Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental illness caused by brain abnormalities, genetics, or past trauma. Research has also shown that brain abnormalities may be a cause of personality disorders, chemicals such as serotonin, which regulates our emotions, may not function properly. Many people with Borderline Personality Disorder report that they had a traumatic, stressful, or unstable childhood. They either were sexually or physically abused or were separated from their parents or caregivers at a young age.
Those diagnosed with BPD suffer from emotional dysregulation which leads to them having low self-esteem, making impulsive decisions, developing abuse tactics, and unhealthy relationships. They tend to have unstable and intense relationships where they rapidly change their opinions about their friends/partners, from idolizing them to viewing them as cruel and dismissive. Those who suffer from BPD tend to sabotage their lives with their risky and impulsive behavior by ending good and positive relationships or quitting a good job and backtracking their career.
What Is A Favourite Person BPD
A ‘Favorite Person’ for someone with BPD can be a relative, a caregiver, a friend, a teacher, or a romantic partner. For most people, it is normal to have someone that makes them happy with whom to spend most of their day, however, those with BPD tend to make this person their entire universe.
That favorite person is essentially someone they obsess over and is deemed most important in their life.
Signs You Are In A BPD ‘Favourite Person’ Relationship
Someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder will have adopted certain behaviors toward their Favourite Person (FP)
They crave their favorite person's attention; They expect them to always be available to them: respond to them immediately and anticipate their needs. When this individual fails to provide for these needs the patient with BPD may feel envious and react impulsively. To gain their attention, those diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder can do something as small as cling to them or can react violently- threaten to move away or resort to self-harm.
- Eager To Please
They would seek their favorite person's validation and approval. To forge a close bond with their FP, they may alter their opinions to match his/hers and tend to idealize his/her stances and advice.
- Mood Swings
They swing between loving their FP to finding them intolerable and pushing them away. As they idealize this person and deem him/her above all else a change in their favorite person’s habits can lead them to vilify him/her and distance themselves. This behavior is stemmed from their fear of abandonment - a common symptom of Borderline Personality Disorder- as they fear losing the person most important to them.
A favorite person’s behavior towards the person suffering from BPD may also be an indicative sign that will help realize and determine the relationship.
- A Sense of Responsibility For Their Emotional Turbulence
A favorite person may feel the need to reassure the other person in the relationship when they show signs of annoyance or anger and may find themselves feeling pressured to alleviate their partner's distress. When, the individual with BPD, appears happy and joyous a favorite person might feel relieved.
- Inclusion When Making decisions
Being someone who receives and deals with intense temperamental treatments a favorite person may avoid making decisions without considering their friend/partner with BPD first. In an attempt to avoid tantrums and conflicts with the person suffering from BPD they would make decisions that wouldn't upset them.
Being someone's favorite person may not seem like a problem at first. They receive love, adoration, and attention; what's wrong with that? At first glance, it seems like a sweet deal. They could have made a best friend or found a romantic partner however when the favorite person cannot meet the standards the BPD patient has set for them, it brings to light the reality of the relationship.
Consequences Of ‘Favourite Person’ BPD Relationships
In these kinds of relationships, the individual with Borderline Personality Disorder places certain expectations on their favorite person who in many scenarios is unaware of the presence of these presumptions. Dr. Elens Touroni described the relationship between a patient with BPD and their favorite person as “ two people dancing an unconscious dance.”
A favorite person is their ‘everything’ and so over time, those with BPD tend to feel entitled to their favorite person's time. This then aggrieves both parties as the favorite person did not consciously sign up for this responsibility. The individual diagnosed with BPD feels abandoned and betrayed while the favorite person feels pressured and tends to withdraw from the other. Losing a favorite person can lead those suffering from BPD to lose all sense of self and fall into a state of despair in which they attempt to harm themselves or take their own lives. This effect is only heightened when the favorite person they are splitting up with is a romantic partner they were intimate with; it can crush their spirit.
The favorite person also suffers from this relationship as they feel a sense of responsibility and guilt for not meeting the standards set for them. It can lead them to develop insecurities and suffer abuse at the hands of a loved one. They may also feel guilty and afraid if after the relationship is severed the Borderline individual attempts to or succeeds in taking their own life as an after-effect of splitting up with their friend or significant other.
How To Stop Having A Favorite BPD POV
Letting go of a favorite person can be a difficult and turbulent experience, however, making that decision is a step toward living a positive life and developing healthy relationships. The first question an individual with BPD should answer before making a decision such as this is Why?
You should journal or note down what could be gained from letting go of this person and why this is a decision you feel you must make. What do you hope to feel after you split up with your Favourite person?
Communication is key, talking to your Favourite Person about your emotions is important. Revealing to your FP that you are hoping to end their relationship along with the reason for taking this decision can be helpful. You may find that your favorite person has been thinking of making the same decision, although hearing this may be a little heart-breaking it means that there will little resistance from the FP’s side. They may even help you come up with ways to effectively sever the connection and create some distance, it will help you get the other side's point of view. After this decision, it is advised that you cut all contact with them as dragging out separation after goodbye can prevent both you and your favorite person from moving past the relationship. This will be a difficult and harrowing experience however you must seek out the support of friends and family around you.
If your Favourite Person was a romantic partner, it is ill-advised that you jump into another relationship as a rebound for it can create a vicious bpd favorite person obsession cycle that will cause you a great amount of pain and sorrow. To refrain from reaching toward unhealthy and harmful coping mechanisms it is advised that you distract yourself: with hobbies such as video games or painting or with physical exertion such as running or yoga. Sometimes in toxic relationships, you tend to place all other relationships on the backburner thus reaching out to them is a good idea.
How To Have A Healthy BPD Relationship As A Favourite Person
As a favorite person, you may get treated as a celebrity but if you don't develop boundaries your relationship might go awry due to miscommunication and hidden expectations.
- Don’t Make Promises You Can’t Keep
Most of the time people make empty promises without putting much weight to them however in this case you should avoid making promises you cannot fulfill. Although you may feel pressured to please the person with BPD and tell them what they want to hear making unrealistic promises can set you up for failure. When you fail to complete those promises the relationship can lead to emotional abuse. This way you won't over-exert yourself and neither would the individual diagnosed with BPD feel betrayed.
- Set Boundaries
Identify and communicate your boundaries. Tell the other person when you feel comfortable being contacted, whether or not to show up at your place unannounced or when you feel you provide them with support. If they fail to adhere to the boundaries you have set up do not just simply let it go. If they throw a tantrum over an unseen message or you making a new friend make it clear to them that they are violating your boundaries and that such blatant disregard towards them will not be tolerated.
- Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle
You may feel pressured by your friend or partner with Borderline Personality Disorder to spend all your time with them however it is imperative for the well-being of the relationship, that you have other friends and interests. Spending some time apart will stop you from becoming an obsession for them and will help the other person diagnosed with BPD maintain a healthy distance.
How To Have a Healthy BPD Relationship with Your Favourite Person
You can set boundaries with yourself in order to keep your relationship with this individual healthy.
- Time With Yourself When They Are Away
The time spent apart from your favorite person can be difficult however it is important to deal with it in a healthy manner. Try some self-care or go to therapy.
- Permission Before Venting
Sometimes you may feel a lot and need to express those emotions so you would vent to your favorite person however it is important you ask if they are in the right mental state to listen to you and help you out. Suppose your FP had a bad day and you vent to them without asking for permission their replies would be short and that might cause you to assume they are upset with you. It would cause miscommunications and arguments.
- Reach Out To Others
Your favorite person cannot be your sole supporter. You should reach out to other friends and attempt to spend some time with them and open up to them. At first, it might be a little uncomfortable however over time you may grow more comfortable.
Some even suggest that having more than one favorite person is beneficial and helps you develop healthy relationships.
The first and foremost course of action for someone with Borderline Personality Disorder should be to seek treatment, go to a therapist, or seek out friends and family. Seeking professional help will aid them in navigating daily life by equipping them with the tools they need to manage their condition.
Seeking out a therapist will help you work better on building healthy romantic and platonic relations, stop engaging in toxic behaviors and abuse, reduce the likelihood of you making career deteriorating impulsive decisions and help regulate intense emotions (jealousy, anger, elation, etc.) When you experience intense turbulent emotions therapists can be the ones you talk to and enable you with coping mechanisms.
There may not be ways to cure Borderline Personality Disorder but many coping mechanisms and solutions are available, psychotherapy also known as talk therapy, medication, or both. Psychotherapy has different forms, there is Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Group Therapy.
In today's prevalent and aware world the taboo around mental disorders and illness is being battled through awareness campaigns. There is no shame in seeking help, now more than ever people have resources such as suicide hotlines and many more.
Throughout your journey, you must remember that it is an uphill battle and you will face highs and lows. Regardless of whether you've heard it a million times the most important thing to remember is to never lose hope. Look forward to the light at the end of the tunnel.