The MBTI is not designed to make the difference between introversion and shyness or stronger anxiety problems like AvPD.
In order for people to get a better understanding of their nature I feel this issue needs to be clarified. I have seen many INFPs saying that there is nothing good about being an INFP, that being a feeling introvert is torture and they want to change. I'm here to say that INFPs are wonderful deep and creative people who have absolutely no problems socializing, people who are confident, but at the same time like spending time alone introspecting, thinking.
If you score Ixxx and hate the I part, feel trapped by it, lonely and so on, then chances are that you are either shy and it's troubling you, or you may have some form of social anxiety, avoidant personality or some more extreme form a phobia. If this is the case then I urge you to have it diagnosed properly. Don't mistake introversion for something else.
It can be that individuals suffering from the above said problems are extroverts. The torment experience by AvPD sufferers seems to point towards that exact fact. This is not a certainty however, because both Introverts and Extroverts need social contact and alone time, introverts suffer a lot from auto-imposed isolation, just not as much.
In this post I will concentrate on avoidant personality.
People with Avoidant personality disorder are preoccupied with their own shortcomings and form relationships with others only if they believe they will not be rejected. Loss and rejection are so painful that these individuals will choose to be lonely rather than risk trying to connect with others.
- Hypersensitivity to rejection/criticism
- Self-imposed social isolation
- Extreme shyness or anxiety in social situations, though the person feels a strong desire for close relationships
- Avoids physical contact because it has been associated with an unpleasant or painful stimulus
- Avoids interpersonal relationships
- Feelings of inadequacy
- Severe low self-esteem
- Mistrust of others
- Emotional distancing related to intimacy
- Highly self-conscious
- Self-critical about their problems relating to others
- Problems in occupational functioning
- Lonely self-perception, although others may find the relationship with them meaningful
- Feeling inferior to others
- In some more extreme cases — agoraphobia
- Utilizes fantasy as a form of escapism and to interrupt painful thoughts
Source: Avoidant personality disorder - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Individuals suffering from this become introverts out of FEAR and not because they enjoy spending time introspecting and alone. Being alone and introspecting feels like hell for them, because they can not escape it. Most people with AvPD have no friends and very little to no social contact with others, they fail at doing basic things like going to class, getting a job, going to a party, a reunion and so on.
Remember you can be an introvert and not have any of these problems. Social anxiety is not the individual's own fault. This is a condition which has been inflicted upon people by others during the time when they grew up. It is however something that needs to be understood and fought against. AvPD is thought to have its origins in childhood emotional abuse, either by family, social groups or both.
I myself suffer from this, so I understand completely.
Comments are greatly appreciated. I would like to see introverts not having any of these problems discuss a bit how and why they are introverted as well.