(noun) Boundaries are the limits which define how much we will allow our behavior to affect others’ emotions and how much we will allow others’ behavior to affect our emotions, our responsibilities and consequently our own behavior.
Boundaries create distinctions between individuals so that responsibility is allocated where it belongs.
Boundaries also form our identities. We know who we are because we have limits and that is how boundaries help us to reduce emotional contagion.
Setting boundaries is key to self-protection from psychopaths. When one decides on the limits for acceptable behavior and stands firm on those limits, it’s much more difficult for psychopaths to ensnare us in their webs of deceit, induce us to accept responsibility for their behavior, or contaminate us with their slime.
The love bomb is one type of assault on a person’s boundaries. By showering us with overwhelming flattery and affection, the psychopath weakens our defenses. We respond to the love bomb with feelings of appreciation and we judge the psychopath to be a good person because, after all, they like us! Once we’ve accepted a psychopath inside our circle, they can begin to test our boundaries further.
Psychopaths will always test a potential victim’s boundaries. This is how they know if they have someone who is easily manipulated. They look for “chinks in your armor”. Someone who has a tendency to “rescue” others, or someone who can be persuaded by sympathy to “make an exception” for the psychopath is vulnerable to the pity ploy. This is because the potential victim tends to take more responsibility than is rightfully theirs.
If at any point, the victim begins to feel something is wrong and attempts to reset firm boundaries with the psychopath, the victim will be treated to the ultimate boundary crossing behavior: the rage tantrum. This can be anything from screaming to attempted murder.
Once the psychopath has fixated on a victim, it’s very difficult to detach him. The best strategy is to avoid becoming a victim by having your own firm boundaries.« Back to Glossary Index