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The 5 Hardest Things About Having a 'Favorite Person'

For those who don’t know, a favorite person, also known as an FP, is someone those of us with borderline personality disorder describe as people we are emotionally dependent on. If you’ve ever had a favorite person, then you will understand there are a few things that are incredibly difficult about having one.

I’d describe having a favorite person as feeling like you are emotionally attached to someone and that how your day goes depends on your interactions or lack thereof from that particular person.

Here are some of the toughest things about having a favorite person.

1. Remembering they have a life outside of us.

One hard thing about having a favorite person is seeing the world in a much more narrow way than them. Chances are, your favorite person has other things they pay attention to, are busy with work, other friends, family, hobbies, perhaps a significant other or they don’t think about you as nearly as much as you think about them.

Because we have BPD, we tend to view others as though they don’t care about us or are cold because they don’t display the same amount of intensity or emotional attachment as we do. When we have a favorite person, it tends to amplify this trait of BPD and our abandonment issues start showing. Soon enough, you can feel like you are slowly but surely pushing away your FP.

With that said, it’s so tough to remind ourselves our favorite person does not see the world through a lens with us over the shades of it, as we often see it with them. We have to remind ourselves of these things when our favorite people seem to be ignoring us or enjoying their own lives. It’s also good to naturally give our favorite people the benefit of the doubt, especially if our favorite people are our best friends, significant others or close peers. It can be tough, but reminding ourselves they are just as human as anyone else, might help us in dealing with our insecurities concerning our favorite people.

2. Emotional dependency.

People with BPD are often emotionally dependent on their favorite person, which goes into how much they talk to that person a day, whether something seems to change in the way their FP spoke or if they are perceiving the actions of their favorite person as a precursor for abandonment.

When something seems to have changed with our favorite person, we often try to mask it so we don’t come across too unstable or clingy. However, we can end up pushing that person away through passive aggressive behavior and self-fulfilling the prophecy we are being abandoned. Sometimes, things aren’t what they seem and our favorite people go through their own ups and downs as well. Their sudden change in communication may truly have nothing to do with us and so it would help us if we didn’t jump to conclusions. Sometimes, it may be the case, but a lot of the time, it’s us being triggered by our abandonment issues as well.

Even worse, some of our lives are dependent on our relationships with these other people and if something goes wrong, our anxiety can go through the roof and it can feel like our world is ending. While it isn’t our fault for the way we feel, we must also consider that putting such a heavy responsibility on others for our happiness isn’t fair either. This is why it would be helpful for us to try to consider how we are reacting to our perceptions our favorite people are being “shady” toward us or about to leave us.

If you have BPD, you may feel as though you cannot help yourself because I feel like this so intensely. You cannot help how you feel, but you can deal with it in more effective ways, no matter how hard it seems. Although it is so intense, the reality is our lives shouldn’t be dependent on other individuals. This demeans our self-worth and places a huge burden on another imperfect human being.

Even though you feel strongly toward them, you also realize it isn’t their fault. So, it can feel like nothing can be done about it and we can only mask and brood from within.

3. From the pedestal to the floor. 

Sometimes, those of us who have BPD tend to idealize our favorite person. They can be an angel today, but as soon as something seemingly starts to change in them, we may start panicking they may not be the perfect angel we made them out to be. Whether they forget to say good morning, ask how you’re feeling or simply have been very busy lately, all of these things can sometimes cause us to see these people as the entire opposite of how we previously did. Suddenly, we may get thoughts they are demons, out to hurt us, never cared, lack empathy and are not honest individuals.

This is dangerous because while our favorite person might be an amazing human being, they are still not perfect, which means they will hurt us every now and again. On top of that, sometimes they are not intentionally trying to hurt us and they are not viewing things the way we are, since we have BPD. The truth is, most of the time, our favorite people are just as amazing as anyone else in the world, but because we have attached ourselves to them, we tend to idealize them and look to them as our savior. We put them on a pedestal and when they show any sign of imperfection, it may seem as though our entire lives have been a lie.

A way to help this is working on seeing our favorite person the same way we see anyone else. The next time your favorite person seems to make a mistake, say to yourself, “You are an imperfect human being just like I am and many others.” Perhaps, that can help us.

4. Looking too deep into things.

From nitpicking every, single word in a text message, to going over their social media and seeing them posting online while they have not yet answered your text — this manifestation of abandonment issues can work our last nerve.

In any other conversation with those we are not so attached to, we may occasionally think, “That person hates me” if they never respond, leave something out of a text message or change up their tone toward us. However, it appears much more frequently and we are much more nitpicky when our favorite person behaves like this. It can feel like the end of the world. Literally.

For example, one day, your favorite person may say, “good morning,” but the next day, they might not. When you have BPD, your brain might immediately start going and thinking up all of these scenarios about why, what’s coming next and why you now have confirmation they’ve hated you all along or are distancing themselves away from you.

The next thing you know, you’re saying “good morning” to them first to “check” if you’re just being over the top again, but they respond in a different way. You attempt to hold yourself together but your feelings are hurt, you’re fuming and telling yourself, “I’m going to distance myself from them first before they completely shut me down.”

So, finally your favorite person texts you, “What’s up?” and in your eyes, they’re being fickle and only texting you because their other options aren’t available. You decide to ignore their texts and then you find out the next day, they woke up feeling sick and that’s why they weren’t themselves.

I understand how hard it is to shut your brain down when you have BPD. I truly do. It is a struggle for a lot of us, but the one thing we can do is close our text messages and walk away from our phones or social media when we start finding ourselves overthinking things like this.

5. Feeling worthless after losing them. 

A lot of us with BPD unintentionally put our entire self-worth into our relationship with our favorite person to the point where if we lost them, it would feel like we had lost a parent, sibling or a pet. So, we go out of our way to do what we can to stop them from leaving, which sometimes pushes them away and results in them leaving.

If you’ve ever had a fight with your favorite person, pushed them away or completely lost them, you know how this feels. It is one of the absolutely worst feelings in the world to lose contact with your favorite person. It feels like walking on the “Land of a Thousand Knives” — barefoot. You may feel a deep-seated pain in your chest and feel so lost and might not know what else to do. Losing my favorite people has been the majority of the reasons I’ve ended up with suicidal thoughts in the past.

It is completely devastating.

We should do our best to remind ourselves if we are good and kind people, we have worth, even if we did drive away our favorite people. Even if we didn’t drive away our favorite people, our worth should not go into other people in the way we put it into our favorite people. Even though we know this, we often still do it. I still find myself doing it. I think a way to help this is to remind yourself of your self-worth and practice self-care. I do understand that this can also be incredibly difficult, too. A banner promoting The Mighty's new BPD Safe Zone group on The Mighty mobile app. The banner reads, Join the BPD Safe Zone -- a safe and nonjudgmental space for anyone living with borderline personality disorder to talk openly about their experiences. Click to join the BPD Safe Zone.

It is so tough having a favorite person because as someone with BPD, we often are aware of our own thoughts and how excessive they can be. So, we’re always trying to bite our tongue as to not scare off our favorite people while at the same time, we often feel so intensely they are not being truthful with us or are actually slipping away.

Having a favorite person has been the greatest challenge for me as someone with BPD. In the past, and although I attempt to regulate myself and share my ideas with you guys, I still haven’t found a comfortable way to handle my emotions.

If you have a favorite person, please do not beat yourself up. I can’t give much advice since I am in the same boat, but one thing I did notice that works for me is to keep myself busy, avoid looking at that person’s social media and try spending a little time away from them. Take a shower, go for a walk in nature, watch your favorite television show, talk to someone who will be kind and understands you, tell your therapist if you have one, listen to some music, live vicariously through your favorite movies, take up an acting class. Do whatever it is you need to do to help yourself, but please, try not to harm yourself and speak negatively toward yourself.

It is easier said than done, I know. The least we can do is try.

Getty image by Juanmonino