Home » Blogs » Therapy Soup » Do You Have Any Of These Borderline Traits?

Do You Have Any Of These Borderline Traits?

937739_78746384Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) doesn’t have to be diagnosed in order for borderline-like traits to wreak havoc in your life. Just having one or two BPD-like symptoms can be enough to derail relationships and create obstacles to personal and professional satisfaction in life.
Do any of the following* sound like they apply to you or your life?

You lie often and/or compulsively

You are irritable and fly off the handle easily

Your problems seem to be more “dramatic” or “catastrophic” than other people’s

On reflection, your behavior is risky or dangerous to you or others

You feel generally unhappy or discontented and wish things were different for you

Your behavior is self-destructive

You harm yourself (cutting for example)

You don’t have many inhibitions, don’t really like the social niceties and feel and live with a general lack of restraint

Sometimes you wish you just “weren’t here”

You feel like you have no friends or meaningful relationships or feel socially isolated or lonely

Your friendships and interpersonal relationships are rocky and painful and intense

You feel like other people are either unbelievably great and you love them intensely or else they are terribly horrible and you loathe them–there’s no real in-between

Your friendships and relationships are fleeting–they never seem to last

It’s difficult or impossible for you to feel pleasure

You like giving presents and doing things for others–but only if you feel like it

Sometimes you feel that you are “better” than most people, other times, you feel secretly like something is totally wrong with you and that most people are “better” than you

You change your plans for the future such as school and career swiftly, often, or dramatically

You quit or get fired from jobs frequently

You binge eat, are promiscuous, and/or drive recklessly

Your are more impulsive than most

You feel a lot of anger, rage or hostility

You engage in illegal behavior (theft/shoplifting, doing illicit drugs, breaking other laws, see risky behavior too)

You are plagued with feelings of shame and guilt

You are “moody”, have mood swings

You feel empty at times and it is scary and uncomfortable or makes you feel numb

You feel stressed, panicky or anxious

Everyone else seems to have better luck than you with jobs and relationships

You feel “outside” yourself, cut-off from yourself, feel disoriented when you see yourself in a mirror

Frantic, angry, or depressed reactions to feeling abandoned

Your moods change swiftly

If you do not not meet the diagnostic criteria for BPD but have three or fewer bordeline traits, you may still find Dialectical Behavior Therapy helpful–it’s one of the most effective therapies for BPD but can help you develop skills for handling a lot of uncomfortable feelings and behaviors.

Cultivating emotional awareness–learning how to identify and understand your feelings and emotions in the present moment–can also be helpful. And, learning how to seek and identify the “good points” inside yourself and others can be another effective method of dealing with one or two borderline-like traits.

In a following post we’ll talk more about using positivity to cope with unpleasant feelings and symptoms.
*Many of the traits listed above may be also be associated with other personality disorders and/or mental illness.
Do You Have Any Of These Borderline Traits?

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

21 comments: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2015). Do You Have Any Of These Borderline Traits?. Psych Central. Retrieved on February 21, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Feb 2015
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.