3 Red Flags of Narcissistic Grooming Behaviour
Narcissism and narcissist spotting information has been a hot topic over the last few years as people are coming to learn about the influence of developmental trauma, attachment style and early childhood adversity on relationship health. The reason hacking narcissism is important in preventing exploitation and power abuse is that while we can be pretty good at spotting obvious and overt forms of narcissistic behaviour, it's a lot harder to notice the subtle, covert behaviours that hook people into disempowering and dissatisfying relationships.
Grooming is a term often used to describe deliberate, planned and predatory behaviour to seek and recruit specific people to exploit and abuse them.
Grooming here is more subtle, inconspicuous, gradual and motivated by a need to maintain a facade of importance through forming an emotional connection with those who are more naive and could benefit financially, professionally, romantically or socially with the narcissistic person's support.
The emotional connection is necessary to build your trust in them so you can play a part in fulfilling their personal and/or professional agenda by making you believe they're capable, willing & necessary to fulfil your own agenda. This sets the victim up for exploitation.
Here are the 3 main grooming behaviours:
Significance: you're singled out and given their undivided attention so you feel special, significant, valued and important, including sharing sacred info rarely shared with others.
Lovebombing: they give you gifts in the form of exclusive training, education experiences, professional development opportunities, access to exclusive communities & resources or their attention on your work.
Connection: they orchestrate ways to be alone with you, including pressuring you to break prior arrangements, to reinforce the first two steps.
All the 3 grooming points make up the red flag, not just one.
These behaviours comprise the second step of a six step narcissism playbook and play into the bigger picture of what’s in store for you if you form an emotional bond with the person.
Sometimes our desire to get ahead can cloud our judgement and override some of our individual values. In gaining awareness of the drivers behind other people’s behaviour to want to connect with any of us, narcissism hacking is becoming aware of when we might engage in these behaviours to connect with others…and refraining from doing it.
I hope this and other pieces support each of us to examine our motives and course correct so that we don’t do exploitative things unto others that has been done to any of us and our self-examinations are done with self-compassion.
Thank you for reading,
Nathalie Martinek, PhD
The Narcissism Hacker
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