women with traits of BPD

Women With Traits of BPD: Regaining Her Trust

When Trust Is An Uphill Battle

If you have ever spent time with a woman who has traits associated with BPD, or borderline personality disorder, you probably know what a struggle it is to win and keep her trust.

Even if this woman does not qualify for the diagnosis of this condition, chances are she has great difficulty establishing trust with those she is close to.

If you are like most people, you may have failed to realize she had this very real problem until you let your guard down with her, expecting her to do the same.

women with traits of BPD

You probably found out the hard way that a woman with traits of BPD often can’t trust. She may have at first disclosed her deepest secrets to you and may also have gotten you to tell her things you had never told anyone before. This powerful connection may have led you to believe you had found your best friend or even your soul mate.

But just when you started believing that nothing could ever come between you, you may soon have found yourself being accused of all sorts of disreputable behavior that you wouldn’t have dreamed of doing. After enough of these incidents you probably realized out that each time she got it in her head that you had betrayed her in some way, the memory of every good deed you had ever done for her was erased.

If you did finally manage to convince her otherwise, you may have found that something would always happen that would set off her distrust again. If you’re like most people, you probably came to the conclusion that you were being set up for failure because she was incapable of trusting.

In Part 1 of the blog series Women With Traits of BPD: Why Can’t She Trust Me, we addressed many of the reasons why a woman with traits of BPD can’t trust those she is closest to. We found out she is much more sensitive to the humiliation that accompanies rejection than the average person and that she often chooses not to trust rather than leave herself open to being hurt.

In Part 2 of this series you are going to find out that although it may seem as though these women are incapable of trusting those they are close to, there is a way to get behind their defenses so you can win their trust. In order to see how easy it is to overcome distrust in women with traits of BPD, you may first need to take a look at the world through her eyes, the eyes of someone who experiences much more emotional pain in their relationships with others than the average person.

Through The Eyes of BPD

In order to understand why the formula you are going to be learning works when every other attempt to win this woman’s trust may have failed, we need to pinpoint exactly what trust in a friendship or relationship means to the woman with traits of BPD. What you will find is that the woman with traits of BPD’s assessment of how likely we may be to break her trust may actually be more realistic than we think. Let’s take a look at why.

The truth is, as human beings we are not completely reliable to those we are closest to. We are not robots. We are human. And as evolved as we may think we are, we have instincts and emotions that can override even our best intentions. Every one of us has selfish impulses and desires that we must constantly keep under control so we can make sure we don’t betray the trust of others. This is often easily done with the people in our outer circles. But the ones we share the majority of our time with are likely to see us at our worst.

As hard as we may try, when we are around the same people day in and day out, eventually we do slip up. We may use a harsh word, give an unnecessary criticism, experience a lapse in our usual good will or make a behind the scenes decision to take more than our share. Although these are very minor in the scheme of things, they fall under the category of a betrayal of trust for those we care about.

Even though most of us consider these minor acts of betrayal a normal part of life, the woman with traits of BPD does not. She feels terrible hurt and betrayal when we stop taking her needs into consideration for even a moment. Because most woman with traits of BPD were born with this high sensitivity to the negative behaviors of others, she will have built up a lifetime of slights and hurts over matters that most of us forget about in an instant.

When we look at our behavior through the eyes of the woman with traits of BPD, we see that we have done nothing wrong. Simply based on the fact that we are human we will be causing her great pain on a regular basis. And because she will have been hurt by countless other people before us, she will probably resort to protecting herself from this pain by choosing to distrust us before we can do anything that hurts her.

Whether you are just her friend or in a romantic relationship, when you ask her to trust you are actually asking her to agree to set herself up for what she would consider a blindside. And although she may have acted like she was ready for a deep connection, she will most certainly end up accusing you of things you would never do. This is her way of making sure she never has to trust you enough to get hurt.

The woman with traits of BPD usually cannot enter a relationship without an initial phase of idealization. During this phase she convinces herself that you are not like all the others who have hurt her. Many people find themselves taken in by this idealization phase. They are quite surprised when the woman with traits of BPD, no longer able to delude herself that she can’t be hurt, pushes them away. When they fall from their pedestal they often fall very hard.

Although you may feel you are truly one of the good guys, none of us are capable of holding others’ interests in mind 24 hours a day. Therefore the resolution to a woman with traits of BPD’s lack of trust doesn’t depend on you changing your behavior in any way. The key to getting a woman with traits of BPD to trust you lies in your understanding of what makes her tick. It is this understanding that will bridge the gap between your perception of trust and hers.

Once you understand how she is interpreting your behavior, her extreme reaction will make sense to you. When she sees that you understand and accept her perspective caused by her oversensitivity, she will be able to accept that you are less sensitive and didn’t mean to actually hurt her.

The formula you will be following is very specific. You will be following it each time you lose the trust of a woman with traits of BPD. In order to reestablish trust, all you need to do is:

1. Acknowledge her fear that you might betray her in some way.

2. Tell her that she is correct to assume that anyone might betray her that way, even you.

3. Let her know that you didn’t mean for whatever you said or did to come out the way it did.

4. Tell her what you really meant by your behavior.

This simple process can take less than a minute and it can save you days, weeks or months of work trying to get back into her good graces. In order to accomplish this series of actions, it’s not enough to state in general terms what you did to make her doubt your trustworthiness. You will need to be able to state on a very detailed level what kind of betrayal the woman with traits of BPD suspects in order for her to feel you truly understand.

In order to get down to this level of detail, you may need to accept that the woman with traits of BPD will always be on the lookout for behavior on your part that could lead to you either rejecting her or trying to control or dominate her. Once you identify why your behavior raised the red flag of doubt for her, you will have all the information you need to easily convince her that you had no intention to hurt her.

Signals Of BPD Betrayal

In order to learn to recognize the signals you put out that to her spell betrayal, you must learn the way she thinks. It won’t be your actions that set off her distrust, despite what she tells you. It will always be what she fears are your intentions behind the actions. Her interpretation of your behavior may seem almost paranoid. However, this is exactly the perspective you will need to understand her accusations and immediately clear them up.

If you look at your actions from the point of view of a woman who is very afraid she will be rejected or controlled, you will easily be able to identify her fear behind her defensive anger and accusations. It is this fear that you will be addressing, not your behavior.

So that you can begin to understand what kind of behaviors create distrust in a woman with traits of BPD, here are a few examples of common behaviors that cause these women to see red flags:

1. You express an opinion that is different from hers.

(If you are not very careful to let her know you heard her point of view before launching into your own, she may fear that you are trying to control her by acting like your opinion is the one that counts.)

2. You express that you don’t understand something she is trying to explain.

(She may be afraid that you actually know very well what she is talking about but are pretending you don’t so you don’t have to listen to her.)

You express having a nice time with someone other than her.

(This can easily make her fear you are about to start a new friendship or relationship and drop her. In order for her not to face the humiliation that accompanies this fear, she may use anger and accusations to push you away.)

3. You express wanting to do something she doesn’t want to do.

(This can cause her to fear that you are entering into a power struggle with her which you are going to try to win. Her mistaken belief that you are trying to control her can make her push back twice as hard.)

There are many more types of behaviors that can trigger her distrust. You won’t be able to know in advance what they will be, but once you understand what raises her red flags, you will be able to identify the fear and apply the formula during any episode of distrust. Before giving you real-life examples of how to use the formula to reverse distrust, let’s take a quick look at why most other attempts to win trust fail.

Why Most Methods Don’t Work

Our first response to a false accusation will usually be to proclaim our innocence. Although this is the most healthy response we can give, its effect on a woman with traits of BPD will always be the opposite of what we intended. Even a gentle assurance that we would never do such a thing may be interpreted as a defensive maneuver on our part to avoid guilt.

The woman with traits of BPD is so acutely aware of the human tendency to be self-centered, our wish for others to do things our way, and our desire to control the behaviors of others that she will jump straight to this conclusion. She of all people knows how difficult it is to resist selfish urges and uncaring impulses and controlling behavior.

Therefore she will find it hard to believe that these motives are not behind our actions. Because we rarely talk about this aspect of human nature, she assumes that everyone has as hard a time as she does being trustworthy. When we act like her accusals are irrational, she will honestly believe we are trying to avoid blame. Each time we outright deny what to her feels is a rational conclusion, her suspicions will be confirmed. The accusation that may have just been a protective maneuver now turns into real fear which may cause her to put up even more defenses against us.

Reversing The Fear of Distrust

When you instead tell her that she is right to be suspicious, because even the most noble among us do occasionally slip up, and that you can see why what you did made her suspect you were going to reject or control her, she can relax. She will feel you are on the same page with her even though you will only be agreeing with her suspicion, not with her accusation.

It is important to remember that most women with traits of BPD do not actually believe you did the deed. They are simply feeling fear, and accusing you in order to protect themselves in advance in case you did it. Therefore the only action you need to take is to address their fear. Since our fears that those who we trust may have a slip are founded in reality, her fear will always be understandable.

Once she relaxes and feels like you are listening, she will be open to the possibility that you weren’t actually planning to reject or control her. When you then tell her your real motivation behind the behavior she can replace her fear with a more realistic interpretation which will allow her to regain her trust.

You are going to now learn how to look for behavior on your part that could, by a very fearful and insecure person, be misinterpreted as either rejecting or controlling. Let’s take a common example. Most of us interrupt others regularly in conversations. We aren’t being disrespectful. This is simply the way people talk in normal everyday life. If we know what the other person is saying before they finish, we tend to give our response early.

However, a woman with traits of BPD may take your interruption as a slight or a sign of disrespect. When you ask her why she is angry at you, she may tell you it’s because you interrupted her. You can explain to her as many times as you want that interrupting is normal in everyday conversations. But she will still be angry. In order to win her trust back, you need to identify her fear in this situation and talk about that instead. Let’s now identity this fear of the woman with traits of BPD when she is interrupted.

When you interrupt, it’s not the interrupting that is the problem. It is why you interrupted that is upsetting her. As long as you focus on interrupting, you will never win her trust back. You must instead identify why she thinks you interrupted. Because she has been hurt many times, she will always assume the worst. In this case she probably believes the reason you interrupted is because you didn’t care or because you wanted to send the message that your opinion is the only one that counts.

Applying The Formula

The way to win trust back from a woman who seems to get offended or upset when you interrupt her is to use this formula:

1. Acknowledge her fear that you might betray her in some way.
2. Tell her that she is correct to assume that anyone might betray her that way, even you.
3. Let her know that you didn’t mean for whatever you said or did to come out the way it did.
4. Tell her what you really meant by your behavior.

Here is how it may sound in real life:

1. “I just realized I interrupted you.”
2. “I can see how that must have come across like I didn’t care about what you were saying.”
3. “I didn’t mean to come across that way.”
4. “I actually interrupted because I liked what you said and wanted to let you know that I really get it.”

This is music to the ears of a woman with traits of BPD. She still might be very angry for the other hundred and however many times you didn’t give her this response, but if you address her real problem she will feel completely understood. If you respond this way on a regular basis, she will stop getting offended and will begin to trust you even if you don’t change your pattern of interrupting.

When our feelings are hurt, all we really want is for the person who hurt us to say they get exactly why that hurt, and that they are sorry they hurt us. When we are truly understood, the shame at being hurt by someone we respect or care about melts away along with any defense we may have put up to ward off those bad feelings. The woman with traits of BPD is like any other person. It is only because we don’t share her sensitivities that her pain seems irrational to us. Once you understand her real worries, you can give her the understanding she needs to begin to trust you.

When you tell her that you understand why she is suspicious of you betraying her trust, you accomplish several things. You tell her she is right without having to admit to doing anything wrong. You also take away her shame around the fears by telling her that everyone has those fears at times, even you. Finally, you establish a connection which allows her to hear your side and accept your real intentions which were not to reject or control her.

You will discover as you begin to use this formula that you do not have to walk on eggshells. Instead you can behave in a way that is comfortable for you. The only difference in your behavior will be that when you recognize something you did that offended her, you will backtrack and clear up her misinterpretation using these four steps.

Let’s now go through this same process with each of our examples we looked at earlier so you can see how this formula works in a few more real-life situations. As you recall, these are the three scenarios we addressed earlier that can easily lead a woman with traits of BPD to declare you untrustworthy:

1. She gets upset when you express that you don’t understand something she is trying to explain.

Women with traits of BPD continually fear that others won’t care about what they have to say. As soon as you realize you have offended her, you can let her know you understand how you might have come off. You can explain to her that you get why it could have seemed like you didn’t care about what she was saying. Then tell her you really do care.

2. You express you have had a nice time with someone other than her.

If she acts offended when you focus on someone other than her, tell her you totally get why she would be upset. You can tell her it makes sense that she would feel like you were acting like she was no longer important and this other person was more interesting than her. Tell her that it makes sense because people do often drop friends, or in the case of a relationship you can tell her that many people do get attracted to others and lose sight of their commitments. Then assure her that wasn’t happening and that she is very important to you.

3. You express wanting to do something she doesn’t want to do.

Women with traits of BPD are so sensitive to others controlling them that they can easily interpret a difference of opinion as a controlling behavior on your part. If you keep in mind how her suspicious mind works, you will be able to look past what may seem to be a slur on your character and realize she is simply very worried that you don’t care about her views.

So if you have a different idea or a different plan than her and you notice she gets offended, you can say you understand how you must have come off, that it may have seemed like you were going to try to get your way and like you didn’t care about her feelings about it. Then let her know her needs are just as important as yours.

By applying this simple formula when you notice a lack of trust, you will in a roundabout way be teaching her that her distrust of you is often due to fear. As she begins to make this connection for herself, she will drop the defenses and will establish the level of trust necessary for a healthy and productive relationship.

Related Posts:

Women With Traits of BPD – Why Can’t She Say I’m Sorry

Reversing Female Anger In Relationships – Techniques For Men

Female Anger In Relationships – Why Is She Always Mad At Me?

Women With Traits of BPD: Why Can’t She Trust Me?

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