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Dr. Kaushik
Dr. Kaushik, Psychiatrist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 4658
Experience:  MD Psychiatry
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I have an old childhood friend who I've recently realized

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I have an old childhood friend who I've recently realized has borderline personality disorder, we are both male and 40 years old. I've tried to distance myself from him for years without totally cutting him off as we have mutual peers. He has been having an affair with my answering machine for several years, the last time I responded to his text message I was firm and didn't address his projections. He waited a week and now is texting or calling once a day, should I confront the fact that I'm done with him or keep ignoring his attempts to contact me? He is a very unhappy person, majorly wealthy, and we where good friends as children.

Greetings !

Welcome to the site.

I am Dr. Kaushik and i believe i can help you with your problem.

First of all i am sorry to learn about your predicament as it is always immensely difficult and emotionally draining for one to deal with borderline personality individuals as such people tend to become dependent on you leaving no space to breathe or act freely.

Now coming to your problem, well you see it is about time for you to draw and demarcate boundaries within your friendship for your friend to know , acknowledge and accept them ( provided he chooses still to be friends with you as this will be like walking on fire and it may jeopardize your friendship with him), so basically no more ignoring of issues which violate your right to happiness, because if you look at this relationship your friendship in some ways reflect a parasitic relationship where your friend has been feeding on your time , emotions , free will , happiness without giving much in return.

So by sitting him down and politely yet firmly telling him to obey the boundaries which you are going to outline within the relationship so that the friendship lasts long and does not become a sorry state of affairs where one of you out of desperation has to end it once and for all.

So in simple words if you put it , yes you got to tell him not to take you for granted or push you around like the way he has been doing for a while, there shall be some clearly noticeable boundaries which either of you shall follow, explicitly delve into things which he does and which turn you off, which irk you immensely so that he does not repeat them in future. After doing this much there will always an option for him to accept this and move on with you as good friends towards future or else call it quits.

You see by ignoring his disruptive behavior will only become more aggressive and decompensating for you , so kindly do the needful which has been avoided by you so far. But yes do take a subtle and polite approach while addressing these core issues.

I hope this helps.

Wish you all the best.

Please kindly leave a Positive rating if you are satisfied with the answer.

If there is any further assistance needed please feel free to ask using the reply button.


Dr. Kaushik and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

What if I know he won't change and have no desire to be friends?

Well then it is better for you to accept the ground reality and amicably decide to part ways because friendship can never be based on one person's whims and fancies while the other person just merely follows the first friend, friendship is always a two way road , it is give and take and when a friend has neither desire to change for the betterment of friendship and on top of it threatens to call it quits if his way is not followed then I believe it is only smart to part ways.

I believe you are courageous enough to call spade a spade and so stop letting him undermine your wishes which has been the case all this while, I believe sooner or later he will get around to accept the friendship while giving due importance to the boundaries and personal space that each one of you is entitled to have within the realms of friendship.

I hope this helps.


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

So what would I ask him to get him to back off of me? How would I word it? His father is very wealthy and he is physically superior, I sold my business a while back which was a nightclub(he is an active alcoholic with tendencies for cocaine), it really seems to have angered him that I sold my business? He has no personal achievements as an adult and barely works. He uses the phone as his primary weapon and will claim that he just wants to hang out and be friends.

Well if you are scared that due to his status and power he may actually cause harm to you either physically or professionally then I reckon owing to such tricky circumstances you shall continue to ignore his behavior the way you have been doing all this while but I wonder how much can you take.

Anyways if at all if you want to address this issue with him, you can do this in a quiet setting when he is in a good mood and very politely and subtly mention to him that if he does not mind can you just share with him some issues which may appear trivial to him but the same have started to bother you greatly so much so that you are feeling unrest and lack of peace in your life owing to his occasional behavior where he starts taking you for granted without respecting your sentiments and emotions at that particular point of time and then ask him that if possible can you two decide on setting boundaries within this friendship without hurting his sentiments as you do not want to loose his friendship but at the same time there are times when he just ignores to understand your fragile state of mind and continues to encroach upon your personal space which like any other individual you need to unwind or relax. You shall mention all of this in as many words provided you gather enough courage to embark upon this.

Another alternative approach will be not only to ignore his behaviour but very subtly become excessively dormant in this relationship by being only a good listener but not reacting much when he seeks your approval or advice about some issues or appear gloomy and bored while talking to him but without revealing anything when he asks what is wrong, the motive is to thrust upon him a boring relationship from which he cannot extract anything. Once he starts finding you useless and boring he may actually himself choose not to bother you. But amid all this at no point shall you reveal to him reason/motive behind such a change in your character and behavior and continue to defend this change with a simple ' it's nothing ' kind of an answer. Also you may start using m ore excuses to avoid direct confrontation or talks with him when not in mood.

So I have mentioned two approaches for you, whichever you feel is easier and less stressful to embark upon, shall be chosen.

I hope this helps.

Wish you all the best.