activities to coincide with your primary counseling. Learn more about how you can overcome avoidant personality disorder by calling (844) 857-5992.