Trust and Rejection Sensitivity in Personality Disorders

Curr Psychiatry Rep. 2019 Jul 1;21(8):69. doi: 10.1007/s11920-019-1059-3.


Purpose of review: We review recent empirical investigations about two core processes subtending impairments in interpersonal functioning and, more precisely, cooperative behaviors in personality disorders: Trust toward others and rejection sensitivity. The main contributions are about borderline and narcissistic personality disorders but we report a little evidence about other personality disorders too (i.e., avoidant, antisocial, and paranoid personality disorders).

Recent findings: Regarding borderline personality disorder, a misinterpretation of situations as threatening seems to be relevant for both trust and rejection sensitivity. With specific regard to narcissistic personality disorder, results suggest rejection sensitivity and distrust to be plausible risk factors for aggressive outbursts. Empirical findings display specific patterns of disturbances in rejection sensitivity and trust dynamics across different personality disorders. Nonetheless, further studies on personality disorders other than borderline or narcissistic personality disorder are needed. A deeper understanding may provide insight for better clinical management of such impairments among patients with personality disorders.

Keywords: Interpersonal; Personality disorders; Rejection sensitivity; Social cognition; Trust.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Borderline Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Narcissism
  • Personality Disorders / psychology*
  • Rejection, Psychology*
  • Trust / psychology*