One of the hallmarks of BPD is complications with interpersonal relationships. This issue stems from the inability to tolerate being alone due to fear of abandonment and rejection. As well as having a greater sensitivity to emotional ups and downs. Your loved one presenting with BPD traits may fail to realise that their emotions and reactions depart from the typical human experience.
Often, individuals with BPD are unable to focus on the feelings of others because their own emotional pain is too great. They may find that their emotional needs are not met in a relationship, but they do not have the capacity to assert their emotional needs in a productive and healthy manner.
Relationships tend to build quickly and intensely as much as they fall apart. In new relationships, all-or-nothing thinking of BPD means unable to see the faults of the new friend or partner. In addition, those with BPD have a distorted sense of social norms so frustrations arise when they do not get what they want or need from the relationship. When the relationship is viewed as at risk of abandonment and rejection, they do no respond in a manner that would repair the damage. By doing so, this limits others from being able to respond and cooperate appropriately in return.
Needless to say, if you have a loved one with BPD, life can be fraught with crises and conflict. You might feel like you’re being held hostage, worrying that your family member will injure themselves if you don’t appease them. Dealing with BPD requires skills for deescalating crises and fostering independence in your loved one. With the right tools and community strategies, it is possible to help your loved one towards recovery.
VALERIE PORR – What it’s like to love someone with BPD