First and foremost you have to understand that BPD is a medical condition and you can’t make anyone happy, much less someone with BPD. They have to make an active effort to make themselves happy, or they are actively
This isn’t a perfect process. I challenge you to find me one person in the word that doesn’t have a collection of good and bad days. Everyone poops; everyone has bad days. We may have more than our fair share, sure, but it’s a part of life. As long as you don’t expect perfection, even a slight increase in the number of good days can be considered a win.
Validate them. Really, you need to be validating everyone in your life. Even strangers if you can. We all hear what we are doing wrong and what we’re bad at. How often do you take the time to tell a loved one or coworker what they are really good at. When was the last time you told a stranger you like their shirt? Sound creepy? Then the problem is you. But we can fix that! Take time out of your day to reflect on who is doing what well and what people are good at, then take a little extra time to tell them! Here is a secret: chances are the person with BPD in your life suffered a severe lack of validating while growing up. Want to make both of you happier? Make up for it now.
Make sure their medication is right. Ok. This is a tricky one as you have to be really close to the person. However, if you are and you think they could use an increase in, oh, their antidepressant, validate the progress they’ve made and then approach the conversation about their meds. Please don’t flat out tell them the change needed unless you are REALLY close to them. Instead ask them how they are feeling in general and how they feel about their current cocktail. Chances are they might bring it up themselves, or you’ll find a way to mention the suggestion. Either way please understand that perfecting the medication combo can take years and a lot of trial and error.
Be willing to do what it takes to help them remember to take their meds. It they struggle to remember, but want to remember, they may seek you out to be part of the process. So, be part of the process. If they don’t seek you out but are talking about trouble remembering, offer to be part of the process, in a validating way.
Help them increase their quality of life. This can mean anything and the burden isn’t yours alone. Remember, they have to want this too. However, taking them to the museum, zoo, or out to dinner can be a huge step. But don’t forget the little things that show you care, yet don’t require them to leave their blanket/pillow fort just yet. DO they read everything in sight? Show up with a new book for them. I know there is no better way to woo me, unless is comes with a bag of nothing but blue M&M’s that is. It’s the little things that show you are with them when the going gets tough, that helps pull them out of the funk. If they are rejecting everything, then they don’t want it and you need to go back to step 1.
Finally, know when you cut loose. Look some of you may be stuck either by choice, family, or marriage. If that’s the case I’m sorry but times will get better. But if the relationship isn’t too serious and you have the option to leave… As much as I hate saying this as the biggest fear of someone with BPD is abandonment, it might be time to go ahead and let go. Look, there is only so much you as a fellow human can take and you can’t let one person sink the ship if they aren’t even willing to bail with you. Just give a fair chance, Ok?
Know when it’s time to end a marriage and or distance yourself from family. This is very similar to step