Avoidant Personality Disorder vs Social Anxiety – What’s Different?

How to go on a first date with anxiety

Avoidant personality disorder vs social anxiety – tough to spot difference, right? Well, both still have some differences. 

Avoidant Personality Disorder vs Social Anxiety

Oftentimes, people think avoidant personality disorder ones are socially anxious and vice-versa. 

So in this article, I’m going to highlight the difference between both so that you can never be like those people. 

What is Avoidant Personality Disorder? 

One group of anxiety personality disorders includes an avoidant personality. 

This disorder causes a person to feel unsure of themselves and fearful that others will judge them. 

In other words, such people think that there’s something always wrong with them.

No matter how hard they try to fit in the world, they can’t just because they believe that others are inferior to them.

This causes a person to avoid social events like going to the grocery, meeting friends, or party. 

According to research, almost 2.5% of people suffer from it. 

However, it’s rarely diagnosed in adulthood. 

Although researchers are still not sure what causes such disorder, they’ve observed this even in those families that don’t live under the same roof. 

What is Social Anxiety Disorder? 

People with social anxiety experience emotional triggers in the social world, which cause them to panic or go solitary. 

As the name of the disorder suggests, it’s common for them to avoid social events altogether.

Social anxiety is a combination of avoidant personality disorder (or social anxiety) and people who want to make friends and become more social. 

They don’t go out just because they fear. 

Avoidant Personality Disorder vs Social Anxiety – Spot the Difference 

Now that we have studied both avoidant personality disorder and social anxiety, let’s see the difference between both with the help of this table: 

Avoidant Personality DisorderSocial Anxiety Disorder 
None to few friends These get anxious in some specific situations but have a few friends
Consider themselves unworthy, unattractive, and inferior to others Fear of being judged even when they do regular activities
Most of the times other observe them as a shy personThey speak softly and can’t make proper eye contact
Overestimate life’s challenges Often feel like getting hit by a car or bike on the street 
Most can’t take criticism lightly Not all but a few might take the criticism positively

Alright, so far everything might seem just the same to you and it’s normal. 

After doing hours of research, I’ve found that there’s a thin line between Avoidant Personality Disorder and social anxiety disorder.  

According to some researchers – Lisa Lampe, Malhi, and  Gin S, it appears that Avoidant Personality Disorder is a severe variant of social anxiety

After all, it’s a chronic disorder that may appear at an early age and may last long for life. 

The Bottom Line

In my opinion, people who have social anxiety act more like an introvert.

As far as I can see, people with social anxiety disorder lack confidence and competence. With a good therapist, they can become better. 

On the other hand, people with Avoidant Personality Disorder don’t take criticism in a positive way. 

Likewise, they won’t help themselves to become better.