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Why Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder Might 'Ghost' You

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Those of us who battle borderline personality disorder (BPD) can appear to be very polarized individuals. Our brains are always working in one direction or the other and so we are always trying to keep up with that. It is absolutely exhausting because social interactions can often send our minds into a whirlwind of thoughts, especially ones about whether our peers truly like us or not.

Keeping this in mind, I’ve found a lot of us with BPD really enjoy interacting with others, but at the same time, too much interaction and with too many people can start to become de-energizing and our brain can go into overdrive. Because some people with BPD are often more offended than they may let on (as a means to be appear as “normal” and out of the way as possible), they can spend a lot more energy than those without mental illness, in social interactions.

It’s not only that we can become drained from our own constant masking, we also might be scared to hurt others’ feelings where we don’t think they deserved it. And we also sometimes don’t know how to healthily express our boundaries. So, what happens when our brains go into overdrive? Well, we may become paranoid about certain people in our circle or frequent acquaintances we speak to. We may even become annoyed with our mutuals whom we normally aren’t annoyed with, because our brains have had enough.

We might start to begin to think our peers secretly have something against us, we might split on them and start to see them as the enemy, or because we have been socializing so much and hiding our emotional offenses just to seem “normal,” we may be secretly burnt out. When this happens, some of us with BPD are likely to ghost you for awhile or disappear from everyone altogether until we regenerate.

It’s not that we’re intentionally trying to hurt anyone, but that we have not yet learned how to speak up for ourselves and set boundaries, even with ourselves. Sometimes, our brains will be telling us to take a break from hanging with friends and from social media, but we sometimes have trouble listening. The longer this goes on, the more abrupt the disappearing act will be… and it may come as a surprise to some.

Because we can be ultrasensitive, we are also careful not to hurt anyone else. If you were romantically involved with a person with BPD and were ghosted, it could be because they didn’t know how to directly tell you they didn’t want to see you anymore. It’s not an excuse by any means, but it’s just a reason it was easier for them to just never see or hear from you again. It’s not so much about what is “wrong” with you, so please do not ever think that way. Sometimes, it is our inability to communicate what we perceive are awful words that would absolutely crush your feelings… especially when we feel you were sweet and really liked us. The guilt can be too much.

The other reason someone with BPD might ghost you is if you offended them in a major way and instead of fighting you about it (which they might have thought if they said anything, things would lead there), they blocked and ghosted you. Again, sometimes those of us with BPD know no middle ground or gray area. We often see it as this or as that. So if we were to comfort you, we might do it angrily and you might respond angrily back. It could lead to a big mess. So, instead the person with BPD got angry with you, in secret and ghosted you.

I do understand being ghosted feels awful, especially when you can’t think of reasons as to why someone would do that to you. It hurts worse when the person was overcompensating and acting extremely chipper before they did the disappearing act. To provide you some perspective and clarity though, it’s almost never to do with you, unless you have angered them somehow.

From experience and from what I’ve see thus far, the main two reasons those with borderline personality disorder ghost is they are overwhelmed with socializing or they didn’t want to hurt your feelings. Sometimes, it can be both as well. Sometimes, they tire of socializing with a person because they’re not interested in them.

Personally, I’m working on not treating people like this, all with the exception of social media. When it comes to social media, sometimes it’s better to walk away and ghost rather than say something out of anger and have a full-blown Twitter war. You know? That is the only area I do think it’s OK to ghost, for the better of both parties.

Overall, I hope I’ve provided some clarity and I’m sorry to any of you who were offended by someone with BPD who ghosted you. You are still awesome in spite of that and please don’t think you have any less value because you were ghosted.

Getty image by tommaso79

Originally published: March 16, 2022
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