Review: Stop Walking on Eggshells (new 3rd Edition) by Paul Mason and Randi Kreger

This book is kind of a classic in the field and many of you may have read it or have it on your shelf. This is a newly revised and updated third edition and I received it free from Net Galley for my review. They correct some common assumptions here: in the DSM it says only 2% of people have borderline personality disorder (hereafter BPD), but they say it is more like 5.9%. Also, about 40% of people with BPD also have Narcissistic Personality Disorder, so there is new content about that personality disorder too, and how it intersects with BPD. Also, many people assume that BPD is mostly women and they say this is not true – men are just as likely to have it, but they are written off as abusers and violent offenders. All in all, with these statistics, most of us will encounter someone like this in our practice or our life and it’s good information to have.

The layout of the book is begin by describing BPD behavior and figuring out whether or not someone you love or know has the disorder. One of the things I love about this book is that throughout, they have quotes and stories from people with BPD and from people who love them, sharing their experience. And while these stories may not mirror your situation exactly, it is really helpful to read people’s experiences. I also like that they have such a compassionate and empathetic view of BPD clients. They are so careful never to vilify and to be so respectful of how hard it is to cope with these symptoms.

The next large section is about how to work on yourself and protect yourself. One of the main points throughout the book is that you cannot change the BPD person, only they can do that. So you must set limits and boundaries, have consequences for bad behavior, and get your own support. They give several examples of ways to do this in a non-shaming way, since shame is such a trigger for these folks.

Lastly they cover some unique situations – children whose parents have BPD, and parents who have children with BPD. These differ a bit from relationships that you have chosen, and there are some different strategies. Also they cover the fact that sometimes BPD folks do lie and create rumors, especially when the relationship is ending such as divorce. They talk about what to do with self-harming behaviors and suicide threats. And then there is a resource appendix with information on treatments, mindfulness and books/support groups.

All in all, this is valuable information. And although you may not be in relationship or have a client with BPD, like all personality disorders it is a continuum and I think the information here could help with pretty much any relationship where you feel you have to walk on eggshells.

Disclaimer: The link above is an Amazon affiliate link and I receive a small compensation from orders placed with this link. Summaries are NOT intended to replace the purchase of the book, but simply to save you time reading!