Serial provokers are experts at seeking out flexible, easy-going people.

Serial provokers are experts at seeking out flexible, easy-going people. They exploit this quality by constantly provoking their target with covert jabs, minimization, veiled humor, and patronization. The target will attempt to avoid conflict by remaining pleasant, choosing to forgive and excuse this behavior in favor of maintaining harmony. But the serial provoker will continue to aggravate the target until they finally snap. Once this occurs, the provoker will sit back, feign surprise, and marvel at how passive-aggressive, angry, and volatile the target is. The target will immediately feel bad, apologize, and absorb the blame. They are essentially shamed for rightfully losing their patience and behaving the way the serial provoker behaves every single day. The difference is, the target feels remorse—the serial provoker does not. The target is expected to remain calm and peaceful no matter what, while the serial provoker feels entitled to do whatever they please.

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