Why BPD Push Away? Unraveling the Complex Dynamics of Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complex mental illness characterized by intense emotions, unstable relationships, and impulsive behaviors. One of the most perplexing and challenging aspects of BPD is the phenomenon of "pushing away," where individuals with BPD often engage in behaviors that alienate and distance themselves from the very people they crave connection with. Understanding the underlying reasons behind this seemingly contradictory behavior is essential for fostering empathy, building supportive relationships, and aiding recovery.

The Emotional Storm: A Tumultuous Inner World

At the core of BPD lies a storm of intense emotions that can rapidly shift from elation to despair, anger to tenderness. This emotional volatility often stems from a deep-seated fear of abandonment and a relentless sense of inner emptiness. As a defense mechanism, individuals with BPD may push away others in an attempt to protect themselves from the perceived threat of rejection or engulfment.

Unstable Relationships: A Cycle of Idealization and Devaluation

Relationships with individuals with BPD are often characterized by a pattern of idealization and devaluation. In the early stages of a relationship, they may shower their partner with love and admiration, placing them on a pedestal. However, as the relationship progresses, their perception of their partner can abruptly shift, and they may begin to find fault with them, leading to devaluation and emotional withdrawal. This cycle can be highly confusing and hurtful for the partner, who may feel like they are constantly walking on eggshells.

Fear of engulfment: The need for Autonomy

Individuals with BPD often struggle with a sense of self-identity and a fear of losing their autonomy. They may perceive closeness and intimacy as threatening, fearing that they will be consumed or controlled by their partner. This fear can lead them to push away others in an attempt to maintain a sense of independence.

Impulsivity and Risk-Taking Behaviors: A Cry for Connection

Impulsive behaviors are a hallmark of BPD, often serving as a maladaptive attempt to cope with intense emotions and overwhelming distress. These behaviors can range from self-harm, substance abuse, reckless driving, to promiscuous sexual behavior. While these actions may seem self-destructive, they often represent a desperate cry for connection and attention. By engaging in risky behaviors, individuals with BPD may unconsciously be seeking a sense of control and a way to feel alive amidst the chaos of their emotions.

Misinterpreting Cues: The Perils of Miscommunication

Individuals with BPD often have difficulty interpreting social cues and may misinterpret neutral or even positive actions as signs of rejection or abandonment. This can lead to misunderstandings and conflict in relationships. Additionally, their intense emotions can make it challenging for them to communicate their needs clearly, further complicating their interactions with others.

Conclusion: Walking the Tightrope of Empathy and Boundaries

Understanding the reasons why individuals with BPD push away is a crucial step in fostering empathy and building supportive relationships. It is important to recognize that these behaviors stem from deep-seated emotional pain and are not intended to be manipulative or hurtful. However, it is equally important to set healthy boundaries and prioritize self-care when engaging with someone with BPD. Remember, supporting an individual with BPD is a delicate balancing act that requires patience, understanding, and a willingness to walk the tightrope between empathy and boundaries.


Q1. What are the core symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder?
A1. BPD is characterized by intense emotions, unstable relationships, and impulsive behaviors. Individuals with BPD often experience a fear of abandonment, a sense of emptiness, and difficulty regulating their emotions.

Q2. Why do individuals with BPD push away those they care about?
A2. Pushing away behavior in BPD can stem from a fear of abandonment, a need for autonomy, misinterpreting social cues, and difficulty communicating their needs.

Q3. How can I support someone with BPD in my life?
A3. Supporting an individual with BPD requires empathy, understanding, and setting healthy boundaries. Active listening, validation of their emotions, and encouraging professional help can be beneficial.

Q4. What are some common misconceptions about BPD?
A4. Common misconceptions about BPD include the beliefs that it is a manipulative disorder, that individuals with BPD are attention-seeking, or that they cannot have meaningful relationships.

Q5. What are the treatment options available for BPD?
A5. Treatment for BPD typically involves a combination of psychotherapy, medication, and support groups. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) are often effective in managing BPD symptoms.



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