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Stop walking on eggshells : coping when someone you care about has borderline personality disorder

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  3,352 ratings  ·  256 reviews
Stop Walking on Eggshells: Coping When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder is a self-help guide that helps the family members and friends of individuals with borderline personality disorder (BPD) understand this self-destructive disorder and learn what they can do to cope with it and take care of themselves. It is designed to help them understand how ...more
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published July 1st 1998 by New Harbinger Pubns Inc (first published 1998)
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8th out of 51 books — 73 voters
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Jul 27, 2013 Steve rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who deals with difficult people
Shelves: self-help
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a surprisingly common problem, and it often coexists with alcoholism and/or drug addiction. We all know people with BPD, although we may not know that scientific label. People with BPD can be maddeningly difficult to deal with, irrational, manipulative, and often, downright mean. After I divorced my wife, who suffered from BPD (OK, the whole family suffered from her BPD), this book became my bible, my lifeline. My therapist recommended it, and I'll be for ...more
My heart stopped when I found this book on my now Ex boyfriend's bookshelf. He came home from work to find me reading it and the expression on his face was absolute shame and horror. It disappeared the next day when he left for work, but the damage was already done.

I DESPISED this book. It presents BPD as a burden on the lives of those people "unfortunate" enough to care for someone who has it. It focuses on "surviving the ordeal" rather than helping them find ways to cope with the fallout while
For a more thorough overview please read Seeking Myself's review, I agree with their critiques of the book completely.

This book may be useful for dealing with people with difficult or abusive behaviour, but it unfortunately conflates that behaviour with BPD and gives a very inaccurate picture of the disorder. It also encourages people to self-diagnose friends and family with BPD. The author even admits that she wrote the book because of a relationship with someone that she thought had BPD despit
Grossly insensitive and inaccurate.

(If you are someone with Borderline Personality Disorder, I highly recommend trashing this crap and never looking back. Or at least never reading the online reviews - here or elsewhere. You will find a boatload of people thanking God that they do not have to "deal with" anyone who has BPD, when they actually mean the examples Stop Walking on Eggshells uses to demonize all sufferers. It coins the term 'borderline' as something that stands for manipulative, abus
This book helped to free me from an extremely painful relationship with a Borderline/Narcissist. It finally put a name on what the person was and what they were doing to me. My world is a better place because of this book.
Dave O'Neal
As the child of a borderline mother, I found this particularly helpful in understanding the point of view of borderlines and for gaining some useful tactics on how to deal with them--the "spolier" here being that there's no particularly satisfying way, just some ways that work to a degree and others that you learn not even to try.
The authors are optomistic about borderlines being able to crawl out of their mental prison, once they recognize they've got a problem--and therein lies the problem fo
Loy Machedo

The Background of how I came to read this book
Stop Walking on Eggshells: Taking Your Life Back When Someone You Care About Has Borderline Personality Disorder by Paul Mason MS and Randi Kreger

When one of my friends admitted to me his wife had a Borderline Personality Disorder, I quizzically wondered what in the world did he mean that. His wife looked perfectly normal to me and they did look like a happy couple - at least on the outside. However, after he shared with me a few intimate details -
It was a hard decision for me to give this three stars, because for me it was really more of a two. I think, though, that that's because as a psychologist, I already know quite a bit about borderline personality disorder and about the need to maintain one's boundaries. I was hoping this book would give me some new information and insight into ways to deal with difficult people, but for the most part, it didn't. That's me, though, and lots of other people seem to have found it helpful so I didn't ...more
This is my second or third time reading this book. It was originally recommended by my brother's girlfriend-at-the-time, who had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder.

I find this book very helpful. It acknowledges the difficulty of dealing with mental illness that can be disguised or hidden, and it doesn't judge, but also doesn't excuse. It talks about distortions and altered reality and over-reactions and lies, and all the things that start to seem "normal" when you deal with some
Read this trying to make sense of a past relationship that started and stopped over a dozen times in a few months. Roller coaster only begins to describe what was going on and not only did the relationship end poorly, I struggled trying to understand what had happened. One moment the world was fine, and the next everything was wrong and couldn't be fixed. I was alternately the best thing that had ever happened or the most colossal screwup. There was no in between and the switch could happen over ...more
(I'm pretty sure) I don't know anyone with Borderline Personality Disorder, but I found this book helpful anyway. A lot of the stuff about the fact that you can't "fix" the other person (and also about boundary-setting, and trigger vs. cause) is broadly applicable.


I will caveat, however, that I'm not stoked about some of their language choices.

(1) They often alternate using "he" and "she" for generic examples, rather than going for a singular they or "he or she" (and whenever they do say "he
Thomas Edmund
A piece I read related to work Stop Walking on Eggshells provides guidance for people in relationships with someone diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. The book is comfortably written, the main thrust of the advice being how to take care of oneself when in a difficult relationship.

Its a decent informative read, lost one star on the incredibly unrealistic 'scripts' to use in tricky conversations. Written in perfect therapy speak the recommended dialogues read nothing like anyone speak
I don't want to go into personal detail, but this book has been an eye opener in many ways, not only about the mental illness called Borderline Personality Disorder, but about self-destructive, manipulative, aggressive, abusive behaviors and co-dependency in general.

The message is clear: You can't fix the other person, so don't go around playing God.

The author is compassionate, towards both the ill person and their relatives. It doesn't point fingers, it offers concrete help. I don't usually li
If you have anyone anywhere in your life travels who has Borderline Personality Disorder, you should read this book. It is an eye opener that validates so many assumed ideas about one who can cause havoc within relationships, but who is ultimately empty inside, despite the devastation they can cause. The lies and distortion campaigns against people they claim to love can be so devastating. On my list of menta health care, this one is a necessary read if you live your life in proximity to one who ...more
I kind of just skimmed this book, but what I did read was pretty good. I'd read some bad reviews about how it kind of demonized people with BPD, but I didn't think that. The advice I liked the most is - in my opinion- applicable to relationships with anyone, not just someone with mental illness. I mean, aren't we all a work in progress, all a bit imbalanced in our own special ways?:)
So here's what I liked:
Unconditional love is different from unconditional acceptance (not sure if the author said
Jess Lilja
This book is great if you have a family member suffering from Borderline Personality Disorder. So many of the BPD focus on the people who have the illness and how family members can bend over backwards to help them while suffering the most abuse, but this book is supportive, offers helpful advice, and is easy to read. And, if like me, you just need to take a break for a while, this book lets you know that not only is it okay, it's sometimes the right thing to do.
Vrinda Pendred
This book is basically a guide to how to extricate yourself from friends and family and lovers who have BPD...and never speak to them again, because they are awful destructive people with no feelings to respect. It is one of the most offensive, disgusting, prejudiced books I've ever read and I'm shocked it's allowed in print. Not once does it ever suggest maybe you could HELP the person because it terrifies them too.
Finally figured out this is what my mom suffers from, and the discovery was such a revelation that I devoured this book in a day. Very helpful, with a good combination of personal anecdotes, expert information, and tips for dealing with people with BPD.
Guayec Perdomo
wish i had read this a year ago. but better late than never. great help.
If you've ever experienced the roller-coaster ride that is a relationship with a person with BPD, you know the trauma that can result. One day you're on a pedestal, and the next, you're a mortal enemy described in the most vile and hateful terms.

Many psychiatrists/therapists are very reluctant to attempt treatment of individuals with BPD - it's that difficult.

I've known two such people - one a relative, and one a coworker. I wish I'd read this book during all of the chaos that these ill folks
Magdalena Celeste
I'm not sure I agree with reviews that say this book "bashes" people with BPD. Looking back, I don't think it does a responsible job of representing the disorder as a whole, but I actually think the book works so hard to avoid taking sides between people with BPD and nons that people in both camps end up feeling unheard/unhelped after reading it.

As someone who has dealt with multiple abusive relationships with people who have BPD (often with NPD or APD as well), I don't think this book is all th
I read this book because it was recommended to me by a psychiatrist friend of mine in hopes that it could help me understand and deal with a family member. My friend has heard a only a few "stories" and suspected my family member may have Borderline Personality Disorder. Well, after reading the book, I believe my family member does have BPD. I had never heard of BPD before, and I don't think my family member has been officially diagnosed...and if she has, she's not telling anyone.

This book did h
Michele Lee
I borrowed this book.

Borderline Personality Disorder is a complex, difficult to deal with and highly undiagnosed mental disease. While the idea of the unstable girlfriend or boyfriend is common enough to be a comedy (and horror) stereotype, this book explores a very real disorder that might be behind the actions. And unlike many books on the topic, it focuses on the supporters, caretakers, or those who have been scarred by the actions of a BPD person.

This book is very clear, easy to read and i
With BPD coming clearer and clearer into focus in our society, picking up a book like this for the first time is a real eye-opener. You can expect a range of emotions if someone you love, particularly a parent, spouse, or child has BPD. BPD is not talked about much in our society and for that I am very grateful that the first part of the book identifies myths and false media representation of the disorder. It is, in fact, a personality disorder rooted in trauma and other environmental factors/at ...more
Rachel Nabors
I'm not 100% sure if I or the people I love are afflicted by Borderline Personality Disorder, although I have the deepest of suspicions to that effect. I started reading this book because I was worried about a parent. But as I got deeper and deeper into it, I found myself stopping every few pages to try imagining how what I'd just read applied to my grandparents, my parent, and then myself. I learned so much from that. Even if the people I love are not afflicted with BPD, I now feel I have more ...more
Randolph Giles
I have been there more than once. Sometimes answers about who a person is are staring you right in your face, your friends and family see it, but you don't, you don't want to accept it so you put on your rose colored glasses and jump head first into a nightmare. This book is not only for those in relationships, but parents with their children as well. When I read this book concerning a relationship that I was in I thought that I was reading my own life. When people that you are involved with iso ...more
Katie J
Having been in a relationship with a borderline for 10 years now, this book gave me a lot of insight and knowledge as to what was goIng on in my chaotic relationship and in my boyfriends head. I don't agree with the "coping" mechanisms for staying in a relationship with someone that suffers from this disorder. I don't think anyone should have to "cope" or deal With the abuse that comes along with it. I think more people should be encouraged to leave the relationship and seek a healthier lifestyl ...more
Stop Walking on Eggshells was well crafted. It was organized in a "user friendly" way that made it easy to find the points you connect with and ignore the points you do not. I really appreciated all of the personal quotes from both people suffering from BPD and from those who love someone with BPD. The techniques for dealing with a BPD person were extremely helpful and really could be applied in any relationship, not just a BPD relationshp. In the end I felt a certain hopelessness for those who ...more
Louise Rebecca
This book was recommended to me by a psychiatrist in hospital. So, I ordered it.
This book presents borderlines as manipulative, angry, self-absorbed monsters who need to be controlled. It stigmatizes. It's like those internet pages you stumble across when researching BPD. 'People with BPD are selfish, don't get into a relationship with them, they're just manipulative evil people who don't want to change.'
It never helped me understand BPD. It just confirmed my worse fears about myself. My family
Michaella Dietrich
I wish I had known about this book when I was in high school. It would have helped me a lot and taught me how to deal with my mother better. I don't know if she actually has BPD because she also fits a lot of the narcissistic characteristics as well. I'll probably never know for sure but she acts and reacts similar to a person with BPD. The techniques mentioned in this book are similar to the techniques that Al-Anon uses so I have already started using them in my life. There has been a huge chan ...more
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  • The Essential Family Guide to Borderline Personality Disorder: New Tools and Techniques to Stop Walking on Eggshells
  • Surviving a Borderline Parent: How to Heal Your Childhood Wounds and Build Trust, Boundaries, and Self-Esteem
  • Understanding the Borderline Mother: Helping Her Children Transcend the Intense, Unpredictable, and Volatile Relationship
  • I Hate You, Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality
  • Borderline Personality Disorder Demystified: An Essential Guide for Understanding and Living with BPD
  • The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond
  • Skills Training Manual for Treating Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Lost in the Mirror: An Inside Look at Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Children of the Self-Absorbed: A Grown-Up's Guide to Getting over Narcissistic Parents
  • The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family
  • The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Emotional Blackmail: When the People in Your Life Use Fear, Obligation, and Guilt to Manipulate You
  • How I Stayed Alive When My Brain Was Trying to Kill Me: One Person's Guide to Suicide Prevention
  • The Dialectical Behavior Therapy Workbook: Practical DBT Exercises for Learning Mindfulness, Interpersonal Effectiveness, Emotion Regulation, And Distress Tolerance
  • The Courage to Heal Workbook: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse
  • Boundaries: Where You End And I Begin: How To Recognize And Set Healthy Boundaries
  • The Untouched Key: Tracing Childhood Trauma in Creativity and Destructiveness
  • The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook

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“The techniques of brainwashing are simple: isolate the victim, expose them to consistent messages, mix with sleep deprivation, add some form of abuse, get the person to doubt what they know and feel, keep them on their toes, wear them down, and stir well.” 4 likes
“While others might feel manipulative, I feel powerless. Sometimes I just hurt so bad from the mean things that people do to me, real or perceived, or I’m so desperately feeling abandoned, that I withdraw and pout and go silent. At some point people get pissed off and fed up with that crap and they go away and then I’m left with nothing all over again.” 4 likes
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