15 Things Not To Do With Someone With Borderline Personality

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Do you know the things you should do or the things you should say to someone with borderline personality disorder (BPD)? If not, join the millions of people who don’t. It is challenging to know what to say, how to say it, and when to say it to avoid problems, challenges, or conflicts with someone who has BPD. Things get even worse if there are other individuals with BPD around.

Despite these truths, compassion and understanding is the best tool to use with most individuals with BPD. This article will discuss 15 things you should avoid doing with someone who has BPD.

As a therapist it is my job to study the human mind and find the “key” to helping people change or alter their ways. But even as a trained therapist, there are times I miss clues or totally neglect to use the tools I know I should use. So it doesn’t shock me when parents, families, caregivers, friends, etc. come into my office desperately seeking help and suggestions on how to cope with a loved one with BPD.

To make matters worse, most individuals with BPD are intelligent, successful, and independent which makes it difficult for others to see they may struggle with relationships and emotions that, to others, may appear immature or petty. Because BPD can result in a host of negative and problematic behaviors, it is important not to:Feed into their need for attention/validation: Not all individuals with BPD seek attention or validation from others. But some do. So it is important that you are aware of how some individuals with BPD seek validation and attention. Triangulation is typically a “vehicle” used to either obtain validation from someone else or get attention. To avoid feeding into attention seeking behavior, you can shut-down or deter any over-exaggerations or harmful gossiping. To avoid feeding into the need for constant validation, you can avoid giving so many compliments or pull back on constant praise. It may  be difficult, but it is necessary in some cases.Get pulled into drama/triangulation: I previously wrote an article on triangulation which you can read about here. Triangulation is a term used to describe an individual who often gets more than 1 person involved in a chaotic situation which results in more chaos.

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