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BPD: Toxic People


One of the best ways to look after yourself if you have BPD is to eliminate toxic people from your life.  And never look back.

Just recently someone briefly entered my life and tried to cause damage by backstabbing and making bizarre random accusations.  Luckily people I knew informed me of what was happening and I was able to make the decision to cease all communication with this woman, who apparently has a history of trouble-making.

This woman is toxic.  A long time ago I made the decision to simplify my life regarding intimate and not so intimate relationships.  I decided I was better than that.  I had in the past always been attracted to strong narcissistic women who appeared hell-bent on hurting me.  So I became more discriminatory on who I let enter my life.  I also found myself more in tune with my gut feelings on who was safe and who was not, and that it was ok not to tell everyone everything.

I used to know someone who would come to parties and functions and get drunk, loud and racist and essentially take over the conversation with her loud, shrill voice and then drive home drunk.  I now no longer go to parties and functions if she is there.  I have made other friends who know how to drink responsibly.

In other words, I gave myself permission to look after myself and let go of these people with compassion.  I don’t have to work anything out with the first woman and I don’t have to be friends with the second women.  I have the basic right to not engage with either of them.  The self-given right to walk away and not look back.

I have been the toxic person others have walked away from.  I feel sad about that.  I feel sad no-one spoke to me about why they did this.  This is the way of the world.  No-one is going to tell you this, they will just walk away and not look back.  Same as I have done recently – twice.

Confronting someone is too frightening for most people who just want a simple, easy life.  This becomes, “not my problem.”  You only get an inkling of your behaviour when people start to avoid you and you don’t understand what is happening.  I was not aware of how I came across to other people.  I spent much time in therapy learning that.

It is not a fair or just world and people are not necessarily logical or rational in anyone else’s eyes but their own.  We are left to our own devices to work out what happened; no-one is going to tell us these things.  Underneath our civilised society lies an invisible unheard, unspoken set of social rules we must learn from an early age in order to fit in.  Not everyone learns this.

I do know that since eliminating toxic people from my life, I am much more content, more relaxed, I sleep better at night not ruminating over circuitous conversations, I have headspace for hobbies, vocations and education.  No-one rents space in my head anymore unless they are a very good tenant.


BPD: Toxic People

Sonia Neale

Sonia Neale was recently awarded the Inaugural Barbara Hocking SANE Australia Fellowship to study and research Borderline Personality Disorder overseas in the USA, Canada, UK and Ireland. Her previous Psych Central blog was called Therapy Unplugged. She is the author of two books, The Bad Mother’s Revenge and Death by Teenager, both published by ABC Books/Harper Collins. She lives in Western Australia, is married with three adult children, has studied psychoanalytic psychotherapy, has a Certificate IV in Mental Health and is studying for a Psychology/Counselling degree. She currently works as a peer support worker in the mental health field. Please email her on davson at

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APA Reference
Neale, S. (2015). BPD: Toxic People. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 21, 2019, from


Last updated: 6 Mar 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Mar 2015
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