Don’t know where else to put this, so I’m putting it here.
My initial reaction was to say I thought there was a susceptibility there. That the ability to develop BPD behaviors would be present particularly for ENFJs.
So, here are some more of my thoughts… the things that I believe fit with both Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) & the ENFJ type:
–outward focus . In my experience, people with BPD are very caught up and affected by everything outside of themselves. And they have an extremely hard time focusing only on themselves. They can struggle taking personal responsibility for their actions/behaviors, often saying things like “he made me…”
The outward focus is in a way such a part of BPD difficulties, that it is almost difficult for me to imagine an introverted Borderline. (I’m probably thinking of introversion too narrowly here, but oh well).
–thrives off/needs intensity. When intensity wanes I think that’s when an ENFJ leaves to go find it elsewhere. The difference with someone with BPD is that instead of leaving, they tend to just create the intensity/drama themselves. Even if it is obviously destructive to themselves or others.
-challenges with self-image . This one is tricky. Because I think it’s a different sort of challenge with each. Borderlines often have unstable self-images; mostly (I believe) because of the outward focus…their self-image is often tied to/reliant upon other people or things. Though I don’t think ENFJs have an unstable self-image (quite the opposite actually. My guess is most balanced/healthy ENFJs probably know exactly who the fuck they are. They might not have a name for it, but they know it). However, I do believe ENFJs have a difficult time expressing or owning up to their self-image at times because it is so all-encompassing. Just like Blake’s title for his article: “Everything All Them Time”. When your self-image is everything “blended together in an indistinguishable way” people can have a hard time understanding that. Yeah. Challenging. Confusing. Especially to others. And this could probably come off as unstable (though I don’t in the slightest think it is).
-impulsivity. Not much to say for this. I think it’s just there to some degree with both. I would guess the more balanced/healthy an ENFJ is, the less impulsive they will likely come across. But it’s probably still there & will likely rear its head in time.
–moodiness . The BPD part of this is again, I think, related to the outward focus. Borderlines are often hyperreactive emotionally to stimuli. On the other hand, an ENFJ can come across as moody as well (though often to nowhere near the extreme as one with BPD), as a result of accessing different parts of themselves in response to their environment. The difference in an ENFJ who does not have BPD, is that they will likely have some level of control over these changes in moods.
One thing that maybe doesn’t quite fit so well:
–Abandonment: It doesn’t really strike me as an ENFJ thing to be fearful of abandonment. Mostly because the ENFJ nature to be the abandoner themselves. It doesn’t seem this tendency to leave is triggered by a fear of being left. Maybe I’m wrong. But I could definitely see that ENFJs could develop a fear of abandonment as a result of their behaviors. Overall, though, I tend to see ENFJs as a little too independently minded to have a strong fear of abandonment.
Having said all of this, I should add that I personally believe that most, if not all, people who have BPD, do so, not because of any personality type, but because of what they learned , or failed to learn , from their primarily relationships in life (particularly the formative ones in early life).
Maybe any personality type could have BPD. But I definitely think some ENFJ characteristics could predispose someone, or at the very least add some serious fuel to the destructive BPD fire, once ignited.