15 Traits of People With Borderline Personality Disorder (That Aren't 'Manipulative' or 'Scary')


Folks with borderline personality disorder (BPD) face some of the harshest stigma in the mental health community. From clinicians refusing to treat patients who have BPD, to anonymous internet users posting hateful blogs about why you should never date someone with BPD, it’s no wonder many people with BPD struggle with shame surrounding their condition.

If you’ve experienced stigma because of your BPD, you’re not alone. One of the ways we can combat this harmful stigma is to shine a light on the positive traits that can come from feeling things deeply, like so many people with BPD do.

When we focus only on the negative aspects of BPD, we miss out on celebrating the positive traits of people who yes, have BPD, but are first and foremost humans who have intrinsic value simply because they exist. To open up this conversation, we asked our Mighty BPD community to share with us some strengths they have because of their condition.

Here’s what our BPD community shared with us:

  1. My ability to very quickly and easily pick up on the emotions of others without them giving off any cues. I know instantly when I walk into a place if something or someone is off or not right.” — Julia F.
  2. I’m so empathetic that I can relate to almost anyone I encounter. I find that a beautiful blessing because I’m able to live the life of walking in others’ shoes… I have been able to be there and support people in ways I have only dreamed people [would] for me. It makes me feel good to know my disorder has given me the capability to feel in ways only few would understand.” — Haley F.
  3. “The heightened emotions and idealization make me extremely passionate, loyal and determined. I’m a psychology major and have such an extreme passion for the field that I enjoy my work and thus do it effectively and efficiently. I am a hard worker and enjoy it. I love being around people and have a strong sense of justice and compassion for people.” — Kellyann N.
  4. “When I love, I love hard! I try my best at everything and always make myself available whether it’s money or just an ear to listen. My real family and friends know that so they try very, very hard to help me through pain because they don’t want it to change me from being so loving.” — Rae E.
  5. “Being creative. I’m constantly trying new hobbies like painting, learning a new instrument, etc. I have so much passion for new things.” — Lisa W.
  6. I have been told I have a very good self-awareness. I can usually figure out solutions to issues or logic my way through them. It took so long to be told what was going on in my own head, but now that I do know, I can take back that control from my over-powered emotions.” — Yvonne L.
  7. “Infectious excitement. I experience emotions very strongly, including positive emotions, so any brush of excitement or enthusiasm I feel is obvious to those around me. These experiences help me enjoy things that many others take for granted. I still see the world with childlike wonder. In my darkest times, when I am suffering with strong, negative emotions and am cursing my mind, I remind myself that it also makes the world such an incredibly vibrant place when the darkness fades — and it always does!” — Samantha L.
  8. “Spontaneity. Being super impulsive definitely has its issues; but, there are times when deciding to do things on the spot makes for a great time and fun memories.” — Sierra N.
  9. “I’m so compassionate. I want to help people. When I was diagnosed with BPD, I looked it up and found nothing but hate. I made it my mission to help others with the disorder. I used to look up CBT worksheets for people and help people with DBT tips to calm down in crisis.” — Desirae W.
  10. “Being able to be there for my friends who are having a hard time because I know a million percent what it’s like to feel like crap and to be alone.” — Ami W.
  11. “Commitment. Having BPD, I attempt to fluctuate back and forth a lot on a lot of things, but I have really learned to stay committed to my goals and relationships.” — Taylor H.
  12. “Loyalty. My loyalty runs deeper than the ocean once I become comfortable with a person. If we are good, I will stand by your side no matter the situation.” — Sierra A.
  13. “Being very useful to other people in regards to giving advice. When people come to me with problems, I can usually get a pretty good sense of the situation and how they feel about it after a few questions. I’m then able to analyze it well, and also put myself in their shoes. I can therefore come up with a solution quickly or at the very least put their worries to ease. I’m not really able to do this for myself though, which is the only downfall.” — JennyLee C.
  14. “The ability to silence my own turmoil through music and playing music. It’s somewhat helped me as a creative person.” — Joshua I.
  15. “Resilient. Having borderline personality disorder has taught me no matter how big my emotions or a situation is, they won’t last forever and I can overcome them.” — Katelyn K.

What would you add?

Getty Images photo via Dreya Novak


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