• DeAara Lewis

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Bullshitters & Shit Starters: How to Deal with People Who Never Accept Responsibility for their Actions…

PLEASE READ FIRST: I wrote this post over seven years ago and it still receives traffic and comments. I am so thankful that my blog is still being used as a tool for healing. I do want to clear something up – In my post, I use the word “Borderline” very vaguely and that has caused some confusion. Much of the behavior I described fell under an older, outdated definition of “Borderline Sociopathy”.  Much of what I write about below more accurately describes someone withs Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NARC). Sociopathy and Psychopathy can be applied as well depending on the situation.

So to keep down confusion, the word “NARC” has been inserted in the place of “Borderline”.

The point I hope I made is that getting caught up in what may be wrong with someone does not help you if that person is unwilling to take a look at their behavior themselves. And in many cases, the best thing I know to do is put some distance in between you and the repeat emotional offender.

**I do not mind criticism of my writing or perspectives I may have missed, but any attacks attempting to call out the use of “Borderline” when I have already acknowledged it will be deleted. 

Have you ever gotten into an argument with someone and the error in their actions were as clear as night and day, but yet they would not acknowledge it?  They made excuses or had a reason for everything they did, no matter who they violated in the process.  Or it was never their fault, it is ALWAYS somebody else.  Most of their relationships are chaotic.  They glorify and then quickly demonize someone and have a strong case of grandiose delusions. In psychotherapy,  this is often labeled as Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NARC).  One of the main characteristics is the unwillingness of them to see the part they play in conflict or take responsibility for their actions.  Most of us know someone like this or perhaps have done this ourselves.

Taking responsibility is very tough because often times an abundance of shame comes with that.  Who wants to be the culprit or the reason someone else is hurt or some conflict is going on?  It’s easy to point the finger at others, it is tougher to point the finger back at ourselves. I talked to my Life Coach about this the other day.  This is something I have struggled with – people who cannot see their part in a conflict.  It burns me up, sends me into a fucking rage and I had to work through this.  He shared with me that he too has been caught up in dealing with people like this and all you can really do is let go.  You don’t have to like it, but you can’t control them or their behavior.  And if other people choose to believe this person without further investigation, there really isn’t much you can do about that either.  However, you can take some lessons.  Now you know these people are easily persuaded, probably meddle in gossip, and you’ll do better to stay away from them.

My father and I had a long conversation about this last night.  We know quite a few people who fall into the category of a NARC.  My life coach also shared with me the traits many NARCs carry and the similarity in them is quite eery.  Usually, they are quite friendly, charming, a cheerleader who constantly sings your praises, they form an instant connection with you and your family.  They quickly share personal details about their lives and if you are off guard, you feel comfortable enough to start doing the same.  A few things start to happen after this induction – first they may start taking sideswipes at you, all in good-natured fun of course.  You may find yourself actually having to think about what they said because you don’t realize they have just insulted you until a few hours later.  They may be very helpful, volunteering to assist you with things you need to get done (even when you don’t ask) and if you accept their charity, they then expect you to be available at their every beck and call.  The moment you say, “No,” they turn on you.

In romantic relationships, they may be very charming in the beginning,  but if this is not their core, it won’t last.  And you notice this because once they have you, it’s as if another person takes over their body; a completely different personality emerges.

Another way to identify a NARC is if they are constantly involved in a conflict with someone else.  Now, just because someone is constantly involved in conflict does not mean they are a NARC, but if the conflict is NEVER the result of their own actions – you may be dealing with a NARC.

When you determine what you may potentially be dealing with a NARC, PROCEED WITH CAUTION!  I can’t emphasize that enough.  They WILL turn on you and in their minds, it will be all your fault.  They are vampires, they have no reflection and are either unable or unwilling to take responsibility for how they show up.

One of my sisters just dealt with a situation like this.  The other person just lashed out at her, without getting all of the data.  In the beginning, she and this person were cool,  but every time my sister looked around, this person’s name kept coming up in the drama.  Even then, my sister tried to give this person the benefit of the doubt, because she saw a different side to this person. I remarked that it was only a matter of time before this person turned on her as well based on their past behavior.  And sure enough, it happened.  The person never went directly to my sister to get clarity, they instead handled it in a very passive-aggressive way and just like a NARC, in their mind, they played no part in the conflict.  It was ALL MY SISTER’S FAULT.  This person even went as far as to “accidentally” push her.  When we shared these series of incidents with my father his response was, “That’s some real nigga shit and a real wounded human being you’re dealing with.  You’ll do best to leave that shit alone.”  A NARC is what I call them.

I dealt with this too, as is well chronicled on this blog with my Ex and his now-wife.  She took no responsibility in anything that happened and really neither did he as far as I know.   Everything was because of me.  He cheated because of me.  She threatened to kill me because of me.  She emailed me this year because of me.  She read the personal letters I had given him because of me.  He came on to me last year because of me.  Everything was my fault in their heads, they played no part in anything and when I struck back, her feelings got hurt and of course, it was because of me.  She never once acknowledged how she cyber-stalked me, called me names on her social media pages, called me from blocked numbers, sent folks past my house, sent threatening messages to my phone when she was THE OTHER WOMAN, but as soon as I took a strike back, she went victim.

But that’s what NARCS do, they attack and attack and attack and when you strike back, it is your fault.  Some welcome the adversity because they are always looking for a brawl; they feed off of conflict and negativity. That is a defining point in all of this.  If you don’t remember anything else about their behavior, remember that.  No matter how wrong they are, how clear the violation is, it will ALWAYS be for another reason other than their own actions.  Always! IT WILL NEVER EVER, EVER BE THEIR FAULT! EVER!

There’s a little more you’ve got to watch out for because many NARCS know how to pretend especially if you’ve trumped their card.  They may apologize, but it won’t be genuine.  How do you know?  Listen to the apology.  In reality, it really won’t be one.  It will go something like this, “I’m sorry for what I did but I only did it because you did this.”  See how they flip it?  It will never be about them.

Now let me add some clarity to this, people can and often apologize and will tell you why they did what they did.  But oftentimes it will go something like, “I’m sorry for what I did, I did it because I felt sad, hurt and attacked.  I thought you were coming at me unfairly and I just went on the offense.   I do apologize for how I  handled that situation and in the future will commit to asking for clarity instead of assuming.”  That’s a real apology.  The person acknowledged their behavior and what triggered it.  They didn’t blame you for any of it, instead, they spoke for the part of themselves that was hurt and judged they were violated.   Now you very well may have said or done something that caused that person to react the way that they did.  The difference is, the person recognizes that their feelings are their feelings and you are not responsible for how they feel.

I hope this has helped some of you who may be dealing with this have some recognizability about exactly what you are dealing with.  These are very, very wounded people and there is nothing you will be able to say or do to get them to see how they show up. If you try, it will be exhausting, because no matter how genuine they seem about accepting responsibility, it will always go back to it being someone else’s fault.  I don’t think I can emphasize that enough. I would suggest that you keep your distance or sever ties with them completely because they can be highly manipulative, are skilled liars and can potentially cost you some relationships.  It is almost sociopathic and it is very dangerous to try to “save” them.  They can only save themselves and in order to do that, they have to be willing to see themselves first.

Leave a comment and forward this post to your friends!  Also for more the characteristics of toxic and manipulative people, check out the post “The Addiction to Playing God.”  Thank you for reading!

84 Responses

  1. Damn! I’m almost speechless DeAara! This is now my favorite post! I never knew it was a name for this kind of behavior, it was always tough for me to lay my finger on it, I just knew when it was being done to me. I knew when I was being “handled.”

    I very much like how you broke down exactly what to look for. I got a little nervous and had to ask myself do I do any of the things you listed. How in the hell did you figure this shit out? Lol. But anyway, great post and I will certainly be forwarded it to my friends and family! This is a subject that definitely needs more attention.

    • People who refuse to take responsibility for anything bad does not equal Borderline. One of the nine traits is black/white thinking, but that doesn’t mean they think all or nothing in everything. To be diagnosed as Borderline you need five or more of any the nine traits. Think of it like phone numbers, how many unique phone numbers can be created using 1 to 9, five or more of the numbers? Just because someone has a diagnosis, which this article didn’t even say the person she was talking about did, don’t pigeon-hole them. Borderline is a very little known diagnosis. When I mention the word Schizophrenic does the word psycho-killer come into mind? Being Borderline myself, having three other friends (two of which are in loving relationships) and other friends who are schizophrenic and other diagnoses, they are gentle, kind, people. Sure they can be annoying or I disagree with them sometimes, but that what anyone’s friends are like. Associating Borderlines as “Vampires” and anyone else with a mental illness as some sort of monster is damaging. That is what stigma is. It’s not just people with mental illness that have the monopoly on bad break-ups, relationships or crime. The “normal” people do that too, because if they didn’t they would be perfect, and that just ain’t human.

      • Well said i felt same way about article

      • I have a hard time believing you are actually borderline. If you were you would not be able to say you are or see anything wrong with what you do. BPD is a type of personality that can’t see that they are wrong or can’t accept that they hurt people. They don’t have empathy so to say they are kind, is hard for me to swallow as well. Kind is a trait that absolutely involves empathy and if you don’t have it you can’t be kind. you can ACT kind but to be generally kind to someone is not something you are capable of unless you are trying to manipulate them to do or think what you want them too.

      • I AGREE 100% THANK YOU
        I TRIED TO PIST THIS BUT IDK IF IT POSTED. Borderline personality disorder should not be stigmatized this way. This Is not a symptom of a disorder like you explain to your readers. This is a personality trait that is possible of any human being to have. It is common for narcissists and sociopaths to have this simply because they truly believe they are not at fault whereas others dont want to feel ashamed. In borderlines we do not believe the fault is not our own and a good amount of us are very accepting and aware of our actions some of us like healthy people just have that personality trait ingrained in us. Many confused personality traits as symptoms. I have bpd and I am an empath. This also is something that is misunderstood and often said impossible. One must understand the difference between symptoms and ones own birth given personality traits before categorizing a whole population under something that is individualized. Thank you for taking time to read this. Let’s end the stigma and educate ourselves.

      • Wonderfully put. There is “in my opinion” a very diverse personality disorientation in the world today with on one end- how someone grows up, another with accelerated psychology and the growing population and lastly- social media and online inner action.

  2. Hey David! Thanks for commenting. We all have done some of the things on the list, it doesn’t make us a borderline. The fact that you can look yourself and see that separates you right there.

    I’ve been involved in various forms of soul work for a long time and have gone through some things. This book I am reading called “The Gift of Fear” says that there is no such thing as Us and Them when it comes to who could commit a violent crime. Depending on the circumstances, every single one of us is capable of going there. The same thing is true about behavior. Depending on the situation, we can show up in a number of way.

    I am telling you this to answer your question about how I have been able to figure a lot of this stuff out. It is because I’ve been on both ends. I’ve been the victim and I’ve been the bully. I’ve been manipulated and I’ve been the manipulator. While I’ve seldom had any ill-intent towards anyone and usually was unaware of what I was doing, I know how it feels on both sides of the coin. And I know many of the feelings, thoughts, judgments and beliefs that motivate people to try to control someone else or to refuse to acknowledge their part in a conflict. One thing I love about my life coach is that he has been there. He has gone through much of what I have, so there is no self-righteousness in the work we do. It comes from a complete compassionate place of Self. I think that’s the only way you can truly help someone, you have to be willing to be vulnerable and find that place in yourself that truly connects with that other person. If you just talk AT them and not listen or try to relate to where they are coming from, whether you agree or not, you really serve no purpose in that person’s life. – DeAara

  3. OMG! I think that the world is rampant with these “Vampires” as you call them!!
    I had a GF act out in this very way a few years back and I literally had to cut her ass off. She made me think she was crazy because her actions were so ridiculous. Always fighting with people and arguing, always trying to take over and then act wounded when nobody played along. At first we all thought she was a closet lesbian and was secretly in love with me which was why she was trying so hard to be all up in my life; Now I know understand her ass just might actually be straight borderline… LOL

    I played Rugby for a number of years and in regards to playing dirty and on-field fighting, a well respected coach once told me;
    “People will never see what triggered your retaliation. They will only ever see you as a dirty player and judge the melee according to YOUR actions. Remember that before you punch a bitch in the face.”

    *One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever received.*

    Point being – no matter what people throw at us, always try to carry yourself with dignity and respect and avoid the drama at all costs. It makes it much harder to get sucked into foolishness when someone does you dirty or if someone wants to pop off with some BS.

  4. i would like to call into play your creditdentails, are you a certified psychotherapist? also how do you know what the point of no return in which you can turn the cheek on someone? also, there is something called perspective, what about the perspective of the person that says they are being persecutued. also as a student of psychology i would ask you to give a clinical diagnosis of a person, which can be only done through professional training, never tell an untrained person how to diagnose a person without actually consulting the dsm. in any case, please do not give symptom analysis without actually showing the full range of symptoms which for borderline personality disorder shares many of the symptoms with many other personallity disorders like for example; manic depression. also for all the other readers out there this is not a professional colunm with absolutely no credibility since it is not recognized by any journal of professional medicine.

    • Don’t know how I missed this, but I’ll address it anyway, Anthony, I believe you are the only person who took my blog post of my personal experiences that I chose to share with the world as a “professional column”. If you had read the full spectrum of my blog, you will see that this is a blog for artist who deal with every day life events.

      I hear that you are a student of psychology, I am assuming you wrote this to qualify yourself. And hear that I have been working in interpersonal/shadow work as a facilitator for over 10 years. So what some approach me with from a “text book” perspective which I overstand, I have real life experience. Please do not come on my blog and tell me what to write and how to write – that’s not happening.

      I actually chose to use the term “borderline” because that is the term my facilitator who is a trained and licensed psychotherapist for more than 50 years used when I shared with him my experience. It was used as a colloquial expression for people who found themselves in situations that I have experienced. So please do not attempt to challenge my interpretation of my life experiences and those people without having any of data and “challenging” me based on your predispositional beliefs and assumptions. Now I’m sure that goes against the very curriculum that you are studying.

      Now carry on…

      • If this is the Anthony Jodlowski that I know of.. I always shook my head at him going into psychology seeing how he cant figure himself out.He is book smart but very naive on the common sense part.And belittles everyone that don’t agree with him.I do wish him the best in his career but I hope he can learn to see other people’s problems from his studies and not judge them and miss guide them because of his own selfish needs.

      • I am so thankful for the clarity in this article, the signs to look for and what end results will be with this type of personality.

    • “This is not a professional colunm (sic)”

      Well duh… having a little crusade, are we? I think you’re missing the forest for the trees, good sir. This is obviously a personal blog where a private individual is sharing experiences from her life when she deems them valuable to others.

      Did you expect anything other than an editorial? I mean, this isn’t WebMD; chill out. Besides, the DSM is garbage. You’re drinking the Kool-Aid if that’s your gospel.

      BTW, great blog. There are a couple bullshitters in my life and I too have considered them the vampires of the modern world. They just can’t see themselves how the rest of the world does, and when they finally leave me alone I always feel emotionally exhausted… like they have harvested me of all my positive emotions for their own well-being, leaving me bitter and emotionally destitute. Oh yes, bullshitters are the only thing in this world that makes me rage.

  5. After quite a few encounters with vampires recently, I came to Google today for some guidance of how to deal with such situations. This is a really succinct post. Thanks. PS I LOVE the title…

  6. Wow, reading this opened my eyes. My spouse……She always made me feel that it was always my fault no matter what. This describes her to a tee. How do you deal with a ……….. like this? I’m at my wits end.

    • I wish there were a “right” answer. The best thing I can suggest is to do whatever you have to do create a space within yourself so you don’t get hijacked and take on someone else’s shit. There are methodologies out on how to do this too. 🙂

  7. Very clearly explained and direct! Loved reading this! In a relationship with a man who won’t take responsibility. SO frustrating! Thank-you for sharing your insight and experiences. Needed to read that right now! So many “yup, uh huh!” moments.

    Thanks, R.

  8. She clearly sounds like a sociopath. Sociopath’s are more likely to attack you verbally. And mentally try to break you down. They can appear to others as kind and caring but are monsters if you are their target. My advice is to change your # and have no contact with her. The more you respond the more ammo she has. She will try to socially and emotionally destroy you. She will even at times make you feel your the crazy one, but know its all her. Stay away from her and let your man have her. Cuz she will eventually start verbally abusing him

  9. How can someone cope with a person like this at work? We work in retail, have the same title, salary, etc., both female over 50. She has actually been there longer than me, but does not retain or try to learn anything to advance herself. I am tired of hearing so and so did it, not me. I took the time to train her, (my boss does not have the patience),
    and had her write everything down that I taught her so she had something to reference when I wasn’t around. Doesn’t work. Our job is just a series of repeat occurances. We do just the same things every day- I just can’t understand it. Help?!

  10. Your article is well written and accurate to my experience. But for me sad that in order for me to not experience such behavior I have to distance myself from such a person. I have tried in so many ways to have a good relationship with the type of person you described. I have let go of incidents, had tried to have adult discussions with this person and I keep getting burned. It’s hard for because the person you described is my sister. She has two beautiful young boys and I’m really close to them. In order for me to have a relationship with them I have to go through her. She is always involved in some kind of conflict and is not able to resolve it properly. Very negative and aggressive. Nothing is ever her fault and her fav line is “your attacking me.” She makes friends easy but who ever gets too close to her she turns on them. Lots of times you dont know what happened, or you are about to get it. Many of her friends, boyfriends, family members have confided with me about her behavior. Her now husband is dealing with it. I googled the topic because we recently had another minor incident that she has turned it into a world war lll episode. And I’m tired.

  11. […] will argue that it is important for an individual to take ‘responsibility’ for their actions. That is, I believe, a fallacy. The act of what is commonly supposed to […]

  12. I’ve never in more than 15 years have I ever posted, blogged or commented on the thousands of article sites I visited over these years. But, there is a first for everything; I was and still am so very much overwhelmed with disbelief that someone else and others alike have/has experienced what I’ve endured for more than 4 years.

    I dated a young lady with by far the most extreme borderline disorder anyone can even imagine, or that I can even possibly articulate in writing. No matter what, absolutely 100% no matter what you did to show, tell, or otherwise with facts, figures, video, audio, transcripts or logs would she ever admit to anything. At best, if she did acknowledge anything, it was to defer that the issue or fault was not hers but seemingly somehow I was the causation of the problem, whereas, I had absolutely nothing to do with it. I cannot stress even close enough how frustrating this is, even for a Pope, not wanting to just run, scream or curse at a person like this.

    APOLOGIZE!!!! Never!!! These people never apologize trust me, I’m sorry doesn’t necessarily constitute an apology, it’s the sincerity and honesty behind the apology. “I’m sorry, BUT, you….”. I truly am speechless and totally beside myself when I read this article. These people are truly craftsman of their art, they will have you apologizing for them stealing the cookie from the cookie jar, and you caught them. Interesting enough these individuals are as sly as a fox, manipulative, controlling, argumentative and absolutely sickening (such strong words, but not nearly strong enough or overstated).

    Yes, we all have the propensity to defend ourselves when under attack, but this is not the case with borderline people. Most mature have rational people when directed or pointed to their mistake or errors, they accept, acknowledge and admit their actions. NOT with borderline or at least not with this particular young lady, they always have a reason, excuse, rational, or cause for their behavior, and its not because of them, its because of YOU!!

    In short, I’m still speechless and totally blown when I read this article as I felt someone was writing on my behalf. So to any other reader of this article or my reply posting, I can only pray for you and strongly recommend with every ounce of my body for you to RUN LIKE HELL, damn packing bags, or thinking about the great escape…. RUNNN nothing good will ever come of it. “Find them a fool, leave them a fool”, you’ll change a fool.

  13. Excellent and accurate. This explains a lot!

  14. Great article!

    “They may be very helpful, volunteering to assist you with things you need to get done (even when you don’t ask) and if you accept their charity, they then expect you to be available at their every beck and call. The moment you say, “No,” they turn on you.”

    Really hits it on the head! You nailed it!

  15. And if this describes to a tee your spouse of forty years?

    • I am so amazed at reading this post and the replies. It is 6:35 am and I have never replied to a blog in my life. The behavior that has been described is my husband of 18 yrs. I have had it. I want out. He never takes responsibility for his actions, has no empathy, is controlling, manipulative, and mean as hell behind closed doors. Raves to all how he loves me an his family then belittles me behind closed doors. Wont forgive but wants forgiveness. Wont get help. Im ready to divorce and move on ,but I want to be smart and safe about it. Any suggestions?

  16. Wow very powerful and so true I met a women like this things went fast she moved in with me and when I would confront her about her pill addiction she was passing out with cigerttes in her hand burning my carpet she would say.your picking on me”and tried to make me feel guilty for even saying anything no matter what I said or felt it was never her fault she blamed it on her childhood or who ever she could blame..she even told me one time she thought about suicide to teach het mom a lesson I was shocked this article helped me a lot because there are people out there who side with her and am the bad guy..it’s clear yes I played a part but I always apologized when I made mistakes she wouldn’t acknowledge her part I felt like I was going crazy thanks so much for clarifying am not the only one who takes the blame when it not my responsibility for someone else’s happiness..it’s a inside job

  17. This blog is dangerous and all it does is create a space for negativity and venting. People with BPD are not deserving of the Demonising tone you have taken.

    Consider this, some has a sister, brother, husband, wife or child who suffer from BPD… if you google certain parameters this piece comes up in the first page of results. There is no link to treatment options, alternative views or even just a basic grasp of optimism… Thus, anyone who reads this could well be inclined to come away writing someone off unnecessarily. Pieces like this should be labelled a VENT by someone who doesn’t grasp the scope of what they are degrading.

    People with BPD may cause negativity, abuse, violence and pain. But the fact is that is generally caused by a legitimate mental illness. A mental illness that can be treated and can be managed.

    I beg anyone who reads this piece to suggest the person you believe might have this issue seek PROFESSIONAL HELP.

    It’s sad that the internet has provided a platform for people to spout dangerous opinions that serve no purpose other than to make themselves feel better while further perpetuating the demonising culture of those who are different or suffering.

    Finally, your claim that BPD is closely linked to being a Sociopath is actually farcical. One feels extreme emotions of pain, joy and misery. The other struggles to grasp any of them. FACT CHECK

  18. Reading this describes someone who ,up until today, was my very best friend. She redirects me to put her above and beyond family and even my husband. Everything is my fault and I’m always told I need to apologize and take responsibility for the conflict. She is very needy and clingy. She is a hypochondriac and plays the “poor pitifully me” game like a trained professional. She is always in conflict with someone in her family and it’s always their fault. She expected me to forfeit one on one time with my husband who works everyday of the week with the exception of maybe 2-3 days in a month to help her with a craft bazaar. She had the nerve to tell me I was selfish for putting myself before her and even more ballsy, she emailed my husband demanding that he “talk some sense into me”….as if my husband would ever entertain the idea of taking her side that me not spending rare quality time with him was less important then being her servant for the day. We’ve been friends for 18 years and she has always made everything about her. She’s the kind who has to “one-up” you. If I’m sick, she’s sicker…if I’m depressed, she’s more depressed etc…. I want to write her a letter for my own closure but I’m not sure how to get my point across to the point of it actually sinking in her brain…any suggestions??

    • You have to realize and accept you cannot change them. Just cut her out and deal with your frustrations on your own. It’s a vicious cycle with these kinds of people because they will never see they’re own actions unless they experience a dramatic cognative shift. If ever they do they can come back and present themselves with an apology, and you can decide to let them back in if you choose. Better to let these people go and find other people who are good and kind.

  19. Everything in this great post is 100% dead on. I dated a diagnosed Borderline for 8 months. This woman did exactly to me what Borderlines do to absolutely everyone….she idealized me which made me feel amazingly good, but within in couple months, the devaluing of me began, and finally she discarded me like a piece of trash. This is the classic Borderline modus operandi. And, exactly, as blatantly in the wrong as she was 99% of the time– it was NEVER her fault. NEVER. Always mine. There is no “stigma” when it comes to Borderline. These people and what they do are 1,000% predictable.

  20. Wow!!!.. I have problems with my husband anything we fight about is my fault ./ When it comes to the solution im the one that need changing. He always replies I make him do this or that. Its because im to sensitive. Meanwhile he has been attacking me verbally and when I had enough and I address it all he does is put his attention on to something else and comes out and says so random thought. When he is not like this we are fine.. but when I yell or do something he doesn’t like I don’t hear the end of it ” its your fault” you overact so on and so on…

  21. I’ve been dealing with these types too much lately, there’s a life lesson from the universe here. That is: cut these people out at the first sign of this behavior, especially if it’s romantic. Don’t invest too much time and in them, and make sure that you behave in a way that is respectable because there will be nothing they can flip onto you…aka…don’t act on your anger. If you behave respectably, you will see how desperate they are to deflect responsibility. They will make stuff up. For example I swore and that was “rude,” even though the person in question never paid me the money they owed me. People like this will never find inner peace. It’s very sad.

  22. EXCELLENT description of a Borderline.

  23. I’m too familiar with this type. They’re almost always abusive alcoholics who never grew up. They are self centered, egotistical, problematic, unable to cope with reality, charmers out in public, until they get you alone & the evil let’s lose. Run from this type. They rarely change because they’re unable to admit fault or seek the desperate psychiatric help they need. They seek vulnerable people, then will victimize them. Once again, it’s always someone else’s fault. They’re delusional people who live to hurt others.


  25. Thank you! My ex, who I have older children with, his wife, who he cheated on me with, my boyfriend and my boss are like this! I’ve been exhauated, feeling like I cannot get away from these people. I have to have some level of being involved because I am a mother and employee. I can’t find a way to move away, find a new job, nothing. I stand my ground and they treat me like I have no right to speak up and say enough. I feel beat up all the time. I have good morals, help people for a living and trying to always position myaelf clearly and work on my goals. My ex is sadly, a PTSD counselor and is borderline, God knows what else. My boyfriend exhibits bipolar, suicidal and borderline. I have 2 good friends that are not like this. How do you find your purpose, when their are more and more people like this. I feel all I am here for anymore is put up with people’s bullshit, work, come home and atill not see any changes and not seeing personal goals come into fruition. I love doing thinhs amd being with others. Anymore though, I feel lonely and want to just be somewhere, away from people and their mess. They are wasting precious time and causing chaos and heartache. I keep relying on God for much needed justice, patience and a direct, tangible answer as to why He even has me here anymore. I’m tired of grieving relationships that I waa duped by, or literally taken from me because, my ex had more money to continue to raise my kids. They are young adults now and we were robbed of precious years together. The Army did nothing to look into what my ex did to me either. I refuse to let another person saturate my life with negativity yet, I feel abused, not worth it and lonely. I want someone I can share my life with, explore, trust and just be me. I feel anymore that I am just this shell walking around and it goes against my very nature of who I was. I’m looking into finding a Christian Life Coach near me.

  26. What you’re describing sounds more like Narcissistic Personality Disorder than Borderline PD. Borderlines experience their emotions ‘too’ intensely, including at times a sense of overwhelming shame (which can lead to self-destructive behavior and/or pleading for forgiveness), while the Narcissist avoids shame by refusing to admit any responsibilty. Borderlines are often treatable when shown specific coping strategies, while the Narcissist simply doesn’t care to change. To change would be equivalent to self-destruction for a Narcissist. Sometimes a person can develop an NPD ‘overlay’ to deal with the raging emotions of BPD, but, again, they aren’t the same.

  27. I think what you are talking about here is generally unclear and vague. You’re citing situations where you’re not describing the context clearly, just blandly stating “the person failed to take responsibility in their fault” or “they blamed me”. I suppose I know you are trying to communicate something in those words but you’re using your own value judgments and feelings to describe their actions, instead of giving a true explanation of events. You try at this a little here and there but there is really no concise and clear rational explanation offered.

    I don’t think you should be playing around with the word borderline here either. Borderline Personality Disorder is a diagnosis created by the DSMIV summary of research on abnormal psychology. A diagnosis such as this or any mental health diagnosis is made according to industry criteria by a licensed psychiatrist. Not even many therapists are in a position to diagnose their patients. However, I’ll say some of these cases such as blowing up your social media or someone saying they’d like to kill you, these are certainly warning signs of something and that person should go to

    So there are a lot of rational arguments against you. But what I really object to has more to do with emotions and just where I think your social intuition is wrong.

    Most of these examples you cite remind me of people talking about their ex-girlfriends or boyfriends. People having different expectations of one another, people trying to get close to you but not being aware of the quirks in their personality that time takes to realize, people finding fault with you because you have failed according to some value they expect others to uphold, but which is not one which you yourself feel to be expected: these are all realities of interpersonal relationship that are totally commonplace.

    So the person tried to get close to you, and you acquiesced. Aren’t you responsible for that? So they felt close to you, and then they were upset by some of your behavior because it wasn’t something they expected from someone close to them. Perhaps you are dealing with a borderline, perhaps you are dealing with a totally normal person. Or at least a person with a different but also normal relationship style. Perhaps you are dealing simply with a person who has had few close friendships or romantic relationships and doesn’t know how to see the place for give, take and equality there.

    It’s really just saying that this progression from minor and common traits of people, I sympathize with how you were treated by some people (per your accounting), do not always lead to “borderline” as you’ve defined it in your armchair.

    Again, I’m sorry for what you went through but you’re creating a lot of misinformation which is going to make people who sympathize with you paranoid and people who exhibit some of the minor characteristics which you predict to lead to some very extreme characteristics, as offended and self-conscious.

    Maybe you need to accept that this happened to you and get over it because you don’t need to live in constant fear of “the many borderlines”.

  28. This explained my wife to a T! Today I found out she got 2 loans from those bad credit places and when I asked her about them she automatically got pissed was dodging my questions and lied about when she got them.
    She said years ago but I found out one was actually this year, when I told her I knew when she got them she just started saying I was picking a fight and trying to be her enemy and bully her, and that she told me about the loans a long time ago,(which she did not). She has lied to me so much in the past, I have a hard time believing anything that she says. She had a little boyfriend at work that I figured out about and I asked her about it and she lied for a good 5 years I could never let it go, it hurt me to bad. I would do anything for my wife and I never doubted her back then. 5 years later she finally tells me that they just flirted but by then the lies had flowed so much that I don’t believe her. She blamed me for ever “flirting” with him. She said I wasn’t affectionate towards her, I didn’t compliment her, I did, anything she could think of even going back to stuff when we first started dating. We have 2 kids and they are hard to leave here with out them. Sometimes I think that’s why I’m here but, I always thought someday she would change, now I get it, she will never change until she sees herself. Thanks for this blog,, I’ve been dealing with her for the past 10 years and only 3 of it have been very good.. I’m running out of energy trying to get her to see that she is wrong too.

  29. I really appreciate the way you simply laid out this behavior from a outside looking in perspective, i too have been a victim and vampire myself, that has ended good friendships and bad ones alike, however i am curious about whether environment or possibly financial issues play a role in this behavior. Maybe a subconscious response built deep in our natural instincts to climb the ranks of basic human social interaction to reach alpha status in circles. Just a theory… lol but agian wonderful article.

  30. I can and do totally identify with what you have said. My problem is I speak what I feel and I have on numerous occasions have asked this person why is it they cant receive and except the fact they cannot own their BS.

    I deal with it by limiting my convo with them at all times and they will ask me whats wrong with me my reply is oh I am good its you thats feeling some kind of way.

  31. You are not describing people with borderline personality disorders but sociopaths/ narcissists. Sociopaths have a very different etiology, presentation and diagnostic criteria to those with borderline.

    Please do not unfairly stigmatise those with personality disorder with your unfounded, judmental, prejudiced, bigoted inaccurate and negative. opinions.

    • Holder, if you read what I wrote, I specifically noted that the behavior is often labeled BPD. I then went on to describe antisocial personality disorder/sociopath.

      Also BPD and sociopath etiologies can overlap, which is often labeled as Borderline Sociopath. And from there on, I used the term “Borderline” with no suffix attached to describe the behaviors in a broad sense. And just because the information I provided doesn’t sit well with you does not make it unfounded. If bringing awareness to certain behaviors and the broad names for them is judgemental, prejudiced, bigoted (the buzz words of 2016) and you perceive that as “negative”, that is 100% your “opinion”. Please DO check further names and labels for behaviors and how broadly these labels can be applied before you attempt to dictate what I can and cannot write on my blog.

  32. I got a lot out of your article. Thank you. You seem to have a lot of insight. I don not nessesarily agree that there is nothing you can do for a person like this.I believe people can change and mature and with careful encouragement and loving accountability you can help this kind of person to learn to take responsibility. They need to be able to feel loved and safe in their relationships and therefore be able to look inward instead of blaming others. I believe they have hope.

  33. Thank you for this post my sister and I have grown up with a mother that quite closely fits the description you present.
    She never apologizes for anything and constantly causes drama and stress. Yells and screams at us for no logical reason.
    Everything is always happening to her and is always someone else’s fault. She once blamed my father for a bad injury I received as a result of her actions, He was in a different country at the time.
    Unfortunately for us getting distance is quite difficult and if we do make some distance she will likely spiral into deep depression.
    Her mother is the same but we will not let the cycle continue.

    Thank you again.

  34. OMG!!! Thank you for this (I am doing this all on voice text so please forgive grammatical errors or sentences run together) so sixteen years after my divorce in 2000 and after making sure that I went through all of the steps to take responsibility for all of my wrongdoing leading to the failed marriage I found myself continually year after year being irritated and angry that my ex-wife never would take any responsibility and continue the same behavior messing things up and blaming other people including me still so the first two or three years I was actually hurting from the loss of the marriage and so I didn’t feel like I could specifically call her out on this behavior because it would be perceived as I was just pissed because she left me for another man so years and years continue to go by and I find myself still hurting and frustrated and I can’t tell anyone because they will just think that oh my God you are still not over her what’s wrong with you you need to just move on and most everthing that I google just says forgive and move on blah blah blah I’ve known all the time that I have forgiven her because I know thats for me and it wasn’t that I wanted to be with her anymore I got over that but I am still outraged by her behavior and I still have had to deal with her for 18 years because of the fact that we have children together and now that I don’t have to deal with her and they are both grown I finally told her look here’s the deal you need to just stay in your world and I need to just stay in mind because I figured out all the things that you had written here and of course she came back to me with some Oprah Winfrey life advice saying that it’s all my problem and I haven’t truly forgiven her and I need to get over it and all of this stuff but it isn’t that at all it’s the fact that she absolutely refuses to have any understanding of the hurt and damage it causes by not taking responsibility for her actions and since she thinks it’s because I just haven’t moved on it negates all of the hard work I have done to correctly respond to it and take my responsibility as well I haven’t read any analysis of this until now and I’m at least relieved to understand some of the clinical terminology I didn’t read it fully I am going to have to go back and read it in detail as I was so happy to understand and see that there is an actual clinical definition for these things but also I was glad that I had actually made the right move by saying “you need to stay away from me we just can’t do business together” in a non accusatory way because that was the correct thing to do but of course I’m still looked at as the pissed-off husband who never was able to move on but so be it … thank you again —

  35. I am on the brink of a mental breakdown I swear you have just saved me my sanity. I cannot thank you enough. Borderline Personality Disorder huh 🙂 I have been struggling soooo long to discern whether she really believes her obvious lies and manipulation or whether she is purely and classically insane. I even conceded that she’s possessed by demons or some evil spirit or something I’m really not joking :-).

    Thank you for such clarity, I really honestly almost lost my mind. Whoa …
    South Africa.

  36. I am so thankful for the clarity in this article, the signs to look for and what end results will be with this type of personality.

  37. I’m too dealing with a person exactly the way u mentioned my husband I really don’t know how to deal with him and due to certain things I cnt break our relationship too. I don’t know it’s really depressing 😭 .

  38. I wish I had realized this before I married. This article is so spot on and I am in a very difficult situation. I am actually crying because almost every scenario described is very real to me. Counseling hasn’t helped and even as I type, I am being yelled at in front of our daughter, and being told there is something wrong with me. Severing ties is the only answer.

  39. It is scary how exact this article is. Thanks so much for sharing this. It has really helped me!

  40. Thank you so much for this,so much of what you said instantly triggered in my brain,because I know someone like this,and I really couldn’t wrap my head around the situation but uve given such sound advice n for that im so grateful, p.s u so rit, it IS exhausting n dealing with their shenanigans leaves one truley mentally drained. Again thank u so much

  41. Oh Dear Sweet Jesus Bless the author of this blog. I am married to a woman who just recently turned on me. 19 years we’ve been married and until 3 or 4 years ago wanted 98 more. She didnt exhibit many, if any, of these traits until we had children. 3 wonderful boys. The oldest was completely typical until about 12 when he developed a form of epilepsy. Mild and controlled by meds. The twist is our younger 2 boys are autistic. One mildly the other “severly”. The younger I guess has it worse and we were blessed by an incredible teacher for him and us, Liz Smithmayer. Short story long my wife started to shut down and not want to socialize. She then a few years later developed what I can only characterize as a classic BPD. She is EXACTLY how they are described here. I refuse to leave, i will NOT, as well you and every single person I’ve ever shared this with just leave her or them. 19 uears is a lot to walk away from. Especially when i still love her to my soul. Its an illness and there was a way for her into it. I will help her find a way out, or die trying. Its a disorder, not her personality itself. If you have any advice for one who won’t run, please reply and share. Although I certainly feel it I cant be the only one in my position. Thank you for your wisdom tho. Oh and way to shut “Anthony” down. Mad props! Peace✌

    • K, ahh… sorry for my horrible grammer and English. I mangled that one sentence. I basically mean I refuse to leave her, reguardless what ANYONE says, because its an illness. If she was always like this – ok. I’m out. But its a relatively new development, and God as my witness, I love this woman to my core and like i said before. She got in, I’ll help get her back out or die tryin’. ✌

  42. Wow! You nailed it and I thought I was going crazy. It is very frustrating and does send me into being angry. Why can’t she just apologize and see where I’m coming from? But now I know, she refuses to see.

  43. This is my ex husband to a T. But I’m the one who suffered a mental breakdown from the marriage. Now I’m trying to get our youngest child ,who’s ASD and adores him. 30 years is a long time but I still have my life. Thank you fot this, as you can very well deduce he’s never gotten help because there is “nothing wrong with him” & what is wrong is “ALL my fault”

  44. I’m worried sick. I have a daughter- in- law that fits this description perfectly. We’re not speaking terms because of her ways. But, I have 5 grand children and I’m more worried on how they’ll be raised. My son and their mother are separated. So what can be done to save the children?

  45. Thanks this helped me a lot been dealing with someone like this for years

  46. Amazing and great article. Thanks

  47. Wow so real I did not realize my husband is just like this he never take responsibility for his actions but continues to blame me for everything. He says he can not forgive me for what I’ve done but what I’ve done want because of what he did to me.

  48. I have bpd and it’s funny as I never played the mental health card or used the sexual and emotional neglect I suffered as an excuse for bad behaviour on my part and i always took responsibility for any crap I did. Not all ppl with bpd are sociopaths and there are plenty of so called normal ppl who regularly lie cheat and do horrendous things that never face consequences or take responsibility for there crap and get away with it time and time again. That I find hard as I have a very right sense of right and wrong and believe wrong doing should be punished but in the majority of people it never is and these ppl always use someone as a scapegoat to deflect from there own crap

  49. Found your post while searching for ways to deal with someone close to me… my mother. You were dead on and word for word accurate. I guess I’m at a loss because your suggestion is to sever ties and avoid these people. How do you do that when it’s your own mother? I 100% see where you’re coming from with the fact that nothing I can do or say will change her actions, thoughts or perspective… but I just ponder on how to handle the attacks because she’s assertive and they can’t just be waved. If I stand up for myself then I’m “ damaged and a hurting soul” that she “ prays will find inner peace and quit being so hateful” to her. Man oh man psychology and people are complicated

    • Hey Shannon, thank you for sharing! It is very tough with the family because in most cases, we just can’t cut them off nor do we really want to, what we really want is for them to change and own their behavior. However, as you already pointed out with narcissism, that is highly unlikely. But if you want to save your sanity, you are going to have to set some boundaries.

      Physically limiting the time you see her and the time you engage with her can go a long way. Of course, holidays and such, you may be forced to engage more than you want. Just remind yourself that her behavior is about her and do your best to take the conversation in another way if you feel going to a toxic direction. We had a relative try all sorts of ways to hijack our holiday (which they have done very successfully in the past on numerous occasions), but we got to the point that we agreed we wouldn’t let it happen. So everything they tried, we either ignored or took it in a positive direction.

      Don’t try to match wits, they live for that. And your parent will most likely “win” because they know your trigger buttons and if you “win”, they will see it as a sign of disrespect, which can make matters worse. The best thing you can do is limit your time and be intentional about that. And don’t allow yourself to get triggered. If she says she is going to pray for your “damaged soul”, simply tell her “Thank you,” and end the conversation.

  50. I have borderline and I am deeply sorry that you have had horrible experiences with those with my disorder. However, we do not all fit into one box, and vilifying those with BPD, when they are already struggling immensely with their self esteem, does little but harm. I not only accept responsibility for my actions, but I try to bear the burden of everyone’s actions. I apologize when people hurt me because I assume I must have done something to deserve it. I have destroyed myself trying to be the opposite of this perpetuated stigma that I’m terrified of making the smallest mistake or being the slightest bit unhappy.

  51. This is my Step daughter. Everything that has ever happened or happening is someone else’s fault but I can I get my husband ( her dad) to see this?

  52. Wow, this puts much into perspective! Unfortunately, I am unable to become disconnected to such a person (family member) but I will definitely come back to this post again to remind myself that this is behavior I cannot change and to not take it to heart.
    Thank you!

  53. What an awful article. Hitting right points. But hey, let’s leave hurt people who are in desperate need.
    Why not show more compassion, help them to talk to a health professional, sit down and look for books and articles (unlike this one), to help them out. Abandoning them only leads to more borderline symptoms, it’s destructive for them. Sure, they can only save themselves, but you sure as hell don’t abandon them. They are in pain, show love, kindness and be compassionate

  54. The person on top Ellen seems like a blamer.

  55. Borderline personality disorder should not be stigmatized this way. This Is not a symptom of a disorder like you explain to your readers. This is a personality trait that is possible of any human being to have. It is common for narcissists and sociopaths to have this simply because they truly believe they are not at fault whereas others dont want to feel ashamed. In borderlines we do not believe the fault is not our own and a good amount of us are very accepting and aware of our actions some of us like healthy people just have that personality trait ingrained in us. Many confused personality traits as symptoms. I have bpd and I am an empath. This also is something that is misunderstood and often said impossible. One must understand the difference between symptoms and ones own birth given personality traits before categorizing a whole population under something that is individualized. Thank you for taking time to read this. Let’s end the stigma and educate ourselves.

    • Did you read the disclaimer?

      • I did if the comment was for me…it does say it falls under borderline personality disorder.

      • No matter how you spin it all of the other info that is writen in this article about “borderline” is the information that is out there on bpd. It is all the warped ideas behind what a bpd diagnose is and how bpd effects the person with it. Anti social personality disorder isnt what wa being talked about. Good try to save face Tho.

      • Save face from what? There was no spin, Jennifer. It was a clarification. I left the original post as it was so people would understand the clarification. Feel free to go somewhere else and work your problems out, though.

  56. I welcome all comments, Ray. And sometimes I respond, that happens when you post on a blog too. And thankfully, the majority have been positive. Criticisms I have taken into account and issued an update, which you obviously did not read. Also, I have a degree. It may be hard for you to believe, but black get those too.

  57. I’m lost for words!!
    I knew something was off. Every time I’d call him out on certain things then the concerns, feelings or questions aren’t approached. Instead I’m attacked and ‘throwing tantrums again, moods again’ etc etc but that’s where it ends. I just don’t bother anymore because my perspective and voice isn’t acknowledged. I think it’s fear. Instead of owning up or apologizing (maybe it’s ego, a need to be in control, no one should dictate to them), they make you believe it’s all YOU. This really helped put my mind at ease that I’m not losing the plot and someone’s lack of integrity is not my problem. GREAT READ!!!! 9 yrs later and your blogs still having an effect ! I guess I can enjoy my tea in the sun now without feeling guilty about anything:)

  58. This describes my daughter and intensifies when she drinks. She has now gone down the path of suicudal thoughts when completely intoxicated. She has finally admitted she has issues with alvohol. But as her parent it is killing me. Since Covid difficult to get counselling for her. She is also an empath.

  59. This article was really helpful
    Thank you

  60. What you say here is all so true. After a 10 year relationship with a highly brilliant, educated NARC I began to find myself taking on the same characteristics as her. I finally had to get away because I could no longer take the blunt of her accusations because I knew better, that my actions came from a place of love as I was always the one willing to accept what I was doing as wrong, that I was able to do things differently, but each time the same problems would then arise because she was doing nothing differently because ultimately she refused to change anything because she accepted no responsibility for any of her actions. After 10 years I still find it hard to walk away from her because I always feel like she is so close to seeing how her behavior is causing problems because I’m always so willing to admit my wrongs, even though my actions were not the root cause of the problems in our marriage. I was just thinking back the other day and realized that in the 10 years of our relationship it was always me that was left to solve the problems of our marriage, she never once came to me and said, ‘hey, I think if I do this differently, that things can be better’. It was always about what I should do differently, and basically it was that I should just accept that all our problems are my fault and that I should do what she says, because it’s only when I don’t do what she says to do, that we have problems. You are really correct and anyone else that is dealing with a NARC should just get away from them and never look back! Thank you for sharing the insight of your experience here, it is empowering, just as much as it is encouraging to do the right thing because we must love ourselves when other are incapable of it!

  61. Might wanna revise this before someone reads it and destroys your life for using the n word when talking about your dad’s response. Its become a witch hunt.

    Best Regards,
    A Patriot

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