Control through Coercion

Coercion is the practice of forcing another party to act in an involuntary manner by use of threats or force. It involves a set of various types of forceful actions that violate the free will of an individual to induce a desired response, for example: a bully demanding lunch money from a student or the student gets beaten.

These actions may include extortion, blackmail, torture, threats to induce favours, or even sexual assault. In law, coercion is codified as a duress crime. Such actions are used as leverage, to force the victim to act in a way contrary to their own interests.

Coercion may involve the actual infliction of physical pain/injury or psychological harm in order to enhance the credibility of a threat. The threat of further harm may lead to the cooperation or obedience of the person being coerced.

In psychological coercion, the threatened injury regards the victim's relationships with other people … threats to husbands, wives, children, brothers, sisters etc

The most obvious example is blackmail, where the threat consists of the dissemination of damaging information. However, many other types are possible e.g. "emotional blackmail", which typically involves threats of rejection from or disapproval by a peer-group or creating feelings of guilt/obligation via a display of anger or hurt by someone whom the victim loves or respects. Another example is coercive persuasion.

Nasty thing that.

Love Bombing Part 2

Found a great set of articles on the Conscious Rethink website as a part of my continued my research path through the areas of fraud, identification theft and social engineering.

Picking up on yesterday’s post, I’ve been looking more at the broad term of ‘Love Bombing’; ‘an attempt to accelerate the birth and growth of feelings within the victim by creating an intense atmosphere of affection and adoration. It is designed to disarm an individual’s natural guardedness so that they do not question the direction and speed a relationship is headed in’ according to the Conscious Rethink website.

It does this by adding elements of confusion, flattery, dependency, and an air of destiny into the mix.

Confusion occurs because of the sheer amount of communication that takes place between the couple; ceaseless texting, frequent phone calls, interaction on social media, and a strong wish to meet in person as often as possible.

It can feel utterly overwhelming to be on the receiving end of such a bombardment, one that is designed to convince the victim of the unique and special bond they have with the narcissist.

Having never experienced anything quite like it before, the victim will start to believe that this is something special, something good, a romance like you see in the movies – a whirlwind of excitement, both exhilarating and terrifying.

Flattery is present in virtually all courtship, but in the case of love bombing, it transcends to a whole other level. Every communication must include multiple compliments to seduce the victim and provide an almost irresistible feel-good factor that they will find hard to surrender.

When the victim constantly hears how beautiful, wonderful, and perfect the other party thinks they are, it gives their ego a real boost and causes physical and chemical changes in their brains. These only serve to cement their attraction to the narcissist.

Quite often the victim will be someone who suffers from low self-esteem (an ideal target for a narcissist) and so being complimented in this way may feel unnatural to them – even fake – but they will be too caught up to realize the true purpose of all the kind words.

Dependency is something that the narcissist will often attempt to introduce just a few weeks into the process of dating. Despite being in this embryonic stage, they will begin to proclaim how sure they are of the relationship, how much they enjoy spending time with the victim, and even how they are falling in love with them.

They push the victim on their own feelings to have them reciprocate declarations of love and affection. They do this to further confuse the victim about how they truly feel.

They start to devour more and more of the victim’s time and energy – preventing them from seeing other people quite so often. This isolation may be noted by the friends and family of the victim, but it is often waived away as mere passion by the victim themselves.

 By controlling access to love and affection, a narcissist can put themselves in a position of great importance. As contact with others diminishes, the only source of warmth and love available to the victim comes from their newly found partner.

The longer this continues, the deeper under the spell they fall; eventually they start to see the narcissist as someone they are unable to live without.

More to come on this interesting topic …

Love Bombing

When you openly advertise your interest in a romantic relationship, you also signal your availability to any circling narcissists or social predators. If one senses that your guard is down, he or she may assume that you are an easier target for manipulation. And one of the most effective ways of manipulating a potential partner is through flattery and "love bombs."

Love bombing is the practice of overwhelming someone with signs of adoration and attraction — think flattering comments, tokens of affection, or love notes on the mirror, kitchen table, or windshield, and you’re beginning to get the picture. It’s texts that increase in frequency as they increase in romantic fervour. Its surprise appearances designed to manipulate you into spending more time with the bomber — and, not coincidentally, less time with others, or on your own.

When someone tells you just how special you are, it can be intoxicating, at first.

However, when a person uses such comments to keep your focus trained on him or her, or to keep bringing you back in if you’ve started to back off, it could be a case of manipulation.

Not everyone who whispers sweet nothings in your ear is a narcissist or predator, of course, but if you’re feeling that something just isn’t right about the person or your relationship, these constant reminders of "how good you are together" — when you suspect that you really aren’t — can be an effort to keep you tethered.

It’s often the first line used by a potential abuser.

Narcissists are known for their skills at manipulation, as much as their penchant for self-love. They may use flattery and attention as tools to build themselves up as the perfect partner, the better to gain your trust, affection — and, ultimately, adoration. Narcissists often learn through experience that once partners see through their facades, the relationship may self-destruct.

Once they have convinced you of how good the two of you are together, a narcissist will try to shape your role in the relationship into a member of their "supporting cast."

Narcissists move quickly to avoid detection, so the more someone tries to flatter you into submission, the more diligently you need to explore their motives.

The more you read from the Psychology Today article, you more you want to read.