Finding the greyscale
It’s difficult to know how to support someone with a severe personality disorder. This blog piece is written from my perspective, as someone who often needs support with my personality disorder.
The first step is to be as transparent as possible. Paranoia is high most of the time and often meanings are misinterpreted. People with P.D have difficulty reading another person’s emotions and at times this can lead to a breakdown in communication between each other.
Even the simplest of things can cause a degree of anxiety. Looking at a watch during your conversation may seem perfectly innocent, but a person who suffers with P.D may see this as you’re bored, that you want to get away, or that you’re not interested.
Being transparent isn’t always easy. Try and give it a go when you’re having a conversation with someone. Try to monitor your body language and eye contact. Don’t focus on one particular point in your chat. Fixating can really throw people off.
One thing that really helps me is planned endings. I have abandonment issues, so when I have bonded with someone and they leave my life, I become very unsettled. If you know you’re going to be away for a while – or even for good – a planned ending will help me deal with the loss and lessens the emotional impact.
Writing a letter and reading it to me or a meet-up with plans for the future to be discussed is a great way to say goodbye.
Don’t assume anything. My thoughts are very black and white, I struggle to comprehend the ‘grey’ areas of any situation. You may find this with many people who have P.D.
Validation! Always try to validate someone’s thoughts and ideas. It’s so easy to brush off an idea and this will cause a great deal of frustration. Again, try to practice this technique. You may be surprised at how often you brush things aside.
Here is the end. I hope you’ll embrace all that I am trying to explain and that an understanding of personality disorders will become widespread.