People diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder have difficulty emotionally identifying what they want and what they need and the difference between wants and needs.

With this inability to establish consistent understanding of what one wants versus what one needs borderlines manifest polarized experience around unmet needs and wants that they do not know how to effectively meet on their own or take personal responsibility for meeting. This often manifests the unstable, intense, and demanding neediness that drives others away and leaves the borderline feeling abandoned and re-abandoned.

At the heart of much of the triggered emotional regulation of those with BPD are unmet needs – needs that often those with BPD are dissociated from and not consciously aware of. Needs that have not only gone unmet, often, for a lifetime so far, but unmet need that have their origin in what I refer to as the core wound of abandonment

You can watch my latest video for those with BPD Wants and Needs in Borderline Personality Disorder on YouTube.


Audio Programs © A.J. Mahari


For each person diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder it can be very challenging to know what he or she wants. Borderlines are psychologically and/or emotionally split-off from the lost authentic self which is arrested by the core wound of abandonment that creates the vacuum that allows for the defensive, polarized false self to become the predominant aspect of personality.

When you don't know who you really are you can't really know what you want. That's why what someone with BPD wants is often ever-changing as emotions are dysregulated and moods shift.

Learning to identify, in therapy, what you need versus what you want will support learning how to differentiate between unrealistic expectations of others and realistic expectations of others.

© A.J. Mahari, August 17, 2008 – All rights reserved.


A.J. Mahari is a Life Coach who, among other things, specializes in working with those with BPD and non borderlines. A.J. has 5 years experience as a life coach and has worked with hundreds of clients from all over the world.


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Wants and Needs in Borderline Personality Disorder