Why Borderline Personality Disorder Makes Me Seem Like a 'Master Manipulator'

The word “manipulation” itself has negativity associated with it. No one likes a manipulator, right? So what do I do when borderline personality disorder makes me a “master manipulator”? I can claim all I want that I am not manipulating, but everyone else in my life thinks I am manipulating. Yes, oftentimes my actions appear as manipulation, but I am not just simply manipulating. There’s more to it.

One of the symptoms of BPD is making frantic efforts to avoid abandonment. My fear of abandonment can be so strong that it causes me to act out in ways that seem like manipulating. The fear leads me to take whatever means necessary to prevent myself from getting hurt. If I have the slightest feeling that someone in my life is going to leave me, I am sent into an emotional tailspin. This includes impulsivity that is seen as manipulation. The fear causes me to do things like threatening suicide or threatening to harm myself. I go this far because I can’t meet my needs by myself. Many times it’s because I haven’t learned how to honestly ask for what I need. When I don’t get my needs met, I act out in a final attempt to get that need fulfilled by my loved ones. I can only survive with the support and comfort of other people. Without my loved ones, I am lost. Unfortunately these efforts tend to have the opposite effect, as the result is often no love at all because my loved one is driven away by my chaotic actions.

So please try to understand why I act out in the ways I do. I just want love and support, but I don’t know how to ask for it. Overall, I may seem like I am manipulating, but really it’s just an effort to get my immense emotional needs met.

Unsplash photo via Timothy Paul Smith

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