Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a mental health condition that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. Although obsessive tendencies are not considered one of the primary symptoms of BPD, individuals with BPD may exhibit obsessive behaviors, which can significantly impact their daily lives and relationships.
In this article, we'll explore 10 various obsessive tendencies that individuals with BPD may exhibit.
1. Obsessive need for love and attachment
People with BPD often have a very strong desire for love and connection. They may feel empty or incomplete without a significant other and may quickly become attached to people they feel a connection with. This attachment can be very consuming and overwhelming, and they may become very scared of losing the person they are attached to. To avoid this, they may go to great lengths to avoid being abandoned. They may become overly attached and constantly seek reassurance and validation from them. Because of their intense emotions and fear of abandonment, their relationships can become tumultuous and unstable, leading to a cycle of push and pull.
2. Fixating on their true self
They struggle with the concept of their "true self" due to their tendency to display different distinct and contrasting sides of their personality. They obsess over figuring out which side of themselves is the "real" them, and this constant inner turmoil can be emotionally draining and confusing. It's not uncommon for them to switch between these different versions of themselves multiple times a day, which only adds to the difficulty of understanding who they truly are.
3. Obsessively replaying conversations
Individuals with BPD may have a tendency to obsess over conversations or interactions with others, particularly if they feel there is a conflict or tension in the relationship. They think about every possible thing they could have said or done wrong until they land on the thing they assume they did wrong or said wrong. They have trouble calming themselves down and accepting that what they're thinking and feeling might not be right or true. This can lead to a heightened sense of anxiety or distress and may cause them to become overly defensive or confrontational with the other person.
4. Spinning a web of negativity
People with BPD may have a tendency to perceive things in black-and-white terms, leading them to view people or situations as either all good or all bad. When they feel hurt or threatened by someone or something, they may start to build a negative narrative around that person or situation, assigning blame or negative intentions where there may not be any. This can lead to conflicts with others and a cycle of escalating negative emotions.
5. Obsessively asking what's wrong?
When they sense that someone is upset or in a bad mood, they may repeatedly ask what's wrong. Even if the person says that nothing is wrong, the individual with BPD may continue to ask and even accuse the other person of being mad until they eventually get a reaction. They might then believe that the person was actually mad all along and not telling them when in reality, the other person was likely just frustrated from being asked the same question so many times.
6. Fixation on validation
Individuals with BPD may struggle with feelings of insecurity or inadequacy, leading them to become preoccupied with their self-image and how they are perceived by others. They may become overly focused on their appearance or behavior and may seek validation or approval from others to feel better about themselves. If they feel like they aren't getting enough attention or recognition, they can become upset or angry. This fixation on validation can lead to desperate behaviors to get the attention they crave, causing a lot of stress and anxiety as they worry about what others think of them.
7. Obsessively apologizing
Individuals with BPD may have a strong fear of abandonment and rejection, leading them to constantly seek validation and reassurance from others. When they feel that they have made a mistake or hurt someone's feelings, they may become excessively apologetic, even if the other person has already forgiven them. They could also apologize for apologizing. This can be frustrating for others and may lead to feelings of guilt or shame for the person with BPD.
8. Fixating on small details
People with BPD may have a tendency to become overly focused on small details, particularly in situations where they feel threatened or insecure. They may obsess over minor mistakes or perceived slights and may become fixated on trying to fix or correct them. This can lead to a sense of hyper-vigilance and a constant state of stress or anxiety.
9. Needing control
Individuals with BPD may struggle with feelings of powerlessness or insecurity, leading them to seek control over their environment or relationships. They may become overly controlling or micromanaging in their behavior and may become upset or anxious if things don't go according to plan. This can lead to conflicts with others and a sense of isolation or alienation.
10. Obsessively starting a new hobby