The Feeling of Rejection with Borderline PD

October 31, 2023 Karen Mae Vister

People with borderline personality disorder often have issues with feelings of rejection. In fact, the feeling of rejection is the thing that gets under my skin the most. With borderline personality disorder (BPD), even the tiniest microexpression can make me feel like I'm going off the deep end. Now, there's this one time that sticks out like a sore thumb when it comes to feeling rejected -- the classic "no text back" scenario.

That feeling of rejection, especially with BPD in the mix, just takes everything up a notch. Even if I try to be logical about it and know that my loved one's probably just swamped and not trying to ignore me, my mind goes into full freak-out mode.

Rejection Sensitivity, Borderline Personality Disorder, and Paranoia

In my experience, feelings of rejection and paranoia go hand in hand. The moment I get closer to someone, my mind begins to catastrophize the many ways things will go south. Because of BPD, feelings of rejection bring out this nagging sense that I'm just not all that important.

The inner critic tells me that I'm not really cared for, that I'm just a blip on someone's radar, and my mind proceeds to bombard me with flashbacks of when I experienced feelings of rejection before. These difficult emotions and memories pile onto each other until I begin to feel worthless.

When you're always bracing for rejection, it's nearly impossible to feel safe in relationships. Even if rejection isn't happening at that moment, it's like you've got this radar always scanning for it, waiting for it to drop like a bomb.

Rejection and BPD Triggers

Let's circle back to that classic "no text back" scenario because, in all my years of recovery, I've figured out it's a certified trigger for me. The longer I keep checking for that text, it's like a switch flips, and I'm right there in the ring with that old feeling of worthlessness.

This feeling of rejection then sparks the urge to veer off the recovery path and dive into unwanted behavior. At first, it's a little tickle, a nagging thought. But then it gets more intense, sometimes creeping in like a slow burn, and other times, it's like someone cranked the heat high really quickly. When I hit that peak of intensity, it's hard to believe the urge will ever back off. But what I've learned over the years is that after that peak, the urge starts to fizzle out. It loses steam, fades into the background, and I find myself back on somewhat solid ground.

Check out my latest video below, where I dive into some coping strategies for those fierce urges that often tag along with BPD triggers and feelings of rejection. I'll be unpacking this incredible technique that's been my personal lifesaver on this journey to recovery.

APA Reference
Mae, K. (2023, October 31). The Feeling of Rejection with Borderline PD, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 25 from

Author: Karen Mae Vister

Karen Mae Vister, author of her blog, Over the Borderline, dedicates her work to providing valuable content and support for individuals on the path to recovery from borderline personality disorder. Find Karen Mae on Instagram and her blog.

Jacqui Swallow
November, 1 2023 at 7:14 pm

Thanks for this! I’ve only just been officially diagnosed. I also suffer from bipolar disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder.

November, 3 2023 at 11:22 am

Thanks for sharing. I understand how significant it is when you receive that initial diagnosis. I also have Bipolar and GAD. Feel free to reach me on my socials if you'd like some support and someone to talk to!

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