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People with Borderline Personality Disorder lack emotional skin. Does this preclude the balanced concept of tough love for loved ones? Whose responsibility is this lack of emotional skin? Do loved ones of those with BPD have to bend over backwards, accomodate inappropriate behaviour that doesn't respect boundaries, and walk on eggshells?

Why do borderlines lack emotional skin? Essentially because there is no container, no intact known authentic self from which to have it. What does this mean for you? If the borderline in your life lacks emotional skin, is very sensitive, needs to be validated, is this your responsibility?

What do you think it means if you are the one taking responsibility for your borderline loved one's lack of emotional skin, sensitivity, need for validation and so forth? Does this mean you are an enabler? If you are in rescuer mode and enabling what follows is enmeshment and loss, to one degree or another, of yourself.

Enabling a borderline does not help the borderline. All of your sacrifice, over-investing, care-taking, walking on eggshells, trying to avoid conflict or perhaps coax some communication out of the borderline in your life will not help him or her and will not help you.

Is it all about tough love versus validation and support? Is it really that black and white?

Ebooks © A.J. Mahari

In part of this two hour talk that A.J. Mahari gave to an audience of loved ones of those with Borderline Personality Disorder, Mahari, an author, speaker, life coach and strategist, talks about the importance of tough love in a balanced way even in the face of the borderline's lack of emotional skin.

Middle-ground for the loved one is important to his or her emotional health. Middle ground is important in relating to someone with BPD because coming from one extreme or another triggers and polarizes the borderline, one way or the other. And it is the borderline's responsibility to learn to cope with and take responsibility for what triggers him or her.

You can purchase the full 2 hour talk A.J. gave to an audience of Loved ones of those with BPD by going to where the video is available in two parts. 

© A.J. Mahari, February 24, 2009 – All rights reserved. 

A.J. Mahari is a Life Coach who, among other things, specializes in working with those with BPD and non borderlines. A.J. has 5 years experience as a Life Coach and has worked and continues to work with hundreds of clients from all over the world.

Borderline Personality Disorder – No Emotional Skin – Loved Ones & Tough Love