Subtle differences between Sociopath and Borderline Personality Disorder


For many of us who were damaged by a person with a Personality Disorder, we become obsessed with trying to figure out what happened. The tricks, games, deceits, back-stabbings, betrayals, half-truths and overall lack of loyalty, integrity, compassion, and empathy is mind-blowing to a person with a conscience.

On the voyage of discovery, my quest has been to pick through the differences between a Sociopath and someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). However, the line is confusing and blurred with these two disorders because many Sociopaths also have BPD and many with BPD have tendencies toward Sociopath. Of course, every Sociopath is a Narcissist but not every Narcissist is a Sociopath. Oh my, I’m going to leave the Narcissist out of this for now.

Why all the confusion? All these disorders manifest in similar ways: using, manipulating, exploiting, and then destroying the innocent for benefit without conscience.  Some of the things that a person with a Personality Disorder seek are sex, money, labor, relief of boredom, to gain attention from the social circle, an easier living arrangement, or just to have a “mommy” to do cooking, cleaning, laundry, and to take care of the home.

Above and beyond the “using” comes the destruction of the “target” via destructive and crazy-making behaviors that ruin the target’s emotional, mental, physical and financial health. For the person with the Personality Disorder, it’s constant drama, attempt to dominate and control by any method possible, and using up and then destroying the intimate partner with the perpetual cry of “I’m a victim, she’s the abuser.”

Being the “victim” serves not only to gain pity and attention but to bait in the next target. The cycle continues for the Personality Disordered. 

Now for the subtle differences between a Sociopath and a BPD. I had the honor and privilege of meeting another very disturbed individual after my breakup with My Sociopath.  Those of us out of a dangerous relationship often become the target for another predator because we are weakened and vulnerable.  Just like in the animal kingdom, the wounded of the herd is the first to be eaten by a predator. I was ripe for the picking. I didn’t hang around long enough to determine if I was dealing with a Sociopath with BPD, but for certain the BPD was emerging almost immediately.

The following similarities between My Sociopath and The BPD MAN are based on my experience and dissection only. I’ve discovered other similarities such as how My Sociopath and The BPD Man pick their targets, but that is for another blog. Though I label some similarities as “dominate” or “control,” and some as “insecurity,” I believe all of these play a factor in each listed and for both disorders; I use the label that was most prominent when it appeared.


My Sociopath: Dominance, Control; take away your individuality. “If I become her perfect man by becoming her, she will then yield into me, and I will control every aspect of her being.”

BPD Man: Insecurity, no sense of self: “I must become her perfect man by becoming her, or she will not love me.”



My Sociopath: Control method derived from hatred; wants to catch you at something to perpetuate the smear-campaign against you: he’s the “victim” and you are the “crazy” one: “See, I told you. Look at her, she’s doing something bad. I was the good one all along.” 

BPD Man: Control method derived from extreme insecurity and delusions: “When I am tracking your movements by GPS, it means that we are connected and therefore you “love” me and I “love” you.

*From the BPD man regarding his married girlfriend (not me; he is a married man with a married girlfriend, I was 3rd down witnessing all this): My married girlfriend is on vacation with her husband, but since I am watching the GPS tracking of their vacation spot, she is connected to me, therefore she loves me, even though she is in a motel room with her husband.” 


My Sociopath: Dominance and Control: “I had a right to do it, you are my property, you have no right to privacy; I will immediately find something to prove that you are a bad person.” 

BPD Man: Insecurity: “I did it because there is no way that you love me and I must find the evidence to prove that I am right.” 


My Sociopath: To exploit you: “I will find something to use against you so that I can do what ever I want to you, and you will not be able to say or do anything about it because I found (this) against you.” 

BPD Man: Excuse for when he sabotages the relationship: “See, I told you that it wouldn’t work out because you have (this) against you.” 

One BIG difference between My Sociopath and the The BPD Man that stood out for me, and there are no similarities to be found, is when it comes to “their woman” being around other men: 

My Sociopath: Would never share me with another man. Sociopaths must completely control, dominate, and OWN their woman. Another man that came in my sight of vision was a threat to MS’s control and dominance.  My Sociopath would say something strange about me to any man that he felt was a threat so the man was afraid to come near me. I was an isolated object only onto him.

BPD Man:  No problem in sharing “his woman” (referring to his married “girlfriend”) with another man; in complete denial and is delusional in his belief that the woman is his although she continues to find excuses to stay with her husband.  The BPD believes that she couldn’t possibly be sleeping with her husband because of her undying love toward him.

BPD’s find excuses to keep a certain distance from intimate relationships, or to avoid getting too close to someone, though they rationalize they want to fully commit. A married woman is a perfect object of delusional “true love” fantasies for a BPD.

My Summary: I found that The BPD Man was a predator that needed to possess, control, manipulate and dominate, but with more insecurity, delusions, and less control over his methods.

My Sociopath is insecure but his methods of control and dominance were more cunning, deceptive, refined, developed, sinister, evil and better executed so as to leave the target shocked and immobilized and his enablers believing his stories of “victimhood” once again.

Lynna, My Sociopath – Struck by A Sociopath

Author: My Sociopath

Oceanside, California

74 thoughts on “Subtle differences between Sociopath and Borderline Personality Disorder”

  1. I guess I am just now researching more on BPD, even though I was diagnosed about 2 1/2 years ago, I just recently began therapy for it a few months ago. I really had no idea of the many comparisons to Narcissists and sociopaths. this disturbs me on many levels, I always (personally) felt that BPD was just, in short, feeling too fucking much and sometimes not being able to control those emotions thus *though not always* acting out in one way or another.. for me, it was just doing a shit ton of drugs and alcohol on a very regular basis surrounding myself with people who did the same.. being very premiscous and spending too much money.. i didn’t hurt anyone (that i’m aware of), i was always the one being hurt. I feel shame for the first time since being diagnosed about having BPD after reading all this to be honest.. but I am a pretty high functioning BPD and I internalize all of my intense emotions, if I am getting angry over something that I know is out of line or ridiculous, I leave the room, or go to my car, cry a little bit and really think to myself “is this somethign I want to address and fight about if it wont matter tomorrow or even in an hour?” Though it’s taken me a while to get to that point, I don’t know why I’m ranting on, I just felt that I needed to say something. Perhaps to give a bit more insight on someone living with BPD. Xo

    1. I would like to change the part where I said I never hurt anyone. because i most definitely did, It just wasn’t really intentional I guess. Or maybe it was sometimes because I was being hurt too.. that’s a whole other story there-Ha

      1. I think even the people that think they are “spiritual” and “righteous” and “puritanical” hurt others. Even in my mind, I think that I don’t hurt others but I don’t know if I may inadvertently do so. I just wish people would be more open and let others know if something hurt them, so we could all learn. Then again, many people would take offense to being told that they hurt someone’s feeling and just get defensive, instead of learning.

      2. Thanks for your response I’m glad I was able to shed some insight as I wasn’t sure if I was or not lol I did t read your email right the first time so I’m happy to reply with more of a detailed update as soon I get time later tonight!

        Sent from my iPad


      3. I’m glad to hear from you again. No hurry to respond…the holiday season is stressful and it’s cold and dark out there (that is if you’re in the northern hemisphere:)…yikes.

    2. Hi Ali, I know your comment was from a long time ago. I’m sorry. I switched over to facebook, put a notice up on this site that I was moving, it shut down for awhile and I just now returned to it a week ago to turn the blog page into a website. Your comment was sitting in a pending area all this time and I couldn’t help but notice it. I just approved it because your comment was very insightful, well stated and I think it could help others. Thank you and if you are still around, I would learn so much if you can follow up on how you’ve been doing, if you found any sort of “tools” to help you manage, anything new on this topic at all. Hope you have been doing well.:)

      1. Hi yes I’m still here kind of forgot about my comment but just got an email that you replied 🙂 I’m happy to answer any questions or whatever I can do to help !

    3. Ali-

      It’s great that you are undergoing treatment. Of all the Cluster B disorders, having Borderline Personality Disorder is probably the most treatable.

      Here are some things that might help put your condition in perspective for you….

      Impulsivity and addiction are very common in folks with BPD. They are traits that lend themselves to creating the condition. It is not unusual for a person with BPD to do all those things you mentioned… drugs, alcohol, overspending, promiscuity. It’s terrific that you’ve found a way to talk yourself down from the anger you find yourself feeling. Borderline Personality Disorder can cause you to “split” from loved ones. People normally have ups and downs with people they care about. Nobody gets along all the time. But people with BPD tend to make mountains out of mole hills and carry grudges, ad nausium.

      In order to salvage a relationship, people without BPD learn to put their differences aside for the greater good of the relationship. They value the relationship higher than being wrong or right. They basically learn how to “agree to disagree.” People with BPD tend to feel that they are unloved if they are not correct, and fear abandonment if they are wrong or the other person does not see things their way. They dig their heels in and fight over things that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. They often split because they feel shame and fear abandonment, and they do so even when it’s simply not the case.

      In a nutshell, BPD springs from a couple of causes that come together in a person who’s “at risk.” Narcissism is caused by a lack of emotional empathy and poor self image. BPD stems from a combination of low emotional empathy and an intense fear of abandonment, from a situation that impacted you during your early development. As you can see, there could easily be an overlap in diagnosis as people can be affected by both causes. When you look back at your early development, you will likely see a situation that made you feel abandoned by at least one of your parents. Either they died, divorced, actually abandoned you, were abusive toward you or the other parent, became a non-performing parent due to illness or accident, drugs or alcohol.

      You will need to understand that people who truly love you, value you despite your disagreements. And that loving someone does not always mean getting along.

      I sincerely hope this helps you. I have a son who has Borderline Personality Disorder, and I truly wish someone could get this across to him. He pushed me out of his life 8 years ago. Not a minute goes by in which I don’t grieve his loss.

      Wishing you the best of luck with your recovery.


      1. Thank you, Joyce. Your response gives clarity, insight and a specific technique to help people with BPD navigate their world. Yes, though someone disagrees with someone, or is even unhappy with another person’s decisions, it does not mean that there should be big blow-ups, abandoning the relationships, or burning bridges. It takes “training” to force oneself to NOT do the “all or nothing” thing but to act in moderation. Even forcing oneself to quietly walk away when feeling emotionally trapped in a social situation, instead of going off with an extreme reaction, can be a huge step to managing life with borderline.

  2. Hi All, I want to apologize. This post got hit up by a very angry person and there was a battle between him/her and another person. It was super ugly and there were tons of comments that I had to go through and delete.
    The biggest learning lesson in this, and one that I had to learn and relearn with My Sociopath, is to never engage a person that is angry, out-of-control, or just making horrible, degrading, insulting comments. That is always a no-win situation.
    I’m still going through hundreds of comments trying to weed out the abusive ones. I hope I catch them all and unfortunately, I might have to turn-off comments for this post until those involved calm down. I just have to figure out this crazy WordPress and their convoluted mess off controls, to find the turn-off comment button.:/ Be well everyone, Lynna

    1. Hi, I just wanted to say I’m incredibly sorry for the way I was talking, the conversation triggered my complex trauma and I acted completely out of line. Sorry for any distress it has caused. It takes a lot for me to get in that state I am really sorry.

      1. Thank you Bellarose. No problem. I was more worried about the readers that witnessed it and the trauma creation between you two. I think I understand where you come from a bit. I am an empath to the extreme and I try to “fix” almost everything that I come across in this crazy world; it has worn me down as a matter of fact. I too have always tried to “talk sense” into people that I felt were going off track. I finally figured out that I was getting myself into trouble by trying to “fix” emotional and volatile situations. I now force myself to take a step back and let people have their breakdowns so I am no longer the “target.” This new attitude has been all new to me but it seems to work out a lot better.:) Lynna

    2. This person was saying my dead brother used to rape me and now I rape his corpse, my brother was the only person I was close to before he died.
      And after saying that all the memories of rape and child abuse I had to live through became real again.
      Last comment. Please stop trying to make yourself seem like you were an angel here, it’s completely ridiculous at least take blame like I have.

      1. I have seen how rogue posts on other forums. He/she has some real issues, and seems to like to insult sociopaths, yet thinks she is one. This person is severely delusional with their outlook on the world and themselves. It’s quite annoying for me, even when he/she isn’t directly bothering me. The fact that it waves around a sociopath title like it’s an excuse for them to be some screwed up idiot is just wrong, and you should take what they say lightly.

      2. Hi Mattmx,
        Thank you for your input. I didn’t realize something like that could happen on here, it never has before, so I think I finally figured out how to change the comment settings to where I have to moderate first. No one deserves to be abused on any forum…or anywhere on the internet. Lynna

    3. Lynna-

      You can block the IP addresses of people who are making abusive comments. That way, you can continue with your same settings but prevent further interference from people who misuse your site. I believe that command is under “tools.”

      1. Hi Joyce,
        Thank you. I might try that when I return to blogging full time again. I sent all comments into moderation because I was writing my book and no longer doing “blogging.” So I couldn’t get on here enough to make sure all was “well.” One time when I went a quite a while focusing on my book and other things, and not checking in here, a few people got into a vicious fight under one of my post’s comment sections. And they were coming in on different IP addresses so I thought that I better not take a chance.

      2. Thanks for asking. I already self-published it a few months ago via Amazon: “My Sociopath.” But didn’t consider the Marketing aspect of it. I love to write and edit and even enjoyed learning how to do my own e-book and paperback conversion…but I am not a self-promoter and Marketing is a struggle for me, so it sat there dead on the shelf for awhile before I realized that there is supposed to be Marketing involved (hehe). I still don’t promote consistently or aggressively like I should. It is a struggle that I’m working on without much success…the empath in me.

  3. I am the married girlfriend. I was on vacation with my husband in June and he wanted to track my pictures. This post is incredible!! I tend to get hoovered in, but I have had no contact for a while. He just keeps on trying to find me. I imagine he will go away with time. He kept mirroring my words and actions. I found that to be so strange.

    1. Blonde,
      Good luck with staying no contact. I’m sorry your husband is mirroring you & tracking you. I’ve been “hunted” & “mirrored” as well. Something that seemed to have a staggering affect was when I would consciously us bid very words back at him. He seemed to hear those words better. Just a thought I wanted to share.

      Please be careful. I wasn’t aware that possessive X’s were statistically more dangerous after the break up. I was nearly beaten to death 5 mos after I got out & I had no idea I was in that kind of danger.

      Be safe.

    2. Always be vigilant, Blondie. Sociopaths/Narcissist never go completely away. They may get temporarily distracted by a new target or trying to win back a former target that got away, but they become easily bored once they got that target in their clutches, and they start spying on/tracking former targets again. Lynna

  4. This is confusing. I have BPD and relate to both the descriptions of the BPD man and the sociopathic man. So perhaps you’re right, the disorders are very similar and do blur a bit.

    The main difference between the disorders is internal, if you’re interested. Sociopaths are not phased by anything and feel no empathy. People with BPD can become *truly* emotionally distraught, they just do not know how to handle their emotions and are overtaken by them. They can feel empathy, but they tend to feel too much at times, which can lead to feeling like someone hates you forever because they were momentarily annoyed with something you did.

    People with BPD are not actively trying to manipulate anyone. They are trying to manage their pain, and that can often come across as manipulation… threatening suicide when being broken up with seems to be a manipulative, dramatic act. Yet, to the borderline, this is the only way they know how to act on their inappropriately strong emotions.

    Sociopaths (actually, people with ASPD – sociopathy is not the correct medical term) do actively manipulate. They thrive on it. If someone with ASPD is threatening suicide after being broken up with, it is almost certainly a manipulative act.

    1. I felt the majority of what you discussed rang true.

      So you know my frame of reference, I have a BPD son. He’s in his early 30s, and he was abandoned by his father at a very early age.

      In your statement regarding empathy, you seemed to be supporting your concept that BPDs have empathy by saying they can become emotionally distraught. Empathy is not about whether or not you are upset by things you perceive others do to you. Empathy, at least “affective empathy” enables people to be able to put themselves in another person’s shoes and relate to their feelings.

      I agree with you that they feel intensely slighted by things that may be totally benign or misconceived. Or they may blow problems way out of proportion and create an intense hatred out of a minor issue. The phrase “making a mountain out of a molehill” clearly describes BPD behavior. And sometimes, it looks more like “making a volcano out of nothing at all!”

      The ability to do so exists, in part, because they have little or no sense or concern for how they make the other person feel.

      As a brief look into the mindset of my son, one day, i sprained my ankle and went to the hospital. I’d stepping off a city bus in heels and my foot turned under my ankle. I saw stars and sat down on the stairs of the bus, unable to move. A nice woman hailed a cab for me. My ankle looked like a blue half grapefruit was sitting on it.

      My son dutifully came to pick me up from the hospital when I called. As we were leaving the emergency room, someone dressed in scrubs was wheeling a critically injured man into the same elevator. The man was moaning in obvious pain. Instead of reaching out to stop the door from closing and make room to permit the stretcher, he hit the “door close” button to block it from entering. He simply didn’t want to share the elevator with someone who was in distress.

      When it comes to his own distress, however, he is acutely sensitive and full of blame.

      From what I’ve seen in my son’s behavior, he is totally unable to extend the caring concern toward others that he expects from others. That’s not to say that he can’t be polite or considerate when he wants to be, but it’s a show. He does so because a.) he was taught manners and knows how people expect him to behave, and b.) because he wouldn’t be able to get people sucked in unless he appeared to be nice to them.

      1. Joyce, yes, this is a great point: “When it comes to his own distress, however, he is acutely sensitive and full of blame.
        From what I’ve seen in my son’s behavior, he is totally unable to extend the caring concern toward others that he expects from others.”
        People with BPD cannot deal with the hurts of other people but demand full attention upon them for their own distress. I do believe BPD’s have moments of clarity, or twinges of empathy, whereas as this is impossible for a sociopath. Now this does not apply to the BPD who also has Narcissism or Sociopathy as well; that would be a different story; there would be no empathy there. Lynna

    2. Thank you. Good comment. I agree on everything you wrote. I do believe that people with BPD have moments of empathy whereas a sociopath never does (I’m tired of keeping up with the new politically correct terms for the year, so will use “sociopath”). And yes, when a BPD have moments of empathy, they cannot control it and it results in lashing out to the nearest person to them (emotionally or physically). This does not all apply, however, if the person with BPD has sociopath tendencies, or is a Narcissist also. Lynna

    3. You are absolutely correct. However, it’s something that people without BPD will ever be able to grasp. For that reason, we will always be looked down on.

      1. Hi Anna, Thank you for reading and your comment. You are right, it is so hard to feel into the mind of another person. Empathy is so lost in our society. Too bad we all don’t try to understand one another more. We are all different: we are all “crazy,” or unsure, or insecure, or frightened, or lonely, or panicked…to one extent or another. Some people just hide better than others that they do not struggle with being human. It will be a great day, a great society when we can all stop hiding who we are, start openly explaining how we really feel, and not be looked down upon. Lynna

  5. Hello, interesting very interesting !!! I must add a part of my own experience with a BPD woman. At some stage I though I was dying from an STD and it prompted me to stop everything on the good side I have introspected enough to solve the personality problem that was making myself a target for a few PDs.

    “he sabotaged our contraception and I became pregnant” Yep, it seems to be the rule, probably a way to avoid abandonment through DNA connexion !!!!!!

    So a few rules with BPDs women (sorry no experience with men, but I think it’s quite different especially for #2) :
    (1) Never ever make love with them before they are cured or close to it! Would be quite a great motivation to heal if they could not make love at all 🙂 unluckily except if on a desert island it’s easy for them to find someone else.
    (2) There is something very childish about women BPD’s sexual communication, so for me it seemed to have a sort of very disturbing pedophilia connotation. So one more reason to avoid sex!
    (3) Without sex BPDs women can be very nice! Trying to attract you all the time … which probably is not so great on their side! Further more if you get to the point were advances become physical and rejection is obvious implying :
    (a) leaving asap so the BPD is abandonned and just by herself ready to auto cut/puncture/burn etc. herself in self punishment!! Not a good idea!
    (b) pushing away and staying around to say good by nicely, then the violence could be externalized, quite dangerous too!

    So I guess to get along with a BPD implies No sex and some sort of re-parenting, being there sometimes available to give a few advice and hugs and get sometimes some strong criticism and rejection (just borderline being borderline 🙂 when you know what it is it’s quite fine, I always add a random factor to any possible behavior and B plan… and miracle !!! After a few years much better, she does not seem to behave as a BPD anymore! But in that case I wont deviate from the no sex rule .,.. I am a pseudo-parent after all ha ha !! But … I could never have done that with an ex girl friend playing push pull with deadly charisma, by the way having sex with a BPD behaving badly is not helping her to change because intrinsically her behavior can’t be so bad because you stay in the relationship.

    1. Hi Joyce, I never knew Bi-Polar Disorder was called BPD. Unless, others may get confused; I see your point. I usually try to write first using the term Borderline Personality Disorder and then adding the (BPD) after it, then just using BPD for the rest of my writing.

  6. Rise-

    I think you’ve opened some eyes on what you struggle through as a person with BPD. And I think it’s of great interest for there to be better understanding. Could you please explain what made you uncomfortable enough in your life to reach out for therapy. I think most folks think that everyone with a “Cluster B” profile would be reluctant to do so. I’m happy to see that’s not the case.

    Here are some of the things that I see generally attributed to BPD-

    Low affective empathy (That’s the inability to put oneself in another’s shoes.)
    High impulsivity
    Fear of abandonment or separation

    Are there other traits that we should be aware of?

    Huge thanks for providing this clarity.

  7. Thank you for your article. I am sorry for what you have had to go through. I think when it comes to the cluster B’s they are all very convoluted. I think even the DSM has issues with this and more recently just created more classifications.

    I do feel though there is a need to point out that there are “I feel” vast differences between those diagnosed with BPD and those who are “high functioning” undiagnosed. I believe the ladder is where the true horrifying stories you read about and I have experienced of the emotional/physical abuse, splitting, gas lighting, hovering, inevitable smear campaign, and lastly parental alienation.

    I want to say to those who are diagnosed with BPD and actively seeking therapy that is honestly an amazing step. Keep up the good fight, as most will never begin to do that. Much less get close to any psychiatrist or psychologist. Some may go as long as they can manipulate the therapists. Very few stay long enough for therapy to succeed as most in the field agree it takes years (most over a decade). I do hear and read that dialectical behavior therapy is moving forward and stepping up with very good results. So I think any diagnosed BPDer seeking therapy is an amazing step!

    Socio, I do want to talk about something that has also taken me time and research to realize. There is a reason why we let “core” damaged individuals into our lives. Things we need to address within ourselves as well. People with healthy self images and complete emotional cores don’t really tolerate such behavior, or not very long. And kudos for seeing it soon in a new partner. I just want to say that unless efforts are taken into your own self introspection you will continue to draw this type of individual to you. Even dare I say find perspective partners who have complete healthy personalities boring. I haven’t read all your writings and most likely you make have already addressed this but I felt the need to just bring it up.

    Best of luck in your endeavors and keep the healing process going. And keep researching, knowledge is power! 🙂

    1. Hi,
      Thank you for writing such positives about people with BPD seeking treatment. I too think it is so hopeful, as long as the person with BPD is honest, genuine, and authentic with the therapist.
      Regarding my participation in the sociopath-game (my words), I agree with you completely. I have known women in my life that would not have tolerated one-second of what I tolerated with My Sociopath. I have written about it numerous times (my self-image issues)…mostly on the facebook page (My Sociopath). I even just responded to a previous writer on this blog regarding similar, here it is copied here:

      “I beat myself up for a long time for allow myself to be snared by a sociopath. And there are many writers of sociopath pages/blogs that believe the victim is not responsible and should not self-blame. However, if I did not look into my own dynamics in the sociopath-game, I would be in another abusive relationship right now. Instead, I traveled on a road of healing myself so that I would not do THIS again…repeat my old, ingrained pattern.

      My Sociopath did NOT do just one bad thing to me. Yes, if he did ONE horrible thing to me I would be a “victim.” If I were jogging in a park and I got attacked from someone hiding in a bush, I would be a “victim.” However, my sociopath did not “attack” me just one time. He did something creepy and insane most everyday of our time together. Almost every day I caught him in a lie, or twisting something I said, or pitting me against everyone we knew, or taking all my hard-earned money and wasting away as I was sacrificing buying much needed necessities for myself, or I discovered that he hacked into my online accounts and was pretending to be me…

      I stayed 3-years longer than I should have. We were married for 3-years. I knew before I married him that he was crazy.
      If I did not look into myself, I would still be with my sociopath or another abusive partner.”

      Lynna, My Sociopath

      1. Lynna-

        One of the most problematic concepts people who are victimized deal with is their own inability to walk away when they figure out they were betrayed. Each and every lie, each and every manipulation, each and every abuse is a form of betrayal, and “betrayal” is a form of “abandonment.”

        We don’t walk away for several reasons….. and those reasons are not as obvious as most people think. Betrayal is a shock to our system. Just as people go into shock over physical pain, they can go into shock over emotional pain. When that pain is too intense, it can’t be absorbed all at once. A betrayal bond can form hooking us deeply into the quicksand of the relationship. A betrayal bond is toxic glue. We can know in our conscious mind that we were betrayed, but the chemical reactions in our brain hold us fast.

        Romantic love is a chemical addiction, but the chemical is internal. Since we don’t imbibe or ingest oxytocin, the nuerotransmitter of trust and acceptance, we don’t recognize it’s there. And when it’s abruptly disturbed by betrayal, we go into a “withdrawal mode,” that increases our need for it.

        So don’t be so hard on yourself for tolerating your abuse longer than what makes sense to others. Emotional predators can spot your oxytocin levels from a mile away. They can size up your code of moral commitment to a loved one, and they’ll play with the emotional chemistry that mother nature gave you to cleave you to a love interest. Being CADded can happen to anyone who is capable of unconditional love.

        The more people understand this, the less successful emotional predators will be.


  8. Hi Lynna. I am a man diagnosed with BPD with Narcissistic traits. Unlike a lot of others on this board with BPD who lash out and feel attacked by your post, I feel it is quite accurate in describing the “vulnerable” but “manipulative” methods in which someone with BPD approaches relationships. I have been in therapy for many years and have risen above the self-destructive and impulsive actions that have sabotaged my life and that of others for so long—living close to a person with BPD is like living in a never ending whirlwind of drama—however, I still have a lack of empathy: the ability to understand and identify with others’ emotions and a sense of “self,” which keeps me forever a chameleon, merging my life with that of others to try to “define” myself. Moreover, I still have the “black-and-white” thinking patterns of BPD in which I demonize someone when I feel attacked and idolize that person when I feel “connected” or identify with him/her. I also remain rather selfish and feel entitled to certain things in life: that other people “take care” of me. I still “use” people as well, feeding my ego with their complements and “friendship”—the narcissistic side of me.

    Anyway, kudos on having such an expressive and accurately descriptive blog. I enjoy reading about myself and my sociopathic tendencies—it ironically is a sort of identity for me, as “I am a BPD/NPD with sociopathic tendencies” becomes my mantra. Sick I know, but true. Thanks again!

    -BPD guy

    1. MSG-

      Having a BPD son who has “split” from me, I’m very interested in what led you to a therapist. From most of my reading, I have the impression that character disordered folks rarely improve and generally try to manipulate, or practice manipulative strategies on their therapist. Yet you seem to be more self aware.

      Since you confided that you understand you have empathy issues, I’d like to offer a possibility in overcoming it. Have you thought of helping out in a soup kitchen where people are really down on their luck? Perhaps you could volunteer in a hospital or otherwise put yourself in a position where “affective empathy” would more readily surface.

      Keep in mind that BPDs aren’t short on cognitive empathy, a knowledge of what the other person is going through. They are simply void of affective empathy, the caring that feels like a knee jerk reaction to a person’s distress. Without affective empathy, they can’t judge cause and effect because they miss the social clues that they caused a person to be upset. They also can’t develop a conscience since they don’t relate to their role in “cause.”

      Two major traits are hard at work in BPD. One is that you somehow felt abandoned early in life. It could be because you actually were, or perhaps a parent died, was ill, was abusive, an alcoholic, narcissist or other. The other issue is that you lacked affective empathy. The cause could be that genetics were an issue, and/or, that you did not receive a sufficient quantity of “parental warmth” in your developmental days.

      Kids who ultimately grow up to be BPD are often ADHD as a child. Their impulsivity leads them to conclude things in a relationship that are not always what they seem. It’s what gives them the black or white interpretation to the behaviors of others. That impulsivity is often at the root of why folks with BPD have low self esteem. They are continuously stepping on toes and when the person says “ouch” they feel threatened with abandonment.

      One thing I’d suggest in overcoming the impact on your relationships is that you try not to feel like you’re being judged when someone objects to your behavior. They could simply be trying to get you to stop. Abandonment might come if you don’t give them the freedom to protect themself from harm. But the harm, itself, can usually be forgiven. In short, BPDs fail to give others validation and the lack of validation is usually even more painful than the actual harm. People with normal self esteem recognize they made a mistake, apologize, and life goes on. People with BPD find a million reasons why “it” was all the other person’s fault.

      Hope you continue on your road to inner enlightenment and that it enables you to live a more fulfilled life. If you pass my son along the way, tell him I understand, and I love him more than words can express.He’s been gone for almost six years.

      1. Hi Joyce,
        Thank you so much for writing such great information on this blog. I spend most of my time writing/responding to private/public messages on the facebook page connected to this blog and apologize for my delay in response and appreciation.
        I am sorry to hear about your son.
        Lynna, My Sociopath

    2. Hi BPD guy,
      I’m sorry for the delayed response. I spend so much time answering private messages on the “My Sociopath” facebook page.

      Thank you so much for expressing your thoughts here. I am astonished that you have such great introspection. Most people with personality disorders lack introspection, heck, most so called “normal” (yeah, right) lack introspection.

      I am going to repost a part of this on the facebook page. Your writing and description is superb.

      Thank you,

  9. I just want to say that I did find this article interesting,I’ve read all the comments, and I believe the writer is writing about their own experiences not generally, I’ve had a lot of experience with sociopaths as I have an emotionally unstable personality disorder, physical illness’ and I live on my own, I also can’t tell when people are being genuine or using me which causes great distress, I seem to attract them.
    I have been in a relationship with a sociopath and I have had one recently living with me and ‘acting’ as my ‘carer’ while I was ill while in fact they were just using me for money, not helping me in any way and putting me down. But pretending to be positive, I have noticed that they try to start cults, which they delude people by lying about what their intentions are, usually there is an idea that they are going to save the world or they have been touched by god, which in the past has lead to mass suicides etc. I do genuinely worry for my self and other safety around them as they have said to me about how much they want to kill me and others.
    I am overly empathetic and take on everyone’s problems as my own. I’ve been trying to learn more about sociopaths because I believed I could help them but from most of my research I’m now seeing this as almost impossible.

    I do however believe that there is a large distinction between people who are sociopaths and with BPD. Some times emotions with BPD do become conflicted with can seem bad or out of line but usually it’s because they’re worrying so much about something they can’t see clearly so their actions may not pan out. Sociopaths on the other hand only care about themselves and will only do a ‘good’ action as to make them selves look good socially in order to create a persona.

    1. Hi BellaRose,

      I checked this blog for comments a few times after December, 2013 and I have no idea why I missed yours. This blog, as you may know, got hit up with hundreds of comments so it was almost impossible for me to manage it effectively. And, I spend most of my time over on the facebook page, so I apologize.

      Yes, I am an empathetic person as well, and I attract sociopaths, bpd’s, narcissist, you name it, like bees to honey. I have my entire life. I am a helper, a worker, a saver, a doer, a rescuer…I get so frustrated at times, that I try to change my personality but find this almost impossible.

      I finally learned that I am never going to change my nice personality, but instead, I am going to take it super slow when I meet someone new. I am not going to tell people where I live until I have known this person for at the least a few months…and I meet people out in public now.

      It is great to be a loving, kind, empathetic person but we must have super strict and high boundaries (unlike other people) in order to survive out there!


  10. I have been chatting with a sociopath online .. He tells me , he has a little human side .. Which his therapist believe at certain times he may have a connection to his therapist and parents ..

    1. Hi Tess,

      I think I’ve seen “humanness” in my sociopath. I mean a real, authentic, hurting human. So, I would tend to believe that. I think their humanness emerges when they are off-guard, worn down, and their defenses are weakened because of yet another crises or dramatic situation they created. They do get worn down on occasion and yes, I’ve seen glimpses of “humanness” in my sociopath.

      Borderlines are different though. They are extremely sensitive and vulnerable. Their skin is like an emotional sleeve…the slightest touch and they feel a burn and want to lash out.

      Sociopaths, I feel, are cold and dead on the inside and only react or show their “humanness” when they completely worn down (which is not that often, but it happens).


  11. I have BPD. I have been diagnosed for 6 years & understand my illness well. With that said, I disagree with the majority of your article. I am fully aware of all my behaviors (right or wrong) However I do recognize that I lack control over my impulsive behaviors (I am trying my best to change this) Honestly I’m sorry you had this experience (& yes i know and agree that relationships with people like myself is difficult & traumatic- & its important for me to note that the majority of us know we are difficult to love & we feel great shame about that) however from what i have read of your article Its clear you lack a true understanding of individuals with BPD. While I disagree with a great number of the traits you have assigned to BPD sufferers, I will only address one very distinct trait difference that I believe to be the least subtle. Sociopaths suffers are capable of experiencing emotion…They just suffer from “shallow effect” therefore they simply don’t dwell on their emotions the way others do. BPD sufferers are exactly the opposite. We “feel” every emotion whether it be anger, sadness, jealousy est. to such an extreme that it becomes debilitating emotionally, mentally & often physically. & as for you claiming we are “users” who seek others to play a “mommy role” well…. I’m not going to even waste my time trying to understand the inaccuracies of that delusional and offensive opinion. & that is exactly what that is….an opinion. A very misguided and inaccurate one.

    1. I, too have been diagnosed with BPD and Bi-Polar (about 4.5 yrs now) and couldn’t have said it better myself.

    1. Leaving 35-10% that are possibly male. It is neither dishonest nor misleading to say “BPD man”, because despite the majority factor, it’s very much so possible for men to be ‘afflicted’ with this personality disorder; just not quite as common.

      1. Thank you “Indeed” for clearing this up with “II” I have been preoccupied on my facebook page with sociopath writings and have been working on various other subjects. I appreciate your help.

        “II,” I was writing about my situation and in my situation, it was a man with BPD. I do know that the a high number of BPD cases are female. However, research is indicating these numbers may not be accurate. It is just more women that seek counseling for BPD than men do. Men are often in more denial when it comes to their mental illness. So, even the well known statement that a “higher number of women with BPD” is currently being examined further in the mental health community.

        Thank you, Lynna

  12. Everything is very open with a very clear description of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is very helpful. Many thanks for sharing!|

    1. Thank you linux vps!

      I try to be clear but bpd and sociopath is such strange stuff…the damage is done to the intimate partners, family members (children), side “targets” sought for ego and to relieve boredom…and the sociopath and bpd person rarely suffer. They just move on with no remorse, no empathy, no regrets…it’s their lack of conscience or being non-human that us humans have difficulty in grasping, let alone trying to describe and connect their actions and behaviors to it.

      1. “damage is done for ego and to relieve boredom”
        “bpd person rarely suffer”
        “They just move on with no remorse, no empathy, no regrets…it’s their lack of conscience”

        Oh my! You cant really believe this. These things you are saying about BPD sufferers are not only very untrue but also incredibly hateful and misleading to the public. I am in a day treatment program for my BPD & spend all day with other BPD sufferers & we all suffer like any human being. I listen to their stories of regret & shame and pain and I share my own as well. We also talk about how we hide in secret and don’t tell people of our struggles with BPD because we are afraid of judgment, hate, assumptions and cruel labels. the kind of Labels & hate that you are spreading here. Where on earth are you getting all of this absurd info? If you ever want to gain some accurate knowledge on what BPD sufferers are ACTUALLY like, you are always welcome to write me.

  13. I, too, was snagged by a second personality disordered man after finally untangling from the first. The second was much worse than the first. I didn’t think there could be much worse than the first. The second has BPD and I spotted trouble and tried to get out of it asap. Religion was used and my past relationship left me questioning my own judgment which BPD masterfully used against me to keep me questioning my senses which were spot on. Unfortunately because he decided I was his target, he sabotaged our contraception and I became pregnant. It’s been 16 years complete destruction. Everything I managed to salvage and build in my life has been destroyed. He’s been nothing but a thug who ended up in prison and I raised a wonderful daughter. She was kept from the craziness as much as humanly possible. Prison taught him more tools and he came out with his bible in tow and determined to destroy me as I rejected him from a letter he wrote after years of no contact from prison that he was changed and we could now be together. The prisoner release programs gave him so much power, me and my daughter literally became controlled by him and the state family courts system…… I lost everything but my daughter. I had evidence of everything including seriously dangerous mental illness and murder threats etc. which were ignored. I now live in fear for the next 4 years and our lives have completely changed. I never know if we will have the means to survive from month to month as it cost me my career, my physical health, mental health (I now suffer from PTSD seriously). Things seem to be getting better but I can honestly say all joy, peace, security and safety was taken from our lives. Laughing sounded foreign and music was offensive. Two of my most favorite things My great daughter became suicidal and self harming and petrified of death and strange things. She doesn’t even know everything other than something terrible came with this man from prison who is her father. I was at risk of losing custody!!!! I haven’t had so much as a traffic ticket, had perfect credit, owned a business and a home but this 9 times felon had been given more power than I even knew any person could have but maybe the president it seemed. Anyway, take heed to all warnings of the “mirroring men”, They are watching your every move word and weakness to work you over. I am but one story of MANY I have heard and these creeps are PREDATORS just like child molesters and they are dangerous as hell. I hope they all go to hell personally. That’s where they belong.

    1. BPD/NPD: What you wrote here is great advice and I liked how you called them the “mirroring men,”

      “take heed to all warnings of the “mirroring men”, They are watching your every move word and weakness to work you over. I am but one story of MANY I have heard and these creeps are PREDATORS just like child molesters and they are dangerous as hell. I hope they all go to hell personally. That’s where they belong.”

      So true, the men that become you! Both of these men I referred to took on my likes, dietary habits, love for nature and animals…they mirrored me and I just thought they were perfect! Watch out when they come across too perfect. I’m always stumbling around and being goofy and never act “perfect” with anyone.

      I’m sorry this happened to you. You are like me, I documented everything and in the end their lies, half-truths, smear-campaign win out. But they are never the real winners, they lead lives of torment. And yes, our physical, mental, emotional, and financial health are left broken down but we can recover, they are always living a messy life.

      You express a great grasp on this complex disorder and that will work for your advantage. You will be okay with time and recovery, he will never be okay. He is stuck in the vicious chaotic cycle of drama, chaos, one train-wreck after the next train-wreck. These guys never settle into themselves but constantly have to suck the life-blood off of anyone that pays them attention.
      They “live” on fumes.


    2. Wow. I can see that you have really suffered. I cannot speak for the man who did this to you and your family but I have BPD and we are not all the monsters you paint us to be. I am 25. I love art, nature and people believe it or not! I love meeting new people and I’m a good listener because I know pain, and I understand suffering. I am not this monster you and Lynna speak of. Because of the therapy program I am in I spend lots of time with many other BPD and these people I have gotten to know are just me me; many of us are good people. Yes your are right, Some are not good ppl… Just like lost of non-BPD individuals are also not good ppl. But many like myself hurt & suffer just like other people. & BPD individuals don’t “seek to destroy” they don’t “target” ppl. I’m so sad that this is how I am being painted. I am a volunteer, I’m an activist, I’m an animal lover, my heart breaks when I see others in pain just like anyone else,when others are sad…I try my best to comfort them I NEVER intentionally try to hurt or harm or destroy ppl. when I make mistakes I feel shame, I feel embarrassed, I feel regret. Its true I have hurt many ppl in my life but not one single person I have hurt has ever been forgotten by me. I carry all my mistakes with me and I will never forget the people I have hurt because I feel true sincere regret. I am hurt and broken too. Everyday I wake up and try to be a better person. I try my best to do good in the world and help others feel good about themselves because I hurt everyday and I wouldn’t wish my kind of hurt and sadness & on anyone else. Believe it or not ppl with BPD do suffer greatly. I’m not a monster and most certainly don’t deserve to go to hell a you hope I do. I’m sure you suffered greatly at the hands of this BPD individual but to paint us all with the same brush is just cruel and unfair. We are not all your “Ex”. I’m so shocked at what I’m reading on this hate filled page.

      “I hope they all go to hell”
      “they are no better then molesters”

      you are one very misguided & lost individual if you truly believe that.

      1. Nastasia I feel your pain, as a BPD sufferer too. The author of this article has no clue.

        I think generally that people with BPD actually want to the world to be a great place and for everyone to be happy. It’s that unfulfilled desire which we internalise and experience through our heightened and uncontrollable emotions. We never really feel satisfied because we are always chasing after what could be, a utopia on earth where we as well as everyone else can be happy and at peace.

        Just look at Angelina Jolie, diagnosed with BPD, and all the problems she went through. Look at how much amazing work she is now doing trying to make the world a better place. I would take a guess both her troubles and her inspiring courage to do good, are both fueled by the same thing, BPD. She actually experiences the problems in the world on a personal level and has learned now to try to do something about it, rather than allow it to consume her.

        It is a HARD life having BPD, it really is, reflected by both the highest suicide rate and the highest suicide success rate among all disorders; but if we can make it through, we can achieve some really great things. The good news as well is that with help through DBT, meditation, etc., pretty much 100% of cases of BPD are reduced to a level where a diagnosis would not be made, essentially although not completely, being cured within a few years of treatment.

      2. Nastasia,

        I’m sorry it took me so long to respond. I was writing about sociopaths on my facebook page and involved in other projects regarding this personality disorder.

        I am confused on why you wrote that “we want you to go to hell” and “they are no better than molesters.” That is not my usual language and I do write so much that I can’t recall everything that I write, but that does not sound like me.

        On my worst day, I might secretly wish that on “my sociopath,” but I don’t try to write in that tone. But, I do believe sociopaths are monsters. And I also know that people with BPD are not always sociopaths.

        I also understand completely what you write in describing yourself. People with BPD are highly sensitive and emotional and wear an emotional sleeve. They feel every slight touch on an excruciating level and react as if they are being burned. I don’t believe this to be true, though, about “my sociopath.”

        I believe he is dead on the inside and can understand what you wrote about “shallow effect.” I might lean this way further in the future…perhaps, he was not as “dead” as I witnessed, but perhaps, “shallow effect.”

        But, all and all, i was writing about my experience with a person with BPD and my sociopath. I know people with BPD and sociopaths are different and I know each person with BPD and each Sociopath is also different, just as supposedly “normal” (no one is really “normal,” we are all “crazy” in some way or another) people are all different.

        We don’t have to attack one another here,,,,I certainly never meant to attack anyone (well okay, maybe “my sociopath,” hehe), and if you tell me where those comments are (“go to hell,” and “like child molesters”), I will go back and reread to see what that is all about. And again, on my worst day, i might think that about My Sociopath, but again, that is my experience with a very awful sociopath, and I don’t usually write in that tone.


      3. Nastasia, I reread through everything, all the comments and my response to the comments. I found the quotes you are referring to.

        Again, (I answered you before but didn’t know where those comments were), this was a personal response to my personal story, by a person telling their own story and how they were destroyed by someone with a personality disorder.

        They were merely responding to my personal story and experiences involving a person with BPD and My Sociopath.

        These experiences are how we were all personally affected…and in our personal ways with people with personality disorders. I didn’t even know “BPD MAN” for that long…I only related what I saw. The person that made those comments, was telling their experience.

        We all know that each person with BPD manifest their behaviors in different ways and we all know that Sociopaths pretty much destroy everything in their path but do it in different ways. Most of know not all people with BPD are Sociopaths…

        These are our individual experiences, I write “my stories” and how I’m processing disruptive behaviors and a reader made a response telling her own “story,”..

        I, in turn, learned a lot from your own experiences and stories, but you don’t have to attack.

        Our own personal knowledge and the retelling of events in our lives leads to a greater awareness of different manifestations of these disorders…but, we don’t have to attack one another.

        I’m sorry you were hurt by the comments made by a reader and that I repeated them in my comment back…but this is how she felt after her experience…this was not a personal attack against anyone else. It was only against the individual person that destroyed her.


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