“Goodness, what big eyes you have!”
The better to see you with,” said the wolf.
When a psychopath targets a victim, he lures her in a highly hypnotic way (along with using many other tactics of covert emotional manipulation) to gain emotional control and then to keep it throughout the relationship. At the top of my list of red flags of a psychopath is what I describe as the “charm” of the psychopath:
He is incredibly charming. This charm causes his target to focus intensely on him as he focuses intensely on her. It is very pleasing to the mind and senses, and it disables your personal boundaries and your self-protective behavior (just when you need them most). It induces a trance — a pleasant, relaxed and focused state of mind where you are open to suggestion. You will find yourself wanting to be back in the focus of his potent charm again. A warm, engaging smile and intense eye contact are present…This superhuman charm is often one of the first and only red flags of a psychopath, and it is exactly what makes it hard to walk away. Read the post on “Charm” to learn the details of how this works.
The intense bond that forms between a victim and a psychopath at the beginning of pathological love relationship is due in part to the “hypno-powers” of the psychopath, according to Sandra L. Brown, M.A., author of “Women Who Love Psychopaths,” a book that examines the temperament traits of women who are victimized by psychopaths. In fact, she says hypnosis and trance are the “attraction heat, attachment magnet and bonding glue” of the relationship.
The technique of hypnosis — a focused and controlled trance — comes naturally to the psychopath, and he hypnotizes his victim repeatedly. When a victim hyper-focuses on the usually “entertaining and electrifying” psychopath, she is aroused, rewarded, and motivated to repeat it. The psychopath uses his natural intensity to easily gain and keep her rapt attention. Brown describes it as “a gentle lulling into a state of fascination where reality begins to fade out,” and says the luring and honeymoon phases are all about fascination.
During periods of hypnosis, the psychopath makes suggestions disguised as statements — “We have a very strong emotional bond” — and uses symbolic language — “I have you locked in my heart” — that are perceived in a different and more powerful way in the trance state. These messages become fixed in her psyche and remain there even after she figures out the truth and even after the relationship ends, because she learned them during states of euphoria, intense sexual connection, bonding and happiness.
Trance can be induced in many ways,
and the psychopath layers them for the strongest effect. A trance state can happen during intense playing, and psychopaths are known for being very playful and fun to be with. Trance can also occur during flow states and peak experiences, such as during sex or dance, when intense concentration produces feelings of interconnectedness. Obviously these activities and feelings are also included in normal relationships, but when in the presence of a psychopath, they become dangerous means to gain emotional control and create the strong bond necessary for the inevitable abuse that will happen when the honeymoon phase is over.
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