Borrowed functioning artificially inflates (or deflates) your functioning. Your “pseudo self” can be pumped up through emotional fusion, which makes poorly differentiated people doggedly hang onto each other. Two people in different relationships can appear to function at the same level although they have achieved different levels of differentiation. The difference is that the better differentiated one will more consistently function well even when the partner isn’t being supportive or encouraging. Before they came to see me, Bill claimed that there was “nothing wrong” with him. As long as he had Joan’s “support” and controlled how intimate they were, he functioned well on a superficial level. Joan, however, went through difficult self-doubts and depression. And when she was in her deepest depths, Bill was kinder, more considerate, and empathic. Somehow Bill seemed the more stable of the two. But things changed when Joan emerged from her unhappiness. As she began to function more autonomously, Bill’s functioning seemingly diminished. As she developed more self-respect, he became more insecure. As she needed his validation less, he feared losing her more. Still, Bill wasn’t about to support or stroke Joan in ways that didn’t enhance his own status or that might require him to confront himself.