Secrets of S.E.T. (Support/Empathy/Truth) Statements

"Like a lot of high-functioning people with BPD, my mother's intelligent and perceptive. She can tell when she's being handled, and she's more than capable of counter-handling right back. The net result is that using SET to sooth and progress the situation simply turns an issue into a meta-issue, and the conflict becomes between my mother and whoever's trying to use SET."

"My Mother Has Borderline Personality Disorder" (Part 2)

In the second of a two-part post, "Dan" explains how he started coming to terms with the way his mother's disorder affected his life. Included is an update with how he's doing now.

How to Be a Guest Blogger for "Stop Walking on Eggshells"

I am looking for guest bloggers to provide all different points of views and subjects. It should be about a topic you know a lot about or feel strongly about. People with BPD and their family members generally write about their personal experiences, and professionals write about topics within their expertise.

"I Just Learned My Mom Has Borderline Personality Disorder"

"I had gone 'no contact' with my family--especially my mother--and I badly needed to talk to someone. I called my aunt. When she told me my mom has borderline personality disorder, it was the most significant thing anyone said to me in my whole life."

Peace for Family Members of Borderlines and Narcissists

Marsha Linehan says that the term radical is a “complete and total…[accepting] of something from the depths of your soul.” It’s not a behavior. It’s an interior shift. It’s all about finding peace in “what is” the reality of the situation right now. Acceptance is the opposite of denial.

What To Do About Fear, Obligation and Guilt

FOG (fear, obligation, and guilt) can keep you stuck and unhappy in a relationship. In this post, I'll list several exercises that can help you deFOG your life.

Fear, Obligation, and Guilt (FOG) in Relationships

Emotional blackmail is a powerful form of manipulation in which people close to us threaten, directly or indirectly, to punish us if we don’t do what they want. The main tool of the trade is FOG: fear, obligation, and guilt.

Enmeshment in Family Relationships: 1+1=1

People are “enmeshed” when their personal boundaries are permeable and unclear. Enmeshment becomes a problem because the people involved start to lose their own emotional identity. They lack the level of autonomy they need to grow.

Are You an Emotional Caretaker?

While emotional caretakers take pride in their self-sacrifice, it is a double edged sword. Partners who are emotional caretakers usually come from a family in which some of their basic emotional needs were unmet.

Heal By Writing About Your Trauma

Many psychological and medical studies have shown that writing about difficulties and dreams helps people experience increased happiness, health, and productivity.

How Today's Politics is Like High-Conflict Divorce

Today's politicians act like divorcing spouses who can't see anything good about the other person. They "split," or see things in black and white, just like people with borderline and narcissistic personality disorders.

Can Narcissists and Borderlines Have Healthy Relationships

A list of what makes for a good relationship could be quite lengthy and might differ from couple to couple. But here are some characteristics mentioned over and over by marital therapists. Ask yourself if you think it's possible for your borderline or narcissistic partner to have a healthy relationship.

When Has Your Anger Gone Too Far?

According to Mark Sichel, L.C.S.W., holding resentments is a choice. Ask yourself, are you making the healthy choice? If you are angry, is it healthy anger or unhealthy anger?

Five Steps to Coping with Borderline Behavior

By using five steps, in certain instances, you can greatly improve the relationship and create an environment more conducive to your borderline loved one's recovery.

Borderline/Narcissistic Behavior Is Not About You

"Detaching with Love" is your own version of that saying. It does the same thing: keep your own life from becoming a series of BPD-related crises. In this case it means, "I care about you, but I recognize that you must make your own choices in life. I can love you, but I can't live your life for you.

Will Narcissists Seek Therapy?

Few narcissists seek therapy. And unfortunately, even if they do, the right therapist is hard to find.

The Assertive Approach in High Conflict Divorce

The assertive approach doesn’t have to be hard to understand and practice. An easy way to think about it is to focus on KEEP, an acronym that stands for Knowledge and Energy to Explain Patterns.

"High Conflict People" Drive Disputes at Home, School, Work

Some people make life miserable for others. They blame you for their own problems, have no empathy, and always seem to be conjuring up trouble. A subset of them are called "high conflict people," and they often have some kind of personality disorder--usually borderline or narcissistic personality disorder.

Don't be Passive When Divorcing High Conflict Partners

Like monkeys, people have little insight into themselves and the "bananas" they're holding onto. This can get them into big trouble. Especially when they're in a high conflict relationship.

Narcissists: "Enough About Me: Let's Talk About Myself"

Arrogance is another defense mechanism that keeps the narcissist a legend in his own mind, free from the stain of the imperfection of other human beings. Remember, narcissists (and borderlines) split, seeing themselves and others in black and white. Someone has to be on top, and someone has to be on the bottom.

A Christian View of Divorce and Abuse

Christians in abusive marriages feel conflicted about divorce. On the one hand, they are suffering. On the other, they are not supposed to divorce. The book "Keeping the Faith" has an answer.

Why Borderlines and Narcissists Seem to Want Power & Control

Is the person with narcissistic or borderline personality disorder in your life hungry for power and control over you? Look at this list and compare them to your current relationship.

Why They Can't Feel Joy: Narcissistic Shallow Emotions

Narcissists feel emotions like vulnerability, sadness, empathy and compassion in a shallow way, if at all, and cover them up with rage, blame, manipulation and disdain for others.

Why You Walk on Eggshells: BPD Emotional Dysregulation

Just as people with diabetes have a problem regulating their blood sugar and must test it several times a day, people with BPD find it difficult to be emotionally consistent. This is why you're continually walking on eggshells, never knowing what to expect when you walk in the door.

Get Back on Track When Conversations Get Derailed

Isn't it amazing how easily communication can misfire between you and your family member? One of you feels wronged and takes something personally. Before you know it, your conversation gets derailed into yet another failed interaction. It happens so fast---all it takes is a look or a tone of voice. Here, therapist Elayne Savage gives you tips about what to do.

The Magical Fantasies of Borderlines and Narcissists

While we all fantasize, the trouble with narcissist fantasy is that the narcissist treads a fine line between what is magical thinking and what is real. As unhealthy as it is for the narcissist, it becomes gaslighting for his family members and contributes to their own confusion, frustration, and magical thinking.

Problems With Emotional Intimacy—Typical for BPs and NPs

Many partners of BPs and NPs can't distinguish between intimacy and intensity—the hearts and flowers and all the smitten singers you hear on the radio going tra-la-la about how their heart will burst if they can't have the person they met two days ago notwithstanding. Many of the big romances onscreen and in novels are about people who barely know each other.

Lack of Empathy: The Most Telling Narcissistic Trait

Narcissists don't consider the pain they inflict on others; nor do they give any credence to others' perceptions.They simply do not care about thoughts and feelings that conflict with their own.

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