Idealization (Grooming) Phase
The start of all relationships comes with excitement and that is totally normal. We need to be excited, a new relationship should be happy. The idealization phase with a truly toxic person will likely be unlike anything you have ever experienced! It will be the most passionate, the most exciting, the deepest love and it will be so fast paced that you will be left in a daze. In this phase you let all normal reason go out the door; this person quickly becomes your entire world. They tell you things that you’ve only heard in romance movies, novels or your favourite love song; things that you never thought you deserved or were worthy of hearing.
Whether talking with clients, friends or other people who have been crushed by a toxic person, they say this is the phase that puts you so high on a pedestal it’s the highest of highs. Which makes the crash so much more devastating.
- We have so much in common: In this phase it seems that everything you do, they do, every negative relationship experience you have had, they to have experienced. According to Jackson Mackenzie you will here words like “We have so much in common it’s like we are the same person”. In most cases it’s the target doing the talking and the toxic personality is agreeing and adding just enough to slip past you. Your hopes are their hopes; your dreams are their dreams; your fears, are their fears. They show you how together you can accomplish anything and they start to get you to do things that they want you to do. Remember Toxic people have a vast breadth of knowledge that only goes an inch deep, but they will make you feel like not only is it as deep as yours it is deeper and they will make you want what they have. Their emotional knowledge is only knowledge they don’t have the capability of “feeling”.
- Love Bombing: A toxic person is unlike anything you have ever seen, constant flattery, compliments, statements of deep love; and this is only day four. They explain in great detail about how you are prettier, smarter, more in tune than their previous partner(s). The soul mate comments make it sound like it’s a whole new level of love that you never knew existed. I have read stories of people who felt the soul mate never existed but when they met their toxic partner they abandoned all old beliefs.
On social Media, it’s only been a few days but they are already professing their love. They’re putting up posts about how connected you both are, how much you’re doing together. This is type of tactic is also used to destroy their last partner. Their “ex” is likely still not out of the picture or is on the sidelines out of your view and the toxic person is using this new “love” in the “Discard Phase”. It also allows them to run back to the ex if you get wise to them, as the ex is still remembering their own idealization phase.
Gifts may also part of this phase, getting you to fall hard and fast, they may send things to your work daily. If it does come to the office it is to make you the centre of attention everyday. Now you are not only feeling their adoration but you are linking their adoration to that of your fellow colleagues. Even your boss’s boss now knows who you are…
Conditioning and Destruction Phase
This is the second phase and this is where you lose all of who you are, what you are and likely everyone you have as support. This phase has many facets that include: Emotional Triangulation, Gas Lighting, Sexual Manipulation, and Isolation. They start to get you to see how the only person who has your back or can help you is them. They slowly attack your friends, family, who ever you came into the relationship with. This goes well beyond protecting those we love from other hurtful people. Toxic personalities do this with only one end in mind when you are no longer useful to them they want you to be emotionally, physically and or financially destroyed.
- Conditioning: In this phase ex-partner comparing is the norm and showing how much better you are. What they are really doing is conditioning you to react in a certain way. For example they tell you: “That you are so much more understanding that’s why we don’t fight and the ex and I always fought”, what they are subconsciously saying is: “Don’t fight with me, because if we do fight it will be because you’re not being understanding.”
In the idealization phase they were a constant form of support, this support is now starting to diminish and when you need their support they accuse you of being overly needy.
If you have had a negative experience with someone in your life they will, jump on the chance to exaggerate the experience. They will not look at the bigger picture and see both sides they will show you how you have zero accountability. This will serve them in the future when they want to take zero accountability and have you be the villain. This is also serves the purpose of eroding and destroying any relationship that is not them.
“Testing the waters”: They will start to test how well their plan. Any resistance from the testing is met with glimpses of the idealization phase, gas lighting or rage. Once they feel the resistance has been sufficiently destroyed they move to the destruction phase.
- Destruction: Here is where they remove or erode all the boundaries’ you once held as signs of respect. Appointments with you start to be missed or they book something over top and you always seem to lose out. Your emotions are extreme and you are being accused of being off balance, they will start to share these examples with their “fan club” preparing for the final phase. They start to provoke you slowly at first with light “kidding” then it turns into complete disdain for you and how everything is your fault. They are meticulous in bringing up your past faults (ignoring their own) to show you how horrible you really are, or how lucky you are to have them. They show how they and not you are the victim.
Controlling your movements is another destructive tactic. If you go anywhere without them your text will light up! They will send you what seems like hundreds of texts or calls ruining any chance at a good time with friends or family. If they have not removed your support network it’s because they have covertly converted them into fans. Your friends, family, co-workers will join them and may even tell you that you are the problem and you are so lucky to have this toxic person in your life. In my practice I have heard the words “Even my mom said no one would ever love me like this person did.” This further decreases their ability to see their own self worth. If this phase has worked, you will be submissive and feel that you are nothing unless they are with you.
The discard phase can be circular in its attack. With a toxic personality unless you break free and stop all contact or unless they have totally destroyed you and see zero need in keeping you close.
They likely have another target in mind or they already have them in play. You will likely know this person and this person plays a role in furthering your destruction. They will flaunt this person in front of you saying how happy they are, posting on social media how great things are, how they read together, hike together or do the things you remember doing with them during the idealization phase. If you start to gain some strength and the toxic person feels you will cut them out completely they may run to your side and remind you of the idealization phase. They may also discredit their current target, saying how they are not you or they made a mistake. This is designed to keep you hoping at getting back together and totally under their control. The fan club will be totally unaware of this, so, if you tell any of the fan club members about this and it gets back to the toxic person (and it will) they will discredit you even further just like they did with the previous target and you during the “Idealization and Conditioning”. Saying: “See I told you they were the crazy stalker type.”
There are so many discard scenarios, how they dump you. Will depend on the relationship, were you married, common law, dating or were you just a member of the fan club who thought there would be more than just a “friendship”. What is known is the toxic person will be callous and unfeeling.
If you have been in a relationship with a toxic personality the destruction is everywhere. So If you have questions or concerns or need support feel free to reach out to me send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org I can even help you or even help find resources in your area.
Stay tuned for my next Blog on “Are You a Member of a Toxic Persons Fan Club”.
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Keep chasing those cars…..
With Love, Respect and Admiration