What It Means to Be the Favorite Person of Someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

5 min readJul 9, 2022

“Prick a borderline’s delicate ‘skin’, and she will emotionally bleed to death.” -Kreisman and Straus.

What Is a BPD Favorite Person?

A BPD favorite person is not the same as a best friend. A favorite person (FP) is more than someone sharing common interests with someone with BPD. It is a special person to meet their need for love and help fill in the chronic emptiness inside.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) affects how someone thinks and feels. And it also causes problems to function in the individual’s day-to-day life. Also, it creates patterns of unstable emotions and issues regulating emotions/behaviors.

For someone with BPD, it seems like they are having a codependent relationship with their FP. And the mood of their favorite person also affects their mood. And the last thing you would want is to make them upset or hurt them. And you would feel so lost without them, or causing them to be sad would also make you feel miserable.

It is almost like it is no longer a search for someone in reality but a search for a perfect ideal. In a relationship, it is almost like the brain is hypersensitive to everything said or done. A small action like not returning a message or a sentence can trigger the feeling of abandonment.

People with Borderline Personality Disorder may feel disappointed or sad in their long search for this perfect ideal which can:

  • Tell them they are lovable and worthy even with a broken heart like fragmented glass.
  • Stay with them and not be afraid through their turbulent emotions.
  • And who can provide comfort and understanding of the crazy emotions like a storm inside.

But almost all, if any, close relationships usually end and break apart for them beyond repair. They occasionally burn the bridges to relationships by acting on emotional impulses. The inability to regulate emotions is part of the cause.

Why Do People with BPD Self-Sabotage Their Relationships or Pull Themselves Away?

The first reason may connect to childhood with their parental figures. Imagine a childhood where you only get abandonment and pain in return instead of love. Through abandonment and a pillow wet with tears, you ask yourself, ‘So this is how love feels?’

And someone with BPD might not be comfortable with a healthy relationship. So when they do meet someone nice to them, they might feel suspicious of their motives. It doesn’t register to them why someone would want to be with them except for selfish reasons.

They hide inside their shells or cut and run due to confirmation bias. And it means a tendency to search for things that confirms one’s beliefs.

It might seem strange to you why someone would go through life avoiding people who are nice to them. But that is the power of childhood beliefs, making people with BPD feel unlovable. And unconscious attempts to confirm the bias create a trail of broken relationships.

So while they desperately hope that you can be the exception, they are also afraid. In front of you stands an adult with all the terrors of a child. They will need your validation at every closing step that you will love them no matter what, even if they are a mess.

Despite wanting it to last, the brain conditions itself for pain. Then there’s the heavy avoidance of disappointment. They might even know they are isolating or pushing people away, but they can’t stop. The closer they are to everything they want, the more the painful emotions get triggered.

What to Expect If You’re Their Favorite Person

“When you love, it is like a supernova. But when you feel hurt, it is like you’re slowly burnt from the inside out.”

You can’t force yourself to be someone else’s favorite person or vice versa. And it may happen due to some kind of chemistry in the relationship. Nor can you stop treating that person as your FP even when abandonment issues are causing you a lot of pain inside.

And being someone’s favorite person might not be the easiest task. For people with BPD, at one moment, their FP is on a pedestal, and the next, they are on the floor. It is a constant cycle of black and white, without any thought of you in-between.

Your new friend or boyfriend/girlfriend might not tell you that you are their favorite person in their life now. But you can feel it from their actions, especially from their mannerisms. On some days, you might find them in love with you; the next, it is as though you became a stranger. It is a weird love-hate cycle.

Influence of a Favorite Person on Someone with BPD

“People with BPD are like people with third-degree burns over 90% of their bodies. Lacking emotional skin, they feel agony at the slightest touch or movement.” -Dr. Marsha Linehan.

BPD is associated with high suicide rates 50 times that of the general population. And for them, finding someone who will stick around through the thick and thin can be difficult. There might be arguments over little things. And there will also be a lot of fluctuating moods and irrationality.

If you’re the favorite person of someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, you’re the light of their life. You’re that little bit of light that shines down from above on those dark days when they feel empty inside. And it is courageous of you to want to stay and know more about their mental illnesses.

They will always want to be around you when you’re their FP. Except for those episodes when they try to push you away and ask you to leave their life. And being a BPD’s favorite person might entail the following:

  • The constant need for validation that you won’t be abandoning them.
  • The one to believe in them and to care about them
  • Your attention and opinion matter more than anyone else’s and above their own.
  • You will always be the person that makes them want to live when they feel like dying.
  • You need to be more than a best friend and someone who can keep up with their changing moods.

And when someone with BPD drives their FP away, it produces one of the most horrible feelings in the world. At first, there might be a relief from breaking apart from the fear of abandonment. But then there comes a pain like walking barefooted on the land of a thousand knives. Their favorite person is akin to their only hope, and without them, it causes deep discomfort.