Love bombing is constant gifts, praises, and attention. The love bomber then manipulates you by withholding affection and attention. It’s great to be loved! Feeling loved and valued by others may instantly enhance confidence. But something is off. It’s hard to describe, but it’s there. Narcissistic supply may be you.
I’ll use Jane’s narrative to illustrate love bombing. Jane had been seeing Robert for a year. He just dumped her owing to his infidelity. After the split, Robert began sending her the most beautiful love letters and costly presents she’d ever received. Jane was both enchanted and wary. Robert had never behaved like this before in their relationship. His personality was erratic.
Jane’s efforts to comprehend Robert’s new actions failed. Jane found his extravagant gestures maniacal. With uncanny speed, Robert tried to reclaim their affection. This attention left Jane feeling bewildered.
But Jane needed time to evaluate her thoughts after Robert’s strange actions. Robert, however, refused Jane’s request for privacy. A lack of intimacy between them would cause Jane to withdraw, causing him to lose his self-esteem. Jane’s rejection crushed his delicate ego. To feel good about himself, he needed Jane (i.e., Robert needed a narcissistic supply).
Jane knew this cycle of push/pull would go on. But she was conflicted since she desired Robert’s affection. His acts made her feel appreciated. As soon as he became tired, Robert would revert to his bad habits, and she would ask him to come back.
Love-bombing is a tactic often used by individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) to win over and manipulate someone. It involves showering the person with excessive amounts of attention, affection, and flattery in order to make them feel special and desired. The narcissist may use love-bombing to quickly build a strong emotional connection with the person and gain their trust and admiration.
Some signs that someone may be love-bombing you include:
- They are overly affectionate and attentive, and seem to always want to be around you.
- They constantly compliment you and make you feel like you’re the most important person in their life.
- They go out of their way to do nice things for you, such as buying you gifts or doing favors for you.
- They try to move the relationship along quickly, and may talk about commitment or the future early on.
- They may try to isolate you from your friends and family, and may become jealous or controlling if you spend time with them.
If you suspect that someone is love-bombing you, it’s important to take a step back and evaluate the situation. It may be helpful to talk to someone you trust about your concerns, and to seek out support from a therapist or counselor.
The love bomber manipulates you by withholding affection and attention in order to maintain their narcissistic supply. Narcissistic supply may be you.