How you react to initial abuse could help you ward off an abuser

Grooming is the behavior used by an abuser to figure out if he'll be able to abuse a target. Think of grooming as testing the waters to see how you'll react. If you pass his grooming test, the abuser will know he can start and maintain the abuse dynamic.

UK psychologist Aryanne Oade coaches clients on how to recover from workplace abuse. She believes that anyone can be groomed, from the assertive to those who don't like conflict to those who don't have the tools to stand up for themselves. But she also believes that assertive behavior may ward off an abuser. In her article "Grooming in the workplace: How to identify and handle incidents of bullying," Oade addresses workplace grooming dynamics and how to respond effectively if you find yourself the target of grooming.

Workplace grooming dynamics
Abusers use grooming (ranging from subtle and confusing to direct) to figure out how you'll respond (confidently, uncomfortably, or somewhere in between) and the...

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