Chameleon Phenomenon in Borderline Personality Disorder

I have another post where I talk about how many of us with Borderline Personality Disorder behave or feel like chameleons, called "Sundays Can Be Difficult for the BPD Chameleon," and this post today focuses on a specific example of the chameleon phenomenon and what I have begun to notice.

I was visiting my boyfriend at his office, and dressed in sweats, a short-sleeved shirt, and a hoodie, I began to feel very warm.  Instead of just listening to my body and the cues it was giving me, I immediately looked outside of myself, to him and others, to notice what they were wearing. Surely if they weren't warm, I must not be either...or maybe there was something "wrong" with me for feeling warm when no one else appeared to feel that same sensation.

I decided to do a reality check and asked my boyfriend casually, "Hot in here, huh?"  He responded, "Yeah, it really is."  Ah. So my body was right.

I do this with other things, too.  I've literally asked people to smell food to tell me if smelled "ok" or to feel my forehead for a temperature -- all because I don't feel secure in my own ability to determine these things and completely take responsibility for caring for myself.  I'm often afraid that if I don't get that validation or reassurance from someone else (usually someone older, but it can be a peer or someone younger), I just am not sure what I, personally, feel or think.

I came across this diagram and find it interesting.  Does it speak to you, too?

Image Credit

Thank you for reading.
More Soon.


  1. Yes! This definitely speaks to me! I often look for permission to feel what I'm feeling. I will feel genuinely unsure of what my opinion is until other people exhibit theirs.

    If other people feel vastly different to me, I usually adjust my opinions. If they're the same, I feel validated.

    Thanks for writing!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing how you can relate!

  2. YES YES YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Parenting is especially weird when I feel like if my own intuition does not match up with other people's opinions, then I have to be the one to change. Because of this, I have been manipulated into doing things I don't like before. Usually I come back to my own way of thinking, but it is really hard to trust my own perceptions.

    1. Thanks for sharing how you can relate. ♥

  3. Looking for validation...uhmmm.... definately been there.



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