As others have indicated, this is not a “tactic”, it’s an unconscious result of splitting or seeing things as either black or white. Those who suffer with BPD, have the unfortunate experience of having to deal with their emotions without being aware of the context.
This means that when someone seems nice to them, they think they idealize them, and when someone seems not nice they seem like the worst uncaring people ever. They have a difficult time holding in their minds, all of their other experiences and feelings about the person.
This means that they cannot think of feel, “this person is generally very good to me but this time they did something that inadvertently hurt me”. It becomes “this person is bad to me, they don’t care, they want to hurt me.”
By the same token they cannot think and feel, “this person has hurt me many times, they often do not consider my feelings, but today they are being very thoughtful and kind”. Instead they might feel, “this is somebody I want to be with because they are nice to me”.
This is not a cognitive issue, it’s about holding onto the feelings. They might be able to give accounts of the various times the person was nice or not nice to them, but they can only hold onto the feeling that they are either good or bad, never a mix of both.
This results of them constantly pushing people away, and pulling people in. It’s certainly not something that anyone wants to do. Many of the people they push away, or people that really value in their lives, and wish they could be closer to. Many of the people they Polin might also be people that are abusive and hurt him.
It’s certainly not something that anyone wants to do. Many of the people they push away, or people that really value in their lives, and wish they could be closer to. Many of the people they Polin might also be people that are abusive and hurt him.
The ability to hold both the good and the bad in our heads at the same time is something that typically develops in early childhood, assuming good enough care-taking. If you speak to children up to the age of five, you’ll soon find they also have black-and-white thinking.
One of the ways that we sometimes protect ourselves is by dissociating painful emotions. When someone is exposed to significant trauma, they might end up dissociate in almost all of their emotions. If we’re dealing with abusive or neglectful caretakers, it would be far too frightening to maintain an awareness that they were unreliable or dangerous to us, so we do what we can to protect image of them. In some cases this means forgetting all the times they’ve hurt or wronged us.
While this survival mechanism is adaptive and makes sense when we are young children, as adults it can result in dissociating from all of our feelings and being stuck in black-and-white thinking. This leads to emotional dysregulation, because the person is constantly left without any context to compare their feelings too. Whenever they feel bad it becomes completely overwhelming and intolerable, and when they feel good it seems like the best thing ever.