How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask TherapistMarryAnn Your Own Question
TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Type Your Mental Health Question Here...
TherapistMarryAnn is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a friend who has very low self esteem and I think she

This answer was rated:

I have a friend who has very low self esteem and I think she may have signs of bpd, i'm not sure. Just a week prior losing me as a friend was considered to be a a huge loss in her life and that was a fear of hers. Then because I avoided a phone call and stated that we can limit our phone conversations to the work place and we can continue with our texting, which occurred daily. I then stated i wasn't in the mood for conversation. After that all hell broke loose. She accused me of wanting a relationship instead of a friendship and brought up instances where I was too touchy feely with her that occurred 7mts ago but she never mentioned her being uncomfortable with that. Mind you, alcohol was heavily involved. How does she fear losing me as a friend to not wanting anything to to with me. I've reached out to her a few time with no response. Will she ever be able to get over this or is this friendship a done deal. not sure what she's thinking or what to do.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

From your description of your friend's behavior, it certainly sounds like she may have BPD. People with BPD fear abandonment. However, they will create relationships that they hold tightly onto while at the same time create issues within those relationships that makes the other person want to run the other way. It sounds like this is what occurred in your relationship.

It is very difficult to have a relationship with someone who has a personality disorder. This is particular true of someone with BPD because of their fear of abandonment mixed with off putting behavior.

Personality disorders are typically ingrained behaviors that someone develops, usually in response to being raised in a dysfunctional home. The person could not get their needs met (for unconditional love and attention) so they developed other ways to get what they needed which usually involved dysfunctional behaviors. When they grew up, they continued these behaviors even when they were no longer needed. When they enter into relationships, these issues immediately come into play. So you are viewing this relationship in a normal way and she is viewing it and responding to it as if she is still in the past in a dysfunctional situation.

If you want to stay in the relationship, you may have to make a lot of concessions to do so. She is going to continue to act as she already has because people with personality disorders rarely change, even if therapy. The behaviors are too ingrained. That does not mean they cannot change, but it takes insight on their part and a lot of therapy to help them overcome what they have learned.

If you do choose to stay, you may want to learn about personality disorders so you know how to react to your friend. Here are some resources to h elp:

But most likely the best idea is to move on from this friendship. You are always going to be making adjustments for her issues and if the relationship is always unpredicatible and one sided, that does not leave much for you to get from it.

I hope this has helped you,
These resources may also help:

I Hate You--Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality by Jerold J. Kreisman and Hal Straus

Say Goodbye to Your PDI (Personality Disordered Individuals): Recognize People Who Make You Miserable and Eliminate... by Stan Kapuchinski


May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks Kate,

I guess I'm just puzzled because she is able to maintain long term relationships with her girlfriends. We have been very close these last 7months and nothing like this ever happened. We've had misunderstandings but worked them out. I guess i'm looking not to end this friendship as quickly as she. I want to be able to let her know that I care about her but i think that may backfire. Do they ever reflect on things and recognize the damages that were done due to their behavior. Will they ever be able to initiate contact without fear of embarrassment? These feelings of idealization and devaluation are they permanent once they devalue you??? Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX rate after this.

If she does have a personality disorder, then insight and recognizing her own behavior (insight) will be almost non existent. It is the nature of a personality disorder that the person is focused on what they need only because they were so deprived when they were in their childhood. They have a certain way they initiate contact and interact that is set. It rarely changes because that is the only way they feel they can get what they need.

Typically the idealization and devaluation are stable once they are established. They can change, but it is not common that they do.

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you

Related Mental Health Questions