Connections Between Traits of Toxic Relationships and Borderline Personality Disorder

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Resource Collective

Content warning.


Connections Between Borderline Personality Disorder and Toxic Relationships:



1. FRANTIC FEAR OF ABANDONMENT: Reading into innocuous statements and gestures as negative due to a compulsive fear of abandonment, and extreme insecurity.

2. EXTREME AND UNSTABLE RELATIONSHIPS DUE TO IDEALIZATION AND DEVALUATION: Thinking/saying that a person is the best and heaping praise, then declaring them a complete waste of breath and the worst thing that ever happened to you the next.

3. UNSTABLE SELF-IMAGE: Unable to pick a career, identity (only counts in concert with at least 5 other symptoms), mood, or feels they aren’t “real” in any of these modes.

4. IMPULSIVE BEHAVIOR: Reckless spending, risky sexual habits, binge drinking, drug abuse or self harm.


6. UNSTABLE REACTIVE MOOD: Anger, irritability/depression that lasts several hours to days (this is what separates someone borderline from a bipolar disorder). 

7. CHRONIC FEELING OF EMPTINESS/NOT ‘BELONGING’: This causes tension and dissociation during which self harm or risky behavior may occur.

8. INTENSE AND OFTEN DISPROPORTIONATE/INAPPROPRIATE ANGER: Temper tantrums, blowups, verbal abuse, physical abuse or threats.

9. STRESS-RELATED PARANOID IDEATION/SEVERE DISSOCIATIVE SYMPTOMS( A.K.A. MICRO-PSYCHOTIC EPISODES): Intrusive thoughts, or compulsive conviction that everyone is out to get you, or getting mentally detached after experiencing a trigger.




1. CHRONIC ANGER: Temper results in others “walking on eggshells.”

2. CHRONIC SARCASM: Attempting to hide anger/control behind “jokes.”

3. DISPARAGING HUMOR: Putting someone or something down with an attempt at “just joking” justification

4. PUNITIVE MINDSET: Centered around blame and punishment.

"Well I’m sorry, but you shouldn’t have set me off."

"You are just asking for the bad things that come your way."

"Why did you make me hit you?“

“Look what you made me do.”

5. CONTROLLING NATURE: Trying to shame or otherwise manipulate behavior to exert control and becoming anxious or angry when control (or percieved control) is lost.

6. EXCESSIVE INSECURITY: constantly asking/needing reassurance, general clinginess. Denying them constant agreement means this person does not feel good about themselves and blame you.

7. EXTREMELY OPINIONATED:  Disguised judgmental nature. This is just the springboard for constant criticism and negativity.

8. MANIPULATION: Guilt trips, shaming, noncomputerized if/then statements (“if you actually cared about me, then”), cannot take ‘no’ or rejection well, begging the question after rejection, threats.

9. SELF-CENTEREDNESS: “It’s all about me.” At best such a person may give gifts or do favors after they feel they gave gotten enough. Gifts and favors from this person create tension instead of happiness, as they never give without intention of getting something in exchange, at times more than they have ever given.

10. NEED TO CONSTANTLY BE ON OFFENSE: engaging in aggressive one-upmanship, or reading negative intent into neutral or positive statements and responding with verbal attacks.



Dr. Tracey Marks. (2018, August 22). Bipolar vs Borderline Personality Disorder – How to tell the difference [Video]. Youtube.


Dr. Tracey Marks. (2018, August 1). How to Recognize a Toxic Relationship [Video]. Youtube.


Healthy vs. Unhealthy Relationships. (2020, April 15). Retrieved January 10, 2021, from


Kim, J. (2020, January 19). 5 Signs of a Toxic Relationship. Retrieved January 9, 2021, from


Mason, P. T., & Kreger, R. (2010). Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications.


National Institute of Mental Health (2017). Borderline Personality Disorder. Retrieved January 5, 2021.

Submitted: January 13, 2021

© Copyright 2021 SimonClemens. All rights reserved.

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Add Your Comments:



This was something I just had to read, Simon, even though it was incredibly uncomfortable doing so.
You put a lot of thought into this and expressed each point very clearly. The use of various font colors made for added impact.
Essential reading for anyone involved with either or both.

Fri, January 15th, 2021 6:32pm


My thanks and my apologies.

The events of the last year gave me the most unwelcome spare time to sit down and research several subjects, including ones I had not realized were influencing my life. If someone could gain the same clarity, or help with their writing at the very least, then perhaps something could come out of it.

Good day.

Sat, January 16th, 2021 11:24am

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