Stop Walking on Eggshells
Quick book review
This is often considered the best book on Borderline Personality Disorder, and with good reason. This book does three things very well:
Lays out in logical and researched detail why the person’s behavior is not your fault. By helping clear the guilt and emotional weight of taking blame, it clears the path for its second objective:
Providing a comprehensive set of tools to deal with BPD behavior. The authors provide numerous strategies for setting boundaries, dealing with the emotional challenges of interacting
Provides a clear look inside the thoughts and feelings of a person with BPD. You will come away with a much better understanding of how they view their world, how they feel, and why a person with BPD acts and reacts the way they do.
Even if the person you are dealing with has not been officially diagnosed with BPD, you’ll likely recognize many of the behaviors, develop a new empathy rooted in behavioral science. The book offers tools to help you navigate challenging situations, deal with your own emotions, and get your own life back.
Key ideas and book notes from Stop Walking On Eggshells
A person with a personality disorder looks at the world in a distinctly different way than you do—a way that causes significant problems and limitations in their relationships, their social activities, and their work or studies.
someone very likely has a personality disorder if they are continuously disruptive, toxic, or out of line.
The DSM-5 lists ten personality disorders and groups them into three groups, or “clusters,”
Our concern here is the B group, which is characterized by overly emotional, dramatic, erratic behavior.
is possible to have more than one Cluster B personality disorder at once.
your total is 16 or more, you should be very concerned.
The best way for them to ensure their psychological survival is to be in control of their environment and the people in it at all times.
HCPs tend to split people and situations into black-and-white extremes. For HCPs, there often cannot be any shades of gray. This is called splitting.
Even in everyday exchanges, HCPs can become very emotional about their points of view, often catching everyone else by surprise with their intense fear, anger, yelling, or disrespect. Their emotions are often way out of proportion to the situation or the issue being discussed. Yet HCPs are often clueless about the devastating and exhausting emotional impact they can have on others.
People do recover from BPD.
People with BPD feel all emotions intensely, borderline rage is especially notable because it can be intense and unpredictable, and because it is usually utterly unaffected by logical argument.
You get there at 11:56; they show up at 1:02, over an hour late. Their logic goes like this: if you genuinely love them, you should forgive them for their lateness, and be willing to put aside all your own desires and concentrate solely on fulfilling their needs.
Many experts say that, in terms of emotional development, people with BPD are two years old.
First, the conventional type of borderline individual usually self-harms and may be suicidal. They welcome treatment. They may have a tough time keeping a job and often have a co-occurring disorder like an eating disorder or bipolar.
Parents of people with BPD are also vulnerable to this. They believe that they have been horrible parents when they simply made the same mistakes most parents make.
You’re not God. You are not responsible. And you can’t fix this person. Your job is to accept that fact. Live with it. And make the decisions you have to make to live your life.”
Set limits with love: boundary issues, “sponging” and “mirroring,” preparing for discussions, persisting for change, and the DEAR (Describe, Express, Assert, and Reinforce) technique.
Sometimes it’s not the actual event but the person with BPD’s interpretation of that event that prompts splitting.
Don’t delay your own happiness. Grab it right now. There are many things you can do today to take your life back.
Memorize the three Cs and the three Gs: I didn’t cause it. I can’t control it. I can’t cure it. get off their back. get out of the way. get on with your own life.
Every day, we teach people how to treat us by showing them what we will and won’t accept, what we refuse to confront, and what we let slide.
Many family members find that keeping a daily log of their loved one’s patterns of behavior helps them understand and depersonalize the person’s actions. Parents of borderline children, especially, find records useful in helping obtain proper diagnosis and treatment for their child.
traits that make people vulnerable to emotional blackmail include fear, obligation, and guilt—FOG for short.
People with BPD tend to change the rules, act impulsively, and demand attention on their schedule, not that of others. Limits can help you deal with these behaviors so that you don’t feel like a puppet on a string.
Firm, consistent limits on your part will help the person with BPD eventually create limits for himself or herself.
“The Four Don’ts”: defend, deny, counterattack, and withdraw.
Trying to fill the emotional black hole inside a person with BPD is like trying to fill the Grand Canyon with a water pistol
You’re asserting your limits for the long-term health of the relationship—not just for yourself. Be a mirror, not a sponge.
Don’t dwell on the details of self-injury when discussing it with the person. Self-harm can be addictive; you don’t want to trigger the behavior.
You have been doing the best you can with the resources available to you.
Effective treatment for teenagers with BPD typically includes one or more of the following: dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) a skilled therapist’s own mixture of treatment styles medication
DBT helps a teenager to accept that their reality, as they perceive it, may be very different from how others see them and their situation.
With a child who has BPD, following through inconsistently is worse than setting no limit at all.