Perfect Dangerous Match: The Narcissist and Borderline

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  • Enablers (super-givers) tend to be narcissists
  • Narcissists enjoy the enabler role (fixing compulsion makes up for core deficit)
  • Narcissists enjoy giving more than receiving
  • Borderlines who also have a core deficit serve as the perfect unstable candidate for ‘rescuing’ by the enabler narcissist
  • A Borderline is dysfunctional enough to seduce narcissist into “saving” her while both are essentially fooling each other (the borderline is used a tool for the narcissist to feel better about himself, but in terms of actually “saving her” emotionally he is withdrawn and detached from everyone due to his own feelings of injustice)
  • Narcissists enjoy codependent relationships because they satisfy the need to feel competent. Low self-esteem is boosted by comparing oneself to the dysfunctional partner
  • Narcissists are the perfect candidate to be an enabler (they require understanding and often manipulate to get it)
  • Borderlines are the perfect candidate for the enabled (they require attention and often manipulate to get it)
  • Narcissist enabling behaviour is a way to mitigate fears of abandonment
  • Narcissists are often inherently afraid of being rejected or abandoned, even if they can function on their own
  • Narcissists are ‘super-givers’ because it is a way for them to avoid authentic intimacy and closeness, given their engulfment fears
  • Enablers mostly need to be in a relationship because they feel lost or lonely when they’re by themselves
  • Narcissists find being alone depressing (or experiences healthy people as boring)
  • For the narcissist a codependent relationship fulfills a strong drive to feel needed (stemming from childhood feelings of unworthiness)
  • Codependent relationship brings profound results to the narcissist and borderline
  • Their poor functioning essentially brings them much needed love, care, and concern from an enabler and feelings of acceptance
  • The narcissist enabler’s consistent support reduces the outside pressures on the enabled person to mature, or advance their life skills or confidence (this makes the borderline highly dependent on the enabler to satisfy needs normally met by multiple close relationships)
  • The borderline may have few relationships as close as her relationship with the narcissist
  • High degree of mutual, unhealthy dependence on the part of both the enabler and the enabled that makes the relationship resistant to change (unhealthy patterns continue)
  • Both are trapped and addicted to one other
  • Borderlines feel an excruciating sense of aloneness and distrust- no amount of enabler ‘rescuing’ will change innate feeling
  • A borderline needs to hear that she is loved or she will feel anxious and angry while the narcissist is unwilling to be openly vulnerable (they trap each other in a cycle loop of rage and retreat)
  • Narcissists cannot painfully yearn for someone who is present and available so borderline cushions engulfment fears by being emotionally unavailable
  • Both can get away with not committing authentically to each other- while simultaneously livening each other’s lives and giving meaning and purpose to one another through codependency

“It is like you are a Coast Guard cutter and she is a drowning woman– but she drowns in a peculiar way. Every time you pull her out of the turbulent sea, feed her warm tea and biscuits, wrap her in a comfy blanket and tell her everything is okay, she suddenly jumps overboard and starts pleading for help again. And, no matter how many times you rush to the emotional – rescue, she still keeps jumping back into trouble. It is a repeating, endlessly frustrating pattern  No matter how effective you are at helping her, nothing is ever enough. No physical, financial or emotional assistance ever seems to make any lasting difference. It’s like pouring the best of your self into a galactic-sized Psychological Black Hole of bottomless emotional hunger”.

  • Borderline swings from elated agitation to mournful gloom at the blink of an eye
  • Narcissist will sacrifice his own emotional needs to stabilise borderline leading to resentment and relationship strain for both participants
  • Narcissist starts to lose his sense of ‘self’ (since he is so emotionally wrapped up in the drama of the woman he is ‘rescuing’) and this often results in frustration, denial of negative feelings, stress and depression
  • Both narcissists and borderlines have intense and unstable interpersonal relationships (this makes them sensitive to being codependent on each other)
  • Both struggle with chronic feelings of boredom and emptiness (they require constant stimulation whether painful or pleasurable)
  • Both subordinating one’s own needs to those of the person with whom one is involved
  • Both possess an overwhelming desire for acceptance (narcissist) or affection (borderline)
  • Both externally reference
  • “If like King Priam, you do fall prey to the Trojan Horse and let her inside your city gates, the first Berserker to leave the horse will be the devious Clinger. A master at strengthening her control through empathy, she is brilliant at eliciting sympathy and identifying those most likely to provide it is the steady-tempered and tenderhearted”

  • The less developed a person’s “self,” the more impact others have on his functioning
  • Narcissist sense of self is based on other people (good feelings stem from being approval)
  • Codependent enablers often become controlling and manipulative over time
  • The narcissist is excessively compliant in a love relationship with a borderline (he might even feel rejected if she doesn’t want his ‘enabling’ help)
  • Narcissists are defensive and absorb the words of others with no filter (they do not accept that others have opinions and feel threatened by them or by disagreements)
  • Borderlines are open with less boundaries (ability to merge, fall in love easier and see things in a new way)
  • Narcissist is dishonest (unquenchable need to win due to self worth issues)
  • Narcissist has lower self-worth than borderline, he secretly blames himself for borderline’s uncontrollable behaviour (feelings of shame resulting from fixing compulsion)
  • Borderline awakens the narcissists sense of grandiosity
  • Erotic intensity of borderline sweeps narcissist away (intensity is her life)
  • Narcissists have problems with openness, intimacy and communicating
  • Borderlines are empathetic, spontaneous, flexible and have a strong sense of right and wrong
  • Narcissist enablers feel shame or fear that if they are “exposed” they will be judged, rejected, or left behind (afraid to be truthful)
  • Control helps the narcissist feel safe and secure (they also need to control those close to them because they need other people to behave in a certain way to feel okay about themselves)
  • Enabling gives the narcissist’s life purpose (Manipulative people often feel over-giving and under-appreciated)
  • Narcissists use people-pleasing and care-taking as tools to manipulate the borderline partner (they are poor givers in fact and their enabling fails to emotionally support the borderline in the long term)
  • Both codependents spend their time thinking about other people or relationships (they obsess if they think they have made a mistake)
  • Borderline lapses into fantasy about how she would like things to be to avoid the pain of the present (delusion)
  • Narcissist oscillates between guilt and perfectionism (low self-esteem) He says “If everything is perfect, then I won’t feel bad about myself
  •  Narcissists have a core belief that others cannot meet their standards
  • Borderlines have a core belief that they will never be good enough to meet anybody’s standards
  • Both understand each other (since they incur similar types of wounds to their developing sense of self and share a core deficit)
  • The trait which unites them is that their self-esteem is essentially a disguise — they both actually feel unlovable or inadequate.
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