We see this a lot in toxic relationships. I have certainly witnessed it in the family I grew up in. With our parents constantly attacking our boundaries, my sisters and I developed a defense mechanism: a set of unhealthy attitudes and behavior we developed in order to cope.
“In fact, the contagiousness of toxicity is a natural defense mechanism. Howard Bloom in The Lucifer Principle explains how increased toxicity of cyanobacteria was one of the first evolutionary adaptations — bacteria actually evolved to get more and more toxic in order to survive. The same applies to humans on the macro level.”
From the Art of Charm
- Within abuse, we develop toxic ways to compensate for boundaries being constantly ignored
- Our boundaries determine our shape in the world so that being disrespected will trigger a response of some sort
- Often we resort to toxic behaviors to deal with a toxic situation