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Emotional Manipulators and Love Bombing

Photo by Aziz Acharki on Unsplash

Originally published on esteemology.com

Love Bomb: A psychological technique used by emotional manipulators to exert control over their love interests, by administering intense praise, attention and admiration. Once their target’s emotions have been engaged, the Love Bomber abruptly stops his/her pursuit and becomes distant, cold and may even stop contact all together. This causes the target to have severe feelings of confusion and pain. The abrupt rejection will trigger unresolved childhood traumas in the target and will cause them to engage in obsessive thinking and addiction-type behaviors, all centered around trying to win back their abuser’s affections. 

The late Maya Angelou once said, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”If this rings true, then no one benefits more than an emotional manipulator bent on winning the affections of their target.

The feelings they arouse become the addictive focus of their target, for once they are removed, the target will do just about anything to have them back.

How does an emotional manipulator bring about such intense feelings?

They make themselves appear larger than life and they shine their spotlight, attention and focus squarely on their target. They generously lavish the target with praise, compliments and admiration. They place their target way up high on a pedestal and exhibit a worshiping type energy.

It would be difficult for most men and women to escape such a rush of appreciation, especially when the target is usually one who has felt unloved for much of their life. The Emotional manipulator will pay very close attention to what their target reveals. They will encourage them to open up. The getting to know you phase, early on, is when people speak freely and share their dreams and desires for the future. The Emotional Manipulator listens carefully. It’s almost as if they are gathering intelligence to use later.

What they do is they mirror what the target desires back at them, appearing to be the man or woman they’ve been waiting for. They speak the words the target most wants to hear, they appear the savior your life has been waiting for. They are sweet, thoughtful, loving, generous, dependable and full of integrity.

This process is very quick. The emotional manipulator knows they can’t keep up the façade forever and soon their mask will slip and their real self will be revealed, but until then they’ve got to get what they need from the target, so speed is of the essence.

When they engage in love bombing behaviors, they have already determined that they have found the right target. What they are seeking is someone who is a nurturer, a fixer, someone who over-gives and is a good source of supply.
The question most people ask is, “Why would anyone enter into a relationship and fill their love interest with hope, budding love and the promise of a bright future together, only to rip that dream abruptly and cruelly from them without warning?”

Why would someone purposely send someone soaring, only to have them crashing down into a pit of despair, that may take them a long time to crawl out from?

The answer is – someone who lacks empathy. Only someone who’s focus is entirely on their own self-interests and someone who lacks the ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes, would purposely and without a care, cause the suffering of another.

A healthy person would realize that once what they are looking for, is off the table, there would be no reason to stay in the relationship and they would walk away. If the emotional manipulator has done a good job at selecting the appropriate target, that target would not only stay, but they would jump through hoop after hoop, all in an effort to bring back the person they fell in love with in the beginning. They will absorb the blame for why the emotional manipulator’s feelings have changed and try to convince them that they are still worthy of the intense affections they received during the love bombing stage.

The end game for the emotional manipulator is to secure their love interests emotions. That is what they are after. The moment the’‘I love you’s’ are spoken, the relationship is on the decline. A relationship was never what the emotional manipulator was after. What they wanted was to feel like they were worthy of someone’s love.

They are deeply insecure and cannot regulate their own self-esteem, so in order to attain their ego’s requirements, they must siphon admiration from another. They feel big by making others feel small and if they can trick you into falling in love with them, then they convince themselves that they are good enough, that they are worthy of love. Because their emotions are superficial they don’t concern themselves with whether or not someone’s affections are sincere, they are more interested in the frequency and grandiosity of the declaration. If you are begging and pleading with them to take you back, after they have treated you so deplorably, it further strengthens this belief and feeds their ego.

If you have found yourself stuck in this type of relationship it is the Universe’s way of showing you that there are parts of yourself that need to be healed. If you miss this, you will continue to repeat the mistake, until you get it. Turn your focus inward and heal the childhood wounds that are still plaguing your adult relationships, be mindful of what to lookout for and don’t be afraid to act when your relationship no longer meets your needs or brings you joy.

About the author
Savannah Greyis a Hypnotherapist, Divorce Coach, Consultant, Freelance Writer, Self-Love Advocate, Sports Fanatic, and Philosopher. She has a degree in Psychology and is the founder of www.esteemology.com, a website dedicated to educating and healing survivors of abusive relationships.

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