While not everyone gets this, a lot of people who suffer from BPD have been shown to have extremely high levels of empathy. In fact, the level of empathy that some BPD sufferers have is so high they often describe it as a superpower or 6th sense towards people feelings. Sadly this is perfectly understandable given one of the main contributing factors to having BPD in the first place. I am going to be talking about some HIGHLY TRIGGERING SUBJECTS here so do be warned before you read on…
Is it Really a Superpower?
Before we get into the ‘why’ of this strange BPD side-symptom it’s important to understand what sort of levels we are talking about here. Most “normal” people have a certain level of empathy, but some people with BPD have such high-levels of empathy that some are said to be able to ‘feel’ emotions from people in opposite rooms. I myself can tell the mood my FP is in from quite far away and I have even rung them because I noticed they were feeling down (which they indeed were!)
Sadly it is not as great a symptom as you might think because we often get confused as to what the other person is feeling due to our own confusion with our own feelings and emotions (which is the classic signs of having BPD in the first place). So we often guess wrongly how the other person is feeling even if we can “feel” them from distances that verge on the paranormal. This error in judgment will often leave us feeling confused and empty inside leading to further distress. So it’s not all roses at all.
So What is Going on Here?
OK, now for the triggering part. Sadly this “gift” is mostly caused by childhood trauma which is mostly down to physical or sexual abuse. As a child, you will learn to “feel” when the person causing you the trauma is around and what kind of mood they are in so you can put yourself into a defensive state. Then, as an adult your control over those feelings grow to the point that some people gain heightened empathy. This has been studied time and time again, even by paranormal investigators, but the results often show there is nothing extraordinary about the sufferer’s senses at all and that we can just read body language and facial expressions better than most. So sadly it is not a superpower, but it is still a fact that most BPD sufferers do indeed have it.
Growing up as a little girl I was indeed in a situation that was most probably the cause of my own BPD and I do indeed feel I have this “gift” that some talk about. This is especially true about my daughter who is now living away from me. Just the other week I called her to see how she was feeling because I could feel something was up and at first she denied it, but then after a while talking she spoke about her high levels of anxiety about an exam she has soon. But is that part of being a mother or my heightened BPD senses?
Sadly we seem to get this gift to protect us from further harm which is often far too late. But I for one appreciate it and have learned to trust in my empathy towards others. Sure, it’s not always on-point, but it is often a good gauge of something going on with them. It’s just best not to jump to conclusions about what that feeling or emotion is.
If you have any questions relating to BPD please do drop a comment below and help us all share the knowledge with others. If you have any other questions relating to BPD or would just like some advice on the disorder do get in touch with us via the contact us page. It’s easy to do, we are both responsive and confidential, plus we never save any of your details in any way.