Breadcrumbing: How a Manipulator Keeps You in the Relationship

Breadcrumbing: How a Manipulator Keeps You in the Relationship breadcrumbing: how a manipulator keeps you in the relationship
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Breadcrumbing is a tactic where someone gives you small glimpses of affection or love, like breadcrumbs, throughout the course of the relationship.

Imagine if I had a whole loaf of bread, but instead of giving you the entire loaf, I only gave you a few crumbs. When you’re accustomed to receiving breadcrumbs in a relationship, you start to believe that you only deserve those tiny bits, not the whole bread. The manipulative person keeps you hooked by giving you these small gestures whenever you try to leave or whenever they feel like you might leave.

For example, let’s say they haven’t paid the bills for a year, but then suddenly, out of the blue, they pay the bills once in a while. You might view this as a loving action because you’re so used to them not fulfilling their responsibilities.

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People close to you, like your mother or friends, might also see these occasional breadcrumbs as evidence that the person still loves you and wants the relationship to work. They focus on the small gestures while ignoring the abusive or neglectful behavior that has been happening for a long time.

Breadcrumbing goes hand-in-hand with the Law of Scarcity. When something is scarce or limited, we tend to place a higher value on it. Think about a last cookie. When you have 20 cookies, the first one may not seem that special, but when it’s the last one, it becomes more desirable. The manipulator uses this law to their advantage. They give you rare glimpses of affection or take you on a vacation just to overshadow or erase the undesirable actions they’ve put you through.

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This is how they keep you hooked. When they give you those breadcrumbs, you feel a sense of relief and think, “Well, at least they’re treating me better now.” But you’re not seeing the bigger picture. The bigger picture is that the relationship is abusive or unhealthy. Your mind has become accustomed to glorifying those tiny bits of love and affection, even though it’s not enough.

Breadcrumbing — Settling for Less

Breadcrumbing is a manipulative technique that has a profound impact on your perception of reality. It works by keeping your attention fixated on the small gestures of affection or love, while conveniently disregarding the larger pattern of behavior that may be detrimental or unhealthy. As you become accustomed to receiving only breadcrumbs, your mind starts to settle for less and begins to develop negative beliefs about your own worth and what you deserve in life.

When someone consistently offers you these tiny bits of affection, it creates a distorted lens through which you view the relationship. You begin to prioritize and glorify these small moments, even though they may be sporadic and inconsistent. Meanwhile, you downplay or ignore the overall pattern of behavior that may include emotional manipulation, neglect, or even abuse.

This distorted perception can have long-lasting effects on your self-esteem and overall well-being. It creates a cycle of settling for less, perpetuating the belief that you don’t deserve more than these meager gestures.

Don’t fall for breadcrumbs. You deserve better. You deserve the full loaf of love and affection in life, not just tiny breadcrumbs. Freedom is about enjoying the whole bread, not settling for less. So, don’t settle for breadcrumbs in life. Know your worth and seek out relationships that offer you the love and care you truly deserve.

Note from the Author

If you’re ready and you’d like my help with healing, finding peace in life and breaking free from these subconscious patterns for good (in less than 2 months) using Mind Shifting, then you can book a FREE BREAKTHROUGH CALL with me HERE. Happy healing 💙💙. Feel free to share and comment! Use this information with caution, it comes from my own thoughts & bias, experiences and research😊.

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Edwin Bii
Edwin Bii

I'm Edwin Bii, a trained advanced conversational hypnotherapist (ACH) and Mind Shifting Coach from Kenya offering mental health support, and life coaching to help you crush your goalsand overcome your problems. Together, we'll navigate challenges, build self-awareness, and create a happier, healthier you. Let's unlock your potential.

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