BPD and NPD share many traits and behaviors. Personality disorders are characterized by rigid thinking, acting, and behaving. Both will use defensive mechanisms to safeguard their self from mental and emotional suffering. As a result, individuals have issues in critical areas of their lives. 1
Among the BPD and NPD commonalities are:
- A sense of self-importance
- Constant need for affirmation
- Spend a lot of time on oneself.
- Cut apart from reality
- Relationships that are uncontrollable
- Regardless of how their acts or words effect others
- Emotional infancy (impaired reasoning once triggered)
- Mentality of all or nothing, idealizing and depreciating
- Cannot own up to their errors; instead blame others as scapegoats
- Look to others for self-management; BPD look to others to control emotions, whereas NPD look to others to fuel their ego.
- Huge shame buried beneath layers of dishonesty
- Easily offended or humiliated
- Hostile or passive-aggressive outbursts of irrational fury
Despite the fact that both BPD and NPD suffer from a skewed view of reality, there are significant differences between the two in terms of their personality traits and outlooks. People with BPD, for example, frequently experience emotions of worthlessness and inadequacy as a result of their disordered self-perception. However, persons who suffer from NPD may appear normal on the surface because of their high feeling of self-importance (mostly sustained through narcissistic supply).
BPD sufferers are plagued by a constant dread of abandonment and an inability to cope with life’s ups and downs. In order to fill this gap, they have a strong need to instantly connect with others or seek out connections. To escape actual or perceived desertion, these people will go above and beyond. It is possible for this individual to become emotionally volatile and/or use emotional manipulation methods such as jealousy, control, or threatening self-harm if they perceive that they have been rejected.
Relationships are strained as a result of these destructive habits of conduct. BPD sufferers have a great yearning for closeness, but their intense emotions and hypersensitivities often come in the way.
As a result of their difficulty in grasping their own identity, persons with BPD frequently undergo radical shifts in their self-perception. Their ideals, job aspirations, and personal objectives have all shifted as a result. Impulsive, irresponsible, and self-destructive behavior are common manifestations of their internal identity concerns. As a result, persons with BPD suffer from severe social, vocational/educational, and interpersonal difficulties. 1,4
Individuals with NPD, on the other hand, suffer from a severe lack of empathy, which severely inhibits their ability to relate to and comprehend others. They are ignorant to the impact their words and actions have on those around them because they lack empathy. As a result, they only care about keeping up the facade of grandeur and keeping their egos uplifted. They are just interested in making money or building relationships for their own benefit.
When a narcissist’s arrogance, narcissistic supply, or flaws are called into question, he or she may act like a victim, resort to manipulation and gaslighting, or cut all ties with the person or thing that the NPD deems useless or that has caused the narcissistic injury, depending on the severity of the challenge.