Before we go too far, we want to be careful not to oversell this tool. Validation will not cure BPD (obviously). It is a very valuable tool. It will help you create an environment where BPD related struggles can often be reduced - however - a person with this disorder will have interpersonal struggles from time to time no matter how well we do.
We all tend to validate in positive situations. But we don't tend to validate in neutral situations and definitely not in downright negative situations. To a hypersensitive person, validation in neutral situations and negative situations can be diffusing as Skip points out.
So the challenge is to develop validating skills, that we don't likely have as second nature, for when we are confronted with things like this:From an adult
#1 "That kid is so lazy. Look at her room! Stuff is just tossed everywhere. Why can't she learn to pick up her stuff? Why is it so hard for her to do the right thing?"
#2 "I'm the only one who does anything around here. Everyone else treats me like a maid. No one offers to help me without me having to yell and scream at them. Why won't people help me?"
#3 "you're always working. Why are you always working? Don't you realize that I need help around here too? If you were home more often you would see that I have a hard time handling things here by myself."
#4 "That driver just cut me off! What an idiot! Some people shouldn't have drivers licenses! Let's see how he likes it when I do it to him!" Your pwBPD is very angry and becoming an aggressive driver, scaring you.
#5 "You were really talking a lot to that other guy at the party tonight. I noticed how you were looking at him. Do you guys spend a lot of time together behind my back? I bet you and he are sleeping together, aren't you? I can tell by the way you spoke with each other, that there is more than just a "friendship" between you two."
#6 "Didn't I ask you to not do that anymore? I know that I did. We spoke of that last week, and I specifically told you not to do that to me anymore, but I guess you just don't listen, cause you went and did it again. I hate when you do that, don't listen. I feel like I'm just wasting my time here, since you never listen or do as I ask you to."From a child:
#1 I can not ever count on anyone to help me when I really need help!
#2 You don't love me. If you loved me you would lend me the money I need.
#3 People always leave you so I don't trust anyone
#4 You know...my life is a crap. I wish to be the son you deserve What Can We Do?
The basic are - use words that focus on:
- wants and desires
- beliefs and opinions
Letting the pwBPD i your life know that:
- you understand them.
- you accept they have a right to their feelings. Even if you don't agree with them.
- it is a reasonable possibility, and that others would feel the same way.
- you have empathy for them (a true connection with what they are going through).
- there is a kernel of truth to what they are expressing.
- they have a legitimate right to feel as they do.