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It's All Your Fault • the podcast from the High Conflict Institute • episode 109: Living on the Edge: Borderline High Conflict People

Living on the Edge: Borderline High Conflict People

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is an often misunderstood and unfairly maligned mental health issue. Years of misinformation on the Internet, filled with scary details or an impossible life cast a dark shadow. Unfortunately, those who struggle with it would be helped if more people understood what it is and how to help. Many with BPD tend to isolate, but those who also blame may have a borderline high conflict personality.

What is it like on the other side of the relationship? What do you do when faced with explosive rage? How do you handle the mood swings and need for constant attachment? What do you do when someone you love seems beyond help? Or how do you help your client in the best way when it seems they sabotage their own case?

This type of personality is driven by a fear of being abandoned, so the rules of their operating system direct them to try to remain connected with the people closest to them. Once their fear button is triggered, whether perceived or real (it feels very real to them), their mood can take a wild swing, which is when high conflict behaviors surface: blame, all-or-nothing thinking, unmanaged intense emotions and extreme behaviors. Sadly, this can drive people away, unless you develop some skills to help you manage the relationship. Without diagnosing or labeling, Bill and Megan discuss the borderline high conflict personality type, including:

  • What it means to feel abandoned
  • What this looks like in relationships
  • How past trauma may cause or contribute to the development of a borderline high conflict personality
  • How to identify someone who may have a borderline high conflict personality
  • Tips for interactions that will help everyone involved
  • Statistics on Borderline Personality Disorder in the U.S.

There’s a gift side to every person, including those with a borderline high conflict personality, but becoming aware and educated are keys to helping them and helping yourself. In this episode, we explore the borderline high conflict personality — the final in the ‘five types of people’ series. In the previous four episodes we talked about Narcissistic, Antisocial, Paranoid, and Histrionic HCPs (high conflict people). Listen in as Bill and Megan explore the basics of this personality type. You will likely learn something new, gain some insight and a few basic tips on managing relationships with them that benefit everyone.

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Note: We are not diagnosing anyone in our discussions, merely discussing patterns of behavior.

  • (00:00) – Welcome to It’s All Your Fault
  • (00:55) – Borderline Personality Disorder
  • (06:38) – What Is BPD?
  • (09:19) – Main Characteristics
  • (13:41) – BPDs vs. Borderline HCPs
  • (15:53) – What does High Conflict mean?
  • (17:46) – Stats
  • (21:10) – Bipolar vs. Borderline HCPs
  • (26:02) – Where does it come from?
  • (29:51) – Relationships with BPDs
  • (34:55) – Empathy
  • (37:59) – Jealousy
  • (40:03) – Summary
  • (41:35) – Is there hope?
  • (46:26) – Reminders & Coming Next Week: Listener Questions

Hosted by Bill Eddy, LCSW, Esq. and Megan Hunter, MBA, It’s All Your Fault! High Conflict People explores the five types of people who can ruin your life—people with high conflict personalities and how they weave themselves into our lives in romance, at work, next door, at school, places of worship, and just about everywhere, causing chaos, exhaustion, and dread for everyone else.