Carrot and the Stick

The Carrot and Stick Tactic

Have we forgotten what love is? Today we hear so many people (to include myself), say how much they love their narcissist. Speaking for myself, I can say that I loved him with all of my heart, every beat, every breath. I don’t remember ever feeling this way about another person, nor ever been as hurt.

I had forgotten what love was…

The way you feel when with someone that loves you as much (if not more) than you love them is incredible. A healthy relationship with someone where you set goals together, plan holidays, vacations, work jointly to build a life as one. To 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, a narcissist will do anything to make you fall for their performance and they will perform well. During the Love Bombing stage, they will put it all out there. They can barely make the effort for brief periods of time, so they rely on their initial impression getting them in the door. This will go on until doing so becomes exhausting for them. They will apply everything they are able initially and later ride the wave that follows from their efforts.

If things don’t seem to work out, they will guaranteed to place blame on you.

Do these words sound 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 never want for us to end”

It’s all BS…. Really it is!!  As you work through the horror of this relationship with a narcissist, you become further confused about what is right verses wrong. You develop a cognitive dissonance when seeking to defend actions that are just inexcusable.

Have you forgotten what it’s like to experience love with respect and integrity?  I realize I had throughout those many years.

Each narcissist has a list of lines they seem to use. They learn what’s works for them. When you are in a vulnerable state, it’s hard to see through their facade. You believe their stories, promises, and loving words. None are  backed-up with any actions, integrity or character.


And so the show begins…

You see that they are like a character played in a theater built just for their amusement. They are a skilled actor that performs just to entertain themselves. Learning what to say, what to do, just render the results they want becomes their primary focus.

This is where you come in… You are the supply!  

You have something to offer 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 and how much they can get away with.

They find all the vulnerabilities within you and then they fill those voids (temporarily mind you). Whatever they need to provide to suit your needs will surly be short term. 

  • 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”

These stages occur, and then a repeat of the cycle.  Act II, III. IV and so on.  The play remains playing as long as you remain be in the audience.

It is human nature, when we feel vulnerable, we seek comfort and validation. They can practically sniff it out… A narcissist recognizes how to perform this part extremely well, and it is instinctive. They have a well-formatted script. Don’t delude yourself, it is all thoroughly pre-drafted in their head.

Love bombing…

When we are being love bombed, it feels euphoric. During the love bombing stages, you are overwhelmed with attention, adoration and our chemistry spikes. All of those little special events, beautiful texts, attentiveness, flowers, pet names, thoughtful expressions, gifts, extreme sex… surge in, faster and faster. They increase their ambush on our core emotions and attach to our vulnerabilities. These are manipulation tactics. They are the foundations being a set of the forthcoming games of strategy they know so well.

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

Immediately they set out to groom their companions to fit their demands.  You become head-over-heels for them, it’s like an addiction to all they are. They have you craving more and more, but you are not conscious that the narcissist is full of fake promises. You invest yourself into this relationship, because you felt that they are devoting themselves into one with you too.

They present a persona that causes you need them. You felt assured that they want what’s best for you. A narcissist will help move you, or do the “manly” or “womanly” tasks around the home. They carry out small gestures to show their sentiments, but they are not feelings, they are a strategic plan to capture you up in their chaos.

A narcissist is like a chameleon. They learn to mirror everything they need to integrate into your life’s background. You will see how they pick up your lingo, habits, hobbies, anything that makes you further connected to them.  Didn’t you feel as if they grew into an extension of “your” life.  Because they don’t have one of their own.

The narcissist clings to your life to feed upon it, not to nurture it. We have labeled narcissists “Emotional Vampires”. They suck the soul right out of you!

Promises made and broken…

A narcissist will tantalize you with promises made that never come true.  They will falsely offer you a relationship where you feel genuinely validated and taken care of. However, they merely make these minor investments in the beginning, because their true motive is for you to take care of them.

We become comfortable with their laser-focused attention. We get addicted to them. The sex during the love bombing stages 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.  However, during this time you think your heart is being nurtured, but actually it’s being raped.  Yes, raped!!

The narcissist learns how to bring us to greater heights. They are pros at this! They learned techniques over their lifetime, which served them well. Once you are caught-up in their storyline, they will make you feel like hell just for having any wants, needs or expectations. If they discard you and give you the silent treatment, you are being primed for future supply. This is abuse. All along they have you wanting something you don’t really want.

They’ve studied who we are, what we like, and have learned how to mimic us.  Little do we know, but they will later use sex and intimacy as ammunition to control our emotions for them.

Narcissists are skilled artists of manipulation. They will flatter you with attention to gain your trust and adoration.  This is when they feel safe to begin their games of emotional abuse. Once they are confident that they have conditioned you, their “games begin”.

The Carrot and Stick Tactic

Part of the narcissist’s strategy is how they lure you into their world. Once you fall for it 1 out of 3 times, they punish you. This simple form of manipulation is to elicit specific behaviors they desire.

One day everything is wonderful and this quickly changes because you might have added one additional word to your sentence. Your words become scrambled, and the narcissist takes flight with rage and, and fury. You don’t have any idea what you did or said that caused this reaction. WACK!! You got the stick!


Next time it might be different. You might get the carrot, if you succumb to the submissiveness of doing everything their way. What a wicked game they play, leaving you wanting and waiting.

They punish you for developing the love they created. You become convenient for them. Then without warning, they come back with punishment to condition you when you try to express your needs and expectations. Don’t dare have any, not if you want to remain on the good side of this Mask Predator!

This is absolute emotional abuse!

I traveled through the positive and negative reinforcements throughout my relationship. My ex-narcissist would promise me the world and then create an argument when it was time for him to keep those promises.

When confronting his words, not supported by his actions, he would become defensive. The intensity of his anger would come from nowhere. It triggered these rages because of his fear of being unmasking. When they stand naked before you, they project their anxiety!

A trip up, with a failure to justify his behavior created panic and irrational explanations. It was much easier for him to just cause an argument and project fault to avoid accountability. I felt he might as well have said, “It’s you or me babe…” And it was always him!

“The only person that gets angry hearing the truth, is one that’s living a lie”


When you realize what is going on and things aren’t as they appear, the Gaslighting begins.  He would throw statements from the air… “I can’t stand your manic behavior,” “Your crazy,” “It’s all in your head,” “Pump the brakes.…” “You know you’re the love of my life, and if you don’t know how I feel about you, then shame on you”.

You think, “Is there something wrong with me? Did I do something wrong” and you find that you question yourself and your cognitive dissonance plays a game on you. You loose grasp of the reality that you know is happening, while you are being convinced by the narcissist it’s you!

I once read on a website a cross reference made to Cognitive Dissonance, as Willie Wonka spoke it.

“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.”.

Because of cognitive dissonance, we enter a state that trauma-bonds us to our abusive partner. We know despite how we wish them to be, they are incapable of loving wholly. The confusion is in wanting to believe them and knowing we can’t. Many people suffer from narcissistic abuse and cognitive dissonance keeps them trapped in the abusive cycle.

We find it so hard to let go of our dreams of who we thought we fell in love with. We believed in our relationship. It’s awful to say, but honestly, it was all a lie and not real! This is one of the most difficult things for anyone to accept when loving a narcissist.

Dare to ask the narcissist the truth?

Their actions and words don’t match up. If you address them about their conflicting facts, words, actions… they go into a meltdown mode. Because you have inflicted narcissistic injury. This will occur should you dare to challenge them.  If you chose to not accept their lies, infidelities, erratic behavior, they will say, there is something wrong with you (gaslighting). They may even make you believe it. You will be 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 conditioning will lower your expectations and make you complacent to receive crumbs. They have minimized you. You feel like a sitting duck for the abuse and walk on eggshells. Dare to crack just one and you will set them off. Even if you aren’t 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 on one that doesn’t deserve it. We can’t change them, cure them, and we didn’t create them.  Let them GO!!

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