Embarking on a self-love and healing journey is honestly easier said than done, chiiiiile. One moment, it feels like you’re on track and are unstoppable, the next moment, you’re spiralling out of your intended path and into the same old self-destructive patterns you’re trying to heal from. I mean, what with setting personal boundaries and feeling good about your intentions only to be tried and tested the moment you decide to live out your intentions!
Which brings me to narcissistic behaviour like breadcrumbing in a journey such as this. Like, why, is it something we humans feel is necessary in relationships (of any sort)? If you’ve been heartbroken in a family, work, platonic or romantic relationship, chances are you’ve dealt with the concept of breadcrumbing without even realizing it.
Psssst! Before we talk about this emotional monster, let’s first check out this week’s episode of Phenomenal Life with Vicky Meg Podcast on Anchor (or wherever you find your podcast), which I proudly produce with my daughters every Sunday. Kindly be sure to download, listen, rate, review, like and share with a loved one who might benefit from a pick-me-up.
Okay, so breadcrumbing is basically the act of “leading someone on” and “keeping someone’s hopes up” through small and superficial acts of interest, enticement, and flirtation, but ultimately disappointing the victim with false expectations, empty promises, and abandonment (emotional if not physical).
Breadcrumbing can occur in dating and romantic scenarios (i.e. stringing someone along but not committing), family dynamics (i.e. infrequent and conditional love), friendships and even social media (i.e. connecting then semi-ghosting), and professional situations (i.e. dangling illusive opportunities).
Breadcrumbing often contains elements of narcissism and manipulation.Preston Ni M.S.B.A. for Psychology Today
In milder forms, breadcrumbing lacks consistency and integrity, and may easily be dismissed by a victim. At its worst, however, chronic and persistent breadcrumbing has elements of narcissism (the breadcrumber’s self-absorption/self-gratification), manipulation (using others), and abuse (emotional betrayal/neglect).
A breadcrumbing relationship of any kind may include one or more of the following characteristics:
1. Emotional Roller Coaster and Uncertainty
Those at the receiving end of breadcrumbing often experience an emotional roller coaster (disappointed most of the time with occasional false hope), along with confusion and self-doubt. The victim of breadcrumbing may begin to question and even blame themselves for the breadcrumber’s relational neglect (i.e. “is this because of me?”, “did I do something wrong to make them treat me this way?”)
If this sounds familiar, keep reading. . .Read more