Borderline personality disorder is a catch-all for behaviour characterized by instability in personal life - mostly focused on a person's relations and the inability to control emotions. How does neuroticism link to this disorder and are there patterns to look for?
Personality is often seen as the critical core factor which determines our potential, the waiter who is naturally happier gets more tips and the computer programmer who is more analytical writes better code. These perceptions are informed by how we view personality in society and our results - upon learning where we score - are often deterministic in how we choose our career and future growth.
But what if personality is able to predict our problems?
Too often we are quick to blame our personality results on actions taken in life.
"Don't blame me - I'm naturally aggressive and was therefore always likely to overwork our team (said the manager to the boss)"
The truth is that personality predicts our natural tendencies but does not explain our behaviours - you are still the one in charge and it's up to you to ensure the correct procedures are in place to avoid being over-aggressive.
The same applies to borderline personality disorder (BDR)
There are several pieces of research into how the Big Five traits link to BDR. The big five is comprised of 5 key traits: Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. Research by several different bodies of people have published reports into these factors and asked whether they predicted our tendency to have the condition.
Researchers from Amsterdam in 2009 concluded that the largest relationship between the Big Five and BDR was Neuroticism. Several reviews and publications in the following years have re-examined and corroborated the findings. Of course as with most studies the conclusions drawn are based on specific "test environment" variables - so real world applications and results may differ.
Does correlation equal causation?
The research from the Department of Biological Psychology in VU University Amsterdam proposes a 68% (0.68) correlation between BDR and higher Neuroticism which translates to a high chance that when you score high in this personality trait you are more likely to have BDR - this is the highest relation out of the 5 main personality traits. In order to look at this clearly it is important to understand how having the trait does not guarantee susceptibility but can help you understand the likelihood of BDR happening and whether you should look to either take steps to mitigate the chances of becoming unstable as part of your life process or work towards seeking professional medical help and advice which can boost you on your self-improvement journey.
What is neuroticism?
Often viewed as a “bad” trait the reality is there is no such thing as a good or bad trait. Neuroticism is best understood as the level to which an individual is in touch with their emotions. The issue with this is people who use Weavee as a borderline personality disorder tool may already be on the self development pathway; which in itself indicates a level of maturity and development in how a person understands themselves. This may be self-fulfilling in that the tool and people whom take part in research studies may be more likely to participate because of their existing mindset. Overall this is a good way to understand the link between BDR and Neuroticism but it doesn't identify a clear answer for us, however, the act of completing the tool is the first step to finding and reducing potential negative tendencies. In reality it is difficult to change your personality but several methods do exist to help you understand how to improve yourself based on our natural cognitive tendencies.
Hopefully this article sheds some light into how to use your new knowledge and begin understanding where you may or may not fall on the spectrum - at Weavee we will help you self-improve and understand how you can become your best self using the Big Five psychometric results as part of your career journey.