Updated: Dec 13, 2019
To begin, I’d like to make a correction to the question:
There are no such thing as ‘Borderlines’.
There are people, and there are some people who have disorders called ’Borderline Personality’ (or whatever else the ‘experts’ want to change it to, so as to stroke their own senses of intellect and purposelessly confuse people further), but there is no such thing as ‘Borderline People’.
What’s the difference?
The difference is that when you call somebody a ‘Borderline’, or ‘a pwBPD’, or any other name that equates who they are with the disorder they have, you are promoting a false concept, whether you realize it or not: The concept that people are their disorders.
This is important because the cure to Borderline Personality Disorder involves the straightening out of many subtle misconceptions and misperceptions involving the inherent nature of things like feelings, self, and life.
I know this because I myself had to go through the process of straightening out these subtle misconceptions and misperceptions for myself, and it wasn’t easy. I lived with Borderline Personality Disorder, unaware, until I was about 35 years of age. Seven years later, after a lot of work, I had rid myself of the disorder authentically and permanently. So I know there is no such thing as the nuances and subtleties not mattering. The entire disorder is a product of nuance and subtlety.
Rarely, if ever, do you see the ‘experts’ focusing on the subtleties as being important or relevant, and in fact, this is the very reason they can’t help you. No, they much prefer to ascribe the causes to dramatic things, like ‘trauma’, don’t they.
The cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is not ‘trauma’. The real and only cause of Borderline Personality Disorder is the unhealthy attitudes of our emotional teachers, our parents. Borderline Personality Disorder is not a ‘mental illness’, no matter what the official literature of the incompetent ‘professional’ community as a group says. Rather, it is an emotional disorder. So, not a ‘mental health’ issue, as if we were talking about malfunctioning brains, but rather an emotional health issue. Borderline Personality Disorder is not ‘genetic’, no matter what incompetent interpretations of studies on the subject you’ve ever read. Instead, it is inherited. The two things do not in any way mean the same thing. You inherited the primary language you speak. It wasn’t genetically passed on to you.
To show you how deeply ingrained and detrimental the lies of the professional community are in the subconscious minds of people: In a recent article, I spent much time explaining how ‘trauma’ is not the cause of Borderline Personality Disorder, as if the disorder were some strange form of PTSD or Shell Shock. I patiently explained how the true cause is the unhealthy attitudes of our emotional teachers when we are children. Over and over again I repeated and italicized unhealthy attitudes, hoping that readers would spend time thinking about the significance of this single subtle distinction, in the interest of gaining genuine insight on the subject.
One lady wrote to me and gushed about what a great article it was. As she explained, it’s nice to see somebody stand up for those who have suffered so much ‘trauma’ as children! She gained absolutely no insights whatsoever from my article because she did not see any importance in spending time thinking about the relevance of the nuances and subtleties that I was highlighting.
Nobody who fails to understand and value the importance of subtle corrections in thought and perspective, or who is not willing to slow themselves down and focus their attention upon these distinctions and their relevance, will ever recover genuinely from Borderline Personality Disorder, or be able to help others who are trying.
With this groundwork now set, I would like to answer the original question that has been asked, corrected wording and all:
Are All People Who Have Borderline Personality Disorder Manipulative?
The answer is that yes they are. But I get the feeling that the real question is are they manipulative on purpose.
Some people with Borderline Personality Disorder are manipulative on purpose. After all, they are people. As people, there are those who have strong ethics, and there are those who have weak ethics. Some have high morals, some have low morals. Some are honest, some are dishonest. Some are hard workers, some are lazy. See how this works?
‘People’ are made up of individuals.
Do people lie, cheat, and steal? Yes, the human race does that. Do all individuals in the human race lie, cheat, and steal? No.
So some people with Borderline Personality Disorder are surely manipulative on purpose. Some also lie, cheat, and steal. I’m guessing that some also like peanut butter, and others do not. I was one of those people with Borderline Personality Disorder who liked peanut butter.
Are all people with Borderline Personality Disorder manipulative whether they realize they are being manipulative or not? Yes, they are, and now I’m going to tell you why.
The disorder itself is born of two unconscious (or subconscious) misperceptions regarding the nature of feelings, self, and life. They go like this:
1. My feelings are inherently irrelevant and shameful, devoid of worth.
2. If my feelings are inherently irrelevant and shameful, devoid of worth, then so am I.
How did these two misconceptions, or misperceptions, get there? From children observing the unhealthy attitudes that their emotional teachers (their parents) have toward these things themselves.
So now you have a person who has cemented these misperceptions into place by the time he or she is three or four years old. These conclusions serve as filters for all of their thoughts, feelings, and experiences moving forward for the rest of their lives. (Unless they later on identify and correct them.)
When an emotionally-healthy person gets cut off in traffic, do you know what she thinks? She thinks, “Now there’s somebody with problems.”
See, as a little girl, she was given the emotional education that her feelings are never good or bad, right or wrong, and that her feelings always inherently matter. Also, she herself as a person inherently matters.
‘Inherently’ means it is part of the very nature of the thing. Nothing external has to supply what is inherent. Her feelings just are valuable. She herself just is valuable. Fire is hot, ice is cold, and how I feel matters.
So this woman very naturally does not perceive getting cut off in traffic as a personal affront. She knows the person driving the other car would cut off any driver, regardless of who’s behind the steering wheel. So the experience does not indicate anything about her personally. No, it only indicates things about the guy cutting people off in traffic.
By contrast, when a person with Borderline Personality Disorder gets cut off in traffic, he or she does not perceive the experience through the same filter. Instead, he perceives the experience to be confirmation of what he has already long known: That he is worthless. A person who unconsciously (or subconsciously) believes himself to be worthless is not walking around naturally expecting the world to treat him with dignity. Of course not. People with Borderline Personality Disorder are not idiots; they understand very well the reality: People are not considerate or respectful of things that have no value.
No matter how good and kind you yourself, the person reading this, are as a person, not even you yourself are considerate or respectful of things that you perceive are worthless. If you don’t believe me, let me ask you this:
How much care did you take with the last piece of trash you tossed in the garbage? Did you gingerly walk with it over to the trashcan and carefully lower it inside, making sure for it not to come to rest on top of anything gooey? Did you stand at the trash bucket for a few minutes afterward, thinking about how you were going to miss that piece of trash, wondering where it might end up, and hoping good things for it?
People with Borderline Personality Disorder don’t perceive themselves as without worth according to some opinion. No, they perceive their lack of worth as reality - utterly unaffected by any opinion whatsoever. This is why I have to emphasize over and over again that we are talking about perceptions involving inherent nature here.
So you ask about manipulation: Anytime people with Borderline Personality Disorder repeat ‘positive reinforcement’ mantras to themselves, or save inspirational internet memes about how great they are - this is manipulation. They are manipulating themselves, superficially, about something they do not believe, and are never going to believe, no matter how many times it is repeated.
Don’t believe me? Try it. Repeat one hundred million times, “Gravity is a figment of imagination. Gravity is a figment of imagination.” When this reverses your confirmed certainties to the contrary, let me know.
Remember, inherent worthlessness is not simply a certainty, but a confirmed certainty from the perspective of folks with Borderline Personality Disorder. Every single date request that has ever been turned down, every single time they’ve ever been cut off in traffic, every single job interview that went poorly, every single delay in line at the supermarket, every single embarrassing experience, every single person that arrived late to an appointment with them, every single time anybody has ever gotten angry with them, every single mistake they have ever made… it all confirms what they already believe. That they are devoid of inherent worth.
What other forms of manipulation does this naturally result in? Well, intimacy is a human need. Not simply a nice cherry-on-top aspect of life, mind you, but instead a need.
When we, as human beings, become deficient in something we need, there are consequences. For example, if we don’t get enough Vitamin C, we get scurvy. If we don’t get enough fiber, we get constipated. You get the idea.
When we, as human beings, do not experience any forms of genuine intimacy in our lives, this creates a great and powerful deficiency. Every person who has Borderline Personality Disorder has been cutting themselves off from all forms of authentic intimacy since they were three or four years old, so imagine the intensity of the deficiency they are living with. There is nothing they crave more powerfully, and there is nothing they have a more powerful aversion to, at the same time. This is what you get when an unstoppable force meets and immovable object.
People with Borderline Personality Disorder are unable to experience genuine intimacy as a natural result of the very nature of the disorder they live with. Nobody who lives with an unconscious (or subconscious) perception that they are devoid of inherent value is also able, or willing, to share their authentic inner selves with others. They are certain that they are unlovable, you see. I am not saying that they perceive themselves as being unloved, but rather, of being unlovable.
Do you see the catch-22? The very nature of intimacy involves revealing and sharing your authentic inner self with another person. But if you are unlovable, what can be the only natural outcome of honestly revealing your inherently unlovable, authentic self to somebody? The result can only be rejection. Would you ever purposely do the one thing that you are certain will absolutely ensure that you never get what you are most desperate to have more than anything else in the world? Of course you wouldn’t! You literally would not be able to bring yourself to do that thing.
Let me illustrate it this way: Let’s say that you are lost in the desert, and you are literally dying from thirst. You haven’t had any water in days, and all you can think about is water. Your lips are chapped, your mouth is as dry as sand. You are desperate.
Now let’s say that you come across a man with a tall, perspiring glass of ice-water in his hand. He has the very thing that you crave more than anything else!
But here’s the catch: If you ask for the water, the man will throw the water away.
Now. Will you ask for the water?
Of course you won’t. You may do lots of things hoping to get the water, but asking the man to give it to you is something you are absolutely not considering. Nobody purposely does the one thing that they believe, without any doubt, will result in not getting what they are most desperate to have.
So what does this mean for people with Borderline Personality Disorder? This inability to experience genuine intimacy, while at the same time needing and craving it more than anything, means presenting polished, false versions of themselves, all the time, to everybody.
Is this manipulation? Yes it is. Primarily, it is self-manipulation. They don’t consciously realize they are doing it. Secondly, it is manipulation of other people. Those people, when the shit hits the fan, feel tremendously disillusioned and betrayed. You’ll hear them talk about how they feel like they were living with a total stranger, or about how they now question their own perceptions of what they understand reality to be.
Well, this article could go for hours more and have to be divided up into chapters, but I’m not going to do that today.
The important thing is that we’ve answered the question to some degree, even though the foundation I’ve built here can be used to naturally understand many, many other areas in which people with Borderline Personality Disorder are unconsciously (or subconsciously) manipulative - first of themselves, and then of others. The most valuable part of this work is explaining the foundations, which others can then build upon for themselves in their own time.
What is the solution? How can people with Borderline Personality Disorder ever escape the disorder authentically and permanently if repeated mantras and inspirational internet memes are never going to do the trick?
The solution involves three different steps:
1. Genuineness, or sincerity in approach. A self-motivated desire to escape Borderline Personality Disorder, not because a person doesn’t want to lose a wife or friends, but because he or she truly wants to be better for himself or herself.
2. Accurate information. I provide this here at thelastsymptom.com
3. Insight. This is something people can only achieve individually, but that I do my darnedest to facilitate.