Adventist Online

Narcissistic Personality Disorder vs Borderline Personality Disorder

Borderline Personality Disorder vs. Narcissistic Personality Disorder:  How are They Different

Though the two personality disorders share some common symptoms, they are distinct disorders with their own set of diagnostic criteria. For example, both BPD and NPD deal with conflict in a way that is unhealthy to themselves and those around them. It’s the expression of the anger that results from the conflict that is different.

Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

Just like Borderline Personality Disorder, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) lists nine symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder. If you exhibit five of these nine symptoms in a persistent manner, you meet the criteria for diagnosis of NPD:

  • An exaggerated sense of one’s own abilities and achievements
  • A constant need for attention, affirmation, and praise
  • A belief that you are unique or “special,” and should only associate with other people of the same status
  • Persistent fantasies about attaining success and power
  • Exploiting other people for personal gain
  • A sense of entitlement and expectation of special treatment
  • A preoccupation with power or success
  • Feeling envious of others, or believing that others are envious of you
  • A lack of empathy for others

NPD and BPD: Similarities and Differences

Narcissistic Personality Disorder can exist on its own, but can also be found co-occurring with Borderline Personality Disorder. Mix and match five out of nine symptoms of NPD with five out of the nine symptoms of BPD, and you get someone who will likely be described at least as “difficult” or “high maintenance,” and who certainly is having a tough time in day-to-day life.

Both people with BPD and with NPD deal with an intense fear of abandonment. Enhancing that fear of abandonment is the fact that sustaining relationships with others in the face of these symptoms is a challenge to say the least. “Intense and stormy relationships” is, in fact, one of the characterizing symptoms of BPD.

In an article for Psychology Today, Susan Heitler, PhD, author and Harvard graduate, describes emotionally healthy functioning in the absence of BPD or NPD: “Emotionally healthy functioning is characterized by ability to hear your own concerns, thoughts, and feelings and also to be responsive to others’ concerns.”

In the world of the narcissist, that second part just isn’t present. Narcissists are unable to step outside of themselves to imagine any weight behind someone else’s opinion. This renders someone with NPD socially and emotionally ineffective, and affects their ability to maintain relationships.


The hallmarks of Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) are grandiosity, a lack of empathy for other people, and a need for admiration. People with this condition are frequently described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, and demanding. They may also concentrate on grandiose fantasies (e.g. their own success, beauty, brilliance) and may be convinced that they deserve special treatment. These characteristics typically begin in early adulthood and must be consistently evident in multiple contexts, such as at work and in relationships. 

People with narcissistic personality disorder believe they are superior or special, and often try to associate with other people they believe are unique or gifted in some way. This association enhances their self-esteem, which is typically quite fragile underneath the surface. Individuals with NPD seek excessive admiration and attention in order to know that others think highly of them. Individuals with narcissistic personality disorder have difficulty tolerating criticism or defeat, and may be left feeling humiliated or empty when they experience an "injury" in the form of criticism or rejection. 

Views: 1081

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

"You belong to a family who possess minds not well balanced, gloomy and depressed, affected by surroundings, and susceptible to influences. Unless you cultivate a cheerful, happy, grateful frame of mind, Satan will eventually lead you captive at his will. You can be a help, a strength to the church where you reside, if you will obey the instructions of the Lord and not move by feeling, but be controlled by principle. Never allow censure to escape your lips, for it is like desolating hail to those around you. Let cheerful, happy, loving words fall from your lips.--1T 704 (1868). 490

JasonM, it appears you are addressing the above post to me by inference by quoting EGW?

To quote you “You belong to a family who possess minds not well balanced, gloomy and depressed...”

you know nothing about me or my family. You two are really a pair.

if you know about my family then state what my Father’s middle name is?

What country was he born in?

And you two call me a liar?

if I chose to I could sue you both in court for defamation of charactor, but this case is alrea$y in God’s court, as I am the plaintiff as you both have injured me by attacking my charactor without justification, evidence, witnesses or true understanding of scriptures. You have accused falsely, bearing false witness and blaspheming the Holy Spirit and accused me of many things including mental illness and being in league with the Devil.

You have treated me worse than an infidel.

Dwell on the last sentence; try to avoid dwelling on the negatives

James said: 

"If I am telling the truth, which I am," 

You are not known for telling any truth You are a proven liar.

Signs Someone May Be a Pathological Liar

Pathological lying, which is also known as chronic or habitual lying, is not a psychological disorder; it has no documented list of symptoms. However, pathological liars may share the following common traits.

Individual Also Suffers From Mental Illness or Personality Disorders

Oftentimes, pathological lying correlates with a number of personality and mental disorders. Pathologically lying is a common symptom in a number of mental health issues, such as borderline personality disorder and narcissistic personality disorder. If someone you know has received a diagnosis of mental illness or a personality disorder, pathological lying could also be a symptom.

According to Psychiatry Online, while pathological lying is not itself a diagnosable mental illness yet, it does deserve ongoing analysis among professionals. The symptom can be present with or without other signs of diagnosable mental illness.

Lies Bring Attention to the Person

Therapist Mark Tyrell, the founder of Uncommon Solutions, suggests some people who lie pathologically do so to seek attention. Individuals who want to have center stage wherever they are may have to make up stories to capture people's interest. These types of people crave an audience and get high off it, and this leads them to lie more. Therefore, if you see someone constantly engaging in attention-seeking behaviors, he or she may also be lying to support this need.

Elijah: You and Jason started this evil thread falsely accusing me of mental illness talking about me behind my back and not naming me by name, which you admitted when I called you out on it,  when you are not qualified either in mental health or as a minister of the Gospel in any capacity because of the wicked immoral things just done here on this thread alone, as well as calling me the 2nd Beast of Revelation chapter 14, a child of the Devil etc. etc.

You show yourself to have no bounds of decency or treating your neighbor as you would like to be treated. It is a bad witness and a disgrace that you profess to be a Christian. Real children of the Devil that I came across years ago NEVER treated me nor insulted me in any capacity, even though we were on opposite sides spiritually. That does not say much about you. God is my witness

Jason wrote above: 

"You belong to a family who possess minds not well balanced, gloomy and depressed, affected by surroundings, and susceptible to influences. Unless you cultivate a cheerful, happy, grateful frame of mind, Satan will eventually lead you captive at his will. You can be a help, a strength to the church where you reside, if you will obey the instructions of the Lord and not move by feeling, but be controlled by principle. Never allow censure to escape your lips, for it is like desolating hail to those around you. Let cheerful, happy, loving words fall from your lips.--1T 704 (1868). 490"





Why? You return to Elijah and Jason's posts that you have already answered two and a half months ago just so that you can be abusive to them. Why?

What motivates you to search out old posts, dig up old grievances, and then make abusive responses? It looks very much as if you want people to be abusive back to you and that is your sole reason for responding.

How can you complain about the behaviour of legitimate SDA posters when the majority of your posts appear to be designed to either attack other posters or the beliefs that they hold as SDAs.

Why do you insist on posting in here? It is obviously leading you to lose your soul.

When we talk discouragement and gloom, Satan listens with fiendish joy; for it pleases him to know that he has brought you into his bondage. Satan cannot read our thoughts, but he can see our actions, hear our words; and from his long knowledge of the human family, he can shape his temptations to take advantage of our weak points of character. And how often do we let him into the secret of how he may obtain the victory over us. Oh, that we might control our words and actions! How strong we would become if our words were of such an order that we would not be ashamed to meet the record of them in the day of judgment. How different will they appear in the day of God from what they seem when we utter them.--RH, Feb 27, 1913.

Climbing on the Judgment Seat—[James 3:15-18 quoted.] ... He who opens his heart to the suggestions of the enemy, taking in evil surmisings, and cherishing jealousy, frequently misconstrues this evil-mindedness, calling it special foresight, discrimination, or discernment in detecting guilt and fathoming the evil motives of others. He considers that a precious gift has been vouchsafed to him; and he draws apart from the very brethren with whom he should be in harmony; he climbs upon the judgment seat, and shuts his heart against the one he supposes to be in error, as though he himself were above temptation. Jesus separates from him, and leaves him to walk in the sparks of his own kindling.{7BC 936.11}

Megachurch Stage Collapses Under Pastor’s Massive Ego

It is satire but what makes it funny is the truth in it.

Myprofessionalexperience:NArcissism,well,show-off -types,self -centered,inrerrupt youwhen yousay asentence--seducing --but alltogether harmless-NOT when they are on the pulpit !

Borderlines :Destructive,ruin tier social state,their families-also with producing show effects, approach the husbands boss with scanadlous stories, the  account manager with endangering the loans,play a strip tease in the public with the husband present - -

Can a narcissist ever really change? The experts weigh in

by Angela Atkinson | Oct 14, 2015


Sharing is caring!

If you've ever been involved with a narcissist in any way, you probably hoped at one time or another that you could change him or her enough that you could somehow develop a healthier relationship.


What the experts say on fixing narcissists might shock you


A recent reader comment brought to light the significance of this issue - and who among us can't relate to the feelings she expresses? 


Here's the comment.


"[My girlfriend] has the silent treatment mashed with pathologically lying mashed with being unemotional, mashed with previously uncommitted (even though she told me she never cheated on a mate!) mashed with a bunch of other garbage. Is there really a way to get through this crap and be together in the future or am I just kidding myself? I mean seriously. Hit me with it, I can take it! Does a person like this ever really want to get better? Do they ever take the step of getting help or do words really mean crap when it comes to this stuff? She has told me time and time again she would fix it and get help, but has yet to really do anything."




My first thought after I read the question was this: maybe it's possible for a narcissist to really change, but I have never seen it happen.


Here's the thing. The way I see it, whether or not it's possible for a narcissist to change is debatable - the question is really whether or not she's willing to change. And the answer is almost inevitably "NOPE!"


That's because, 9 times out of 10, the narcissist doesn't see a problem with his or her behavior, blaming any issues on the people around him or her, rather than looking inside for answers.


Even so, I'm not the be-all-end-all authority on this one - I'm just a researcher, life coach, author and someone who has experienced life with a narcissist.


So I decided to do a little research and get a more solid answer for my reader.


Now, this is where it gets hairy - as you probably imagine, there are various schools of thought on this one. There's no one answer. Here's what the experts say.


Yes, Narcissists CAN Change

"I’m going to go on record as saying yes—I do believe it’s possible for people to change, even if they’ve been diagnosed with something as deeply entrenched and formidable as a personality disorder," writes Craig Malkin, PhD in a Psychology Today article.


He says that the key is in changing the way you handle your interactions with the narcissist.


Related: How to Control a Narcissist


"The interacting with someone you suspect is narcissistic is to break the vicious circle—to gently thwart their frantic efforts to control, distance, defend or blame in the relationship by sending the message that you’re more than willing to connect with them, but not on these terms; to invite them into a version of intimacy where they can be loved and admired, warts and all—if they only allow the experience to happen," Malkin continues.


Read this: Take Back Your Life


SOME Narcissists Can Change

Dr. Lynne Namka, licensed psychologist, says that some narcissists can change - those with milder forms of the so-called disease. And, she says, they need to be worried that they could lose someone or something they love.


"Some have to undergo a humbling experience or a great emotional loss before they start to admit their defensiveness and inability to take responsibility for their actions," Namka writes. "As they grow older, some start to notice their insensitivity when dealing with those around them. Some start to feel healthy guilt about their past actions. Guilt, while painful if handled correctly, can be a break-through emotion that sets the person on the path to a happier life."


She adds that "the milder narcissistic defense may soften across life if the person achieves a stable home and work environment or if he has a big setback where the rug is pulled out from under him, creating a crack in his defenses."


Then again, she says, some narcissists will just get worse if they are "forced to their knees" after being rejected, failing or otherwise becoming disillusioned and not getting the kind of support they need.


Severely Narcissistic People Cannot Change

Melanie Tonia Evans, a well-known narcissism expert, says that maybe it's possible, but it's highly unlikely.


Like me, Evans says she's never seen it actually happen.


"I have never heard of one credible case of a person operating at this level admitting their inner woundedness and doing the inner work and healing – and I don’t for one millisecond believe that cognitive therapy would even touch the edges," Evans writes. 


Dr. Namka adds that people with severe narcissistic traits have limited emotional intelligence - and tons of psychological defenses - standing in the way of recovery.


"They are unable to see the depth of their pathology as to know their shortcomings would send them into great shame which would trigger depression," she says.


Read this: Your Love is My Drug


So what do you think? Can a narcissist really ever change? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below. 


Site Sponsors


Adventist Single?
Meet other Single
Adventists here:
Join Free

USA members:

Support AO by
using this link:


© 2019   Created by Clark P.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service