Narcissists and Sociopaths compulsively strive to groom their victims for use and abuse. It is true — they are constantly striving to improve the quality of their diet as emotional vampires, compulsively inclined to play with their food.
Here is more about what to look for in interpersonal dynamics between human beings when one person is socially toxic, likely to use anyone who willingly allows them to unrepentantly abuse.
Narcissistic Supply sources are what Anti-Social predators seek. The more narcissistic the ASPD person, the more likely they are to strive to cultivate personality traits in their intended targets that please them solely as the dominant or ALPHA person in the relationship.
Notably, when a person with ASPD grooms a victim, very seldom do they take into consideration the best interests or needs of the manipulated person.
What matters most is having a willing subject for them to manipulate. Grooming, as a word commonly used to describe how sexual predators purposefully engage with child sexual abuse targets, is actually the same psychological manipulation technique employed by nearly all Cluster B individuals to trap or otherwise psychologically enchant their abuse targets.
But pedophiles, everyday run-of-the-mill average Joe Blow Narcissists, and truly Sociopathic or Psychopathic grooming aims differ in ways that are psychologically significant.
A pedophile seeks to gain the trust of the object of their lustful or perverted desire. They strive to make a child not only willingly allow them to engage in sex acts but they strive to socially shame or intimidate their abuse victim into keeping their little dog and pony show quiet.
Then you have the Overt Narcissist — a person inclined to bellow about what they want until someone finally breaks down and either defers to or seeks to please them.
If someone has Borderline Personality Disorder, expect narcissism to show alternating with them appearing to truly care about other people (even though they are simply pretending in order to put themselves in a position to demand return favors).
An HPD person will tend to turn every tiny event into some grand brouhaha, readily displaying their own “the world revolves entirely around me” sentiment. Inherently narcissistic by nature but capable of feeling some level of complex emotion related to empathy, the Histrionic is the person who knows how to work a crowd but uses the skill in a room with only one or two people at a time acting as their audience to manipulate and play with psychologically.
But the person with a covert Narcissistic Personality Disorder? They seriously don’t give a rat’s behind about any person’s needs, health, life, or schedule other than their own.
And chances are they will be the first to express outright rage, throw a stonewalling temper tantrum, or look at other people with a blank stare of disbelief when and if someone other than themselves makes an assertion that on occasion (at least) someone else’s needs might be considered equally valid to their own. Just don’t expect them to lash out when anyone important or who could tell on them is watching.
Covert Narcissists, as the ultimate situational abusers, keep the fact they treat their friends and family members (as well as the occasionally targeted co-worker) abusively an absolute secret. One minute they will pretend to be smiling and having a great time — the next, look out because you are about to get a serious earful about all the ways you have failed to please them.
But Sociopaths (ranging from mild Sociopath to the most Psychopath Dark Triad characters you can possibly imagine) are a different animal or species from NPD social predators almost entirely.
When an Alpha Sociopath predator says, “Jump!” the expected answer from their victim is never to question their authority. They simply want the person to leap without looking, followed by groveling apologies if and when they failed to accurately guess how high.
Even Psychopaths tend to cower at the feet of a strong Dark Triad who shows traits of NPD, ASPD, and Machiavellianism by nature. They are the Sociopaths number one fan, noting that those with extreme NPD or Psychopath tendencies are the type of people who see befriending or socially supporting a stronger predator than themselves as something smart to do — or that being groomed by one to meet their everyday needs prestigious.
Grooming is a highly manipulative form of psychological interaction. Most victims who actively engage in the act of submitting to a more dominant personality type tend to report their own subjugation initially gives them great feelings of emotional satisfaction and pleasure.
But that’s just the thing…
People who are healthy and normal psychologically tend to spot signs of psychological manipulation and questionable abuse with relative ease. Submissive co-dependent personality types who willingly engage in enabling their own use and abuse tend to claim they derive pleasure from pleasing their more aggressive, socially dominant, or assertive mate.
Confused about how such a thing could happen? That an intelligent, loving, and otherwise kind person could be hypnotized under the charismatic spell of a grand protector?
Don’t be. One quick read of the novel “50 Shades of Gray” or any of the Sleeping Beauty book series by writer Anne Rice that she wrote under a pen name for modesty can quickly explain quite a few of the social and psychiatric dramas inspired by sub-DOM play.
But grooming is something that occurs in ALL Narcissistic Abuse victims — not just in people who (for whatever reason) LIKE behaving in submissive and slavish sort of ways.
Think about it.
Grooming is the art of covertly holding influence 24/7, 365 days a year over another person’s thoughts and emotions. It’s the art of making people pay complete, total, and focused attention on meeting YOUR needs in some Machiavellian, devious, egocentric way.
It’s deep, dark, situational abuse. Sticky and black as tar, the memory of people’s Narcissistic Rage stains the interior of a victim’s mind, imprinting far while an acting-out Abuser imparts trauma bonding lessons in a truly Machiavellian, insidious way.
When you go to Grammie’s house — if she’s a Dark Triad, what kinds of things do your parents know to tell you to avoid doing in order to prevent the wicked old bat from having a melt-down in the family’s face?
Chances are you know, right? One can almost start listing them off… don’t touch ABC, no talking about XYZ, never go in room 123, avoid making noise, always clean up after yourself, don’t put the milk or soda pop bottle away in the fridge THAT way, take off your shoes outside the front door, don’t let the cat/dog/children do this, that, or the other thing, ad infinitum.
How about when you head back to Somatic Narcissist Mom’s place…
Ever risk putting your feet on the formal dining room coffee table? How about leaving a wet towel on the bathroom floor? Or using a decorative guest towel like a dirty old washcloth or stained hand towel to clean the leather on your shoes or mop up where you just spilled that last glass of wine or grape Kool-Aid? You are wearing WHAT out to dinner or to meet the Jones from church or down the street at the 5 o’clock cocktail gathering?
Blah diddy blah diddly blah, blah, blah. WAH.
Narcy parents always manage to find fault with every single thing a child, adult child, or visiting house guest at their place is doing — or not doing. The point is, if you are rushing to meet their demands out of a sense of fear rather than joy, they are acting like asshats and people are allowing themselves to be abused by social predators willingly.
The pattern is there. One simply has to know how to spot the warning signs that a person’s mother or father (or both parents) have a history of acting covertly abusively (prone to situationally abusing their family in private) to readily see signs of grooming.
Arguably, the telltale signs a person has been groomed for social use and abuse is even more obvious in Adult Children than little ones. It tends to be obvious — simply watch the faces and body postures of their stressed out, C-PTSD suffering, adult children or grandchildren whenever they have to interact with the abusive, elderly, tyrannical person.
Children who have been groomed to indulge a parent behave differently than those who have been taught to have a fundamental, healthy, and loving respect for other people’s personal preferences. Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents fear the wrath of elders or cantankerous family members — seldom do they keep Gram or Mom’s place neat and tidy whenever they are visiting out of a loving respect for the parent, family heirlooms, or simply because they themselves would wish to be treated that way.
Children who are raised by Cluster B parents tend to make the best enablers. There might be wire hangers everywhere in their own homes when and if they have the courage to leave the nest — but boy, howdy… once they set foot back in their childhood home, and their heightened flight-over-fight hyper-stimulated fears of being punished or rejected by a controlling and abusive parent or set of parents tend to rapidly manifest.
Have you ever borrowed a tool from Narcopath Grandpa’s tool shed without asking — or god forbid put something like a hammer, box of screws, or nail gun back in the wrong place? If you have, then you know full well that the gates of hell peel open faster unveiling their demonic third eye while all hell breaks loose.
Family arguments can be heard several states away when and if a Cluster B person who routinely engages in deliberate acts of grooming abuse victims to capitulate unquestioningly to their every demand with no regard for self whatsoever fail to get their way. But be careful not to equate having a healthy level of respect for another person’s personal property, lifestyle, or personal needs with respect when and if a narcissistic person is around.
Grooming (as a civil meshing rather than psychologically and emotionally abusive process) happens to some degree in every close personal friendship, romance, or family relationship. Everyone has preferences, needs, and likes doing things typically according to their own methods, habits, practices, and ways. The more successful most people are at using their powers of observation to help them enhance interpersonal communication, the more likely they are to live longer, happier, more successful lives in general.
But grooming someone with the intent of showing them mutual respect is NOT what Cluster B personality types do.
For example, try being an independent woman in a Muslim culture or a Westernized female traveling in an Islamic state. If a girl wants to travel unaccompanied or appear in public scantily clad, more than their reputation is likely to be at stake. The men want what they want when they want it; women are forced to live in fear for their lives, liberty, and encouraged to perpetually sacrifice their own comfort and happiness. Gals traveling through Islamic regions can truly put their lives in mortal danger when and if they decide not to care about the irrational needs, wishes, habits, and customs of physically stronger and professionally more dominant male contemporaries and their culture driving predecessors.
Fear promotion is at the heart of an ASPD person grooming prey. They want to ensure that no matter how absurd or ridiculous their demand that their subject will not only strive to please them but that they will do so without ever questioning why they have been asked to do something or complete a task in a specific, clear, illogical way.
In fact, in most cases of an ASPD person pitching a fit or throwing a temper tantrum, their ultimate goal is to get a person to strive to meet their demands without ever questioning. By providing intermittent positive or loving attention mixed with outlandish attention-seeking temper tantrums alternated with heartless, cold-natured stonewalling, the abusive personality type tends to demand all people who spend personal or private time with them have little to no needs of their own.
What the Abuser says, goes. What the victim feels or thinks about the Abuser or their play should only, in an abusive personality type’s perfect dream world, matter if and when it directly benefits or has a positive impact on the life of the Abuser in some way.
While NPD people groom others to meet their every need, people with ASPD or Borderline Personality types with a streak of Sadism and Sociopathy all tend to force people to capitulate to their seemingly ceaseless demands because they are compulsive attention seekers. People who get off psychologically seeing exactly how far they can actually con people into believing that acquiescing to their irrational and typically unreasonable demands would be a good thing manipulate other people specifically for that reason — to see if they can.
NPD people already KNOW they can easily con other people into striving to please them… so when and if they manipulate by grooming their preferred targets for use, it’s almost always with themselves in mind. Their needs, the preferences of the egocentric dictator, always (in their grandiose minds) come first.
ASPD people suspect they are powerful social influencers. Their goal throughout the duration of their life tends to be seeing how far they can push things with regard to amassing power and exercising social influence on people they deem as “lesser beings” per biological chance or fate.
A properly groomed victim tends to have a healthy degree of Stockholm Syndrome. They also tend to compulsively and willingly enable their Abusers to abuse them.
Controlled abuse victims are those who are the most likely to keep an abuser’s secrets. This includes assuming an aggressive Cognitive Dissonance state praising their captor publicly while misleading friends and family about whether or not they ever feel scared, unappreciated, tired of the predator’s bull pockey, or abused.
If an Abuser is a Narcissist, they will tend to use up a supply source’s physical, emotional, and financial resources then discard them for fattier prey. A sociopathic or psychopathic predator, on the other hand, will almost compulsively strive to make their intended target of victim perform acts of contrition long after their victim’s free will, backbone, and soul nature breaks.
Whatever personality type a Cluster B predator has it’s important to note they all ultimately have the same aim of self-satisfying when and if they go through the motions of grooming victims. Narcissistic people groom victims to enable Narcissistic Abuse while keeping situational abuse intensity or physical consequences a secret for the Abuser’s exclusive psychological, physical, financial, legal, and emotional benefit, plain and simple.