Breadcrumbing in Narcissistic relationships - Counselling and Mental Health Support
Breadcrumbing in Narcissistic relationships

Breadcrumbing is a technique used in narcissistic relationships to bring the control back to the abuser.

Take a moment and reflect upon your narcissistic relationship…do you find yourself surprised to see that so little of what you received went such a long way?
Through a narcissistic relationship you might have experienced a lack of kindness, reciprocity, mutuality, love, joy, value, validation, respect, and so much more that it can feel almost like a famine. So, when those rare moments of receiving positivity appear, its completely natural to want to value them highly and make them last.

“That’s all I needed!”

Breadcrumbing is a process often following a discard stage, whereby they decide you are only worth a few breadcrumbs to lure you back in and maintain control over the relationship and ultimately over you.
Unfortunately,this is perceived by the person being abused as HOPE.
Seeing that one moment when they text first, that one moment when they are actually listening to what you have to say, that one moment when you don’t feel discarded after expressing an opinion, that one moment when the phone does not come out over dinner and so on feel hopeful and for a while…enough.

“Maybe they changed…you see, they do love me…”

Sadly, breadcrumbing can happen at a point when you might be getting better at boundaries or starting to recognise that things are not as rosy as you thought, finding your own strength as the narcissistic starts to recognise that you are doing something different-they then pay attention.
Another trigger for the breadcrumbing might be a narcissistic need-they decide they want something and pursue it through the relationship through offering hope.
Narcissists are masters at working out exactly what your need is and can even guilt you through breadcrumbing “I did that for you…”

Control gets regained through very little effort and you learn to live on breadcrumbs. Breadcrumbing

The way out of seeing breadcrumbing as hope is really through working on your own self-worth and value. You deserve better than breadcrumbs…
You deserve the whole loaf and then some…

And if you need a hand with working through things, get in touch and see how we can help.