No One Understands, and That Leads to Fear
Considering movies tend to portray us as violent stalkers (or at the very least, out-of-control whirlwinds of emotional destruction), it's easy to lump BPD sufferers in with sociopaths or other groups that lack basic human empathy. But more recent studies suggest that we actually just have way too much of it. Since you're constantly assessing the emotional state of the people around you (primarily because it's all your fault, and oh god you have to fix it), people with borderline personality disorder kind of have people-reading superpowers. That's bad if it leads you to overreact, like I did at the grocery store, but it can also mean you're the Stephen Hawking of interpersonal relations.
What that means on a practical level is that we're good at gauging the temperature of the room. We're like emotional sponges. We can be great diplomats, really good at keeping everyone in the group happy, because we are self-appointed, full-time Keeping People Happiers. When someone's in pain, we really feel that pain, so we're an excellent shoulder to cry on. Everyone I know who has BPD is generally as warm and gentle as a blanket made of kittens. But there's a Lord of the Rings-sized elephant in the room here, and it's that all of those positive traits come with the caveat, "when we're not in devaluation mode."
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Additional caveat: Cracked does not endorse making blankets out of kittens. Only free-range snuggling, please.
I can quite honestly say that we can be the most intensely loving, generous people you'll ever encounter, but we can also be impressively nasty and spiteful. When I tell people about my disorder, they get that look on their face where they kind of give you the side-eye and take a step back as if you radiate psychic dick spines, and given what the movies show, I can hardly blame them.
But here's the facts: Like most other psychiatric disorders, we are really unlikely to hurt another person. Even when we're really upset at someone, we're still convinced that it's entirely our fault, so we mostly take it out on ourselves. That's a big reason why we self-injure -- it's punishment as much as relief -- and why suicide attempts are