There are many ways in which relationship control phobia (RCP) can affect your life, however, the four major circumstances are as follows.
- Prevent you from trusting others. The cognitive script goes something along the lines of: “If I can’t trust my parents, I can’t trust anyone. If my parents hurt me, then everyone will hurt me. My parents couldn’t love me, so I don’t know how to love another, including myself.” Relationships with others are viewed as dangerous, but necessary. A common thought is, “if I get too close, the other person will try to control, abuse, and hurt me. People with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) may perceive depending on others and having others depend upon them as a psychological threat. Individuals might “pretend” to trust others in order to get what they need, but they never truly reciprocate trust. For example, a young man on the internet wrote, “Every now and then I hate my girlfriend and think she is a real bitch. The same thing with my friends. The closer a person gets to me, I find faults with them, I think they’re taking advantage of me and are out to hurt me.
- Block the development of a mutually loving relationship. In most loving relationships, people with BPD can say the words, but not clearly feel the emotions or “walk, the walk.” They desperately want to be loved by others and they want to love others. However, they cannot trust them. They do not know how to reciprocate their love and are unable to negotiate the control issues that are a part o f all relationships. In other words, the ability to compromise is not a strong suit. Individuals with BPD lack the ability to love others and experience the love others try to share with them. Consequently, chronic fear of a loss of all relationships resides in those with BPD. One internet surfer explained, “I think that borderliners are concerned with only one thing: losing love. When cornered, I get very scared and show that by getting angry: anger is easier than fear and less vulnerable. I strike before being struck.”
- Use any means at your disposal to keep control over a person in order to ensure your needs are met. Since people with BPD feel as if they have to battle every day for survival, any form of exaggeration, deception, manipulation, or seduction is considered a reasonable method for maintaining a relationship. This process is not entirely under one’s conscious control. It is motivated by a cruelly imposed need to survive and hold onto their independence. The need is a semiautomatic process that is learned as a child. It is driven by the same emotional needs that fuel addictive, self-injurious behaviors. It began as a way to have needs met in a continuously difficult environment, and as a result, leads to an unsatisfactory way of life.
Individuals who suffer from RCP (relationship control phobia) feel betrayed by an inconsistency of purpose, and affection. Instead of trying to understand the people around them better they will only become more and more confused by you, and others who try to become closer to them. Is this beginning to sound familiar?
- A relationship control phobia can make you chronically anxious about losing control of your relationships and being abandoned. Since people with BPD are rarely sincere and open with the people who care about them, they constantly fear abandonment. Do you fear that once others find out how damaged and emotionally selfish you are, they will leave you? Or when they get fed up with being treated like crap that they will give up on you and the relationship and walk away? As one woman on the internet wrote of her borderline behavior, “no matter how hard my boyfriend tries to please me it is never enough. I demand this and that. I yell, I get jealous over stupid things. I never have enough. I am just afraid that he’ll leave me.
RCP makes relationships emotionally stormy affairs. The most frosting fact of all is that even though they are often aware of what they are doing, they just can’t seem to stop themselves from doing it anyway.
Do any of these four effects sound familiar to your own life? Do you have a friend or family member who treats you in one of these ways? Do you have a difficult time with the development of meaningful relationships. Take the feeling of uncertainty out of your day and learn more about how you can construct a positive shift in yourself. At Blue Sky, you are our number one priority.