Saying No To Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

    Saying No To Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

    Saying No To Someone With Borderline Personality Disorder

    Being with someone with a borderline personality disorder can be tricky, and saying NO to someone with BPD can often result in unwanted conflicts. It is because people with BPD fear abandonment and can get self-destructive or self-harming towards themselves when they feel things may not go their way. 

    You might sometimes feel that you are on a roller coaster ride or cannot make things right, which can sometimes be very frustrating. To save them from rage and unexpected mood swings, you need to learn about their BPD episodes and how you can save an argument with them by just understanding what triggers them.

    What is Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

    Challenges with emotion control characterize the condition known as borderline personality disorder (BPD). Accordingly, those with BPD feel emotions intensely and for a long time, and it is more difficult for them to return to a stable baseline after an emotionally upsetting occurrence.

    This issue can result from impulsivity, a negative self-image, turbulent relationships, and strong emotional reactions to situations. Self-harm and other risky behaviors might result from difficulties with self-control.

    Saying NO to someone with BPD

    People with borderline personality disorder tend to go through highly intense anxiety and emotional periods. Due to this, it can be challenging for us to say no to them or disagree over something as the argument can get heated with their BPD rage, or in some cases, they will completely shut themselves. Here are some advises on how to say no to a BPD patient when it is needed without triggering them:

    • Specify if the response is YES or No

    Clarify them if your answer is a hard no or yes; saying maybe can be frustrating for them and may also give them anxiety. It is a good thing to always be direct with your response.

    If you disagree with what the BPD patient is saying or suggesting and your answer is a “hard no, ” try to come up with an alternative idea so they won’t get disappointed and will have something to look forward to.

    If your answer is ‘not now,’ then suggest they wait for a few days. This will make BPD patients feel special and loved. Reassuring people you love helps them remember that you care about them and their feelings and that you take them seriously. 

    • Explain what you’re feeling

    When in an argument, also tell your side of the story as it will help them loosen their fear of abandonment and rejection. Expressing what you are feeling is as important as listening to their needs so they will see things from your perspective, too, instead of getting stuck with their thoughts in their mind, as people with BPD tend to overthink a lot which worsens their anxiety.

    • Ask the BPD patient to tell what they are feeling.

    If you observe any aggressive behavior in them or if they start to feel agitated with something, ask them to tell you how they are feeling. Expressing what is going on in their mind will help release some tension, and you will also get a clue about how to reach a solution that will benefit you both. 

    • Stick to your commitments

    Try not to cancel any plans or refuse something you have agreed on before because this is when they will become anxious and stressed as they will start feeling rejected or abandoned. If you have to cancel anything, let them know the reason behind it and reassure them with your love and care as it helps them with their emotions and thoughts.

    • Be consistent and patient

    Friends and family of patients with borderline personality find it challenging to keep up with their BPD episodes. Being patient and consistent with people with BPD symptoms helps them stay calm and less stressed. It also decreases their BPD episodes and sometimes even eliminates their triggers. 

    • Consider your well-being and honor yourself.

    You have other priorities besides just looking out for others. You must prioritize your requirements, difficulties, and desires. You cannot always support and help others if you are not also caring for yourself.

    Even while you might be their pillar of strength and support, they ultimately take charge of their lives. Please don’t think that people with BPD “can never get better.” They most certainly can. The relationship would be less healthy the more you would blame yourself for not being able to save the situation or assist them, so it is equally important to look out for yourself and keep your well-being in mind.

    BPD Causes

    The exact known causes of BPD are still not identified, but there are still three main reasons that scientists think cause borderline personality disorder in people.


    Even though BPD has not been directly linked to any one gene or gene profile, research indicates that those who have a close relative with the condition may be more susceptible to having it themselves.

    Environmental factors.

    People are more likely to acquire BPD if they go through traumatic life experiences like being neglected or separated from their parents or being physically or sexually abused as children.

    Brain activity. 

    The emotional control system may be altered in those with BPD, indicating that some symptoms may have a neurological cause. Mainly, there may be poor communication between the brain regions in charge of emotion, judgment, and decision-making.


    Loving someone with BPD can be challenging, whether a friend, a family member or a significant other. You wouldn’t experience any difficulties in a typical relationship, and you frequently need to do your research. However,  it is possible to establish and preserve a healthy connection with a BPD patient.

    Additionally, even though it occasionally seems impossible, there are ways to say “no.” Although disagreement may not be what someone with BPD wants to hear, your needs are just as important as theirs. Hence, asserting yourself is necessary for any healthy connection.

    While some guide has been in this article on how to say no to a BPD patient, you should also discuss this with your BPD partner’s psychiatrist or psychologist. Everyone is affected by BPD differently. Thus, it’s likely that your partner faces challenges not mentioned explicitly in this article.