The favorite person is considered the most important person in the life of someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD). This person can be anyone, but it's most often a romantic partner, family member, or close friend. People with BPD heavily rely on their favorite person for reassurance, approval, and guidance. And ultimately, the favorite person is the source of all their happiness.
In this article, we'll discuss what it means to be a favorite person of someone with BPD, if all people with BPD have a favorite person, and if a favorite person can be a fictional character.
What does a favorite person mean in BPD?
When it comes to BPD, the favorite person is someone who provides emotional support and a safe space where they may express their feelings without being judged. People with BPD obsessively idealize this person to the extent of changing their identity to gain their approval. They also need their time and attention in order to remain functional. The favorite person for someone with BPD is as important as a parent to a child but without the disciplining and punishing elements.
Since people with BPD struggle with their identity, it's easier to copy the behavior or beliefs of someone else. Having a favorite person gives the individual a sense of identity and something to hold onto. Additionally, people with BPD frequently experience a sense of emptiness, which drives them to latch onto their favorite person in order to feel more whole. The favorite person may appear, at first, to be the remedy to their persistent feelings of emptiness and loneliness. Because when they are together, they may feel euphoric, and when the BPD's favorite person is not around, they often miss them deeply. However, what often happens with these kinds of relationships is that the favorite person finds themselves unable to meet the unreasonable needs of the person with BPD. And therefore, the relationship may become unstable.
The problems with BPD and having a favorite person
1. Emotional dysregulation Relying on someone else for constant validation and care stops the need to use any regulation skills. This approach eventually makes people feel unable to handle stress because they are too vulnerable to their own emotions. This is one of the reasons why people with BPD often struggle with emotional dysregulation.
2. Trust issues Given their tendency to feel untrustworthy of relationships, people with BPD may struggle when faced with healthy relationship boundaries. Even loving and meaningful relationships can not feel like enough. They may “read into” particular behavior. They might become jealous or controlling. To prove their favorite person's loyalty and affection, they could start pushing them away or putting them to the test.
''When you walk out angrily on your favorite person but cry because you didn't want to leave.''
3. Fear of abandonment Someone with BPD may begin to catastrophize the potential abandonment in response to any absence, a sign of separation, or any behavior change. Anger, fear, or feelings of insecurity might be felt by even a minor transgression. Someone with BPD that loses their favorite person may become a trigger for an intense BPD episode.
4. Jealousy For someone with BPD, it's scary when their favorite person goes through a major life shift since it may have an effect on the relationship. Due to their anxious attachment style, many BPD sufferers have a strong tendency toward excessive jealousy. It can be difficult for them to see their favorite person interacting with others because it makes them feel less important. Feelings of control and possessiveness can develop, which is expressed via jealousy.
Behavioral examples of someone with BPD toward their favorite person:
• Ongoing need for reassurance
• Intense expressions of love or admiration
• Reaching out more abruptly when they don’t get a response
• Expressing their fear to be abandoned or feeling unloved
• Relying on guidance and direction for every problem
• Feeling jealous when their favorite person laughs with others
• Observing even the smallest details and even the slightest shifts in mood
• Time spent apart from their favorite person feels meaningless and empty
Do all BPD people have a favorite person?
In my experience, my favorite person has only been romantic partners, and I did not always have a romantic partner in my life. Therefore, I would say that people with BPD do not always have a favorite person in their lives. Sometimes there is just no one in our lives that would fit the criteria of a favorite person. However, my romantic partner would always be my favorite person, and I would be obsessed with this individual. So I would say if you have BPD, and when certain relationships are present, people with BPD will definitely experience having a favorite person.
Can a BPD favorite person be fictional?
Is it possible for someone with BPD to have a character from a book, movie, television show, or even an artist as their favorite person? Usually, a BPD's favorite person is a real person. However, people with BPD often idealize fictional characters for their sense of identity and emotional stability. They may attach themselves to a celebrity that they admire and act in ways they think the celebrity would approve of. It brings a sense of reassurance and a way of coping with their life. This obsession can make someone feel safe and more confident, and it's the one thing they can hold onto when they have nothing else.
In conclusion, I believe a fictional character can be treated similarly to a favorite person, but given the lack of interaction, it may not truly count as a favorite person and instead be considered an idealized character or individual.
BPD How to deal with a favorite person?