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Personality Disorder and the Workplace

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The internet has likely been a significant boon to these individuals—who may be more likely to work remotely in the “safety” of their homes without having to brave the social hustle and bustle of the normal workplace. In normal work environments, they are likely to be seen as weak and ineffectual, unwilling to take any form of risk or challenge that they may perceive as potentially embarrassing or where they may be shown as inadequate. Their fearful and anxious demeanor may elicit ridicule from others who perceive them as pathetic underachievers, and in turn this ridicule will confirm their worst fears and doubts about themselves.

Cavaiola and Lavender describe that if a avoidant individual actually rises to managerial level, one needs to anticipate that they will not take risks or support your proposals that have any implication of being risky. Putting pressure on them will not work, rather offer to assist and find ways to present ideas in a non-threatening manner. As a co-worker, an avoidant individual can be a good friend if they decide to trust you. They are likely to need constant reassuring, and support, but are likely to be difficult to work with if you are dependent on them delivering work that you need. Reacting with impatience or annoyance will make things worse, so being helpful and supportive is the best approach.

Dependent Personality Disorder

The Dependent Personality Disorder is manifest by a pervasive and excessive need to be taken care of that leads to submissive and clinging behavior and intense fears of separation. These submissive behaviors are designed to elicit caregiving and develop out of the self-perception that they are unable to take care of themselves without the help of others. These individuals have great difficulty making simple decisions for themselves, such as what clothes to wear or whether to take an umbrella in case of rain. They present themselves as extremely passive and submissive to others, allowing others to take responsibility for all major aspects of their lives—for  example what course of study to take, what kind of work to pursue and what friends to have.

Through fear of losing the support or approval from others, individuals with this disorder have great difficulty expressing disagreement with others, especially with those on whom they are dependent. They will feel so unable to function alone that they will often agree with things that they know are wrong. These individuals are unable to express resistance. They will tend to submit to the demands of others even if these demands are unreasonable.

These individuals have great difficulty taking the initiative to begin anything, such as a project or doing anything independently. They lack basic self-confidence to complete tasks and believe they need help to finish what they started. They basically believe that others are better than they are despite possible evidence to the contrary. They visibly present themselves as being inept and requiring constant care and support. They are more likely to function if there is constant assurance from another that they are being supervised.

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