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.

Substance Abuse and Borderlines, Narcissists

Human beings have remarkably inventive ways to rid themselves from painful feelings. The more agonizing the emotion, the more resourceful one has to be. People with borderline and narcissistic disorders experience may experience a great deal of pain, so they get pretty savvy.

Shame Is at the Root of Narcissistic, Borderline Disorder

Toxic shame isn't about making a mistake. It's about feeling like you are a mistake: intrinsically bad based on the fact that you exist. If other people find out about your "badness," they will surely leave you.

Interpersonal Exploitation Typical of Narcissists

Sometimes the narcissist doesn't get everything she needs through more subtle means. She needs to take a more direct approach. Thus another narcissistic trait "Is interpersonally exploitative, that is, takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends."

Envy, Part of the Definition of Narcissistic Disorder

Narcissists must be superior to others in every single way. So when someone else has something they don't have that they want: admiration, status, skills, objects, etc.--the narcissist sees it as a major threat. Like so much else in the narcissistic mind, it is unconscious.

Why Some Narcissists and Borderlines Lie

Being truthful takes the ability to be honest with one's own self, because if you're not honest with yourself, you won't be honest with others

"My Wife Makes Me Feel Like a Zombie"

A reader asks, "I have been struggling with the roller coaster for 32 years. I go from trying to connect to trying to survive, to realizing (very recently) that I've become an emotional zombie where she's concerned. It breaks my heart. What do I do?"

Radical Acceptance Can Inhibit Suffering

To accept your circumstances radically simply means that you do it from the depths of your soul and in every bone in your body. Radical acceptance of your loved one's disorder means that you acknowledge that you can't change the disorder, you didn't cause it, and you can't cure it.

Black and White Thinking Is Both a BPD and NPD Trait

Being split black can happen out of the blue and can leave one reeling. One day you may be enjoying the "best" intimacy, sex, love, times of the relationship and the next you are dealing with a robot void of emotion, icy cold, and being completely ignored.

*Borderline Disorder Conference Now Online

Videos of the Nov 4 Atlanta Family Perspectives on Borderline Personality Disorder conference.

Two Types of Narcissists Pose Somewhat Different Challenges

All narcissists are typically self-absorbed, see themselves as superior, lack empathy, display arrogance and disdain toward others, and experience "narcissistic injuries" when others don't treat them as superior. However, clinical experience and the research literature indicate that there are two or more general subtypes: "vulnerable" and "invulnerable" narcissists.

Behind the Facade: The "False Self" of the Narcissist

Narcissists lack an identity; a sense of self. To compensate, they develop what's called a "false self."

Who Am I? The Conundrum of Both Borderlines and Narcissists

Imagine yourself an amnesia patient, adrift. Sense the paralyzing emptiness that must go with not knowing who you are. People with BPD and NPD have specific—and different—approaches for dealing with their identity crisis. This post is about the BP strategy.

*Borderlines and Narcissists Both Blame-Storm

Both people with borderline and narcissistic personality disorder get into rages in which they blame and criticize others. However, the rages have slightly different motivations. Keeping these differences in mind will help you anticipate the attacks and respond when they occur.

*Ten Tips for Staying in a Borderline Relationship

Many people want to remain connected to their borderline family member. Here are 10 hints you'll want to keep in mind to stay balanced.

*You're So Vain: Narcissistic "Grandiosity"

Businesswoman and real estate investor Leona Helmsley famously said, "We [rich people] don't pay taxes. Only the little people pay taxes." That's a quote people with narcissistic personality disorder can really relate to. They are aggravated by having to deal with the "little people" all the time.

*What Borderlines and Narcissists Fear Most: Part B

In part A of this two-part series, I explained that a narcissist's greatest fear is losing narcissistic supply. Today I'm tackling the BPD counterpart, fear of abandonment. Fear of abandonment is the engine that drives borderline personality disorder. The real or imagined belief of imminent separation destabilizes all the other BPD traits.