This rule may be more applicable a bit later in a relationship with a narcissist. After all of the idealizing and excess effort to win your soul (the Idealization Phase), the narcissist will begin the next phase typically called the Devalue phase, it is the point in the relationship where the mask really slips and they start showing their true colors.
They will try to get away with giving the least amount to the relationship as possible, just enough to keep you hooked. The beginning of this phase is also a good time to walk away. Although, anytime is a good time to walk away. There is no reason to accept the crumbs. The only reason they even give crumbs is to break you down, so that you will let them get away with everything. It is only going to get worse from here.
N’s process of getting me to accept crumbs was very gradual. N used intermittent love and affection; giving less and less positive attention over time. He blamed me for all of his bad behaviors convincing me I deserved less and less. He would give a merciless punishment and follow it up with taking me out on the town, but then the next day he could easily unleash another punishment like silent treatment.
For example, one night, still early on in our relationship, N took me to the opera. It was something I love to go out and do. He made a big show of it, even suggesting we go in the first place, going out of his way to find out when the show was, getting tickets and making a romantic night out. Two days later he was picking up another woman in a bar. It took me a while to find out he was betraying me. These great nights on the town became fewer and fewer, just enough to keep me hooked.
His charm for me was like a vacuum. It sucked me into N’s empty universe where my friendship and laughter filled him for a moment. He sucked me dry and then moved on to the next shiny object usually another woman. When I think of him now I picture him with his head floating above his body like a giant helium balloon. Instead of gaining a broader view above ground, he is always floating above reality. I remember him flirting with me in the beginning and recall him behaving this way with other women, but I was too lulled by his charm that I chose to believe I was special.
The most important thing for me to remember is Ns do not think like other people at all. When they do something loving there is a reason for it and they do just enough to keep the relationship going. Ultimately, I was only an object to N. He just wanted to do whatever he wanted and would get rid of me if I was in the way.
If you notice this pattern in your relationship; the giving is less and less and trying to convince you that is what you deserve, you may have an N on your hands.
It is better to not see the crumbs as proof of anything. Ns can’t make up for bad behavior anyway because they don’t have any remorse. I needed to see bad behavior as bad behavior. Can taking me out to dinner multiple times really make up for constant lying, betrayal or lack of empathy and blaming me for everything?