undoing

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undoing

 [un-doo´ing]
a defense mechanism aimed at negating or atoning for some disapproved act or impulse by performing an action that is somehow opposite to that feared; most commonly seen in the rituals accompanying obsessive-compulsive disorder.

un·do·ing

(ŭn-dū'ing),
In psychology and psychiatry, an unconscious defense mechanism by which one symbolically acts out in reverse some earlier unacceptable behavior.

undoing

[undo̅o̅′ing]
Etymology: ME, un + AS, don
the performance of a specific action that is intended to negate in part a previous action or communication. According to some psychologists, undoing is related to the magical thinking of childhood. For example, a spouse brings home flowers after having a lunchtime affair with another person.
References in classic literature ?
But this final shot proved his undoing, and his shaft flew harmlessly by the thin white streak.
But, in order to expiate the sin of avarice, which was my undoing, I oblige each passer-by to give me a blow.
The fellow, acting on impulse of curiosity, stepped to my side and to his undoing, for as he leaned to peer over the eaves I grasped him by his throat and his pistol arm and threw him heavily to the roof.