People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) often struggle to hold a job, let alone find one that suits them, as they frequently hate every job they get. They deal with a distorted sense of self, impulsive and risky behavior, unstable relationships, and they have difficulty managing and regulating their emotions, which all have an effect on their working experience.
Why do people with BPD hate their job?
Although someone with BPD can be very successful at their jobs, that doesn’t mean they are maintaining their work in a healthy way. Most of the time, they have to mentally prepare each day and coach themselves to leave the house in the morning. It’s a struggle to give routine to an unstable mind.
Since people with BPD are living on an emotional rollercoaster, they tend to lash out and say things they don’t mean, but afterward, they almost always feel guilty and ashamed. Because of this, there is tension in the workplace when emotions get involved for someone with BPD. They are extremely sensitive, and the tiniest things can trigger intense reactions. Once they hit the point of an emotional breakdown, it is difficult to calm them down again, and it could take a while before they can let it go and breathe again.
It’s not only the unstable emotions and relationships that interfere with their working experience. They also have an unstable sense of who they are. They can go from loving themselves to hating themselves within seconds. Even their likes and dislikes can change on a whim. The emotional back and forth can make them feel confused and exhausted since they don’t always understand why their emotions and interests are constantly changing.
Self-image plays a big role in BPD sufferers. Those with the disorder will turn themselves into the type of employees their employers want. Similar to putting on a mask and performing in a play every day. This could be mentally draining and cause problems with identity. Another way self-image can affect employment is the feeling that they don't fit in with everyone. This can set someone behind in terms of job growth, and the opportunities for promotions will be passed on to someone else. Causing one to feel inadequate and stuck in an endless cycle. They will hate the job and the people in the workplace as a result.
Potentially hating people in the workplace relates to the BPD symptom of unstable relationships. People with BPD may feel negatively towards a person, even if they haven’t done anything wrong or behaved negatively in any way towards them. There is always that “something” that they just don’t like about a person.
Another reason someone with BPD would hate their job is their black and white way of thinking. Something is either the best thing in the world, or it’s the worst thing that could ever happen to them. That way of thinking, along with uncontrollable emotions, isn’t a very good mix when trying to maintain a job. As soon as they get some negative feedback or a form of criticism, no matter how minor, their whole outlook can change, and they can easily go from loving the job to hating it.
Someone who struggles to keep their emotions stable will find it difficult to cope in a busy, high-stress workplace. With so much going on and so much to do, anyone would get overwhelmed. But, for someone with BPD, it’s a lot more of a struggle. They also struggle more because they take everything personally when a superior tells them what to do.
One of the most common reasons someone with BPD would hate their job is that they get bored. They are always looking for some sort of meaning in their life to fill their chronic feeling of emptiness. The job seems like a great idea at the time, and they dive headfirst into it. Then, after a while, it turns out it’s nothing like they imagined it was going to be. Now they are stuck in a job they hate.
Can someone with BPD hold a job?