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The Carrot and Stick Tactic

Have we forgotten what LOVE is? I hear so many people, to include myself, say how much they love their narcissist. I loved him with all of my heart, every beat, every breath. I never felt this way about another person. And, I have never been as hurt by another like this in my lifetime.

I had forgotten what love is…

The feeling of being with someone that loves you as much (if not more) than you love them is an incredible feeling. A healthy relationship with someone where you set goals, plan holidays, vacation, build a life together, have equal strengths and directions, is all a good recipe for a healthy journey. This doesn’t happen with a narcissist. It doesn’t, it will never. They are not capable!

In the beginning, they will say anything and act it out during the love bombing stages. After all, they can only make the effort for a short time, so they give it their all and then ride the wave. If it doesn’t work out, I can guarantee they will say, it’s because of you.

Familiar??

  • “Where have you been all my life”
  • “I’ve never felt this way before”
  • “I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you”
  • “You really get me”
  • “We are soulmates”
  • “I don’t want this to ever end”

It’s all BS…. It really is!!  As you live through the nightmare of having a relationship with a narcissist, you will become more and more confused about whats right and wrong.  You forget what it’s like to be loved with respect and fidelity.  I have, I certainly have throughout this past many years.

Each narcissist has a list of lines that they use over and over. They learn whats works for them.  When you are in a vulnerable state, it’s very hard to see through the facade that they create.  You believe their stories, promises and sweet words.  None of these are backed-up with actions, integrity or character.

They are a character played in a theater built just for their amusement.  They are an actor that performs to entertain themselves.  They have learned what to say, what to do, to render the results they want.  This is where you come in… You are the supply!  You have something to offer that they want, or need. Be it attention, money, status, support, sex or just a punching bag.  They get a kick out of what they can get away with.

They find all that is vulnerable within you, and then they fill those voids (temporarily) to suit your needs.  This is the beginning of it.

  • Offer you something you want or crave.
  • Make you want it more than you did before.
  • Then take it away, but dangle it ahead creating the desire.
  • They make you work harder for it, to fix it, make it better (but this is impossible)
  • Then they toss you to the curb when you no longer serve the purpose.
  • Oh, don’t forget they will come around again “hoovering”

All of this to repeat the cycle.  Act II, III. IV and so on.  The play remains playing as long as your in the audience.

You see, when we are in a vulnerable state, we seek that comfort and validation. I swear they can almost sniff it out… A narcissist knows how to play this part very well, it is instinctive and a well formatted script.  Don’t kid yourself, its all well planned in their head.

Love bombing…

When we are being love bombed, it feels euphoric. During love bombing you feel overwhelmed with the attention, adoration and the chemistry spikes. All of those little special things, sweet texts, attentiveness, flowers, pet names, thoughtful gestures, gifts, great sex… all of it comes flooding in, faster and faster as they increase their attack on your core emotions and vulnerabilities. These are all manipulation tactics that are laying the foundation of their future games of strategy.

Yup, your getting set up for the staging of the show to come…

Very quickly you are groomed to fit their needs.  You fall so head over-heels, it’s like an addiction to everything they are. You want more and more, and have no idea that the narcissist is full of false promises. You invest yourself into this relationship, because you feel that they are investing themselves into you. They will put forth the persona that you need them, they want whats best for you.  They will help move you, do the manly things around the house, like hang a mirror or fix the car. They will make small gestures to show their feelings, however they are not feelings, they are a plan. They are chameleons and mirror everything that is needed and desired in the heart of us. They start to pick up our lingo, habits, hobbies, anything that makes you more obviously connected to them.  They become an attachment to “your” life.  Generally because they don’t have one. They need to cling to a life that they can feed from… this is why they are called “Emotional Vampires”.  They suck the life right out of you.

They tantalize us with the promise of a brighter future, a relationship where we are deeply validated and taken care of. We get used to the daily praise and laser-focused attention.  The sex during the love bombing and initial idealization phase is explosive! The relationship has the perfect balance, a steady up-climb and the goal at the top, is your soul.  You think it’s being fulfilled, but it actually is being raped.  Yes, raped!!

The narcissist knows exactly how to bring us to greater heights. They are Pros at it!  It’s what they live for, how they live.  They have learned over a lifetime this technique and it serves them to catch you up, spin you around and then make you feel like hell, so if they come back around, they have you wanting something you know you don’t.

They’ve studied who we are, what we like and learned to mimic it.  Little do we know, sex and intimacy will later be used as ammunition.

Narcissists are skilled artists of manipulation. They will flatter you with attention, gain your trust and adoration, then start their field of games. Now that you are properly seasoned, “Let the games begin”.

Carrot and Stick Tactic

One of the foundations of their strategy is how they lure you in and then punish you for falling for it 1 out of 3 times. This simple manipulation technique is to elicit certain behaviors desired by the narcissist. One day everything is great, and just because you added one additional word to your sentence, the words become scrambled, the narcissist takes flight with rage and anger and you haven’t a clue what you did or said wrong. WACK!! You get the stick!

Next time it might be different, you actually might get the carrot, if you succumb to the submissiveness of doing everything their way. What a wicked game they play, leaving your wanting and waiting. They punish you for having the love that they created. You become convenient for them, then without warning, they come back with the punishment to condition you when you try to express your needs. Don’t have any, not if you want to remain on the good side of this Mask Predator!

I went through this with my ex-narcissist. He would promise me the world, then he would create an argument, when I would confront his words that were not supported by his actions. He would become extremely defensive with such intensity. It use to make me feel like, “It’s you or me babe…” And, you can count on it, it was him!

“The only person that gets angry hearing the truth,

is one that’s living a lie”

Just when you start to realize what is going on, that things aren’t as they appear, the gaslighting begins.  “I can’t stand your manic behavior”, “Your crazy”, “It’s all in your head”, “Pump the brakes…”, “You know your the love of my life, and if you don’t know how I feel about you, then shame on you”. You start to think, “Is there something wrong with me?”, “Did I do something wrong” and you find that you start to question yourself and your cognitive dissonance starts to play a game on you. You loose grasp of the reality that you know is going on and are being convinced by the narcissist that it’s you.

I once read this on a web site, making it a cross reference to cognitive Dissonance.

“There’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going. There’s no knowing where we’re rowing, Or which way the river’s flowing. Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing? Not a speck of light is showing, So the danger must be growing….”  
~ Willy Wonka, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 

Cognitive Dissonance.  Do yourself a favor, read about cognitive dissonance and how it creates an alternate belief and confused state.

By definition…

Cognitive dissonance is “the psychological discomfort a person feels when he or she holds conflicting beliefs about something simultaneously.”.

As a result of cognitive dissonance, we enter into a state that keeps us attached to our abusive partner, despite knowing that they are incapable of loving us.  The confusion is wanting to believe them, and knowing the truth nonetheless.  It doesn’t make sense. Many people suffer from narcissistic abuse and cognitive dissonance keeps them trapped in the cycle.

We find it so hard to let go of our dreams and all that we believed our relationship to be. And, it was all a lie, it wasn’t real!  The narcissist is an actor and we fell for it.  The question remains, Why?  For that answer, we need to seek down deep within ourselves. What has us so confused that we believe something that is outside our beliefs, factually presented in front of us. We see it, we know it, we chose to allow someone to influence our belief system to the extent that they are able to cause us to believe something that we know not to be true.

Their actions and words don’t match up. If you address them about their conflicting facts, words, actions… They go into a melt down mode because you have inflicted narcissistic injury. This is guaranteed to occur should you dare to challenge them.  Know, if you chose to not accept their lies, infidelities, erratic behavior, they are sure to say, there is something wrong with you (gaslighting). They may even be able to make you believe it. You are blamed for the argument and then they will go into the silent treatment without regard of how it leaves you feeling (no closure, isn’t that a pin pinching your ass?). This is a conditioning to lower your expectations and make you compliant for the crumbs that you are yet to be minimized to in the near future. You feel like a sitting duck for the abuse and be careful when walking on those eggshells, a crack in any one of them will set them off, even if your not the one that crack it.

Be aware of the Carrot and Stick tactic.  You are chasing something that will never be. This is an act of control and a tool for the narcissist to trick you right into their web.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Fool me three times, then I’m the fool!! 

Don’t be a fool!  There isn’t enough time on earth that we should waste all the precious gifts we have to offer the right person, on one that doesn’t deserves it. We can’t change them, cure them and we didn’t create them.  Let them GO!!

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