Being Well Podcast: Understanding Borderline Personality Tendencies
July 11, 2022

One of the most important and challenging skills we can develop is learning to regulate our strong emotions. While it’s very natural to have fluctuations in how we feel about others and ourselves, for some, struggles with impulsivity and overly strong reactions to those fluctuations may manifest in symptoms relating to Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD).

BPD, at a clinical level, is characterized by a pattern of instability in a person’s emotions, moods, behavior, self-image, and relationships. While BPD is actually fairly common, it’s even more common for its symptoms to appear for anyone when navigating attachment wounds and emotional triggers.

Fortunately, BPD is highly treatable, and on this episode of Being Well, Forrest and I look at what to do when borderline tendencies show up in our lives even at sub-clinical levels. We discuss how to cultivate a healthy amount of sensitivity and tolerance to distress, how to regulate and nurture ourselves, and how to navigate relationships with others when they exhibit borderline tendencies.

As a disclaimer: formal diagnosis of any condition should be done with a medical professional working directly with the person in question. This podcast episode is not a substitute for that.

Key Topics:

  • 0:00: Introduction
  • 2:00: Clinical history and definition of Borderline Personality Disorder?
  • 6:50: 9 Symptoms of BPD
  • 9:10: The what, why, and how of mental health
  • 11:25: Childhood influences for borderline tendencies
  • 15:05: Instability, impulsivity, and the drive for reassurance
  • 25:00: Recognizing varying degrees of borderline patterns
  • 27:00: Practical tips–regulation and nurturance
  • 32:50: Boundaries and avoiding spiraling
  • 37:50: Acceptance and the desire for change
  • 40:35: Sensitivity and distress tolerance with painful emotions
  • 45:00: What to do when you begin to notice borderline tendencies in a relationship
  • 51:00: Recognizing how much someone else’s nature is going to change
  • 53:35: Borderline is highly treatable and tends to decrease with age
  • 54:50: Recap

Share this episode on:

Support the Podcast

Special Offers from Our Sponsors


Finally get that project off the ground with Squarespace! Head to squarespace.com/beingwell for a free trial, and when you’re ready to launch use coupon code BEINGWELL to save 10% off your first purchase of a website or domain.


Want to sleep better? Try the Calm app! 

Visit calm.com/beingwell for 40% off a premium subscription.

Join Dr. Rick and Forrest Hanson every week on the Being Well Podcast for lively and thought-provoking conversation and practical tips for being happier, building inner strengths, and getting the most out of life.

Get Rick’s Free Weekly Newsletter

Get a weekly practice and the latest Being Well Podcast delivered right to your inbox.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Ask Rick and Forrest a Question!

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Recent Episodes