Empath or BPD?

I have read many articles and blog posts about people who sense others’ emotions being “empaths”  People who feel this way but have grown up in an invalidating environment are probably not empaths but sufferers of BPD.  It is not something supernatural.  It is being attuned to the micro-expressions of people.  I’m sure that my former DBT therapists would have called it “magical thinking”  People who grew up in abusive environments had to be attuned to their parents’ slightest change in behaviour.  A change in their facial expression or tone of voice could be very harmful if they weren’t in tune with it.

“Empaths” are like Counsellor Troi on Star Trek.  An interesting character on a TV show.  Not something in real life.

What do you think about this subject?  Do you think that there is something supernatural about it?  Have you learned anything regarding this in DBT?  Please comment below.  Thank you,

— Joyce.


2 responses to “Empath or BPD?

  1. I actually think both are plausible, but I do agree most empathic behavior stems from emotional invalidation growing up. Still, there are people super tuned to others who haven’t grown up in an invalidating environment. I also don’t particularly believe it’s anything supernatural. Perhaps it’s just a set of skills that certain people develop and others don’t?


    • There are Highly Sensitive People (HSPs) who did not grow up in an invalidating environment. And not everyone with BPD grew up in an abusive home. It is partly nature and partly nurture I believe. Some people may be able to develop these skills naturally while others don’t. Some people can learn them through Dialectical Behaviour Therapy such as I did. Thank you for your comment!



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