People with Borderline Personality Disorder might be few and far between, but once you figure out the red flags and warning signs of the condition, people who have it are far easier to spot. Since problem drinkers and compulsive partiers tend to have radical mood swings and bigger than life personality types, they are some of the most likely people to present meeting diagnostic criteria for having Borderline personality types.
Borderline Personality Disorder is one type of Cluster B person known for wild mood swings and eccentric behavior. Not only do they tend to dominate their friends and family as situational abusers in private, but their public persona is also grandiose, typically loud, always out of step with the norm, and tends to exude a sense or element of the outlandish.
AlcoholRehab.com reports, “Borderline personality disorder must … meet a set of general personality disorder criteria for it to be clinically diagnosed.” The drug and alcohol abuse recovery source wisely connected the dots between BPD and drug or alcohol abuse. The group’s website site shared the DSM5 diagnostic criteria for evaluating people for BPD, noting that in order for a diagnosis to be made, the condition of pattern prevalence needs to be met.
Clinically evaluating any person who exhibits traits for undiagnosed, mild to extreme BPD is prudent, as many with the condition have no earthly idea they even have it. Because such people are prone to striving to self-medicate and they all have a tendency to consider suicide as an option to control or punish family members, not knowing they have BPD and mixing mood destabilizing substances like alcohol to their biological system can end in tragedy on any given day or night.
Consider the following personality affectations (or SYMPTOMS, as we prefer to call them) with respect to your problematic party animal. “A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image and affects, as well as marked impulsivity, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following…” notes the source, revealing the list of formal diagnostic criteria for establishing whether or not a person’s behavior is or is not in line with the frequently misdiagnosed personality disorder.
First, people with BPD tend to make, “Frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment which does not include suicidal or self-harm behaviors.” This includes engaging in Machiavellian abuse tactics of any person who they fear may leave them, who is not under their “spell”, or who simply is busy and not able to commit what the Borderline feels is enough time to paying attention to them. People with BPD are the most likely to pitch wildly emotional and dramatic temper tantrums and storm off, only to return a few minutes, hours, or days later with a big, hoovering smile and offering up either their manual labor or gifts to serve as “hush payoffs”.
They are the, “I hate you… don’t leave me!!!” person that creates an ambient abuse environment for anyone who has to live with them. They manufacture chaos in the lives of friends, family, roommates, in-laws, children, exes, and co-workers while constantly attention-seeking. Note that to be in the middle of a manufactured drama and triangulating everyone with whom they come in contact keeps everyone actively engaged with being forced (most time against the target’s will) to pay attention to them.
They want to be paid attention to; they want to be in control. They panic when they themselves are not the center of attention. And if friends and family know one thing, it’s far easier to roll over and capitulate to a Borderline person’s irrational and non-sensical demands than to have to endure being subjected to hours, days, weeks, months, or sometimes even years of their retaliatory, petulant, victim punishing behaviors.
Just to make it clear, people with BPD who have a covert narcissistic streak or any sense of sadistic tendencies tend to develop something called “narcissistic rivalries” with any person who they think is getting more attention than them — abusing the people they envy, typically by making passive-aggressive sneers at that person when they think no one will notice, then by backstabbing, sabotaging, undermining, and passive-aggressively smear campaigning quite deliberately against them.
Typically, the target has no idea they have been targeted to begin with, and once they figure out they have, 99% of the time they have no idea why or what they have done to bring the wrath of the BPD person on. As a result, many victimized targets are left feeling powerless, unable to reason with the Borderline who has — for whatever insane personal reason of their own — targeted them for social abuse while placing a bullseye on their hearts.
As such, their Flying Monkeys and active Abuse Enablers tend to walk on eggshells around them to avoid being targeted, while Enablers actually willingly abusing the Borderline’s preferred scapegoat targets by proxy. Power and control dynamics used by toddlers are enacted in an egocentric, “adult IQ manufactured” way by the Borderline to literally psychologically and emotionally beat their enabling family members and friends into submission to the Cluster B predator’s needs and whims.
Second, they tend to exhibit, “A pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation.” The Borderline might spend years professing their deep love and affection for a friend, lover, or romantic interest, yet if that person offers them something like a constructive insight or dares to disagree with them on a simple point the Borderline will engage in the art of SPLITTING with verbal and social abuse guns a’ blazin’.
The person who they previously could not say enough wonderful things about will be verbally attacked, wildly smear campaigned against in a very public and overt way (always behind the target’s back but to people who are likely to share the rumors back to their face). The angry Borderline will hunt down any person the target knows and will strive to manufacture triangulations while enacting their “poor them” agenda.
People conned by such Cluster B people are likely to feel very sorry for the Abuser (the BPD who has used gaslighting tactics to mislead them) and are likely to willingly support them as Flying Monkeys. In the most tragic of cases, the person or people the BPD targets for social abuse will be forced into complete or total social and emotional isolation after the Borderline convinces their entire family support network and friendship circle that they, the Abuser, is the wounded party.
Because they fake victimization so well and because they tend to target people who are the least likely to stand up for their own rights for abuse, the victims of the BPD’s splitting illusions and wild story manufacturing, denying personal responsibility while writing revisionist history, tend to end up feeling the most spiritually confused, noting that they honestly used to think the Borderline was actually a “good person”.
Third, folks with BPD tend to exhibit intermittent yet routinely reappearing flashes of “Identity disturbance, which is the markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self.” With a changing sense of self, the Borderline is likely never to feel terrible secure or self-confident. Understanding that they simply cannot pretend to be one sort of person in one social environment then flip flop to claim they are another personality type in another setting comes difficult to the BPD person.
They want to have their proverbial cake and eat it, too, in essence. For instance, if they are a grown adult, they may demand to be respected as the voice of dictatorial “stick in the mud” reason (ruling offspring with an iron fist at home). Then they head out with their friends to get wasted in the evening followed by many hours or days (sometimes even weeks) of acting like a socially irresponsible juvenile delinquent.
Fourth, “Impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging such as eating disorders, binge substance abuse, and reckless driving…” tend to be part of the lifestyle patterns of those with Borderline personality disorder. Insisting on drinking alcohol with every meal is one way that those with BPD tendencies justify adding the mind-altering substance to their diet. It’s incredibly self-harming for a person with BPD to drink or use any mind-altering substance that produces depression or mood swings as an effect.
Whether they binge eat chips, cookies, ice cream or chocolate and they are prone to diabetes or blood sugar imbalance, or they routinely speed down the highway and run stop signs and traffic lights, defiantly proclaiming they know what they are doing while acting self-entitled, or they pull disappearing acts on their family while they head out to get blotto on a whim, all of them tend to behave predictably erratically with regard to having an emotional tendency to binge.
Fifth, the BPD individual is prone to threatening self-harm in order to manipulate other people’s behavior. “Recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, threats, or self-injuring behavior such as cutting, interfering with the healing of scars or picking at oneself…” are common. It’s important to note that with the rise of tattoos and body piercing or modification as a fashion statement that many people with BPD tendencies for self-injurious behavior have been able to radically modify or alter their appearance without being noticed.
Sixth, those with borderline temperaments tend to suffer from something called, “Affective instability”. The source notes that mood dysregulations are one of the hallmark features of the Borderline’s condition, saying, “Due to a marked reactivity of mood [such as irritability or anxiety that lasts a few hours and only rarely more than a few days]… that the person with BPD and anyone who is personally involved with them in a home or workplace environment is likely to be affected by the Borderline’s depressed, withdrawn, or suicidal machinations in a toxic, detrimental, or time-consuming way.
Seventh, people with Borderline Personality Disorder unilaterally seem to report suffering from recurrent or chronic feelings of emptiness. Many will pretend they are deeply spiritually and emotionally misunderstood people, then they will use the gaslighting assertion to elicit sympathy from people who truly are socially misunderstood, lonely, and kind targets.
[Watch their social media accounts. If they show signs alternating between “rage against the machine” sort of posts, deeply emotional poetic type posturings, and sharing things glorifying being a step apart from other human beings on their social media, pay careful attention.]
Borderlines are the most effective hunters of Empaths, and they all tend to share posts that make them look like part of the tribe.
They aren’t. They know how to copycat posts, sharing memes and story links they know appeal to truly empathic people. That’s why they tend to have no true loyalty to people, per se — because their loyalty shifts according to who is willing to tolerate their bad behavior and pays personal attention to their “Drama Queen” control seeking power plays and juvenile antics more.
Borderlines are social hunters, always with a scheme to fleece other people out of time, attention, or money in mind. They are the fake mystic, the pretend gypsy, the “witch” who has no clue about how to actually do anything Wiccan — except to perhaps bang a drum or gyrate wildly. They may even be thinking they themselves are doing what other truly spiritual people are when and if they infiltrate a social circle prone to doing attention-seeking things like baying at the moon.
Once a kind person bites and clicks LIKE, the BPD social predator knows not only is that person drawn to “nice”, they are likely to readily engage in reverse projection. Reverse projection is applying positive character traits you yourself possess onto another person. If a kind person makes a logical error and rushes to assume that a Borderline has the same core values they do and is a good person at heart, they tend to readily develop Stockholm Syndrome.
Flying Monkey recruits who believe the Borderline is A) a kind person by nature B) who is trustworthy and C) who has everyone’s best interest at heart are not only the most loyal Enabler, they are the most likely to be used and actively abused on an ongoing basis by the clever deceiver.
Borderlines make great crooked used car salesmen, always managing to find a person to sell to who they can manipulate into purchasing bad deal car after car based on their “word” that the last bad go around was simply a mistake.
The Borderline will sell you a lemon, knowingly, then will have you — as the con artist’s victim — apologizing to THEM for having an issue. What’s more, the better they are at gaslighting victims, the more likely the mark is to feel sorry for the pathological liar. Don’t believe us? Ask a friend, family member, or client why they kept or keep returning to do business with that person (or they continue to give the name of the person as a referral out).
Nearly 100% of the time, the marks report having felt “sorry” for the person. Having been fed long lines of whatever sob story the BPD person running a con knew would effectively emotionally manipulate the target, the victim ends up feeling used and abused while still being willing to spend time with that person and readily handing out cash to the Abuser from their own pocket.
[Crying poor, feigning a relative has a serious health condition and that they are financially supporting them, faking being broke, lying to claim they are impoverished, asking for handouts, forgetting their wallet every time it’s their turn to pay, listing a laundry list of financial needs or material desires out to a person put in the hot seat to donate, and simply running con schemes starting new businesses or running existing crooked operations. These are all par for the course with most blue collar or white collar BPDs who socially strive to manipulate for personal, selfish, unearned GAIN.]
Eighth, those with BPD are prone to lashing out at whim in angry rages. Alcohol Rehab rightly notes, “Inappropriate anger or difficulty controlling anger such as frequent displays of temper, constant anger, and recurrent physical fights…” are seemingly constant problems with people who have the disorder. But the rage affectation of a Borderline person is not out of their control the same way it is, say, for a person who has NPD or ASPD.
If a Borderline figures out they can bully someone by raging, every time they are worried whether or not they are going to get their way, the Borderline is likely to use temper tantrums as a way to get their way. They are the adult version of a toddler throwing a temper tantrum in the store. If the mother or father gives in to avoid having the child make a scene, the child learns to apply the technique in a wide variety of other social scenarios effectively. Don’t take our word for it, though. Test them.
If a person with BPD straightens right up when someone they want to impress walks in the door when and if they are in mid-rage, understand they CAN control their temper.
They use deliberate temper tantruming to control, frighten other people, and manipulate. If they are in a full-blown “narcissistic rage” at family, then act cool as a cucumber when the police arrive, understand when they are normally claiming their rage is out of their own control, they are lying — both to themselves and to their victims.
If they are able to have a civil discussion in a courtroom setting or academic environment without name-calling, throwing things, turning purple, ranting, and they are able to behave rationally to impress a judge, understand it’s because they are capable of behaving respectfully. For instance, at home when talking to their own loved ones (such as their romantic partner, children, sibling, parents, and roommates).
[They deliberately abuse those who they don’t respect the most, namely their preferred scapegoat targets pegged as Narcissistic Rivals and their loved ones who are most willing to support the Abuser’s needs while they, as willing Flying Monkeys, use their own free will choice to ENABLE.]
Ninth and finally, those with true Borderline Personality Disorder tend to report experiencing, “Transient stress-related paranoid ideation, delusions or severe dissociative symptoms.” Understand that if you are striving to do armchair diagnosis, this particular criterion is something best left determined by the Borderline’s PSYCHOTHERAPIST when and if he or she elects to present themselves willingly for treatment. While friends and family members may be asked questions about such events or personality affectations, the actual symptoms that manifest will be person-specific, tending to be based on their own reactions to nurturing as well as any past social influences or traumatizations.
[While friends and family members may be asked questions about such events or personality affectations, the actual symptoms that manifest will be person-specific, tending to be based on their own reactions to nurturing as well as any past social influences or traumatizations.]
Be mindful when armchair diagnosing people, however. Labeling a person with a suspected Cluster B personality disorder who does not have one can lead friends, family, and therapists astray. Someone can develop a drug dependency on pharmaceuticals, for instance, without having a pre-existing personality disorder… the same way a normal person can develop an alcohol addiction based on the genetic predisposition of their biochemistry and DNA.
Occasional mood dysregulation or poor behavioral choices do not a person with a personality disorder make; it is the near-constant egocentric and self-indulgent behaviors that range from tantrums to overindulging in drug or alcohol use, the threats of suicide used in a Machiavellian manner, the self-injurious behaviors, and wildly fluctuating temper based on whim and mood for the day that truly defines people who live their lives in such a frantic way.