Borderline PD Makes It Difficult to Make and Keep Friends

August 30, 2021 Kate Beveridge

It can be challenging to make and keep friends if you live with any mental illness. If you have borderline personality disorder (BPD), your unpredictable behaviors, tumultuous emotions, and fear of abandonment can drive others away. However, managing your BPD symptoms can help you to stabilize your friendships. 

The Challenges of Making Friends with BPD

Everyone can struggle with making friends from time to time. However, I have always found it difficult. I felt paralyzed by shyness and anxiety as a young child, worried about saying the wrong thing. As I got older, these fears lessened but remained inside of me. Even as an adult, I fear that new people will find me boring or not want to interact with me. 

This anxious and avoidant behavior often prevents me from making new friends. For example, I may plan to go to a group meetup and back out at the last moment. It makes me feel more secure to stay at home and not step outside my comfort zone than possibly face rejection. 

I also struggle with intensity sometimes. I get fixated on small things, such as making a new friend. For example, my mind may become obsessive or overly excited about small interactions. I have to focus on calming myself down and not putting too much weight on the new relationship. 

In the following video, I discuss the techniques I use to make new friends:

The Challenges of Keeping Friends with BPD

I have also had a difficult time keeping friends. When I was a teenager and a young adult, I had many friendships that ended with conflict. During those times, I had little to no control over my emotional states. So, I would often verbally fight with my friends or act in ways they didn't want to associate with. Unfortunately, I lost several valuable relationships that had spanned years in length. 

My avoidant behavior also leads to the loss of friendships. If I put off replying to a message for a while, my anxiety heightens with each passing day. If that waiting time stretches to weeks, it is likely that I may never reply. My brain tells me it is easier to avoid the situation than deal with the discomfort of responding so late. 

I have also noticed that many of my friendships have cooled or ended as my life has changed paths. I am no longer a person who drinks or parties. I now have a husband, dogs, and a more stable life. As such, I feel like I have less in common with some people who used to be part of my daily life. 

Overall, I have lost many friends throughout my years. However, the most loyal of my companions remain in my life, even after years of change. These friendships have evolved in many ways, and I feel lucky to still have those strong connections. 

Do you struggle to make or keep your friends? What strategies do you use to overcome these difficulties? Let me know in the comments section below.

APA Reference
Beveridge, K. (2021, August 30). Borderline PD Makes It Difficult to Make and Keep Friends, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, July 6 from

Author: Kate Beveridge

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Sally Hall
May, 14 2022 at 12:36 pm

I’ve not been diagnosed…but am wondering if I may have BPD. Must all if my friendships have had conflict… around me not being a good reciprocator.

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