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BPD: The Favorite Person

by Sianna Knight 4 months ago in advice
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The basics you need to know about what a favorite person is, and how to keep the relationship healthy

A "favorite person" (FP) is a term in the bpd community characterized by an intense attachment to one specific person. This person may become our only motivation to wake up, and our only reason for living. Our life tends to revolve solely around our FP's actions and mood. A simple one-word response in a text could send us spiraling for weeks. However, with proper treatment, this bond can become a very beautiful and healthy thing.

My Experience with FPs

For me personally, there is usually a pattern when it comes to who my brain subconsciously chooses to be my FP. It's typically a male who is older than me and provides a nurturing role in our friendship/relationship. It usually starts off the same: I meet someone, I form an intense connection with them quickly, I put them on a pedestal, they distance themselves, I split, and they leave.

I meet someone

It normally starts off with them approaching me first. Them showing interest in wanting to know me as a person makes me feel seen, which is a feeling I crave in my day-to-day life. It becomes an addiction almost; their attention becomes something I need on a daily basis.

I form an intense connection

In order to keep their attention, I shower them in compliments. I give them endless amounts of attention. I give them my all, every part of me. I become fully devoted to them. And it starts off as something sweet and wholesome, until it isn't.

I put them on a pedestal

This is the first step of another term in the bpd community known as splitting. It's essentially black and white thinking. In this stage of splitting, my favorite person can do no wrong. They are perfect in my eyes; this is the point where it begins to become too much for the other party involved.

They distance themselves

Too much of a good thing can become a bad thing surprisingly quickly. The more I immerse myself in this person's world, the more they begin to pull away. Even if I may have done it to myself, it is still one of the most crushing feelings in the world. This person who you practically worshipped; this person who became the center of your own life is backing away.

I split

So, this is where the second part of splitting comes in. I go from an all-loving relationship with this person to one full of anger and hatred. One of the criteria in the DSM-5 for BPD is frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment. The FP pulling away triggers my brain into believing I'm being abandoned, so in a vain attempt at a self-defense mechanism, I go from all-black thinking to the all-white thinking. I go from loving and praising the person to wanting absolutely nothing to do with them. I may lash out on them, I may just avoid them fully with no explanation, it depends on the intensity of my anger. Obviously, this behavior is not appropriate nor acceptable, so the favorite person draws a line.

They Leave

It's understandable that they leave, obviously no one is required to stay in a relationship so unstable and damaging. But at the same time, there is an immense guilt that comes with them leaving. You know it's your fault, but at this stage in treatment it may be difficult to control your behaviors. It all confirms your deep-seated fear of abandonment, and that is the most crushing feeling in the world. It almost becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: someone leaves and makes you feel unlovable, and in a frantic effort to avoid that happening again, you may do things that could drive others away.

How to Make it Healthy?

I know my description of a favorite person may make it seem like I'm contributing to the stigma around BPD, but it truly is such an intense connection with someone that it can be incredibly destructive. On the flipside, when you implement proper boundaries and communication, it can be a beautiful and valuable connection. And of course, let me clarify that this is much easier said than done. I've been in therapy for 6 years, and it is still difficult for me.

Distance is a very crucial part of maintaining a healthy FP relationship. You cannot allow yourself to get to the point where you rely on your favorite person for everything. You need to be okay without their constant presence. If you start out the relationship with a healthy amount of distance, it is easier to maintain it. It may seem babyish, but maybe set a schedule or routine where you can practice having time away from your FP. Make sure they encourage you to have close relationships with people outside of them. It requires effort from both sides, it isn't just up to you to make sure everything is healthy. It requires patience, empathy, and constant communication from the other party as well.

Find distractions when your FP isn't available. Keep your mind busy. You should eventually grow used to the healthy distance, and you should become okay with it. Of course, this isn't the case for everyone. If this doesn't work for you, that is perfectly okay.

Expanding on the importance of communication, everyone’s relationship with their FP is different, but it is generally a good idea to let your favorite person know that you have a strong attachment to them and communicate the intensity of the attachment to make sure your needs stay met, as well as theirs. Maybe you could ask that they let you know any time they will be away from their phone so that you don’t spiral from the fear of them avoiding or abandoning you.

A healthy FP relationship, though I've only had one, is one of the most loyal, loving, and fulfilling bonds you could possibly have. Of course, I don't have all the answers on how to form and maintain this relationship, but through years of therapy it is feasible.

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About the author

Sianna Knight

I am 17 years old, and I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder at the age of 15 and bipolar 1 disorder at the age of 14. Writing has become my way of expressing myself while creating a space for others to feel seen

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  • Give me Head4 months ago

    Reading your articles changed my views on bpd. I did not understand it at first and had a bad experience with one person as they had not been taught how to control their bpd and heavily relied on me. After I read your article, i wish that I could go back and set boundaries on our relationship and convince them that It was not their fault. I enjoy reading every one of your blogs as they provide a healthy and growing outlook on life despite the challenges. :3

  • Mars Mabry4 months ago

    Before I knew you I only knew the stigma around bpd and I thought people with it were awful but I've known you for a while now and since I've known you I've done so much research and heard you talk about so many things with bpd and this helps me understand favorite persons even more, you're amazing, thanks for sharing your experience and educating others!!

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