Write about intriguing psychological phenomena.

The Concept of Love Bombing - Look Out Before You Land in Trouble

The Concept of Love Bombing
Is someone around you being overly and overtly affectionate and lovey-dovey to you? Beware! They may be love bombing. Find out more about the concept of love bombing in this article.
Mrunal Belvalkar
Last Updated: Feb 28, 2018
Of all the concepts and dynamics of human relationships that I have ever come across, love bombing tops my list as the most deceptive, dark and dangerous tactic that people engage themselves and others in. It is hard to believe how two such starkly contrasting words - 'love' and 'bombs' - come together to make a single term in the first place. Love bombing stands for a deliberate, overt and over-expression of fondness, love, compassion or friendship by a single individual or a group of individuals, towards another individual or group of individuals. It involves showering more love, care and attention on a person than is accountable.

This may ring a bell in the minds of those of you who are familiar with the concept of inverted narcissism. However, love bombing is often characterized by undercurrents of ulterior motives. This is why it ranks topmost in my list - because the subjects of love bombing realize they are being love-bombed far too late than is healthy. It makes you wonder if the person really loved you, or was it always about the ulterior motives. It leaves you thoroughly disillusioned when you realize it.
The Genesis of Love Bombing
The Unification Church is where the term love bombing came to birth. With respect to its origin, love bombing in fact started as a positive concept. It has been observed that members of the Unification Church perpetually have a smile on their faces and are forever loving and giving in their approach towards people. Unification Church leader Damian Anderson says that members of the Unification Church only "love as Jesus taught us to love", and this is what love bombing is about. In the light of this explanation, it seems to be something constructive. However, the concept has evoked mixed responses from people all over the world. Those sympathetic towards the view/s of the church believe that love bombing is a kind of positive attention that people choose to shower on other people around them. However, critics believe that love bombing is only a strategy that many cults embrace to convert or recruit people to their beliefs, principles and ideologies.
Love Bombing and the Human Tendency
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If looked at objectively as a concept, love bombing is something that even common people - people like you and me - engage in. The psychology behind it is that, everyone loves being noticed, being cared for, being important or significant to the people around them; and hence we cannot resist falling prey to such an expression of love and affection. In a sense then, people who engage in love bombing are nothing but charmers, flatterers and controlling personalities.

However, break down this concept further or stretch it to its limits, whichever sounds apt to you - and you will realize that this is exactly more-or-less how we choose our friends. Do we not prefer people who have similar interests and beliefs? We get along better with such people than with those whose views do not match with ours. In the process we tend to 'like' such people more, we favor them, we do things for them. It is rather difficult to understand, however, that which of the two facts register first in the mind. Do we like them because their views match with ours? Or do we influence their views by 'liking' them? If it is in fact the latter, then we are all love bombing... all the time.

What then is the difference? The only difference in the observation above is that love bombing is deliberate, conscious and cautious. Critics of the concept believe that the group of individuals - derogatorily referred to as cults - have been keen enough to observe and notice this natural human tendency and have been clever enough to use it to their benefits. Love bombing is particularly done on people who show an inclination towards believing in the principles of that particular cult; in short, the cult is not universal in love bombing, as it tries to make us believe.
The Non-Religious Aspect of Love Bombing
... in Human and Public Relationships
You might have at some point of time come across a certain individual who is so charismatic and charming, it becomes hard to disagree with him/her. These are people who their friends describe as suave. This is regarded by many as a form of love bombing, though such a person does not strictly engage in showering people with excessive 'love'. Observers often say that such people tend to keep others around them 'in good humor'. In business, this strategy may be used to get the opposite party - buyer or seller - to compromise on their points and in fact comply with yours. In personal relationships, love bombing has been associated with abusive relationships. The abusive partner in the relationship may love bomb the other submissive partner to make up for being physically, emotionally or socially abusive.
... in Politics
Charm offensive is what 'love bombing' is called in politics. Again this is not strictly 'love bombing' per se, but is similar in principle - politicians and political parties try to gain support of the people by emphasizing on charm, persona, and using these qualities to up their trustworthiness. The term charm offensive was first used by a local newspaper in California as early as in the 1950s. Voters often fall prey to false promises and hopes that politicians give them. In turn, it leads us to electing a less worthy candidate.
With regards to day-to-day interactions between people, love bombing can be regarded as a form of emotional labor - wherein one engages in a kind of behavior that pleases people around him/her. Although there are many physical and mental effects of emotional labor, it is not held to be something immoral. Emotional labor is for a good cause. Love bombing, on the other hand, rings with a sense of negativity. But if you strip both the concepts down to their basics, you will realize that they are both forms of psychological manipulation. Having said that, the immediate question that may arise in our minds is - is it moral or not, is it the 'right thing to do'? The answer is yes and no. Yes - because otherwise one would never have been able to overcome depression and defeat. No - because psychological manipulation is always the wrong way to win someone's heart over. Personally I think if you have faith in your ideas and beliefs, you will surely find someone to share them with; you do not need to engage in love bombing to earn the support and respect of people.
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