Ending a friendship with a borderline personality! It’s time to break up when you find yourself tired of the rollercoaster that is a borderline personality. You deserve better than this. And so does your sanity.
If you’ve experienced the highs and lows of living with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), then you know how hard it can be to finally make the decision to divorce them from your life forever.
Ending A Friendship With A Borderline Personality: 12 Things That Will Help You
It’s not an easy thing for anyone, but there are ways to do it safely and respectfully – even if they’re still in denial about their condition or unwilling to accept help at first. It takes courage and compassion on both parts, but once you commit to getting out, here are twelve things that will help:
1) Be prepared to give them an ‘out
It’s not uncommon for people with BPD to be extremely suspicious of others’ intentions. They often feel that they are under attack or being lied to. It can become a fearsome cycle of one person trying to convince the other of their desire to help – which is futile because it makes no sense.
The best thing you can do is give them an easy way out without wrong-doing on their part. That saves face and dignity. They need to know they are loved and important, but not at the expense of their sanity or their health. You may have to be reassuring several times – but it’s for their own good.
2) Listen to them – but support yourself
When you break up with someone, there’s no telling what they might do when they’re in pain. What they say may not be true, but it doesn’t mean that their feelings aren’t real. Give them space and time alone to sort through these feelings without retaliating or prolonging the discussion. It’s a difficult thing to do – but it’s necessary in order to move forward. This is not about you – it’s for their own well-being.
3) Stay in the present moment without reaction or rejection
When they’ve finally calmed down and come back around, treat them with warmth and affection as if nothing has changed. This is not a test. There’s no need to rehash the past or debate what happened because it doesn’t matter anymore. The goal is for them to understand that you’re serious about how important they are to you and that love is unconditional even if the relationship has run its course.
You might have to repeat this several times – but it’s the only way they’ll understand. Otherwise, their fears will make them run scared again – and you know what happens to those. (Read “What Borderlines Bring Into Your Life”)
4) Go No Contact (or Low Contact if necessary)
Forget the reasons you broke up. Forget all of your promises to take things to the next level. Forget your dreams of having a successful relationship with all that that entails, and just let go. You might feel bad about it – especially since they’re not going to take the initiative.
But you have to remember that this has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. If you don’t, they’ll never be able to heal, and neither will you.
5) Don’t be their therapist
If they’re not willing to seek help yet, don’t try and force them into it. That just makes things more difficult for both of you because your feelings then become a distraction. If they do accept help, that’s a different story – but it shouldn’t be a requirement to leave.
Therapy doesn’t necessarily work because it teaches them how to help themselves, which can take years of practice. Get out while you can – before the real damage sets in.
6) Get yourself some closure
Reaching an understanding with Borderlines is almost impossible – so don’t waste your time trying. You have to emotionally disengage from them completely in order to move on with your life. That means no more contact, even if they’re doing all of the right things and making a real effort at getting better. Inappropriate behavior is their way of trying to get a reaction – and it has nothing to do with you because BPD’s don’t operate in a rational way.
7) Keep yourself safe
This can mean whatever it means for you, but make no mistake about it – there comes a time when you need to take steps for your own physical safety. This may happen long after the relationship is over or before it even begins but the only person you can control is yourself.
If you feel the need to escape a bad situation, never be afraid to walk away. You can’t help someone until they’re willing to help themselves – and this is usually long after the relationship has ended.
8) Remind yourself that it wasn’t your fault
This is really important because Borderlines are very skilled at making you believe that everything was your fault. You might have said or done some things – but none of it warranted the way they treated you. It’s time to stop questioning yourself and accept that what happened wasn’t because of anything you did and disassociate those feelings with who you are as a person.
You never deserved any of this hostility – and no one else ever will either. You have to stop feeling guilty for trying to take care of yourself!
9) Don’t fear the pain
It’s going to hurt whether they’re in your life or not, but you can minimize it by accepting that they were ill-equipped to handle a real adult relationship. It doesn’t mean that you’re not worthwhile. It doesn’t mean that they didn’t love you (or, at least, what little bit of it they were capable of). Everything will be okay – and the next relationship will be even better!
10) Make peace with your past
You can’t change anything anymore – but you can accept it for what it was and move forward. It’s the only way you’ll be able to rebuild your life. You might not think it possible right now, but you can do this! I promise – because I’ve been through it myself.
11) If you feel triggered, take care of yourself
This is really important because Borderlines are very good at provoking you. If something happens and you start going through the motions, remind yourself that it’s not reality – it’s them! Your feelings are valid, but they’re also a sign of what you need to do for yourself. That can mean anything from taking a walk or a bath to seeing a therapist when you get home. Don’t take their bait, and don’t let them hook you into another argument.
12) You are not alone
There are thousands of people out there who know exactly what you’re going through. Because they’ve been abused by someone with BPD too. Reach out for help find someone to talk to who can relate and empathize with what you’re going through. There are plenty of us out here – and it’s time to stop feeling alone in your pain. It’ll get easier with time, but don’t ever forget that you are not alone!
This article has given us a lot to think about, and we want to say thank you for the opportunity. It was enlightening to learn how our brains work, especially in terms of making decisions when it comes to relationships.
We hope that this information will help others who are struggling with similar issues or know someone going through these struggles. If you found any of the neuroscientific insights interesting, please share this article!