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Overcoming Toxic People

Borderline vs Narcissist Couple

Why Narcissists are No Match for Borderlines

People with borderline personality disorder naturally attract narcissists. Yet, there is a clear winner in this complimentary personality pair of toxic people. This is why narcissists are no match for borderlines.

Borderlines are no match for narcissists because their psychological defenses naturally counter narcissistic manipulation. They get angrier than narcissists, change moods faster, and will be the first to cut off the relationship entirely to protect their ego.

What Is It About Borderlines that Beats a Narcissist

While, on the surface, borderlines and narcissists are a great match, the borderline always beats a narcissist because they are so afraid of being abandoned.

The following signs of borderline personality disorder are the most important factors as to why they win in a relationship with a narcissist.

  • Efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment, such as rapidly initiating intimate (physical or emotional) relationships or cutting off communication with someone in anticipation of being abandoned
  • A pattern of intense and unstable relationships with family, friends, and loved ones, often swinging from extreme closeness and love (idealization) to extreme dislike or anger (devaluation)
  • Intense and highly changeable moods, with each episode lasting from a few hours to a few days
  • Chronic feelings of emptiness
  • Inappropriate, intense anger or problems controlling anger
  • Difficulty trusting, which is sometimes accompanied by irrational fear of other people’s intentions

Source: National Institute of Mental Health

Why Borderlines and Narcissists Attract

The first bullet fits in nicely with the narcissistic pattern of jumping from relationship to relationship. Both NPD and BPD sufferers are apt to jump right into an intense romantic association.

See: “Narcissism in Relationships | What it Means to Love a Narcissist”

Narcissists love the codependency and neediness of their borderline target. They see their dependence as a way of easily manipulating and eventually controlling their significant other to provide “narcissistic supply” and soothe their narcissistic injury.

How Borderlines React to Narcissistic Abuse

However, once the narcissist begins to show their true colors, the borderline will rightfully start to suspect that the relationship is false. Their psychological defenses will kick in.

The difference between an average person and a borderline is the intensity of their reaction. Borderlines respond with extreme anger and instantly cut off a relationship, which drives narcissists nuts.

See: “What Cutting Off Contact Does to a Narcissist”

Ultimately, the codependency of the borderline backfires on the narcissist, leaving them reeling.

Are Narcissists Attracted to Borderlines?

Narcissists are attracted by the apparent vulnerability of a borderline who is seeking to overcome a feeling of chronic emptiness and loss with all encompassing relationships. The narcissist hopes to use this weakness to control the borderline, although this rarely works in the end.

Can a narcissist and a borderline stay together?

A relationship between a narcissist and a borderline will typically not last very long. The intense emotional swings of the partner with a borderline personality disorder will generally drive the narcissist away once they realize there is no controlling the borderline’s behavior.