The Grooming Process
Grooming involves desensitizing a victim to inappropriate social or sexual advances through progressive boundary-probing, while at the same time developing a foundation of trust. It is a recipe for a power imbalance. The primary purpose of grooming is to normalize inappropriate behavior. Whether pursuing sex, money, power, or just the thrill of inflicting emotional harm, predators use victims to benefit themselves.
Sexual predators groom a child by providing the affection and attention the child covets. Social predators groom their boss by providing the admiration and respect he or she craves. In both cases, although pursuing drastically different goals, predators manipulate through focused flattery.