bpd ghosting

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BPD Ghosting: How Relationships Get Killed By The Split In This Mental Affliction?

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a condition marked by intense and unstable emotions, impulsive behavior, and tumultuous relationships. People with BPD often experience “ghosting” in their relationships. In this article, we are going to discuss BPD ghosting.

Ghosting is when someone suddenly cuts off all communication with another person without any explanation. This can happen in both personal and professional relationships. While it can be painful to be on the receiving end of ghosting, it’s important to remember that the person who is ghosting is likely dealing with their own issues related to BPD.

If you are in a relationship with someone with BPD, try to be understanding and patient. Remember that BPD is a real mental illness that requires treatment. If you are being ghosted, don’t take it personally.

The person who is ghosting you is not necessarily reflecting on your worth as a person. Instead, they are likely struggling to cope with their own emotions and behaviors. If you are concerned that you may have BPD, please reach out to a mental health professional for help.

5 Strong Reasons Why Does BPD Ghost

Many people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) experience ghosting, or being abruptly cut off by someone they’re dating or friends with. Why does this happen? T here are a few reasons. 

1. Difficulty With Relationships

One reason is that people with BPD often have difficulty with relationships . They may be afraid of abandonment, cling to people too much, or have intense mood swings that make it hard to maintain close relationships . When they feel like a relationship is getting too close, they may ghost as a way to create distance. 

2. Impulsive Nature

Another reason is that people with BPD may be impulsive and act without thinking about the consequences. This can lead them to say or do things that hurt the people they care about, which in turn may cause those people to ghost them. 

3. Self-Harm

Finally, some people with BPD deliberately ghost as a form of self-harm. They may do this because they feel unworthy of love or attention, or because they want to punish themselves for perceived flaws. 

4. Scared of Getting Hurt

People with borderline personality disorder (BPD) are often scared of getting close to other people because they’re afraid of being rejected or abandoned. This fear can make it hard for them to maintain relationships , both romantic and platonic.

5. Result of Narcissism

Narcissism is characterized by an excessive need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others. It is a personality disorder that can lead to a number of problems, both for the narcissist and for those who are in relationships with them.

Narcissists often have difficulty sustaining long-term relationships, as they are prone to ghosting. This is when the narcissist suddenly cuts off all contact with the other person, without any explanation.

A Disoriented Man Feeling self-harm

5 Powerful Psychological Impacts of Ghosting

Ghosting, or the act of abruptly ending all communication with someone without any explanation, can have a significant impact on the mental health of both parties involved. For the person who has been ghosted, it can lead to feelings of rejection, abandonment, and worthlessness. Here are a few psychological impacts of ghosting:

1. Grief and Loss

The psychological impacts of ghosting can be severe. The loss of a relationship can trigger a feeling of abandonment and isolation . The sense of betrayal and rejection can be overwhelming.

2. Loss of Trust

When someone ghosts you, they are essentially telling you that your time, feelings, and energy were not worth anything to them. This can be a hard pill to swallow and can result in a loss of trust in future relationships.

3. Feeling Disrespected

Ghosting often feels like a slap in the face. Investing time and effort into getting to know someone, only to have them disappear without warning, can feel incredibly disrespectful.

4. Feeling Abandoned

When someone ghosts you, it can feel as though you have been abandoned. This can be especially true if the person ghosts after establishing a close connection with you.

5. Fear of Being Ghosted

Once you have been ghosted, it is common to start fearing being ghosted again in future relationships. This can cause people to become guarded and mistrusting, which can ultimately lead to the demise of relationships.

An isolated Abandoned Man

BPD Discard And Ghosting

Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a serious mental illness characterized by impulsive and self-destructive behavior, erratic mood swings, and difficulty regulating emotions. People with BPD often engage in “discard” behaviors, in which they abruptly end relationships or withdraw from contact with others without any explanation.

This can be extremely painful for the people who are affected by it, and it can also be difficult to understand what causes someone to behave this way. There are several possible explanations for why someone with BPD might engage in discarded behavior.

One possibility is that they are afraid of intimacy and getting too close to others. Another possibility is that they tend to see relationships in black-and-white terms and can become quickly disillusioned when their expectations are not met.

Additionally, people with BPD may have a distorted sense of self-identity and may feel that they are not good enough for the other person.

Whatever the reason, discard behavior is often a symptom of the underlying distress and insecurity that characterizes BPD.

Idealization and Devaluation In BPD Ghosting

It’s not unusual for people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) to idealize and then devalue the people in their lives. This can happen in relationships with friends, family members, and romantic partners. 

The process of idealization often happens quickly, as the person with BPD becomes fixated on the other person and sees them as perfect. They may put the other person on a pedestal and idealize them as being kind, caring, and understanding. But this idealized view is usually based on an unrealistic fantasy, rather than reality. 

The devaluation phase often comes after the person with BPD has started to feel disappointed or let down by the other person. They may begin to see themselves as flawed and imperfect and start to find fault in even small things. This can lead to arguments and conflict, as the person with BPD tries to push the other person away. 

The cycle of idealization and devaluation can be painful for both parties involved. If you are in a relationship with someone with BPD, it’s important to be aware of this pattern and try to avoid getting caught up in it.

It’s also important to be honest with each other about your feelings so that you can work together to resolve any issues.

How Do People With BPD Use Triangulation In Relationships?

People with BPD often use triangulation as a way to maintain relationships. Triangulation is when someone creates or uses an outside relationship to manipulate or disrupt another relationship. People with BPD may do this by ghosting, or withdrawing from a relationship without any explanation.

This leaves the other person feeling confused and hurt. They may also spread rumors about the person they are triangulating with, or try to turn their friends and family against them.

This can be very difficult for the other person to deal with, and often leads to them feeling isolated and alone. If you are in a relationship with someone with BPD, it is important to be aware of this behavior and to try to support your partner in getting the help they need.

BPD Blocking on Social Media

Social media has become an increasingly important part of our daily lives. It’s a great way to stay connected with friends and family, and it’s also a useful platform for sharing news and ideas.

However, social media can also be a dangerous place, particularly for people who suffer from mental illness. That’s why many people with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) have decided to block certain individuals or groups on social media.

Blocking someone on social media means that you will no longer see their posts or be able to interact with them. For people with BPD, this can be an invaluable tool for managing their mental health.

Social media can be triggering for people with BPD, so by blocking certain individuals or groups, they can reduce the amount of triggering content that they’re exposed to. In addition, blocking helps to reduce the number of negative interactions that people with BPD have on social media.

BPD Ignoring Texts

It’s no secret that people with borderline personality disorder (BPD) can be difficult to get along with. One of the most common and frustrating symptoms of BPD is the tendency to ignore texts . This can happen for a number of reasons. Sometimes, people with BPD simply forget to respond.

Other times, they may be deliberately trying to avoid conflict or make the other person feel bad. In any case, it’s important to remember that this behavior is not personal. People with BPD often have difficulty regulating their emotions, and this can lead to impulsive and destructive behaviors.

5 Forceful Examples of BPD Stonewalling

BPD stonewalling is a common tactic used by people with Borderline Personality Disorder to manipulate and control conversations. The goal is to make the other person feel powerless and frustrated, often to the point of giving up. Here are some common examples of BPD stonewalling:

1. Refusing to Communicate

This is perhaps the most obvious form of stonewalling. The person with BPD simply stops responding to all communication, whether it’s verbal or written. They may even go so far as to block the other person’s calls and texts.

2. Changing the Subject

This is a way of derailing the conversation so that it’s no longer about the original issue. The person with BPD may introduce a new topic, start talking about something else entirely , or simply refuse to answer the question.

3. Gaslighting

This is a tactic designed to make the other person question their own reality. The person with BPD may deny things that they said or did, Circus refusing to remember important events, or even lie outright. Gaslighting can be very effective at making the other person feel crazy and confused.

4. Making Demands

This is a way of putting the other person on the defensive. The person with BPD may make demands that are unreasonable or impossible to meet, such as asking for constant attention or insisting on complete honesty.

5. Playing Victim

This is a strategy of manipulating sympathy by playing the role of victim. T he person with BPD may claim to be mistreated, misunderstood, or unfairly attacked. They may also try to elicit pity by sharing sob stories about their life or childhood trauma.

How to Move On After Being Ghosted?

Being ghosted by someone with Borderline Personality Disorder can be a confusing and distressing experience. After all, you thought you were in a relationship with this person, and suddenly they’re gone without any explanation.

It’s important to remember that ghosting is a manipulative behavior that is often used by people with BPD as a way to control and hurt others. Here are some tips on how to move on after being ghosted by someone with BPD: 

  • Take some time for yourself
  • Try not to take ghosting personally
  • Don’t Blame yourself
  • Allow yourself to Grieve
  • Focus on your wellness
  • Embrace Your Passions and Goals
  • Set boundaries with the person who ghosted you
  • Talk to somebody about what happened

A BPD Unable to manage emotions

How can the Person with BPD Controls Ghosting Through Various Therapies?

Ghosting, or the act of suddenly disappearing from someone’s life without any explanation, can be incredibly hurtful. However, therapy can provide an opportunity to learn how to deal with difficult emotions in a healthy way.

Through therapy, a person with BPD can learn how to communicate their needs and feelings in a way that is respectful and healthy. A person with BPD can control ghosting through therapy by:

1. Mentalizing-Based Therapy

What is mentalizing-based therapy? It helps the person with BPD to understand themselves and other people better. The therapist encourages the patient to share their thoughts and feelings openly. In return, the therapist offers guidance and support. This type of therapy has been found to be helpful in treating borderline personality disorder. 

One study found that mentalizing-based therapy was associated with a decrease in ghosting behaviors. The study participants who received this type of therapy were less likely to ghost their friends and family members. They were also more likely to have healthier relationships. 

If you or someone you know has BPD, consider seeking out mentalizing-based therapy. It may help to decrease ghosting behaviors and improve relationships.

2. Dialectical Behavior Therapy

Dialectical behavior therapy, or DBT, is a type of cognitive-behavioral therapy that was originally developed to treat borderline personality disorder. The aim of DBT is to help people learn skills to manage their emotions and improve their relationships.

One key component of DBT is teaching people how to deal with “ghosting.” Ghosting is when someone suddenly cuts off all communication with another person without any explanation. This can be extremely painful for the person who has been ghosted, as it can feel like rejection or abandonment.

DBT teaches skills that can help the person with BPD to control ghosting by learning how to better cope with emotions and communicate effectively.

Additionally, DBT can also help the person with BPD to develop healthier relationships in which they feel more secure and less likely to be ghosted.

3. Transference-Focused Psychotherapy

Transference-focused psychotherapy (TFP) is a specific type of long-term psychotherapy that is designed to help patients with borderline personality disorder (BPD). The goals of TFP are to help patients learn to identify and manage their emotions, improve their relationships, and develop a greater sense of self-awareness.

One of the key elements of TFP is the focus on transference or the way in which patients transfer their emotions and experiences from past relationships onto their relationship with the therapist.  Through TFP, patients with BPD can learn to understand and control the impulses that often lead to ghosting.

In particular, TFP can help patients to become more aware of their

By learning the following skills, patients with BPD can ultimately become less likely to ghost in future relationships.

  • Learning to identify and manage emotions
  • Improving self-esteem
  • Developing healthy coping mechanisms
  • Learning to communicate effectively

If you’re struggling with BPD, you may find yourself “ghosting” your friends and family. It’s not that you don’t care about them, but the constant ups and downs of your emotions make it hard to keep up with relationships.

You may feel like you’re not worth their time, or that they’re better off without you. But the truth is, your loved ones want to be there for you – even if they don’t always understand what you’re going through.

If you’re feeling like you’re at the end of your rope, reach out to them. Let them know what’s going on, and let them help you get the support you need. You don’t have to go through this alone.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is bpd ghosting.

BPD ghosting is when someone suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) suddenly stops all forms of communication with a person or group without warning or explanation.

It may involve ceasing contact through any form of communication, including social media, phone calls, text messages, emails, and face-to-face interactions.

This can be particularly painful for a person who is close to someone with BPD. They may wonder what has happened and why the ghosting occurred without any explanation or resolution.

How do you respond to BPD silent treatment?

1. Remain calm, even if you feel hurt or angry.

2. Let the person know that you are there and available to talk when they are ready to do so.

3. Acknowledge their feelings without judgment or criticism.

4. Avoid taking it personally and understand that the silent treatment is a symptom of their condition.

5. Offer to talk about the issues in a safe space, like therapy or counseling.

6. Take the time to practice self-care and relaxation exercises throughout the process.

7. Respect their boundaries and be patient with them, understanding that it may take some time for them to open up again.

8. Lastly, if the silent treatment continues for too long, seek professional help. A mental health specialist can help identify the underlying causes of the behavior and provide tools to improve communication.

What is the psychological reason for ghosting?

Psychological reasons for ghosting may include a fear of confrontation, a lack of communication and problem-solving skills, difficulty expressing emotions, feeling overwhelmed by the intensity of the relationship, and/or not being ready to commit.

Ghosting can also be a sign of someone’s inability to emotionally attach to another person due to unresolved trauma, anxiety, or depression.

Additionally, ghosting may be a way of avoiding uncomfortable conversations and difficult emotions that come with confrontations.

Ghosting can be a sign of an inability to cope with stressors or manage emotions in healthy ways. Ultimately, the psychological reasons behind ghosting are likely complex and individualized.

Do people with BPD Stonewall?

Yes, people with BPD can stonewall. Stonewalling is a form of emotional disengagement used by some individuals with Borderline Personality Disorder to avoid difficult conversations or situations.

It involves shutting down communication and withdrawing from the conversation or situation altogether.

This may be done through avoidance tactics such as ignoring messages or requests, refusing to talk, or walking away from the conversation.

Stonewalling can be an effective way for someone with BPD to cope with stressors or difficult emotions, but it can also cause further distance in relationships and increase feelings of isolation.

Is ghosting a trauma response?

Yes, ghosting can be a trauma response. People who have experienced significant trauma may struggle to cope with intense emotions and difficult conversations.

As a result, they may resort to ghosting as a way of avoiding these situations and protecting themselves from further emotional pain.

Ghosting can also be seen as an expression of unresolved trauma that the person is unwilling or unable to process. Ultimately, ghosting can be a sign of unresolved trauma and should not be taken lightly.

When someone with BPD leaves you?

When someone with BPD leaves you, it can be hard to accept and understand. It is important to remember that the person’s behavior is often a symptom of their condition and not a personal attack on you.

It can be helpful to reach out and offer support without trying to control or fix their situation. If possible, try to remain open and available should they reach out to you. You can also take the time to practice self-care and talk with a mental health specialist if needed.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that there are often underlying issues at play and sometimes a person’s behavior will be beyond your control.

Why do people with BPD go silent?

People with BPD may go silent for a variety of reasons. It can be due to feeling overwhelmed, uncertain or anxious about their emotions and the situation.

They may also go silent as a way of avoiding difficult conversations or out of fear of being judged or misunderstood by others.

Furthermore, they may use silence as a coping mechanism when faced with intense emotions or stressors that they do not have the tools to handle.

Ultimately, it is important to remember that silence can often be a sign of distress and should not be taken lightly.

What emotions do Ghosters feel?

Ghosts may feel a variety of emotions, including guilt, shame, anxiety, and regret. They may also experience feelings of embarrassment or confusion regarding their own behavior.

Additionally, they may be afraid of being judged or rejected if they open up about their experiences.

Ultimately, the emotions experienced by ghosts will depend on the individual’s personal situation and how they process their emotions. Understanding and empathizing with these feelings can be a powerful step toward healing.

Do borderlines have remorse?

Yes, people with Borderline Personality Disorder can experience remorse for their actions. Remorse is an emotion characterized by feelings of guilt, regret, and sorrow over a wrong or harmful action.

People with BPD may feel remorse when they recognize that their behavior has caused harm or distress to others, even if the behavior was unintentional.

This realization can lead to feelings of guilt and regret, which may prompt them to apologize or make amends for their actions. Ultimately, expressing remorse is an important part of the healing process.

How many days without a response is ghosting?

Ghosting is typically defined as a form of abandonment in which one person cuts off all communication with or contact with another person without warning or explanation.

Ghosting can occur after just a few days of no response, but it generally takes at least two weeks for someone to be considered ‘ghosted’.

Ghosting can be damaging and hurtful, so it is important to communicate clearly if you are not interested in pursuing a relationship or continuing contact.

Is ghosting emotionally immature?

Yes, ghosting can often be a sign of emotional immaturity. Ghosting is a form of avoidance that prevents people from having difficult conversations and addressing uncomfortable topics.

People who engage in ghosting may be trying to avoid confrontation or dealing with the consequences of their actions.

Additionally, it can also be an indication that the person does not possess the tools necessary to effectively manage their emotions or handle difficult situations.

Is ghosting a lack of respect?

Yes, ghosting can often be a sign of disrespect. Ghosting is a form of abandonment in which one person cuts off all communication with or contact with another person without warning or explanation.

It shows a lack of consideration for the other person’s feelings and emotions, as well as an unwillingness to engage in meaningful dialogue or address any underlying issues.

Why do people ghost?

There can be a number of reasons why someone might choose to ghosting their partner. They may feel like they’re not getting what they need from the relationship and would rather end it than communicate that to their partner.

They may also be feeling overwhelmed or drained by the relationship and believe that cutting off all communication is the easiest way to end things.

What are the consequences of being ghosted?

Being ghosted can be incredibly hurtful and confusing. You may feel like you did something wrong to deserve being ignored in this way, or like you were never really important to the person who disappeared on you.

It’s important to remember that you are not alone in this experience and there are ways to cope with being ghosted.


Khushwant Dhaliwal ,  Ayala Danzig , and  Sarah K. Fineberg ( April 1, 2020). Improving Research Practice for Studying Borderline Personality Disorder: Lessons From the Clinic. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2470547020912504

Trull, Timothy J.; Stepp, Stephanie D.; Durrett, Christine A. ( January 2003). Research on borderline personality disorder: an update. https://journals.lww.com/co-psychiatry/Abstract/2003/01000/Research_on_borderline_personality_disorder__an.15.aspx

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Borderline Personality Disorder

Why someone with borderline personality disorder might 'ghost' you.

bpd ghosting

Those of us who battle borderline personality disorder  (BPD) can appear to be very polarized individuals. Our brains are always working in one direction or the other and so we are always trying to keep up with that. It is absolutely exhausting because social interactions can often send our minds into a whirlwind of thoughts, especially ones about whether our peers truly like us or not.

Keeping this in mind, I’ve found a lot of us with BPD really enjoy interacting with others, but at the same time, too much interaction and with too many people can start to become de-energizing and our brain can go into overdrive. Because some people with BPD are often more offended than they may let on (as a means to be appear as “normal” and out of the way as possible), they can spend a lot more energy than those without mental illness , in social interactions.

It’s not only that we can become drained from our own constant masking, we also might be scared to hurt others’ feelings where we don’t think they deserved it. And we also sometimes don’t know how to healthily express our boundaries. So, what happens when our brains go into overdrive? Well, we may become paranoid about certain people in our circle or frequent acquaintances we speak to. We may even become annoyed with our mutuals whom we normally aren’t annoyed with, because our brains have had enough.

We might start to begin to think our peers secretly have something against us , we might split on them and start to see them as the enemy, or because we have been socializing so much and hiding our emotional offenses just to seem “normal,” we may be secretly burnt out. When this happens, some of us with BPD are likely to ghost you for awhile or disappear from everyone altogether until we regenerate.

It’s not that we’re intentionally trying to hurt anyone, but that we have not yet learned how to speak up for ourselves and set boundaries, even with ourselves. Sometimes, our brains will be telling us to take a break from hanging with friends and from social media, but we sometimes have trouble listening. The longer this goes on, the more abrupt the disappearing act will be… and it may come as a surprise to some.

Because we can be ultrasensitive, we are also careful not to hurt anyone else. If you were romantically involved with a person with BPD and were ghosted, it could be because they didn’t know how to directly tell you they didn’t want to see you anymore. It’s not an excuse by any means, but it’s just a reason it was easier for them to just never see or hear from you again. It’s not so much about what is “wrong” with you, so please do not ever think that way. Sometimes, it is our inability to communicate what we perceive are awful words that would absolutely crush your feelings… especially when we feel you were sweet and really liked us. The guilt can be too much.

The other reason someone with BPD might ghost you is if you offended them in a major way and instead of fighting you about it (which they might have thought if they said anything, things would lead there), they blocked and ghosted you. Again, sometimes those of us with BPD know no middle ground or gray area. We often see it as this or as that. So if we were to comfort you, we might do it angrily and you might respond angrily back. It could lead to a big mess. So, instead the person with BPD got angry with you, in secret and ghosted you.

I do understand being ghosted feels awful , especially when you can’t think of reasons as to why someone would do that to you. It hurts worse when the person was overcompensating and acting extremely chipper before they did the disappearing act. To provide you some perspective and clarity though, it’s almost never to do with you, unless you have angered them somehow.

From experience and from what I’ve see thus far, the main two reasons those with borderline personality disorder ghost is they are overwhelmed with socializing or they didn’t want to hurt your feelings. Sometimes, it can be both as well. Sometimes, they tire of socializing with a person because they’re not interested in them.

Personally, I’m working on not treating people like this, all with the exception of social media. When it comes to social media, sometimes it’s better to walk away and ghost rather than say something out of anger and have a full-blown Twitter war. You know? That is the only area I do think it’s OK to ghost, for the better of both parties.

Overall, I hope I’ve provided some clarity and I’m sorry to any of you who were offended by someone with BPD who ghosted you. You are still awesome in spite of that and please don’t think you have any less value because you were ghosted.

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Counselor & Life Coach A.J. Mahari

Ghosted by a Quiet Borderline

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The person who manifests Borderline Personality Disorder in an internalizing “quiet borderline” way often discards, ghosts suddenly without warning in one or two ways. The first way is they simply leave you without any warning, conversation, closure and for so many without any signs that a relationship (of any type) was about to be ruptured and end. People – loved ones are ghosted by many with quiet BPD without any warning signs.

The second way, all-too-often that a quiet borderline ruptures a relationship is by way of committing suicide.

Are you in pain? Are you confused? Have you been ghosted by a quiet borderline or an externalizing acting out Borderline? I can help you. I work with clients to understand and heal from these devastating relationships and the way that they often end that is so devastating and means learning to cope with a complex complicated grief process as well. You can book a session or sessions with me in the right hand menu bar.

My question would be where do they go? Physically, mentally? Aside from extreme behaviour. Loud BPDs seem to seek a new partner or parental figure and at least over time their actions, projected blame, push pull etc can be recognized and understood. I’ve always thought C-PTSD and PTSD analysis should include an invisible response and a hide response, including flight/hide(isolation) so I am wondering if that is the case here. Although abandonning could be analyzed as differing from hidden, i.e hiding from a peripheral of danger but knowing it is there and staying on the outside isn’t quite the same as disappearing completely.

A.J. Mahari

C Forest – Often people don’t know where they physically go. Psychologically, emotionally, and mentally they go back to past adverse childhood experiences re-lived dissociatively in the here-and-now. The introject of wounding parent(s) via the internal critic does to them over and over again what a wounding parent or parents did to them.

I think that PTSD & CPTSD do include, as does BPD in the quiet Borderline, a freeze/flight response that fuels the isolation of internalization. Abandoning self, not known, whether an externalizing or internalizing Borderline, is the repetition compulsion pattern of mounted maladaptive narcissistic defence against what is first, the inner split of ego fragmentation in BPD – arrested emotional development and constant “hiding from” danger – danger that is re-experienced from the past, in the here and now.

You posited that, “knowing it is there and staying on the outside isn’t quite the same as disappearing completely” Many with BPD project out this danger that is and isn’t “known”. (Whether or not they act it out externally or not) Their cognitively distorted perception within dissociation and depersonalization/derealization in a way does mean the split off part of self that psychologically experienced a death of self has, in a way, disappeared completely. (Klein) The good news is that the split off dissociated from part of self can be reunited with in therapy.

To achieve this in therapy requires the internalizing of pain and that psychological death of self experience to be re-lived in a reparative process that is the integration of the original internal dissociative split. An extremely difficult and painful process but one that is incredibly rewarding and that does result in full recovery. A full recovery I personally know first hand. Recovery that is best found in and from Psychodynamic therapy.

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Ghosting and Borderline Personality Disorder: A Complex Connection

bpd ghosting

Ghosting, the act of abruptly cutting off communication in a relationship without any explanation, can be a distressing experience, particularly when it involves someone with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). This article aims to provide insights into the intersection between ghosting and BPD, understand this behavior better, and offer strategies for navigating this challenging dynamic.

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD): A Quick Overview

BPD is a mental health condition marked by unstable emotions, patterns of thinking, and relationships. Individuals with BPD often experience intense emotional swings, impulsive behaviors, and a fear of abandonment. Now, let's look at how ghosting fits into this equation.

Understanding Ghosting in Borderline Personality Disorder

While seen in various relationship contexts, ghosting can be particularly prevalent and complicated when it involves someone with BPD. The reasons behind ghosting can be multifaceted and deeply rooted in the individual's psychological state.

Why Ghosting Happens

Individuals with BPD often fear rejection and abandonment, sometimes resulting in pre-emptive actions like ghosting. They may abruptly cut off communication, believing that it's better to leave first than to experience the pain of being left.

Another reason can be the individual's difficulty in managing emotions. Ghosting is an easier route to avoid confrontation or emotional discomfort.

The Consequences of Ghosting

Ghosting can leave the other party feeling confused, hurt, and anxious. The lack of closure can make it difficult for them to move forward.

Strategies to Cope with Ghosting

Dealing with ghosting can be a taxing experience, but understanding its roots in BPD and adopting coping strategies can help mitigate its impact.

Developing an Understanding

Recognizing that ghosting is often a coping mechanism for individuals with BPD, rather than a personal slight, can help reduce its emotional impact.

Seeking Professional Help

Engaging a mental health professional can provide guidance and support when dealing with ghosting. It can benefit both parties involved - individuals with BPD can learn healthier coping mechanisms, and those on the receiving end of ghosting can learn strategies to cope with the emotional fallout.

Ghosting in the context of BPD is a complex issue, but understanding its roots and navigating it with patience, communication, and professional support can make a difference.

Grouport Offers BPD Group Support Online & DBT Skills Groups Online

Grouport Therapy offers  online Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) group sessions  to support individuals coping with  Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) . This therapy approach utilizes mindfulness and acceptance to enhance self-awareness and emotional regulation, helping to reduce destructive behaviors and strengthen interpersonal connections. Our virtual group sessions instruct members on incorporating various psychotherapy techniques, such as DBT, into their everyday lives, enabling them to engage with others and express themselves more effectively. You can learn more about the structure of our DBT Skills groups here .

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  • Relationships

Splitting in Borderline Personality Disorder

Three ways splitting can negatively impact romantic relationships..

Posted September 5, 2022 | Reviewed by Jessica Schrader

  • What Are Personality Disorders?
  • Find a therapist who understands personality disorders
  • Splitting behavior is a primitive defense mechanism to feel "safe” when feeling threatened, scared, or feeling judged or misunderstood.
  • Splitting is not limited to persons with BPD, but can be seen in people with pathological narcissism.
  • Splitting cannot be prevented, but there are key skills that can be learned to identify it in its early stages that can help with coping.


Personality is identified by our lived experiences, our inherited traits, and our environment. Our personality traits include both genetics and personal experiences. How we engage with our environment, how we think, what we feel, and our outward behavior are a combination of these factors.

Sometimes personality can become malformed during key developmental stages in our lives due to adverse conditions, abuse, childhood trauma , neglect, or invalidation. Some of these malformations can cause personality disorders , including borderline personality disorder (BPD). According to Linehan (1993), invalidating a child’s lived experiences is one of the biggest predictors of developing BPD and the behaviors associated with it.

Understanding Splitting

One behavior that is seen in persons with BPD is “ splitting. ” Splitting is based on alternating between extremes of idealization or devaluation, all or nothing, and good or bad. The main problem with splitting is that the way a person sees the world is distorted and minimized to a “... you’re either with me, or you’re against me” mindset.

In people with BPD, splitting behavior is based on fears of rejection or abandonment to prevent feeling hurt. It’s a self-protecting primitive defense mechanism that helps them feel “safe” when they’re feeling threatened, scared, judged, or misunderstood.

However, splitting is not limited to only persons with BPD, but can be seen in people with pathological narcissism . Key differences include the function— or underlying motivation —of splitting behavior, based on diagnostic criteria. For example, people with pathological narcissism may split on a partner if they see themselves as “better than” (grandiose) the other person or may view themselves as more powerful than others in their life (dominance), which may be paired with coercive control during devaluation.

Splitting creates tension in romantic relationships , which typically includes chaos, conflict, and impulsive behavior, especially when a person has been “triggered.” It’s common for those with BPD to see their partner in the best possible light during idealization, and then to dramatically and often impulsively shift to seeing them in the worst possible light during splitting.

One of the hardest things to cope with regarding BPD is the feeling of shame and self-loathing that can come from putting their partner on a pedestal—only to “flip” to devaluing them when that person can’t live up to their expectations. These feelings of self-loathing and shame often trigger a cycle of self-sabotage and further self-loathing.

Splitting Behaviors in Romantic Relationships

Three common splitting patterns seen in intimate relationships can include:

1. Forgetting the Positive Qualities in a Partner. Splitting happens impulsively. When a person with BPD ignores the positive qualities in their partner, it’s often because they’re ruminating on negative qualities as a result of the splitting. In essence, when splitting occurs, any positive feelings a person with BPD has for someone may be replaced with disgust, animosity, and even hate. For example, if their partner shows up early for a date, they may be idealized as caring and wanting to spend more time with them. However, if the same partner got stuck in traffic, they may be devalued and seen as uncaring or rejecting.

2. Extreme Anger That Can Lead to Cognitive Distortions. Cognitive distortions may include impulsive decision-making , clouded judgment, dichotomous thinking, jumping to conclusions, paranoia , or dissociation. For example, if a partner has been devalued and split by a person with BPD, they may deny that their partner got them a birthday gift. Instead, they may engage in distorted thinking, or making wild accusations that they never received the gift, or that it was purchased for someone else. A natural reaction would be to show the person a receipt or photos as proof of the gift. Yet, these may be seen as “challenging” or “testing” a person with BPD, which may only make things worse.

3. Impulsive or Self-Sabotaging Behavior. If a person with BPD has devalued their partner, they may engage in self-sabotaging behavior such as bingeing on drugs or alcohol , or impulsively replacing the person with someone new. It should be noted that persons with BPD engage in impulsive (and counterintuitive) behavior as self-protective . For example, their partner asking for space may trigger distortions of thought (fears of being abandoned, paranoid ideation, or clouded judgment) where they may impulsively discard the person. However, once the dust settles from the impulsive behavior, many with BPD often experience deep shame and self-loathing where self-sabotaging behavior is then inwardly directed at themselves.

Can Splitting Be Prevented?

Because splitting is a primitive defense mechanism that is based on “survival mode,” it cannot be prevented. However, skills can be learned and implemented to help a person with BPD to start seeing reality in fewer absolutes, and with more flexibility.

Challenge the Misbeliefs or Dichotomized Thinking. A common pattern is to impulsively run with devaluation/splitting without challenging these messages. However, one way to challenge "all or nothing" thinking is by reframing thoughts by recognizing when words such as "only" are used, and changing them to "sometimes." Other suggestions can be to label several ways a problem may be solved by examining both sides of an argument or situation.

bpd ghosting

Recognize Deeper Issues. Is this person or situation really “all bad,” or could the outward splitting behavior be suggesting deeper issues in play such as feeling unsafe, or fears of abandonment being triggered? Many times, safety needs (consistency, trust, or predictability) have gone unmet or were not met consistently in childhood for persons with BPD. A betrayal of their safety needs in childhood can leave them vulnerable to feeling unsafe, such as being easily "triggered" or reactive. As a result, common relational disagreements can trigger devaluation unless things remain "perfect" in the relationship.

Practice the Pause. Splitting cannot be prevented , but there are ways to recognize if splitting is happening. For example, pause and take notice of what is happening in the environment that may be triggering dichotomous thinking, such as using words like, “always,” “never,” “everything,” or “nothing.” If a person can recognize what is happening environmentally, they can then begin noticing how the environment may be affecting their thoughts, feelings, and behavior, so that a healthier shade of "gray" can be integrated into the situation.

Day, N.J.S., et al. (2021). Pathological narcissism: An analysis of interpersonal dysfunction within intimate relationships. Personality and Mental Health, 16 (3), 204-216.

Linehan, M. (1993). Cognitive-Behavioral Treatment Of Borderline Personality Disorder. New York: Guilford Publications.

Muñoz-negro J, et al. (2019). Paranoia and risk of personality disorder in the general population. Personality and Mental Health, 13 (2), 107-116.

Annie Tanasugarn Ph.D., CCTSA

Annie Tanasugarn, PhD., CCTSA specializes in teaching clients how to establish a healthy sense of self-identity while overcoming the effect of early trauma and maladaptive adult relationship patterns.

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