BPD Favorite Person

Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is a complex mental health condition characterized by pervasive instability in mood, interpersonal relationships, self-image, and behavior. One of the most intriguing yet challenging aspects of BPD is the phenomenon known as the “favorite person.” This term refers to an individual who holds immense significance and influence in the life of someone with BPD. In this article, we delve into the concept of the favorite person, its impact on individuals with BPD, and strategies for managing this dynamic.

Defining the Favorite Person

The concept of the favorite person in the context of BPD can be difficult to grasp for those unfamiliar with the disorder. Essentially, the favorite person is someone whom a person with BPD idealizes and becomes emotionally dependent on. This individual often serves as a primary source of validation, support, and emotional stability for the person with BPD. They may be a partner, friend, family member, or even a therapist.

Intense Idealization and Devaluation

Individuals with BPD tend to experience extreme shifts in their perceptions of others, oscillating between idealization and devaluation. The favorite person is typically idealized to an extraordinary degree, seen as perfect, infallible, and the key to the individual’s happiness and sense of self-worth. This idealization can lead to intense feelings of attachment and devotion.

Conversely, when the favorite person fails to meet the expectations or behaves in a manner perceived as disappointing or hurtful, the individual with BPD may rapidly shift to devaluation. This can involve feelings of betrayal, anger, and abandonment. The favorite person may be viewed as the source of all problems and may be subjected to intense criticism and blame.

Emotional Dependency

The relationship between a person with BPD and their favorite person is often characterized by emotional dependency. The individual with BPD may rely heavily on the favorite person for emotional regulation, seeking constant reassurance, validation, and support. They may struggle to cope with distressing emotions in the absence of their favorite person and may experience intense feelings of loneliness and emptiness.

Conversely, the favorite person may feel overwhelmed by the emotional demands placed on them, struggling to maintain boundaries and attend to their own needs. This dynamic can create tension and strain in the relationship, leading to feelings of guilt and resentment on both sides.

Impact on Relationships

The presence of a favorite person can have a significant impact on both the individual with BPD and their chosen confidant. For the person with BPD, the relationship may provide a temporary sense of stability and validation, offering relief from the pervasive feelings of emptiness and insecurity that often accompany the disorder.

However, the intensity of the attachment can also be overwhelming, leading to fear of abandonment and rejection. This fear may manifest in clingy or controlling behavior, further straining the relationship. Additionally, the constant oscillation between idealization and devaluation can erode trust and intimacy over time.

For the favorite person, the role can be both rewarding and challenging. On one hand, they may feel honored to be trusted and relied upon in such a profound way. They may derive satisfaction from providing support and encouragement to someone they care about deeply.

On the other hand, the pressure of being the sole source of validation and stability can be draining. The favorite person may struggle to meet the unrealistic expectations placed on them, leading to feelings of inadequacy and frustration. They may also feel trapped in the relationship, unable to assert their own needs and boundaries without triggering feelings of abandonment or rejection in the person with BPD.

Managing the Favorite Person Dynamic

Navigating the favorite person dynamic requires patience, understanding, and effective communication from both parties involved. Here are some strategies for managing this complex dynamic:

  1. Establish Boundaries: Setting clear boundaries is essential for maintaining a healthy relationship. Both parties should communicate their needs and limitations openly and respectfully. This may involve establishing boundaries around communication frequency, emotional support, and personal space.
  2. Encourage Independence: Encouraging the person with BPD to cultivate a sense of independence and self-reliance can help reduce their reliance on the favorite person for emotional regulation. This may involve engaging in activities that promote self-care, self-soothing, and emotional resilience.
  3. Seek Support: Both individuals should seek support from friends, family members, or mental health professionals to help navigate the challenges associated with the favorite person dynamic. Therapy can provide valuable insight and coping strategies for managing intense emotions and improving communication skills.
  4. Practice Mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques can help individuals with BPD become more aware of their emotions and reactions, allowing them to respond to situations more effectively. Mindfulness practices such as meditation, deep breathing, and grounding exercises can promote emotional stability and reduce impulsivity.
  5. Cultivate Empathy: Developing empathy and understanding for each other’s experiences can foster greater compassion and connection in the relationship. Both parties should strive to validate each other’s feelings and perspectives, even in moments of conflict or disagreement.
  6. Explore Attachment Patterns: Exploring attachment patterns and past experiences can provide insight into the dynamics of the favorite person relationship. Therapy can help individuals with BPD identify and challenge maladaptive attachment patterns, fostering healthier and more secure relationships over time.


The favorite person phenomenon is a complex and multifaceted aspect of Borderline Personality Disorder that can have profound implications for relationships and emotional well-being. By understanding the dynamics at play and implementing effective strategies for communication and boundary-setting, individuals with BPD and their chosen confidants can cultivate healthier, more balanced relationships built on mutual respect, empathy, and understanding.

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