How to talk and get your message across to a person with BPD
My mother has Borderline Personality Disorder- and makes my life perfectly miserable. I need to know how to talk so that she will listen- what's the magic word? Her brain is completely warped, and being understood is nearly impossible. Does anybody know how I can get my message across in any conversation.
NAMI friend and family support groups can be helpful. I've known people with bpd (in my life, offsite) and what I've noticed is there is difficulty setting emotional boundaries so that the person is either emotionally exploitative or emotionally needy. Its way more complex than that of course but that's a predominant issue. The term (and understanding of it) that I've used for my mother (who has cyclothymia which is mild bipolar, certainly not bpd) is "factual" not meaning the exact facts but what is the exact emotion the person is feeling rather than being angry or cynical about it. I would think she is seeing a psychiatrist and of course dbt therapy is needed in addition. But more importantly the essential thing is for the person to have a sense of comfort and individuality without overstepping other people's emotional boundaries. That is for her to discuss with her therapist, not you but if you have experienced any aspects of this directed at you you might encourage her to speak to her therapist about it but its important to be emotional supportive as well.
You might find some support at one of A.J. Mahari's lists (found under yahoo health groups).
I think I tend to listen more to those people who listen to me and show me some respect. I sometimes find it difficult to concentrate so perhaps keeping to the pertinent points. Use I statements a lot and don't use you. You do this, you do that, you make me feel. Don't use those.
Listen, be empathetic, don't judge, show compassion. bpd is something you wouldn't want anyone to have -not even your worst enemy.
Set limits. Be consistent. Follow through on things you say (although sometimes you need to be flexible). Be transparent. Say what you think and feel. Justify and qualify things. It helps the person with bpd to better understand and doesn't give them the opportunity to misinterpret things.
No magic word -sorry!! Your mother probably feels equally frustrated and misunderstood. Find the grain of truth in anything she says and work with that.
Be patient. People with bpd can be very sensitive and intuitive -she may feel all your negativity without you communicating it verbally. Too many intense moments, issues, emotions may overwhelm her and make it difficult for her to follow a conversation.
Be calm and assertive and project being in control. Chaos can cause confusion. Boundaries are good.
Just some random thoughts and ideas. I hope some of them help.
I wish I knew some magic words to deal with my mother. I understand that she has a history trauma that was never dealt with and that she probably feels misunderstood. However I have been estranged from her since last march b/c she came into my house saying nasty things to me for the last time. I wish there was a way of being loved and her understanding unconditional love for me without being a nightmare.
I wish she wasn't my mother..honestly ...that's terrible but she makes my life a nightmare and I am trying to get pregnant and I don't want to pass on the craziness to my children. This is a nightmare....
I feel so confused and she continues to interupt my life in her insane way..
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