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The Covert Grooming Tactics Of Abusive Men – Are You Being Groomed?

Written by: Lisa Sonni, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Lisa Sonni

In a world where the covert grooming tactics of abusive men often remain hidden in plain sight, it's time to shed light on the subtle yet insidious ways they manipulate their victims. Society's mixed messages can leave you feeling trapped and misunderstood, but it's crucial to empower yourself with knowledge and see it for what it is.

Image photo of a gray wolf

Defining grooming: Unmasking the covert start

Grooming, in the context of abuse, is like a stealthy predator luring its prey. It begins with charm, affection, and attention, making it challenging for even your closest friends and family to see through the facade. These calculated gestures are designed to gain your trust and cast doubt on your instincts. Imagine it as a web of deceit, with the abuser as the puppeteer, pulling your strings. For instance, they might shower you with gifts, compliments, and affection, creating a veneer of perfection. Yet, behind closed doors, this charm masks their true intentions. Grooming manipulates your perception and emotions in a way that can lead to tolerance or confusion about abusive behaviors. Grooming is a process through which an abusive individual uses manipulation, charm, and tactics to gain control over their victim. It creates trust, it isolates you, it creates emotional bonding and confusion. You can break these patterns.

Normalizing toxic behavior: Society's mixed messages

Society often downplays toxic behavior within relationships. You've heard phrases like, "All couples have their ups and downs," or, "He's just stressed. That's why he behaves that way." These seemingly innocent remarks undermine the seriousness of abuse, causing you to minimize the harm you're experiencing. When you express concerns like, "He's always so angry," or "It feels abusive," you might encounter gaslighting by even well-intentioned friends or family. Society will try to convince you that it's not that bad, that he didn't mean it, or that you should accept it to avoid being alone.

The blame game: Do women pick abusers?

Another aspect of this societal puzzle is the blame game. Often, female victims are unfairly blamed for choosing abusive partners. But the question arises: do women actively pick abusers, or are abusers skilled at deception? When women try to educate others about what to look for in potential partners, they generally face criticism and name-calling. It's so important to recognize that the blame lies not with the victims but with those who hide their true selves behind a mask of charm. Put the focus exactly where it should be: on the perpetrators of abuse.

Fear of loneliness: Dispelling the myth

Perhaps one of the cruelest societal messages is the fear of ending up alone, often portrayed as a life filled with cats and boxed wine. However, statistics show that unmarried childless women are among the happiest demographics, debunking this unfounded fear. It's far better to be alone and at peace than to endure the physical, emotional, or mental harm caused by an abusive relationship. So who’s lonely? The very people pushing the narrative that it’s women who end up alone. Convincing women that they will "die alone" or be lonely without the abuser directly serves the abuser. It lowers women’s self-esteem, isolates us, and creates fear and guilt.

Breaking the cycle: Empowerment through knowledge

Recognizing these grooming tactics and societal pressures is the first step toward breaking free from the cycle of abuse. By understanding how covert abuse begins, how society normalizes toxic behavior, and how the blame game unfairly targets victims, you can empower yourself with knowledge. This knowledge, combined with self-love and support, will guide you toward a life free from the grip of abuse. Grooming involves excessive charm and affection early in the relationship, isolation from friends and family, and a gradual escalation of control and manipulation. These can be overt but tend to be covert and insidious – it’s why it’s hard to see it.

The covert grooming tactics of abusive men may hide beneath the surface, but you have the power to unveil them. Take control of your life, break free from the cycle, and embrace a future filled with self-love, empowerment, and freedom. It's time to rewrite your story and emerge stronger than before.

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Lisa Sonni Brainz Magazine

Lisa Sonni, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Lisa Sonni is a survivor of domestic assault and narcissistic abuse, and her first hand experience led her to where she is today ‒ a certified Relationship Coach specializing in abuse education and trauma bond recovery. She helps clients from all walks of life overcome challenges stemming from traumatic partnerships. She is the author of the Trauma Bond Recovery Course, The Trauma Bond Recovery Journal, and Rebuilding After A Trauma Bond: A Self-Love Journal, as well as a popular content creator known as Stronger Than Before across all social media platforms.



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