Love bombing, attacks and cognitive dissonance Paula CarrasquilloLove bombing (v.) – overwhelming us with attention and praise, calling us their soul mate after a week of knowing us and describing us as “the one” they’ve been waiting for their entire lives.

The praise demands our attention; it’s literally in our faces, in out texts, in our ears and throughout our emails from the sociopath. The love bombs come on like a blitzkrieg and are repeated over and over again to the point of dizzying us into a fog of feeling totally loved and adored. By establishing and surrounding us in a bliss fog, the sociopath primes us so we miss or dismiss the insidious nature of the narcissistic sociopath’s personal attacks on our character over time.

Love bombing happens in the very beginning of the relationship and is repeated by the abuser over the lifetime of the relationship.

Love bombing immediately follows narcissistic rages and highly energized verbal and violent physical attacks and is the primary reason victims experience cognitive dissonance: having co-occurring and conflicting emotions of love and loathing for the sociopath.

Essentially, anytime the abuser fears we will leave/abandon him due to his assaults, we will be love bombed.

They love bomb us to throw us off balance. Love bombing happens immediately after an attack. We have little time to process our anger and frustrations, because, just as quickly as the rage comes on, the love bombing follows.

This hot-and-cold/cold-and-hot behavior is contradictory to any understanding of love a healthy person knows. But we tend to make excuses for the abuser. Don’t. Don’t feel sorry for him or pity him. That’s what he wants you to do. If he’s an adult, he should know better. There is no excuse for abuse and manipulation of a good person’s heart.

Love bombing is one of their favorite tools to con us into thinking they’re only human and deserve chance after chance to redeem themselves. After all, they love you so much, right?

If in the beginning days, weeks and months of a romantic relationship a person uses repeated superlatives to describe how perfect we are for them (like the best or the most), be cautious. No one knows a person well enough that soon to profess such undying love and affection.

But it’s so easy to be hypnotized. Humans love to be loved and adored, which is our core, human quality narcissistic sociopaths use, extort and defile. It’s how we end up convinced that we are the bad guy in the relationship. How can we possibly justify rejecting and being angry and upset with someone who seems to love us so much? We’re monsters for rejecting such fragile people, huh? We’re hateful and heartless.

We are none of those things. None of them! Our crime is being fooled by a person who has no idea of love outside movies and fairy tales. That’s the ideal fantasy, not the reality of love.

We need to let go of the fantasy of love at first sight and approach love and life realistically. True love is possible, but true love takes time, patience and lots of “getting to know you” moments.

Deflect the love bomb with common sense and laugh at the preposterousness of it as soon as it strikes. You might end up being called heartless, but it’s better to be called heartless before falling, don’t you think? 🙂

Namaste!

Category:
abuse, Cluster B disorders, domestic violence, Emotional Abuse, Family, Forgiveness, Friends, Health, Lessons, Love, Mental Health, mindfulness, Narcissist, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, NPD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychopaths, PTSD, Relationships, Self Improvement, Sociopaths, Spirituality
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Join the conversation! 20 Comments

  1. […] only do sociopaths intensely love bomb and praise us in the beginning, they mirror how we behave and how we react to people and […]

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  2. I wish I could send this post to the pathetic woman my npd husband had an affair with. EVERYTHING you described about the behavior of the abuser is exactly how he treated her(I have the “love poems” and e-mails in my possession to prove it)9

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  3. […] use three rather opposing techniques in tandem to create the confusion: love bombing, gas lighting and […]

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  4. […] love bombed me from the start. He convinced me that I was the most beautiful, intelligent, interesting and […]

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  5. […] unfortunately, because the love-bombing phase/idolization phase coincided with my first peak at these behaviors, I did not recognize them as warnings. I simply […]

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  6. […] We call this love bombing. And its effect is just as powerful as any Nazi Blitzkrieg.  […]

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  7. Paula, you’ve put into words what I would have never known how to articulate. “Love bombing” is such a good description of what’s going on. In my case I was love-bombed by a female friend. She was over-the-top with praise, attention, gifts, (frequent use of superlatives) not just with me, but with many in our social circle. Is it possible that most people do not recognize this as being fake? Or do they also sense the dis-ingenuousness and proceed anyway? I vacillated in this relationship for months – pulling away to get some space, realizing that I felt better after having space so thinking I must have gotten over whatever was bothering me about her, increasing the time I spent with her, realizing I still felt the exact same way, pulling away again, and repeating the whole process over and over. And you are right, this is extremely insidious behavior because you struggle with settling on “I don’t like this person” – because how could you not like someone who has been so good to you all this time? In my case, I was never in a close enough relationship with this person to experience “rages”, so all I saw were the “nice” things this person did, which I think made it more difficult to understand my negative feelings toward her. Over time, though, I did notice that the “nice” things she did always seemed to subtly draw attention to herself (you know, in a way that looks like she’s trying to NOT draw attention to herself because she’s just that humble?), and that’s what I started to pick up on over time – she was constantly building her image of being someone wonderful, generous, serving, thoughtful, friendly – the kind of person other people would talk about being amazing for all that she does and is.

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    • Rita, it is VERY difficult to take what you feel in your gut and prove it with their actions.

      There is a woman in my circle who I have been suspicious of from the very beginning. She does lots of seemingly nice things for people. But I know it’s because she expects SOMETHING in return, either acknowledgment or others to do things for her. My biggest issue with her is that she keeps track of the things she does for people. Who does that? Fake people!!! If someone opposes her point of view, she’ll say something like, “I have always been so good to you. How can you treat me like this?” How sick is that? It’s manipultative and illogical. It’s not rageful. It’s a jab at our empathy and sympathy. They play the victim so well and can make us look like uncaring humans for a perceived slight against their character, a character so fragile and weak the wind could not it over.

      These humble fakers are the absolute worst! My ex’s mother was like this, too. She’d throw parties and be all happy smiles and cheerful conversation while people were there, but she’d bitch and complain about every single one of them after they’d left. Even her own children and her grandchild. Always complaining about how under appreciated she is. I’d tell her to stop worrying about others and worry about herself. Little did I know that she was doing exactly that; it just SEEMED like she cared about others. Her goal was to get them to care about her. It’s very sad.

      Nothing we say or do can cause a person to like us or dislike us. We must like ourselves. These people don’t like themselves. They have no real friends or enemies. They just have a bunch of peoplle standing around them scratching their heads and asking themselves, “Should I like her or should I hate her?” I say let them be. No need to waster your energy liking them or hating them. 🙂

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  8. […] is called love bombing. I had never heard of it, but when I read this Love bombing, attacks and cognitive dissonance everything clicked. Since, I have been working out more my memory has been becoming unfogged and I […]

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  9. […] He said what I wanted to hear, then did the exact opposite. He would rage and then “love bomb” me (another term I learned from Paula). I felt […]

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  10. great post Paula, we always hear that women love the “bad boys” and good guys finish last. I think the narcissist uses this to their advantage. The woman doesn’t want to take advantage of this “good guy” so they mistake the first signs of a controlling man as a nice guy overwhelmed with his “love” for them. I remember making the conscience decision to let this great guy love me and thinking he cared for me much more than I did him. I had always been turned off by love sick puppies but at 40 had dated enough bad boys I was ready for a good guy to walk into my life.
    little did I know I had just decided to let the devil himself into my life.

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    • It’s always been difficult reading your story. Even though I did not stay in my toxic relationship long enough to experience the treatment you experienced, I feared that treatment would one day be inflicted upon me and my son. I saw it in his cold, dead eyes when he would rage and in his lies and his words, which seemed to be born from a very dark place. It’s very difficult for people who have never experienced this kind of person to the degree we experienced them to understand that the evil is quite real. I’m simply glad there are people who understand and are willing to share. I’m not glad, however, that there are so many of us who do understand.

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  11. The father did this, and used tears. It’s basically the “honeymoon period.” yuck!

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  12. Great read Paula, this is clearly what was done to my daughter!

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  13. Paula, I think you should get the Nobel Peace Prize for these posts. Peace for our souls. “Love Bombing” is the perfect description of this horrid form of the abuse. And I found myself trying to dodge the land mines that went with it, too. Oh, I wanted to be loved soooo much. Learning to dismiss this, ignore the deluge, the gifts, the “woman of my dreams, soul mate, etc.,etc.” and feel no pity or sorrow for this creature enough to get out was very difficult indeed. I could just hug you, Paula for knowing.

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  14. Another great posting, Paula! I have allowed this to be done to me and it is so confusing. I absolutely love the phrase “cognitive dissonance” – thank you!

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