6. You are a People-Pleaser
The lack of emotional validation is at the core of the BPD wound. It makes sense, therefore, that you would want to seek from your partner or those who are close to you what you have wanted all your life but could not get.
You may be constantly trying to make ‘everyone’ happy. Perhaps you put an excessive amount of time and effort into being the mediator, confidant, and peacemaker. Or you are unable to say no even it means sacrificing your own needs.
When you get emotionally attached to someone, you sensitively hang on to every word and action of them, constantly trying to decipher if they like you or care for you. Even at the slightest hint that someone is upset with you, you feel your world starts to crumble. You become incredibly anxious about potential rejection if friends or partners don’t keep plans or return your calls.
Because you are afraid of conflicts, you are always editing and checking yourself to make sure you never offend anyone. You may feel rigid, contrived, and not able to enjoy friendships and relationships in a carefree way.
7. You fear both abandonment and intimacy
The stereotypical image of someone with BPD is that they are clingy and needy. A person may fight, beg, and cry to stop imagined or actual abandonment. The fear of being left behind causes chronic anxiety, panic attacks, and hyper-vigilant physiology. In terms of attachment patterns, these behaviors relate to the anxious-ambivalent attachment style.
However, with Quiet BPD, you are more likely to have an avoidant attachment pattern. You do not only fear abandonment but also fear intimacy. You may avoid relationships altogether, or you avoid exposing yourself. The moment a romantic partner comes close to knowing the real you, you find a reason to break it off. Convinced that you would eventually be left, you would rather end the relationship before it ends on you.
8. You hide and self-sabotage
Having a good relationship or a job where you are appreciated fills you with uneasiness. You doubt yourself and deep down do not feel you deserve to have good fortune, appreciation, and love.
You would rather turn away joy than to later be disappointed. Therefore, you push away opportunities and hope. This pattern stops you from reaching your full potential.
9. You have an unclear or shifting self-image
You have ever-changing ideas about who you are, what you are doing, or where you are going in life. You want to feel like you belong somewhere, but at the same time find it difficult to commit to an endeavor.
One minute you are totally into a person, a social movement, an idea, or a belief system, and the next moment you lose interest in them. With constant changes in your relationships and career, it is difficult for you to establish a sense of stability for your mental health.
Healing From ‘Quiet’ BPD
“Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” – Mark Twain
Having ‘quiet’ BPD puts you in an isolating position because it’s harder for people to recognize you need help. It can take much longer to get an accurate diagnosis. Mental health professionals often overlook when assessing someone with Quiet BPD. Since you do not display the classic signs of BPD (i.e., angry, and explosive behavior), you may be given other labels such as bipolar, depression, anxiety, or Asperger’s syndrome.
Not too long ago, the popular opinion in the medical profession was that BPD untreatable. Now there are several treatment options, such as psychotherapy, Schema Therapy, Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT), Transference- Focused Therapy, and Mentalization-Based Therapy (MBT). There are ongoing improvements to the way these treatments are offered.
The deepest wound of someone with Quiet BPD is that they are undeserving. Perhaps years of childhood neglect or abuse, or any chronic situations that have led you to internalize the idea that you are someone defective and deserve less than other people.
Perhaps you were bullied and silenced, and it was never safe to express your true feelings. Maybe you were the target of toxic envy and sibling rivalries, so you learned it was safer to hide. It could also be that the adults around you are afraid of conflicts and have difficulties with healthy anger, so you never learned how to act assertively.
A big step to healing is to acknowledge that the past is no longer present and that people do not have the power to hurt you the way they did. You are much stronger than you were, and you could trust yourself. With guidance and practice, you are now capable of setting firm boundaries, acting assertively, and protect yourself where necessary.