When You Want Everyone to Be Your 'Favorite Person'
Since being diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD), I’ve been doing a lot of reading and a lot of research. One thing I kept coming across is the idea of a “favorite person” or FP. To a person with BPD, a favorite person is one who basically receives the brunt of all the intensity and instability that can come from being in some sort of relationship with a person with BPD.
When I heard this phrase, I searched over and over again in my own relationships to see if I could identify who my FP could be. I tried to find a pattern between how my relationship with others impacted my daily moods and impulses. I considered how intense each of my relationship were… I found all my relationships are either extremely intense or we barely speak. There is no in-between for me. I considered how I behaved when any of the people in my life were upset with me.
I could not determine who my one FP could be. I devalue and idealize every person in my life. I project my insecurities onto them. I use them to fulfill my needs when I am lonely and all but discard them when I am no longer in need. I am horrible at having healthy interpersonal relationships, but I could not pick out one.
So I thought about it. I thought about the idea of having an FP. And then I realized, maybe having an FP looks different in my experience of borderline personality disorder. I realized I have a deep-seated desire to be everyone’s FP! I always want my students to call me their favorite teacher, I want people to be sad when I leave their environment and I want them to leap with glee when I am around them. When a friend names another as their best friend, I feel a pang of jealousy and immediate try to formulate a plan to replace them as the best.
It’s exhausting. It’s frustrating. And, to be honest, it’s downright cruel to them and to me. Simply put, it leads me to do way too much.
Maybe this is the beginning of something new, or maybe I just haven’t been honest with myself about who my FP is — or maybe having an FP is not a part of my symptoms. One thing I have to remember is that even though many people have the same diagnosis, doesn’t mean we experience and illness the same way. Either way, it sure is something interesting to think about.
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Unsplash photo via JD Mason