Borderline Personality Disorder

Rejection sensitivity and symptom severity in patients with borderline personality disorder

Both acute and remitted BPD patients had higher scores on the Rejection Sensitivity Questionnaire than did healthy controls.

Rejection sensitivity and symptom severity in patients with borderline personality disorder: effects of childhood maltreatment and self-esteem

Interpersonal dysfunction in Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) is characterized by an anxious preoccupation with real or imagined abandonment'(DSM-5). This symptom description bears a close resemblance to that of rejection sensitivity, a cognitive affective disposition that affects perceptions, emotions and behavior in the context of social rejection.

The present study investigates the level of rejection sensitivity in acute and remitted BPD patients and its relation to BPD symptom severity, childhood maltreatment, and self-esteem.



  • Randi Kreger

    I wrote about the rejection sensitivity and BPD back in 2008’s the Essential Family Guide for BPD. Nice that they are catching up.

  • Bon Dobbs

    I wrote a lot about it in my book as well:

    Why is this person so sensitive to rejection?

    Rejection Sensitivity is the tendency to “anxiously expect, readily perceive and overreact to social rejection.” Someone with BPD will almost certainly have this feature.

    Have you ever had your loved one ask you: “Are you mad at me?” Or has your loved one asked you: “Do you like me?” over and over again? Or have they said, “You could do so much better than me. Why are you even with me?”

    These questions and others like them are indications that your loved one is suffering from rejection sensitivity. Someone with rejection sensitivity will also avoid tasks, meetings or other social interactions if there is any sense of rejection implied. She is unlikely to initiate social interaction or close personal contact. Often when forced to be in social situations, someone with BPD will constantly scan other people’s reactions for disapproval or rejection. She might rely on others from whom the signals of possible rejection are less strong. In other words, she might ask you to do things for her (like make phone calls or attend meetings at school), rather than risk social rejection themselves. This adaptation to rejection sensitivity is avoidance.

    When actual rejection occurs or is perceived by someone with this feature, especially when the rejection originates with someone who the BP feels is important to her, rage and even violence can occur. The person with BPD who perceives that she has been rejected by a significant person (one from which she is less likely to expect rejection), she “becomes hostile not in general but specifically in reaction to potential rejection from a significant or important person.”

  • Mary

    It’s experienced by me, myself..
    I had a relationship with a guy who did warned me for being ‘weird’.
    So that was honest from him.
    And one time he wanted to come over, but I was very busy and having visiters allready in my home.
    So knowing that he wanted a romantic gathering with all the sex etc in it, I explained to him that it was better to meet a next time.
    This was by instant from that moment on the end of our relationship.
    He first kept on messaging about ‘what would be important for me at that moment, him or my visiters’..
    But I thought it was a bit controling of him and couldn’t appreciate it.
    So I stayed with my decission and refused for that moment to meet.
    He, the next day, was very different and cold and told me: “I will find another girl and meet up with her”..
    So he blocked me and that was it.

    This is about three months ago and I’m still blocked and we didn’t speak from that time on.
    Me leaving behind very much in love and longing for him.
    But for now I know he has some real issues with himselfs and I KNOW it is NOT about me!
    Well, it is kinda, in the sense of him really wanting me and feels really rejected by me.

    I know he is hooking up with other girls and surely has sex with them at this moment.
    But he is he and I am I..

    I mean, I will not react on this behaviour as in I will also have sex with other guy’s and just go on with my life.
    I need some time to get over this and heal.
    It is not so nice of him and his obvious bpd isn’t an excuse for his behaviour, but I knów it is a problem being this way for him tóó!!
    Cause I KNOW he wants me instead of all those other girls.

    He trusted me once saying he alway’s felted kinda empty and he was hurt by the fact that he didn’t had the ability to build up a good relationship with his father.

    Oh I love this guy, but I refuse to give in when he is controling and I know that when we were in a relationship, there would be alway’s the risk and possibility of him being cheatful against me.
    Not that that has anything to do with mé, but it is all about his impulsivity and not thinking straight and feeling empty.

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