Personality conflict is really difficult. It may hurt or be very frustrating. Sometimes this comes about as “Why does it feel like my kids are distancing themselves from me?” or having a difficult time with coworkers or bosses. You may brush it off as “I’m an acquired taste” or “There’s just something about that guy”. Or maybe you notice your relationships are beyond “hot and cold”- it’s more like fire and ice in terms of intensity and extremes.
The issue becomes when patterns start arising and you notice one common theme: You. As existing in society means interaction with others, experiencing consistent, regular conflict with others can be pretty impairing. Rather than isolating, cutting ties, and buying all of your groceries off of the internet (not recommended by mental health professionals), there is another solution- and it’s not changing your personality.
The solution is gaining tools or resources. Therapy can be very effective for managing relationships and conflict. We explore boundaries and communication styles so that you can be true to yourself while interacting with other people. We looks at what “pushes your buttons” and how to deal with those situations without getting frustrated with people. Finally, we also help you to learn tools to accept when there are situations that are driving you absolutely nuts and you can’t do anything about it, because it happens.
In therapist-lingo, the words “personality disorder” get tossed around and have a lot of stigma. The question we get is “what’s wrong with my personality?” The answer is nothing. Every one of us has personality quirks that formed as a result of our upbringing and through all that we were taught how to view the world. This is the “nurture” side of “nature versus nurture” argument.
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) in particular gets a bad reputation. But more often than not, exploring childhood attachment patterns and adverse life experiences points to BPD being the manifestation as complex childhood trauma. Therapy can help you explore your identity and teach the skills mentioned above so that you can foster meaningful relationships, feel more grounded, and view conflict as a part of life without it becoming a catastrophic event.
All of our clinicians have training in modalities that are effective for working with personality disorders, including Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT).