Love bombing is the practice of showing a person excessive affection and attention as a way of manipulating them in a relationship. The term is most commonly used in a negative way in the context of individuals who use it on romantic partners (or desired romantic partners) or cult members who use it as a recruitment technique. Love bombing typically takes the form of showering a person with a combination of seemingly genuine expressions of love or attention, such as excessive praise, gifts, and grand gestures. In love bombing, this behavior goes beyond the heightened level of attention that can be common at the beginning of relationships. It is thought to be part of a pattern of emotionally abusive behavior in which it is done to socially isolate and control a person by making them emotionally and socially dependent on the manipulator. After the manipulator gains a level of control, they often become distant and begin to engage in other forms of emotional abuse, such as gaslighting. Love bombing is sometimes hyphenated (as love-bombing). It’s sometimes used in the verb form love bomb, as in Be wary of anyone who tries to love bomb you on the first date. A person who engages in love bombing can be called a love bomber. Example: People who have been targeted with love bombing will tell you that it preyed on their low self esteem and made them feel special. Less commonly, the term love bombing is sometimes used in a positive way as the name of a technique used by parents to bond with their children by focusing on positive attention and affection.
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