Grooming vs Manipulation


I recognize you're stepping away, LittleBigFoot. When (if) you return - I'm still hoping you could share a little more about how you experienced the relationship back then, or an example of something the person would do, that leads you to wonder if it was grooming.

I also understand how trying to understand this by looking at how old you were, and how old he was, feels like it doesn't make sense. I feel the same way about some things in my own life.


Well.. Depends what you're looking at, 16 is the age that really matters cos that is when you are independent from your parents/carers. You just can't legally get drive, or buy alcohol)
No, 18 is an adult. It says it in the law! At 16, yop it is recognised that 16 year olds can make certain decisions. But not legally an adult.
And no, not technically independent from parents. Can actually sign yourself into local authority care at 16, to be looked after by the state for 2 years until you become an adult. But: parental responsibility lasts until 18.


And no, not technically independent from parents. Can actually sign yourself into local authority care at 16, to be looked after by the state for 2 years until you become an adult. But: parental responsibility lasts until 18.
When I was 16 (in 2006) my parents had no say in me moving to brazil. It may have changed since then.


i apolegize i had sounded to sound adversarial and hostile here. i had reacted of my own reasons and derailed the thread. i hope you all have a nice rest of your day.


I don't think you derailed the thread @grief?

I've stopped my comments on age and legal as I think my comments are taking away from the OP's question.

It's a big question from the OP. And clearly hit things in all of us.


What exactly is grooming vs just straight up manipulation?
If it helps at all to take it out of Trauma-Land?

If a person is being groomed to take over a company, or to take on a specific role? What does that mean?

* It is a deliberately laid series of actions, & seizing of opportunistic events as they present themselves, to direct a person’s course towards a specific end goal/result, by someone more senior.

- It can be with OR without their knowledge/consent.
- It can be with OR without the people around them knowledge or consent (everyone may know that Mike is grooming Joe to replace him, as he’s taking him with him everywhere, giving him the most challenging assignments, giving him the best teams to work with/forge alliances with, etc. Or? Joe might be seen as Mike’s whipping boy… always sent out on the worst assignments, made to stay late, having to fetch coffee/ play “tealady” for the higher ups, etc.)
- The person being groomed may balk OR may be thrilled with either the process OR the end result
- It’s not a done deal, until it happens; the person being groomed to become manager/ lead negotiator/ CEO/ whatever… may leave, or a better candidate may present themselves, or politics may scuttle the favorite, or here may be several people being groomed for the same position.
- As much as the person guiding them is attempting to put their own stamp , to direct the course of events after they leave and the person they groomed to take over, does? It’s no guarantee anything will stick.

Is being groomed for a work-position a form of manipulation? Yep! Absolutely. Even if the person knows about it? Knowing you’re being manipulated, or taking active part / attempting to comply as much as possible, or even improve upon the original groundwork, doesn’t alter the fact that you’re being manipulated.

Gradually increasing levels of responsibility, carefully laid out, to make the transition as smooth/seamless/effortless as possible sounds a lot like good parenting or teaching, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. Teaching has a broader & more impersonal scope (but is also a form of manipulation), and good parenting eases off over time, as a child assumes more responsibility for their own lives, and -like teaching- is far more diffuse a concept. Grooming is always focused on a single person assuming a role someone else wants for them. Which is also what differences it from an apprenticeship or apprentice/master relationship (although an apprentice can also be groomed).

Are there a LOT of other methods, aside from grooming, that focus on a person assuming a role someone else wants for them? Yep! In both “good/bad” ways.

For pretty much ANY concept, that encompasses a series of actions? There’s an hourglass -or helix, or cloud, or spectrum, however you want to envision it- with the concept at the center if it… and good/bad uses & methods above and below.


“Diplomacy is the art of telling someone to go to hell, and having them be excited to take the trip.”

That same artform? Skill set? Concept? (Manipulation) Can be used in far more nefarious ways. And far better ones.
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