Are You “Walking On Egg Shells In Your Relationship? This Quiz May Help!

Certainly you have heard the expression “walking on egg shells”. Have you used it? Lived it? Currently living it? I hear this phrase said in many couples therapy sessions. Neil Rosenthal, a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, has written a quality article on the subject, including a questionnaire to help you determine if that is your reality. The answers may help you determine if you are living in such a way, perhaps even with a borderline personality companion. Take the quiz.

Answer each question with a O – not a problem; 1 – sometimes a problem; 2 – a problem half the time; 3 – a frequent concern; 4 – an ongoing problem of great concern.

1. Do you find yourself hiding thoughts or feelings because it is easier than dealing with your partner’s overreactions – or because talking about problems simply make them worse?

2. After you try to explain yourself to the other person, does s/he use your own words and contort them to prove his/her own point? Does your mate blame you or all the problems in his/her life, and your relationship, and refuse to acknowledge that his/her actions cause problems?

3. Is his/her temper so unpredictable that you’re constantly on your toes, adrenaline pumping, waiting for the next verbal attack? Is it difficult to enjoy the good times because you’ve learned never to let your guard down?

4. When you come home from work each day, do you wonder whether Dr. Jeckel or Mr. Hyde will greet you at the door?

5. Do you feel manipulated, controlled or even lied to sometimes in an attempt for your partner to get what s/he wants?

6. Does your mate seem to demand constant attention? Is everything always about him/her?

7. Are you afraid to ask for things in the relationship because you’ll be told you’re selfish and demanding? Does s/he imply or show by example that your needs are not as important as his/her needs?

8. Do you feel that your partner’s expectations of you are constantly changing so that you can never do anything right?

9. Are you accused of doing things you never did and saying things you never said? Do you feel misunderstood? When you try to explain, do you find that your partner doesn’t believe you?

10. Do other people remark that your partner is verbally or emotionally abusive? Do they encourage you to leave the relationship?

11. If and when you try to leave, does your partner prevent you from departing?

12. Do you have a hard time planning social engagements, vacations, and other activities because the other person’s moodiness, impulsiveness or unpredictability may destroy your plans at the last minute?

Okay, what did you come up with? According to Dr. Rosenthal a score of 20 or more indicates that your partner probably has a Borderline Personality Disorder. A score of 11-20 indicates a relationship with a “borderline” borderline: someone who may have borderline personality leanings but who can keep them somewhat in check. A score of 11 or below probably means that the person in your life does not have a Borderline Personality Disorder.

Let me stress that this questionnaire is not a diagnostic tool per se. Dr. Rosenthal is putting it out there to help you reflect on your relationship. Are you “walking on egg shells”? Does your partner have possible Borderline Personality Disorder traits? If the answers are pointing out these negatives, please see a qualified Marriage and Family Therapist pronto!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”    Socrates

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