Crumbs of Conversational Comfort


We are experts at providing crumbs of comfort. This is because it is a necessary form of manipulation which has to be utilised as part of plate-spinning activities. As a consequence of the differing fuel matrices which we create, we have a vested interest in keeping certain of our appliances ‘in the game’.

Remember, we like to conserve our energy so we have more available for the carrying out of our manipulations over different appliances and therefore at certain stages in the dynamic, we do not want to be forced to apply much or all of our energies towards one appliance, leaving us deficient in respect of the others. We want to keep several people in our fuel matrix because of the need for fuel and also with one eye on what is ahead of us.

When we first seduce our appliances we invariably treat them to a banquet., a feast, a sumptuous meal at Restaurant Narc. This is no drive-thru quicky, no fizzy water and sandwich grab from a street vendor, but a Bacchanalian indulgence of several courses with no expense spared as we cause you to gorge on our largesse, our charm and our illusion. Of course this feast will vary dependent on the type of appliance that we have invited to dine with us and in order of sumptuous extravagance, the pecking order is as follows:-

  1. Candidate IPSS
  2. Embedded IPSS
  3. Shelf IPSS
  4. Dirty Secret IPSS
  5. NISS (Colleague or Friend)

Familial NISSs are already seduced by reason of familial connection. If they have been pushed out into the cold and they must be brought back into the fold, they are treated as if they are a colleague or friend NSS. Tertiary Sources are given something delicious but quick to consume and it does not matter whether they want more or not, the main thing is that what they are given in the instant works for us.

Of those categories at 1-5, the common thread is that they are all treated to a delicious, enticing and magnificent feast which draws them in. It is all impressive and gets more and impressive as one climbs the rankings. This means that the recipients get used to the extent of this feast, how amazing it tastes, how delicious it feels to be at our table and becoming full on such wonderful treats and delicacies.

This is how we cultivate the addiction to us, by feeding you such sensational dishes that you keep wanting more. You become used to the sensation of being almost satiated, your senses brought to life by what we deliver and you want to keep dining with us forever and a day.

Of course these delicacies which we send your way give the appearance of being fulfilling but ultimately are not, but you do not notice and instead you want to keep tasting them and therefore once we decide that we no longer need to keep providing you with these feasts, we instead opt to give you the crumbs of comfort.

These are little reminders of what you once had, to get the tastebuds firing again, to cause the saliva to flow, to stimulate the memory of those amazing sensations so you want them all the more and with each crumb you are conned into thinking that it will lead a trail to the groaning table of scintillating tastes once more.

These crumbs of comfort are designed to keep you in the game, maintain your interest, stop you losing hope, ensure that you remain bound and loyal to us. Since they are crumbs, they are low maintenance for us, hardly taking any effort or energy at all, but since you are hooked on the taste from when we seduced you, once you allow one crumb to enter your mouth, the desire returns, the memories of delicious tastes and sensations loom large and you want more.

You are given another crumb, then another, just enough to keep you from looking elsewhere and just enough to ensure you remain interested in us.

The rise of technology has really caused the conversational comfort crumbs to come into their own. Whilst they can be offered on the telephone or in person, that tends to result in the narcissist being placed under more pressure and their control is eroded to some extent. Instead, most comfort crumbs will be provided through text message, through e-mail or social media message.

This allows the narcissist to retain control, compose an appropriate message and it is easier to sneak out a comfort crumb via text than speak with the relevant appliance in certain scenarios.

How then might these comfort crumbs operate with the five categories of appliance detailed above?


NISS (Colleague/Friend)

The comfort crumbs for this category do not need to be used extensively because the level of expectation is not as high. The colleague or friend will only engage with the narcissist periodically and therefore if the narcissist perceives there is a risk that the relevant NISS is drifting, he can throw out a few conversational crumbs and shortly thereafter deliver the ‘meal’ again.

Delivery of this meal – namely time with the narcissist – is not a major expenditure of energy since it may just be an evening every month or so, the NISS does not make extensive demands and therefore all the narcissist needs to do is send a message such as

“Not caught up for a while – let’s have lunch next week.”
“Hey, not heard from you in a while, how do you fancy a game of squash a week on Thursday”

“How are you doing? We need to catch up over drinks. Pretty bombed until the 25th, how does that suit you. 7pm yes?”

“We haven’t talked about your promotion prospects recently. Let’s have a breakfast meeting beginning of next month. Please arrange with my secretary.”

“We should look at new marketing opportunities. How about we do so over lunch in a fortnight?”

Note there is the fixing of the ‘meal’ in the future and this crumb of comfort, letting the appliance know the narcissist still values them. This crumb will draw a fuelled response, keep the appliance interested and the narcissist does not have to expend much energy through the crumb nor the eventual ‘meal’.


Dirty Secret IPSS

The Dirty Secret may be content to hold this position or may be content for the time being with an expectancy of being brought forward in the narcissist’s world, to meet friends, be seen with the narcissist in public, meet family and so forth.

The DS IPSS provides frequent bursts of fuel through clandestine meetings with the narcissist and therefore the narcissist will find maintenance of this element of the fuel matrix reasonably easy because it is a short-notice demand to meet at a hotel, in a car park, in a bar and the time involved will not be extensive.

Nevertheless, if the narcissist is occupied with other appliances in his fuel matrix (usually the IPPS but possibly an IPSS and NISSs) and is not able to meet up with the Dirty Secret he does not want them going off the boil and therefore he will ensure that she is kept interested with comfort crumbs.

“Last time was amazing, I don’t know how you do it, cannot wait for the next time.”

“We have to meet soon, I am going crazy without you.”

“When we next meet I am going to treat you to an afternoon at that new hotel we were speaking about.”

“Things are hectic at the moment, but I am trying to get things boxed off so we can have at last an overnight stay together, just as I promised.”

Note how we are enthusiastic about the Dirty Secret, praising them, stating how they deserve to be treated well or given more time, but there is no commitment to when this will happen. This is because the demands of the DS are greater than the NISS and given that infidelity is taking place, the ability to commit is not as clear. The comfort crumbs will be thrown around more liberally to entice the DS but there will not be a commitment.


Shelf IPSS

It is this category of appliance which suffers the most with regards to the provision of these conversational comfort crumbs. This is because the Shelf IPSS is picked up and put down, is regarded largely in a favourable light with an extended golden period, is not often devalued (and if so it is a short lived Corrective Devaluation) and the narcissist has made a significant investment in this person and wants the return on that investment.

The narcissist does not want to lose the IPSS and have to find another but when the narcissist is spending time with a different IPSS or is engaged in spending time with the IPPS (be that devaluation or more likely a Respite Period) the relevant IPSS will be placed on the shelf. Predictably, this person will be wanting to know when they can see the narcissist when they are next getting together. They may know about the IPPS but be concerned that the narcissist is spending time with the IPPS.

Note that these comfort crumbs are not used when the narcissist is first seducing this person to make them an IPSS but they are used when the IPSS is placed on the shelf and is angling to see more of the narcissist. The narcissist will use a vast array of conversational comfort crumbs with the IPSS – some will use charm, some seek sympathy or pity, other seeks understanding and others threaten. Examples will include

“Really busy at work at present, but I will call as soon as I am free.”

“Tied up with the children, so will be in touch tomorrow.”

“Schedule is packed for the next ten days,. I am dying to see you but we will just have to be patient.”

“I will tell her but now is not the right time, her father is ill and this has to be done properly, I know you will agree because you are understanding and I thank you for that.”

“I just need to get these next few weeks out of the way and then we can be together. There is no point in rushing it and causing more trouble than necessary is there?”

“I cannot make it tonight. I have to go to this family dinner. I wish you were coming with me though.”

“Look, there is no point getting worked up about this now, I am in the middle of a huge deal. I cannot talk. I have told you this and why are you risking fucking it all up? I said I will sort it and I will, but you have to give me time.”

“When I get through this period we will have a weekend away. I promise. You know it is you that I want, but I need to know I can count on you at this difficult time.”

“You know I have always delivered and the one time where I am under pressure, you start adding to it. I did not think you were like that. Look, I will check my schedule and make some time for us. Let me do that and we can have a good talk when we see one another.”

“Every night I lie there thinking about you and when we can finally be together.”

“I cannot wait for the time I come home and find you there waiting for me. I know we will make it happen together.”

“If you tell her about us, I will never speak to you again and you and only you will bring down this wonderful thing that you and I have together. Please do not do that, you will destroy me and destroy the best thing that has ever happened to me.”

Once again these comfort crumbs come with no set time for delivery, no firm and definite time periods but they are designed to keep the IPSS hanging on. There are thousands of different ways that they are phrased and it is the IPSS who finds themselves in the role of Permanently In Waiting, kept interested from these crumbs but never finding their way to the table again, either at all or for some time.

Sometimes there might be a pile of crumbs provided whereby the narcissist engages in a telephone call or skype call instead of meeting up. This will be used to maintain interest, gain fuel and exert control.

The comfort crumb is used as a benign method of control because the narcissist does not want to use harsh and malign methods of asserting control for fear of losing a valuable appliance.


The Embedded IPPS

The comfort crumbs operate in a different way with the embedded IPPS. None of course are needed during their seduction or their embedded stage of the golden period. They will see plenty of the narcissist then.

The comfort crumbs will be doled out during the devaluation of the IPPS for the purposes of keeping them in place so that more negative fuel can be extracted whilst the narcissist works on prospective Candidate IPSSs (either finding them or seducing them).

It is likely (although not always the case) that the IPPS will live with the narcissist and therefore the comfort crumbs will be linked to finding a way to sort things out, achieving a resolution and such like.

“I think we need to sit down and talk things through when things are less hectic.”

“We can sort this mess out. I am determined to do so, but it has to be done at the right time.”

“I just want things to be the way they were.”

“I want us to resolve these problems, but there are too many distractions at the moment. Let me know when we can do this.”

“I will talk to you about our problems but now is not a good time. You know how busy I am with work.”

“We have to see what can be done, but you need to make some changes first for me to see before I can consider how me move forward.”

Again these are vague and amorphous and are designed to be. There is no true intent to resolve the issues but instead these comfort crumbs are provided to enable the victim to think that resolution (something an empathic person relies on and hopes for) is achievable and that the golden period can be returned to.


The Candidate IPSS

The Candidate IPSS is not given comfort crumbs because this appliance is in the ascendancy towards being crowned as IPPS and therefore they will be subjected to the bombardment that is love-bombing.

What have been your crumbs of comfort from the narcissist you entangled with?

25 thoughts on “Crumbs of Conversational Comfort

  1. Tired says:

    I got some conversational crumbs today. I suspect because it’s Easter. Lately every time he throws some my way I tell myself, “ it’s not real, you can’t trust him “ . I certainly didn’t hang on every word , I was busy cooking, business as usual attitude from me.
    Sometimes , just minutes later , he flips the switch right back to colossal prick again , I got a reprieve from that today, Whoopeeee !
    Second what Mollyb said , no conversation after work, one word answers , as though he can’t be bothered. He never asks how my day was , selfish prick. The first year or two of the marriage he would call in the afternoon to see how my day was going. Now I wonder if calling me back then was just a form of control, checking up on me ?? Nobody had cell phones back then .

    Hope everyone had a peaceful Easter. 🙂

    1. K says:

      If the phone calls were pleasant, it was benign control.

      1. Tired says:


        Benign control? What does that mean? How is it control vs checking up on me? He stopped making those daily calls around the one year mark of the marriage. Never called after that unless it was for a reason, not just to say hello.
        Funny, when he was calling to see how my day was I remember telling him how lovely it was that he was calling to see.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Since I am a narcissist, if I buy you a bunch of flowers, that is a pleasant act but I am doing it to control you because I am a narcissist, thus it is a benign manipulation, a benign form of control. You should access Inside the Narcissits´Mind: Is it A Manipulation – which you will find in The Knowledge Vault, that will help you understand.

          1. Tired says:

            Thank you, Hg.
            Funny you mentioned flowers . He bought me flowers once a week for 25 years . The past few years not nearly as often. I never would have dreamed that was manipulative!
            I buy myself flowers now when the mood strikes, they make me happy.

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Keep buying flowers. After you’ve bought my services, of course

          3. Tired says:



  2. Raquel says:

    I am a Shelf IPSS, but not in the way described. I’m the ex-wife. We have known each other for 20+ years and before we were married, he always circled back to me. I expect the same now. We had a horrible divorce (he left for another woman), but has since tried to be friendly. This virus has upped the ante since we have a child together. There’s concern for us, for me (he hasn’t been concerned abt me since before he left 2.5 years ago), and concern for my family who he has not mentioned since he left. The crumbs are “let me know if your family needs anything,” and things of that nature. I would never. I have told him our child and I are fine and that’s it.

    1. alexissmith2016 says:

      I would imagine these are hoovers rather than crumbs Raquel.

      1. K says:

        I thought the same thing.

    2. mollyb5 says:

      Raquel …he may also think you are getting stimulus money plus money per child dependent :(. He may want to mooch some, or be a knowledgeable of how you may spend it ? Maybe ?

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  4. Violetta says:

    BTW, thanks for giving us entire slices instead of just crumbs on Easter, HG. This is a bloody depressing time even for people who aren’t religious.

  5. mollyb5 says:

    Another way of putting this is ….narcs like to have attention from many women …and men and after talking about themselves for hours to many different customers , friends , women , or people they like to be around they get worn out , worn out from lying and they can’t remember exactly what they said to each one person …and the stories get more exaggerated and more theatrical and more funny and all not completely true to events . The laughs and attention given to them feels So …wonderful to their egos …they…. feel so important and feel so admired and feel so entertaining , feel so smart and feel so full of themselves they come home to their primary exhausted and disappointed sothat they ignore , scoff …and are disappointed she doesn’t fill him up like he wants or he’s worn out …. and he goes to watch tv , without even a greeting of hi or hello ….or he wants her to think he worked his ass off and is worn out and doesn’t feel like wasting his breath on her . She’s Not worth even talking to in his mind .

    1. lisk says:

      I experienced this when Narcx got a new job. He was admired and adored all day as the amazing new guy. He started getting angry when I wasn’t running to the door to greet him or if I didn’t have a fine dinner waiting for him on the table.

      Apparently, I was wounding him by not giving him these specific demonstrations that were similar or better than what he got all day. HIs brattiness did not motivate me to changed my mind or my behavior, and it certainly didn’t inspire admiration and adoration.

      He did claim that he just wanted things to be the way they were before he started the new job. I think I had internally decided that I was done at that point. I just didn’t know it yet.

      1. Tired says:


        You made me think of something my narc said to me years ago. I always had his dinner on the table after work, wasn’t enough for him.
        He said it would be nice if sometimes I could surprise him and greet him at the door wearing sexy lingerie! Oh sure, I’ll just lock the children in the cellar so you can have a thrill. Delusional dickhead. Nothing was ever good enough, he always wanted more, even when he already had more than most.

        1. WhoCares says:


          “Nothing was ever good enough, he always wanted more, even when he already had more than most.”

          That’s an excellent observation. And your example illustrates this perfectly.

        2. Mercy says:


          Yes if you would have surprised him looking all sexy when he got home from work he would have said “where’s my dinner?”

          1. theletterafterj says:

            Exactly, damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

          2. Tired says:

            Mercy, K, lisk,

            I always said that about him, damned if I do, damned if I don’t. Seems a common theme amongst narcs .

          3. K says:

            It’s as if they all operate from the same play book.


  6. Esther says:

    It literally happened to me a few days ago, just when I thought it was over.. it’s never over…

    1. HG Tudor says:

      As I repeatedly state…

    2. Violetta says:

      I read a novel called The Perfect Girlfriend recently (no spoilers, but it’s a stalker-saga which has been compared to You, which I’ve heard of but neither read nor watched). Afterwards, I looked on Goodreads and Amazon to see what other readers had said, and several complained about the lack of resolution. I thought, “One of them is going to have to die, before you get that.”

      The benefits of Narcsite….

      Actually, you don’t even get it then, if Emily Bronte is correct.

      1. fiddleress says:

        “Actually, you don’t even get it then, if Emily Bronte is correct.”
        That’s right. I mourned someone who died in a road accident for over 20 years. With hindsight, I think he must have been a narcissist too, since I totally fell in love with… myself, with him. Besides other telling quirks.

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