Loving1today: Loving1with Black and White Thinking.
This is contributed by community member Fee Johnson for Loving1withmentalillness.com
Black and white thinking is one of the classic symptoms of Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Black and white thinking is characterized by the following statements:
“I love you”
“I hate you”
“Stay with me”
“Leave me alone”
They push you away, then pull you back in. You will find these types of behaviors in relationships with those who have BPD.
There is a lot of polarized thinking while living with BPD. The sufferer has to be perfect and good, or else they are bad. In their world, there is to be no in between. Even one mistake, no matter how small or trivial, can make a person with BPD feel as if they are a failure and do not deserve to live.
When you care for someone who has BPD, this can sometimes be confusing, and hard to deal with. In order to support someone with BPD in becoming more stable in their emotions, help them settle these extreme thoughts and behaviors.
It is important to recognize the symptoms and behavioral patterns to find an in between. Instead of giving into the extremes of the black and white thinking, you can help the person with BPD find areas of grey. Understanding, patience, and empathy are needed.
You can help guide an emotionally unstable person to a place where they can accept that one mistake doesn’t make them bad. The world is not black or white and good or bad. Therefore, we can appreciate the shades of grey and thus help balance our lives into healthier directions.
Support our community member Fee by clicking on the link below to access her book “Her” which illustrates what it is like to live with BPD.
Black and White Thinking: Written by Fee Johnson, Edited by Debra DeLash
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