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Author Topic: BPD and The Nice Guy Personality Type~Joanna Nicola  (Read 1425 times)
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« Reply #30 on: May 01, 2020, 11:36:48 PM »

Turkish,

That is interesting.  I had not heard that before. 

Excerpt
is good, you can... handle her.
[/b]"

I told my exbpd that it seemed liked she wanted me to be physically abusive.  I wasn't, but I commented on her other sisters who had a very aggressive husbands.  It was like that is what she expected and since I wasn't .. she walked over me which I allowed
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« Reply #31 on: May 02, 2020, 12:00:47 AM »

My ex said she'd never date a Mexican man (all cheaters and beaters, according to her). Obviously black and white thinking, even hearing the stories about family. In an interesting twist, she turned out to be both that which she hated though not "beater" violent like her father, she was still violent, more so to her husband after me. 
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« Reply #32 on: May 03, 2020, 03:42:49 AM »

My T (PshyD) was quick to shut down me labeling myself co-dependent. He said that with someone like that, it would manifest itself in every relationship in their lives (not just romantic partners).

a lot of therapists, wisely, will.

it is not always a wise, or necessarily efficient, model to build a recovery on, possibly for similar reasons that every person with BPD traits isnt diagnosed as BPD and thrown into DBT. in the same way, the fact that 50% of people romantic partners of someone with clinical BPD have a clinical PD themselves (often NPD), it would probably be misguided for all of us to become card carrying pwNPD.

the origins of codependency tend to have more to do with a family's enabling of a drug addict. if you google it today, youll get a hundred websites telling you that if youre kinda clingy and needy, youre codependent. if i were a therapist, that would drive me crazy.

but if you have BPD traits, would they necessarily manifest in every relationship?

if you take the example of say, marsha linehan, the answer would probably be yes; it would be very visible to anyone. if you take most of the examples members describe here, most members would tell you that it was a private thing, something only they saw.

more than likely, its a difference of degrees, tendencies, and intimacy.

Excerpt
The idea of codependency may have its roots in the theories of German psychoanalyst Karen Horney. In 1941, she proposed that some people adopt what she termed a "Moving Toward" personality style to overcome their basic anxiety. Essentially, these people move toward others by gaining their approval and affection, and subconsciously control them through their dependent style. They are unselfish, virtuous, martyr-like, faithful, and turn the other cheek despite personal humiliation. Approval from others is more important than respecting themselves.

Cermak proposed the following criteria for this disorder:

Continued investment of self-esteem in the ability to control both oneself and others in the face of serious adverse consequences.
Assumption of responsibility for meeting others' needs to the exclusion of acknowledging one's own.
Anxiety and boundary distortions around intimacy and separation.
Enmeshment in relationships with personality disordered, chemically dependent, other co‐dependent, or impulse‐disordered individuals.
Three or more of the following:
Excessive reliance on denial
Constriction of emotions (with or without dramatic outbursts)
Depression
Hypervigilance
Compulsions
Anxiety
Substance abuse
Has been (or is) the victim of recurrent physical or sexual abuse
Stress related medical illnesses
Has remained in a primary relationship with an active substance abuser for at least two years without seeking outside help.

is this a less sympathetic version of the nice guy joanna nicola describes?
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« Reply #33 on: May 03, 2020, 04:05:39 AM »

more than likely, its a difference of degrees, tendencies, and intimacy.

This^^^. There’s a lot that needs to line up within a romantic relationship. Compromise and understanding need to be present for the things that don’t, and values and virtues need to be respected. The “degrees” have me thinking. Are you talking about tolerance? About what is acceptable and what isn’t?
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« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2020, 05:48:25 AM »

im talking about labels and spectrums.

im an introvert.

take any list or description on the internet (however unscientific) and i will check off every single box, every single time.

put me around the right person, or a group of my best friends, and im as extroverted as the next guy.

if i were going to seek therapy, for say, social anxiety (which i have struggled with at times), i would not seek a therapist on the basis that i was going to change from an introvert to an extrovert. i would speak to them about my problematic tendencies. i am often seen as withdrawn and uncaring. i am sometimes seen as awkward or aloof. i would work on skills...active listening, assertiveness, confidence, things like that.

my best friends wouldnt describe me in those ways. they might be surprised that i see myself that way, or that others see me that way.

degrees, tendencies, intimacy.

ive had healthy gals be attracted to me and pursue me and vice versa. for whatever reason we never really connected. ive only been in longer term, dysfunctional, romantic relationships. most of my close relationships wouldnt be described that way at all.

if i were going to seek therapy, id ask whats up as to why me and these healthier gals havent clicked as opposed to why all my other relationships have gone right and whats wrong with those gals.

degrees, tendencies, intimacy.

ive never called myself "a codependent". as we are discussing, its a complicated term. i certainly have not played the role of unhealthy enabler in the vast majority of my relationships, including some of the romantic ones.

when i read the BPDFamily terminology, about one up relationships, about superiority, about getting a sense of self or self esteem, when i read about poor boundaries, about external validation, it all certainly connects.

martyr complex? codependency? immaturity? some combination (i personally think all of these are versions/derivations of the same thing)?

if i were seeking a therapist, i wouldnt ask how to make me "codependent no more". id want to learn about good boundaries. id want to learn why im attracted to that sort of dynamic particularly, vs more secure attachments.

degrees, tendencies, intimacy.

i dont identify with narcissistic personality disorder, at all really (looking at the list of traits theres not one id say i meet strongly), but early in my journey on this board, it was actually suggested to me; i kept wanting to know that my exs attempts to move on somehow revolved around me, and getting over me. it was really comforting to me, the idea that my ex was doing so well in her new relationship because she was struggling so hard to get over me.

truth is, i can be, what id call "too introspective", self referential, easily wounded by certain types of criticism (real or perceived), needy, dependent on idealization, obsessive, and i learned an awful lot in my recovery reading about narcissistic wounds.

my best friends would describe me as caring, a guy who would give you the shirt off his back. i might agree. i wonder sometimes though, how invested i am in how much that will benefit me.

narcissistic personality disorder? probably not. a fragile ego, the likes of which? undeniable.

all of my exes, and my own parents, have accused me of not listening and needing to be right.

whos right in all of that?

lastly, i was what joanna nicola would call a "nice guy" throughout high school. im pretty far from that guy and have been for a while, almost half my life. but its something i can look back and see in lots of my relationships, romantic and platonic.

degrees, tendencies, intimacy.
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« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2020, 12:06:45 PM »

...
the origins of codependency tend to have more to do with a family's enabling of a drug addict. if you google it today, youll get a hundred websites telling you that if youre kinda clingy and needy, youre codependent. if i were a therapist, that would drive me crazy.

but if you have BPD traits, would they necessarily manifest in every relationship?

if you take the example of say, marsha linehan, the answer would probably be yes; it would be very visible to anyone. if you take most of the examples members describe here, most members would tell you that it was a private thing, something only they saw.

more than likely, its a difference of degrees, tendencies, and intimacy.
...

I agree with the part about degree and intimacy.  Not sure tendency matters.  I think if you have the degree of contact and level of intimacy, you'll see these traits regardless of tendencies.

When someone first told me that my wife exhibited possible BPD-traits, they mentioned a couple things:

1) these traits need to be persistent and exist toward the extreme end of a spectrum, in order to qualify as the disorder.  We all demonstrate BPD behaviors at times in our lives (typically during the toddler / pre-K years, and again in teenage years), and during stressful moments that may override our otherwise "normal" personality.  So the issue is not whether we do them, but whether we do them often, and to extremes.  

2) BPD traits are most often revealed in the context of close personal relationships, which trigger their fears of abandonment and enmeshment.  (I felt mostly the former; in my own experience, BPDxw seemed to need constant personal contact, if not from me, then from her friends and family, and I never understood how she could - even in theory - panic over enmeshment)

So if I understand it correctly, it's why pwBPD, especially" high-functioning" ones, can have seemingly normal human social interactions with many people: these casual relationships don't trigger their fears of abandonment, and associated high-conflict traits.  

If one is truly co-dependent, to the extent of getting clinically diagnosed as such, I'd imagine it would be the same thing.  

So it's not so much a matter of two people's traits lining up in a bad way that produces BPD/co-dependency, it's a matter of the time & level of contact they have with eachother.  And to the extent they aren't triggered, and reveal these traits, it's only because they haven't had enough time together.  
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« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2020, 01:35:11 AM »

2) BPD traits are most often revealed in the context of close personal relationships,

clinical BPD is, for the most part, very obvious.

the hallmarks of it are eating disorders, cutting/self mutilation/suicidality, and severe impulsiveness. there is no hiding that extremity, and they arent relationship/intimacy dependent.

which trigger their fears of abandonment and enmeshment.

do you mean engulfment? theres a big difference.

the fear of engulfment is the fear of losing yourself in a relationship. people with bpd traits will tend to present themselves as the ideal version of who they believe you want them to be, and then resent you for that...resent not feeling loved for who they are, resent expectations (real and perceived). this isnt the same as being clingy or enmeshed (or separation anxiety), as a lot of people with BPD traits tend to be.

If one is truly co-dependent, to the extent of getting clinically diagnosed as such, I'd imagine it would be the same thing.  

to be clear, there is no clinical diagnosis of codependency, and thats important. its a model that i, as a layman, find useful and instructive, to a certain degree, and not everyone will, and a lot of therapists wont. some will prefer other, similar, but non clinical terms. some men will find a lot of use in looking at the "nice guy" profile. some people will find a lot of use in looking at a "martyr complex". some people will find a lot of use in looking at childhood wounds, and the model their parents set. some people will find use in looking at "bad boundaries" or lackthereof. i happen to think at the end of the day, the label is less useful...theyre all a way of describing a dysfunctional way of coping and relating to people, that have a lot of overlap, but where degrees really matter.

its not terribly helpful to go around calling your "a codependent" if you and your family havent been enablers of, and severely enmeshed with a drug addict relative.

its not terribly helpful to go around calling yourself "bpd" if you have a fear of abandonment, have ever self harmed, have a history of relationships characterized by idealization and devaluation.

but if you struggle in your interpersonal relationships, there are probably things you can learn from either model, or maybe both.

So if I understand it correctly, it's why pwBPD, especially" high-functioning" ones, can have seemingly normal human social interactions with many people: these casual relationships don't trigger their fears of abandonment, and associated high-conflict traits.  

this is ultimately true for all of us. the more intimate a relationship, the greater potential of conflict.

in general, "high functioning" tends to mean "subclinical" so sure, if we are directly comparing, you and i dont disagree. the more hardcore someone is on either spectrum, the more obvious its going to be, but if the tendencies exist, associated behaviors are going to show up more in intimate relationships.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 02:14:15 AM by once removed » Logged

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« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2020, 11:24:28 AM »

...
do you mean engulfment? theres a big difference.
...
Ah, yes, that's what I meant.  
some people will find use in looking at "bad boundaries" or lackthereof. i happen to think at the end of the day, the label is less useful...theyre all a way of describing a dysfunctional way of coping and relating to people, that have a lot of overlap, but where degrees really matter. 

its not terribly helpful to go around calling your "a codependent" if you and your family havent been enablers of, and severely enmeshed with a drug addict relative.

its not terribly helpful to go around calling yourself "bpd" if you have a fear of abandonment, have ever self harmed, have a history of relationships characterized by idealization and devaluation.

but if you struggle in your interpersonal relationships, there are probably things you can learn from either model, or maybe both.
I agree; I think there's a tendency for "amateur psychologists" like we all become from time-to-time to over-diagnose inter-personal problems we have, when human behavior and experience is more complex than we can understand.  

But when the conduct is persistent, you might as well go ahead and call it what it is, recognize that, and adjust your expectations accordingly.  Is a person BPD because they misunderstood a gesture from their partner and lashed out?  No.  

If they do this regularly, never apologize, never acknowledge their behavior?  Probably...?

It's not a matter of focusing on the labels; it's a matter of determining when a problematic behavior is due to an underlying psychological issue, like BPD.  After a certain point, you need to decide when to "fish or cut bait" in a relationship, and recognizing - due to the persistency of the problems - that this person is not going to change no matter how much you alter your own behavior, or how much counseling you seek, including joint/marital counseling, is important.   

this is ultimately true for all of us. the more intimate a relationship, the greater potential of conflict.
...

But at least with a non-disordered person, an intimate relationship also features greater trust developed over time, and better understanding.  And, from what I've experienced in other relationships, more love and affection as well.  

Sure, if you own a house with someone, there's a greater potential of conflict than if you're just sharing an apartment, but focusing on that to find similarities between BPD-relationships and all relationships misses the forest of the trees.  

With a pwBPD one can never develop trust, understanding, and maybe not even love, so the conflicts remain persistent, often incoherent, and become debilitating.  
« Last Edit: May 05, 2020, 11:34:23 AM by PeteWitsend » Logged
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« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2020, 02:48:08 PM »

I like the concept and I think the piece started really strong.  It's a bit confusing to me because I'm very familiar with the "No More Mr Nice Guy" definition of a nice guy by Dr Glover.  This might be describing the same personality type, but if so, I think it's being overly generous in the nice guy descriptions and in the attribution of motivations. A lot of the behaviors that appear nice are really self serving and not genuine.  If anyone hasn't read his book, I'd give it a go.  I don't agree with his entire assessment of the world but he does have a good handle on the archetype.

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