Tag Archives: Empathy

5 Lessons for the Highly Sensitive, Empathetic Parent who’s Struggling

via 5 Lessons for the Highly Sensitive, Empathic Parent who’s Struggling. | elephant journal

BPD Orchid : ‘Empathy is the antidote to shame’

Source: BPD Orchid : ‘Empathy is the antidote to shame’

3 Ways Empathy Can Be Dangerous | Childhood Emotional Neglect

Source: 3 Ways Empathy Can Be Dangerous | Childhood Emotional Neglect

BPD and Cognitive Empathy

So glad I came across this post!  From tumbr:

Understanding Empathy – Highly Sensitive and Creative

Understanding Empathy – Highly Sensitive and Creative.

Why Empathy Is Essential to Recovering From An Emotional Crisis

Can Reading Fiction Improve Empathy? | Psych Central News

Can Reading Fiction Improve Empathy? | Psych Central News.

Empathy Strongly Affected By Our Own Emotional State | Psych Central News

Empathy Strongly Affected By Our Own Emotional State | Psych Central News.

Empathy represses analytic thought, and vice versa: Brain physiology limits simultaneous use of both networks — ScienceDaily

Research showing that, when we’re very emotional, the analytical part of our brains don’t work as well.  This is where our Wise Mind comes in:

Empathy represses analytic thought, and vice versa: Brain physiology limits simultaneous use of both networks — ScienceDaily.

Bpd and no empathy ~ Stop Pretending

Bpd and no empathy ~ Stop Pretending.

The Magic & Benefits of Emotional Attunement

From PsychCentral:


Borderlines and Narcissists

Why are so many Borderlines attracted to Narcissists, and what can you do about it?  While doing some research, I found it very difficult to find anything but stigmatizing blog posts equating Borderlines and Narcissists, which they are definitely NOT equal!  Basically, most Narcissists have pretty much no empathy for others, while Borderlines have IMMENSE empathy.  I will continue searching.  If anyone has anything to share, please comment below.  Thank you,

– Joyce.

“Grow A Thicker Skin” (Cyber-bullying, etc.)

I’ve read many stories lately about young people committing suicide.  I’m sure that many of them have undiagnosed BPD.  Some of the comments are just dreadful!  Obviously, they have no idea what these people were going through, or else they just don’t care.  They say things like they should just “grow a thicker skin.”  These comment are very insensitive and totally unhelpful.

Many of these kids were cyber-bullied.  Many commenters blamed the parents and said they should just take their computers and internet away.  I believe that they definitely need moderation, but blaming the parents isn’t the solution.  These kids are going to go online anyway.  They can go to a friend’s house.

I’ve even heard people blaming the victim!  Asking “Why didn’t she just get off that site?”  It’s not that easy.  Teens are very vulnerable.  Teen girls especially feel the need to fit in with their peers.  If everyone else is using this site and they’re not, they’ll feel so left out.  I’m not saying that’s not an option, I’m just trying to explain to people who don’t understand.

People don’t need to just “grow a thicker skin” anyways.  Without highly sensitive people, we would have no writers, no poets, no painters.  We sensitive people are very empathetic to the needs of others.  We are caring.  We are doctors, we are nurses, we are counsellors.  We like to make people laugh and bring a smile to their faces, so that they can forget about the pain that they might be going through, because we’ve been there ourselves.  Many of us are still going through it.  It is because we understand pain and suffering that we feel the need to comfort others and relieve their suffering.

What people suffering from mental illness need; whether from depression, cyber-bullying, etc.; is compassion, erased stigma and misconceptions, awareness.

Please help me MAKE BPD STIGMA-FREE!


As a person with borderline personality disorder, apparently I have no empathy.

I think I’m a pretty empathic person. But how would I know, asks Clare Allan



BPD Pride

Many people with BPD and accompanying mental illnesses write their posts about their co-morbid illnesses, but not their BPD, because of the stigma.  People with say that they have physical illnesses rather than BPD.  Even with their therapists, they’re stigmatized because of their BPD.  Students studying Psychology are too ashamed to admit that they have BPD because of stigma – by people in the profession of mental health, no less!  Therapists, professors, doctors and nurses crack jokes  about BPD sufferers as “just another Borderline”  How do we stop this?  By coming forward with our Borderline Personality Disorder and not being ashamed of it.  By shouting it from the rooftops “I HAVE BORDERLINE PERSONALITY DISORDER AND I’M PROUD OF IT!”  We are good people.  We have more empathy than most people.  We are creative, passionate, loving.  What we have to endure every day of our lives – the intense emotions that others will never feel, give us a strength that they can only dream of.

Are you ready to tell the world about your BPD?  Wear your BPD with pride!  I love all of you out there who have struggled along with me.

My Talk with my Counsellor and my Mother-in-Law

Last Tuesday, I met with my counsellor and my mother-in-law to try to help her understand my BPD.  We had a very good talk and I think she’s finally beginning to understand it a bit more.  I tried to explain to her how she was unintentionally invalidating me constantly.  She told me that she wasn’t saying anything bad to me.  I explained to her that it doesn’t matter what she says or how she says it, that to someone with BPD, especially with me, it always feels like criticising and that I’m not good enough.  She asked what she could do to make it better and I told her “nothing.  Just do your own thing.  You can’t make this go away.  I’m the only one who can help me.”  She got a look on her face like she finally “got it.”  Also kind of sad for me.

My counsellor thought that I was very articulate, and told my mother-in-law that I’m doing everything I need to be doing to keep myself as well as I can be.  I’m seeing both of them again this Tuesday.  It’s good practice for me for running a group or presentation on BPD to educate people on the disorder.  I’m learning more about myself every day.

I was so exhausted afterwards that I had to lay down for an hour.  People don’t realize how exhausting it is for those of us with BPD just managing our emotions every day.  It just comes to them naturally.

I’ll keep you posted on how it goes Tuesday.  Till then,


“Reading” Others and Boundaries

Here are a couple of posts from Debbie Corso of HealingFromBPD.org about “reading” others, taking on their emotions, and boundaries:


It smells like teen spirit…

Borderline between what and what?

I haven’t been keeping you all “abreast” of what’s going in my life but this blog wasn’t created to keep you all up-to-date on everything…it’s a dumping ground for all the things I can’t say and for things that are on my heart…this post being one of them.

To catch you up to speed, I have been continuing one-on-one therapy with M and will continue to do so and I’ve just been…here. Not doing a whole lot or making a lot of “progress.” M would probably beg to differ as I’ve started working again. DON’T get excited because it’s nothing like what you might be thinking. I’ve started babysitting again. Just one to three times per month for two to three hours at a time for a four-month-old baby boy. Some of y’all might be going, “WTF?! A CRAZY SUICIDAL DEPRESSED OVERLY ANXIOUS NEUROTIC IN CHARGE OF A BABY?!” Cool…

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Sense and Sensitivity

English: Pearl Buck, Pulitzer Prize-winning Am...

English: Pearl Buck, Pulitzer Prize-winning American author (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An excellent blog at Psychology Today.

A beautiful quote from Pearl Buck:

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create—so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.

Read more here:







5 Gifts of Being Highly Sensitive

How can being Highly Sensitive be a gift? Find out in this article how it can be both a blessing and a curse:


“Get Service” Video

Having BPD can feel like this:

What do you think? Can you feel others’ emotions as if you could actually see them?

As Well As I Can Be

Having Borderline Personality Disorder can be very depressing and stressful at times.  It can be very hard to see a loved one like that.  When I’m having an extremely difficult time managing my emotions and people offer solutions to “make me feel better”, all it does is make me feel totally invalidated – like I’m not good enough, I’m not doing well enough – despite using all the resources available to me, with my brain the way it functions, and  circumstances at that time.  If there is a lot going on at the time, it can be very overwhelming for me, and I am not capable of feeling as well as others at their baseline emotionally, as quickly as they are.  Invalidating me at these times makes me really angry, defensive, inadequate, anxious, panicky and depressed – all at the same time – ten times worse than others would feel.

What I need at those times is validation of my feelings, and of my efforts to manage them to the best of my ability.  People without Borderline Personality Disorder can understand only to a point.

People think that Borderlines have no empathy.  Actually, it’s the exact opposite – we have too much empathy.  We feel others’ emotions so intensely that we actually take on their emotions as well as our own.  That’s what makes us so overwhelmed, and we don’t know how to react.  It appears to not make any sense at all to someone else.  Think of a computer whose circuits have overloaded from too much information that crashes.

Sometimes, it’ll seem like we’re overreacting to something very trivial.  Usually, there’s a lot more to it and the minor incident is just the “straw that broke the camel’s back”.  Sometimes we’re not even aware of what’s causing our outbursts.  If you think it’s hard witnessing it, imagine what it’s like experiencing it – thinking “What’s wrong with me?  Why can’t I stop feeling like this?”  It can be terrifying to the BPD sufferer.

The part of our brains that controls emotions is extremely active compared to “normal” people, and the part that stops the behaviour once it’s started doesn’t work.  We have to constantly monitor our thoughts and emotions 24/7 every single day of our lives.  It’s absolutely exhausting!  After our “episodes” we’re drained.

BPD cannot be cured.  The symptoms can be controlled with medication.  Borderlines need therapy.  The most effective therapy for BPD is Dialectical Behaviour Therapy or DBT.  Through DBT, we learn how to manage our emotions so that they don’t take over our lives anymore.

What should you do when someone with Borderline Personality Disorder is having trouble coping with their emotions?  If they are taking medication and/or are in treatment, know that they are doing everything they can possibly do to help themselves feel better.  Ask them if there’s anything you can do for them.  If they say no, believe them.  They know themselves a lot better than you do.  The more you practice this, the more it’ll improve.  Just don’t expect them to do it at the pace you want them to.  They’ll get better at whatever pace they do.  Take care of yourself so you’ll be able to cope with us as we process our feelings.  It might take a while, but it’ll be worth it.  We are the most compassionate, empathetic people you could ever know.  We love so fully.  Please find it in your heart to love us back.


Empathy in Borderlines

An excellent article describing how what looks like a lack of empathy in Borderlines is actually the total opposite:


Here is the article quoted: http://abcnews.go.com/US/dr-judy-doubts-casey-anthonys-penchant-lying-cured/story?id=14100871#.UYsw–zD_hc

***Also see:   Do Borderlines lack Empathy?

The Importance of VALIDATION vs. Being Right

This is an excellent post on the importance of validation vs. being right: