What is Lovebombing?

The punishment of unwanted behaviors until these are omitted is not the only way a group can control its participants. A second, just as effective method is Lovebombing: The desired behavior is over-rewarded by using exaggerated affection and exaggerated positive attention towards the person over which the group wishes to obtain control.

These forms of affection are based on secondary motivations: The interest is not the sort of friendship that the affection suggests, but a control attempt. The targeted persons don’t usually notice this at first and feel waived and socially integrated by the group. However, this emotional strategy implements a kind of behavior which is of use to only certain members of the group and either not useful or even harmful to the targeted persons. If a targeted member of the group wants to act upon such of their impulses which contradict the group philosophy, the seemingly positive attention is used as a threat: “We really value each other in this group. You do value us, too, don’t you?!”

If contradictions to the demanded behavior are continued, all forms of attention by other group members are withdrawn at once. Most of the time, manipulation strategies such as Lovebombing develop and stick within a group unintentionally and subconsciously. Only persons who are very experienced in subconscious power dynamics can use this method on purpose to control a group.