Not to Be Confused with a Psychopath

August 17, 2010

A commenter in the previous post had mentioned that Borderlines are sometimes portrayed as psychopaths. It’s not hard to imagine why. Because sometimes BPs do act like psychos. At times, they do hurt people without thinking about how it affects the other person. They do lie and rationalize their hurtful behavior. Sometimes they do manipulate people to get what they want. These are all similar behaviors.

But unlike a psychopath, a borderline does feel guilt and remorse. Contrary to popular belief, they do have a conscience. In fact, the hyper-sensitive BP feels too much of these emotions. Maybe to the point where they have to repress them, in order to function. Without denial, they would be crushed under the weight of their guilt and shame.

While sociopath might manipulate and use people to gain power and wealth, a borderline does it to elicit sympathy, gain affection, or avoid blame.  A BP is desperate to feel loved and avoid emotional pain (aka rejection/abandonment). A pscyhopath is sadistic, but a BP can be masochistic. If a BP hurts someone, it is usually out of revenge. They want the other person to know how much they have hurt them. But these vindictive acts rarely leave them feeling satisfied. It probably makes them feel worse.

A BP can act cold-hearted, but it is an act. You can see the remorse in their eyes. They may cruelly lash out in a knee-jerk reaction, but inevitably they will feel bad about it. They may have distanced you to protect their heart, but somewhere deep inside they still care. They may have to be made aware of their offense. They may even deny misconduct at first. But their conscience always catches up with them. A BP likes to say they are not responsible for someone else’s feelings, but deep down, they feel every bit of it.  A BP weeps at the slightest perception of pain (theirs or someone elses). When they hurt someone, they are hurting themselves as well. Maybe even more so.

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