Understanding the fuel matrix which is applicable to the type of narcissist that you are engaged with is extremely useful in ascertaining how the relationship is likely to proceed and moreover what you can do about it. If you understand your place within that fuel matrix, you will also gain additional insight into why you are treated in the manner you are and why the narcissist behaves in certain ways.
Naturally, whilst our kind is very similar in many respects there are also subtle yet important differences and one of those differences arises in the way that our fuel matrices are constituted. People who are unfamiliar with our kind and the differing schools and cadres tend to think of a narcissist as someone beautiful, who is self-obsessed and is always preening themselves in the mirror. Whilst that has some applicability to some of our kind, it is not representative. By a similar token, the fuel networks which we establish vary between school.
The Lesser School
Beginning with the Lesser school of narcissist. Recognised through his lower cognitive function, lower control threshold, propensity to erupt with heated fury, aggression and lower energy levels. As you know, there are three divisions within the Lesser School. There are differing considerations applicable to those three divisions.
1. The Lower Lesser Narcissist (“LLN”)
The Lower Lesser is lacking in intellect, a base individual who has limited employment prospects and history. Nothing by way of charm and governs those around him through either naked aggression or being a hapless victim to con some individual into mothering him or her. He is likely to have a reliance on alcohol and drugs, he sponges off people and defaults regularly on debts and the like. He is regarded as a good for nothing by many people, a hapless loser who is an inelegant bully who uses brute force to get his way if Somatic and a pathetic malingerer if he is of the Victim Cadre.
The Lower Lesser will have a small fuel matrix. This most likely will consist of the following:-
a. A primary source. This is not necessarily an intimate primary source. The LLN is more likely than any other school of narcissist to install a family member as the primary source. In some instances this may actually be an intimate family primary source, since incest is being committed. The LLN’s sense of entitlement, very low energy levels and lack of attracting factors, means that he will bully an individual into such a role. By reason of the familial connection the LLN does not need to engage in seduction and therefore he will use aggression to force the victim from being a Non-Intimate Secondary Source into an Intimate Family Source.
If incest is not part of this dynamic, the LLN is still likely to have ensnared a family member as primary source, again because there is no need for seduction and the familial connection is established.
If the LLN has an Intimate Partner Primary Source (not familial) they are unlikely to excel in any regard and will be plain grateful for the attention of the narcissist. Their victim is highly likely to have special traits and be damaged in some way which means their ensnarement was easy for the low energy LLN.
The IPPS of an LLN is the mainstay fuel source for the LLN. He has a heavy reliance on this person because the LLN is unlikely to work and therefore will be around the victim more than usual and also because his fuel matrix is limited (as will be seen). He looks to the IPPS not only for fuel, but of course character traits and residual benefits. He has a considerable reliance on this person and most of his effort will be focused on controlling this person to ensure they continue to comply with his wishes.
b. There will be a small number of familial secondary sources. It is highly likely that the narcissist will have alienated certain family members and therefore they either do not form part of the fuel matrix or if they do, it is purely from the perspective of providing negative fuel as the LLN will consider them as painted ‘black’. Those family members which are painted ‘white’ will be few in number. They will find their relationship with the LLN to be prone to volatility given the very low control threshold.
c. There will either be no colleague secondary sources (because the LLN does not work) or if he does, they will be limited in number, being likely to number only a couple. The lack of charm and ability of the LLN means he is unable to cultivate an extensive network through the world of work.
d. The LLN will similarly only have a couple of social secondary sources as friends owing to the inability to sustain a wider network and his latent volatility so that friends are lashed out at following the ignition of fury and then remain distant from the narcissist, unwilling to be subjected to a further bout of verbal and physical aggression.
e. In terms of Intimate Partner Secondary Sources, the LLN will secure them but there will rarely be more than one. The IPSS is likely to be drawn from a close network (for example sister in law or best friend of the IPPS) again because of the smaller social and familial network which the LLN inhabits and low energy levels which means the LLN will not put tremendous effort into securing new sources.
f. In terms of tertiary sources, the LLN will have a low number of those also. This is because the LLN will either spend most of his time at home or if he works and has some external interests they will be limited in nature and therefore he will not interact extensively with tertiary sources.
The LLN has a small fuel matrix. He risks loss of secondary sources on a repeated basis and will struggle to replace them. The burden placed on the primary source is extensive and in such situations the LLN is likely to keep an IPPS in place throughout a long period of devaluation as he struggles to find a replacement for this person.
The Middle LesserNarcissist (“MLN”)
The MLN is similar to the LLN but he will have a slightly higher cognitive function, he will have a better degree of control on his fury (whilst still not significant since he is after all still a Lesser). He is a charm-free zone still, aggressive but more likely to have regular employment and a better energy level.
The fuel matrix for the MLN is not extensive however. This will consists of
a. A primary source. Again this is likely to be a family member and if not, the IPPS will be kept in place through reliance on the narcissist and fear arising from displays of naked aggression. The IPPS will be frightened of the MLN which will result in much of the fuel (both positive and negative) being provided out of a sense of obligation and fear. Just like the LLN, the IPPS will be heavily relied on by the MLN.
b. Familial secondary sources will be similar to the situation of the LLN described above.
c. Work secondary sources are more likely than the LLN. They will still be low in number, rarely being more than a half-dozen since the MLN will be regarded with some wariness by those who are regarded as friends who have witnessed (albeit not been on the receiving end of the MLN’s ignited fury) which means they take the view that they are better staying onside with the MLN than being the subject of their notorious temper.
d. Social secondary sources will also be limited in a similar way to that as the work secondary sources. The MLN will go out more often than the LLN, but his interests are not varied and will include certain regular haunts (for instance a local bar, the race track, the gun range, a sporting venue, the gym and so forth). There will be a reasonable turnover of social secondary sources caused by the repeated ignition of fury from the MLN owing to the low control threshold. Those friends who remain friends do so for similar reasons as explained at (c) above. The MLN has some success in replacing those social secondary sources he loses. He will engage with the social secondary sources on a regular basis – for instance one or two nights a week in the same bar, or playing darts or bowls with a similar group. He may draw some respect from elements of the social secondary source circle as a consequence of directing his aggressions against a third party to the benefit of a secondary source. That is purely serendipity for the MLN and not an conscious act.
e. The MLN will have an IPSS, usually just the one, during devaluation of the IPPS. He has some interests and financial clout which gives him a degree of appeal and his swaggering confidence, although based on little, will draw some in.
f. The MLN will have a number of tertiary sources and will regularly draw both positive and negative fuel from these tertiary sources. The MLN is less concerned with the façade (as all Lessers are) compared to the Mid-Range and Greater of our kind and therefore will readily abuse, piss-take and denigrate tertiary sources in the community.
g. The MLN is also likely to make use of intimate tertiary sources as a consequence of one-night stands and the use of prostitutes if he is a Somatic MLN.
The Upper Lesser Narcissist (“ULN”)
The ULN is an interesting division. Whilst in the Lesser category because of the use of aggression (usually physically and sexually) and also having a low control threshold, the ULN is above the LLN and MLN in terms of cognitive function. Indeed his cognitive function would be better than that of a Lower Mid-Ranger and in some instances a Middle Mid-Ranger. However, the use of violence, aggression and the low control threshold mean that he belongs very much in the lesser school.
The ULN is an individual who is not academically bright and may well have left formal education with little to show for it. He is however street smart, savvy and wily. The ULN makes an effective businessman. He will not have the polished charm of the Greater or the cool considered intellect of the higher reaches of the Mid-Ranger, but he as a degree of charisma and is best considered a rough diamond.
He will not be a captain of industry, academic or professional but more likely to run his own small or medium sized enterprise. He is intolerant, driven and bullying but this achieves him success and he may quite well off. He will be disliked by those who hold positions in society, since he lacks the finesse and good manners associated with education and good breeding but his money remains good for many occasions and therefore he will be tolerated (although talked about behind his back) at the golf club for instance. He regards himself as well regarded by everybody in his community, unable to detect the sneers and down-the-nose looks he receives at his crass behaviour. He is direct, to the point and forthright. He is a serial embellisher, stiffs people in business, reneges on arrangements but considers all of this part and parcel of the cut and thrust of dynamic business.
Of all the Lessers, the ULN has a wider fuel matrix.
a. He is far less likely to have a primary source who is a family member. He will have an IPPS and he will use his financial resources to assist him in luring in a suitable individual to become IPPS. There is a risk that the ULN is likely to snare a Lesser or Mid-Range Narcissist himself, failing to recognise them, as an IPPS. He will rely heavily on the IPPS because ultimately he is a Lesser Narcissist and will ensure this person stays in place through intimidation, the threat of financial ruin and violence (physical and/or sexual).
b. In terms of familial secondary sources, the ULN will have a wider number of these sources than the LLN and MLN but there will be other family members who have fallen foul of his temper and intolerance and they will remain as scapegoats. He will relish the opportunity to draw negative fuel from these individuals and rather than ignore them, he will actively invite them to family events which he hosts purely for the purposes of showing them up and making them a scapegoat. They refuse invitations at their peril.
c. With regard to work secondary sources, if the ULN is employed he will have secured a low management position of some description and will operate through a combination of thinking he is one of the gang but then upbraiding people when his fury is ignited. This makes for a difficult environment for those who work with him. His degree of cunning also means that he will be difficult to usurp. If, which is more likely, he has his own business, then he will make great play of regarding his dozen or so employees as the ‘family’ and he will draw fuel from them repeatedly but always through the unequal relationship that exists since he is the boss.
d. The ULN has a social network of both inner and outer circle friends (the LLN and MLN will only have inner circle friends) . The ULN will use his better financial position and perceived standing in the community to generate more social connections through neighbours, members of clubs and such like and therefore will have a social secondary source circle (both inner and outer circle) of between a dozen and two dozen people. He is swift to discard those he regards as unworthy to remain in it and finds new recruits with comparative ease.
e. The ULN will have one or more IPSSs (especially if Somatic) as again his financial clout will assist him with seduction. He regards himself as attractive and irresistible and possessing a higher energy level than the LLN and MLN he will engage in more social activities and therefore has more hunting grounds for the acquisition of an IPSS or IPSSs when the IPPS is being devalued.
f. With the increased financial clout and his perceived role as community hero, the ULN will engage with many tertiary sources. He will largely appear favourable to them as he has some regard to maintaining a façade but given his Lesser status, aggression and low control threshold he will also relish a degree of notoriety so that people are wary of getting on his wrong side. He will often lash out at tertiary sources given his inability to control his ignited fury.
Part Two examines the fuel matrices of the Mid-Ranger school.
When I first meet you and I look into your eyes I find a certain sanctuary. Your optimistic eyes seem like paradise to me. I can see the hope, the desire and the adoration burning in your eyes. Be they brown, blue, green or grey I can see the promise of salvation. That is why I try so hard to win you over. I apply everything I can think of to ensure that you stay with me so I can gaze deep into your eyes and drink the delight, trust and admiration that flows from them. You have no idea how much I need to see those things. The more I show you love, affection and how interested I am in you, the greater the radiance that shines towards me and the sanctuary that you have created for me remains in place. It surrounds and protects me, keeping the pain and the hurt at bay. It is a simple formula; I shower you with affection and attention and you return to me that magical protection in the form of how you look at me. The admiring glance across the restaurant table, the wide-eyed desire when we are in bed together, the simmering passion as I undress you and the sheer adoration as you quicken your pace to cross a room or a road to meet me. I need that place of safety and respite. A sanctuary where I know that the whispering, taunting voices will be silenced. A place of salvation where that cold-fingered dread cannot grip my throat and silence my scream of terror. Those draining shades that manifest from a past which I try to consign into oblivion cannot reach me in this place. That is what I hope for and believe every time somebody new enters my life. If I can just keep you sending me the power and the protection arising from those magnificent eyes then I will be safe. I apply my every effort to maintaining that gaze which will keep the darkness and the foul creatures lurking amongst it at bay. Everything I do is geared around making you feel happy, loved and wanted so that you will keep looking at me in that way and preserving my sanctuary.
Yet, no matter how hard I try, notwithstanding every effort I apply to maintaining your state of joy and happiness, you let me down. Each time someone new appears I am given renewed hope that this time the sanctuary will be permanently preserved and each time you fail me. Why do you do this to me when I try so damn hard for you? The burning admiration that you exhibited towards me suddenly dims. The adoration that blazed across the room has lost its intensity. The shining lustre of desire has become dulled. You do this to me and in so doing you turn the key of the gates, lift the heavy bar and push them open. You do this on purpose don’t you? You breach the citadel so that the screeching, moaning and howling tormentors that have gathered beyond its walls are admitted to assault me once again as they try to pull me into the abyss of insanity. The craven creatures slither forward, their mucus-covered tendrils slipping and sliding as they seek me out, determined to coil about me and drag me silent with terror into that place I must not go. Why do you do this to me? What have I done to deserve this treatment? All I have ever done is love you with a perfect love to cause you to generate that sanctuary and now, with no warning or help, you allow the paradise to be violated by those that seek to harm me.
I am left with no option but to fight them. To muster my strength and seek to defeat these agents of darkness by gathering my rage and anger. I must lash out in all directions, often and without restraint in order to stop my tormentors from destroying me. It matters not who is caught up in this frenzy, it is incidental whether you or anyone else finds themselves collateral damage from my necessary defence of my being. I fight and fight and fight, it is exhausting but it must be done. I have to survive until the next promise of sanctuary is identified and drifts my way. There I will find peace and a place to restore my waning strength. Is it you? Perhaps this time the sanctuary will remain intact.
Lots of people have trouble with saying no. It carries with it the connotation of negativity, obstruction and disappointment. People much prefer to say yes. I know that you and your kind really do struggle with saying no. You prefer to be regarded as a can-do kind of person, positive and accommodating. You also find it difficult to say no to people as you really do not like to see the disappointment on their face should you respond in this way. It makes you feel bad and accordingly, you either avoid saying it in the first place or you change your mind if you have said it. Occasionally, you will take refuge in the realm of uncertainty.
“I will think about it.”
“We shall see.”
“Let me reflect and I will come back to you.”
“I just need to check something, but I think it should be okay.”
You want to say no, but you find that you are unable to and therefore you trot out one of these insipid responses and ultimately you will end up saying yes. We know this is a common trait of yours and something we rely on and play on. We are aware that you do not like to say no and therefore we will press and cajole to ensure you say yes. Do not make the mistake of thinking that we need your validation and approval. Far from it. We do what we want. We like to hear you say yes because it underlines our power over you. We can always make you say yes. Sometimes you do it straight away (especially if we have you conditioned correctly). On other occasions it requires some persuasion and in the remainder of cases we need to pull out our manipulative tool kit to achieve the desired result, but we always get there. You are designed to say yes, we programme you to say yes and you do so even if it is ultimately detrimental to you. You feel you need to please and that need is greatest when it comes to us.
By contrast we are firm disciples of the word “no”. It is a word of strength. It is commanding and authoritative. Those who can say no have fortitude, steel and resilience. We say it regularly. We are untroubled by the fallen expression, the noises of disappointment and pleading. In fact, should you beg and plead we will just keep saying no and sit back and enjoy the fuel that you provide to us by your behaviour. Beseech us, blackmail us, bribe us and bombard us with requests, nay, demands to say yes and every time we will bat you back with a firm no as we savour your increasing anger, frustration and upset.
We do not associate the word no with negativity. We see it as a positive word. It is one that enables us to assert and maintain our superiority. We are able to use it to control you and keep you in your place. We are fully aware that whoever is on the receiving end of the word no automatically feels bad because they have been denied something.
“No I do not want to have dinner with you tonight.”
“No, you cannot borrow my car this evening.”
“No, you cannot go out with your friends tomorrow evening.”
It takes guts and integrity to say no. You struggle to say it because you are used to being exploited and taken for granted. You may try and dress it up as being someone who always helps and is a facilitator but the reality is you end up being used. Notice how in those instances above where I stated no, I did not give a reason for the refusal, I just said no. That takes real strength. I do not need to fall into providing explanations for my decision. It is my decision, the answer is no, that is an end to it. I can do this because I am not accountable. I can do this because I do not feel bad when witnessing the disappointment of others. This enables me to achieve more and avoid being burdened unnecessarily.
You can learn a lot from my use of the word no. Just do not think of ever using it towards me. That’s a big no.
“You know you really shouldn’t get involved with me you know, I am damaged.”
“Well, it is a little bit late for that isn’t it? I am already involved.”
“I know and I am glad to hear you tell me that, really I am, because I want you more than anything. I have not wanted anybody else in the way I want you but it is because of that I think you would be better off without me.”
“Don’t be silly, what do you mean by that?”
“You are so wonderful, so perfect. I truly have not met anyone like you. It is as if everything I have ever wanted and needed in somebody has been put together and rolled into one.”
“That is lovely of you to say, but I am not perfect, far from it.”
“To me you are.”
“Bless you, that is so sweet. I think you are wonderful too, not at all damaged. I cannot believe you said that.”
“Well I am.”
“Not from where I am sitting. You are incredible. Thoughtful, loving, attentive, interesting, sensual and so passionate. Those are just a few of the things that spring to mind when I think about you.”
“Oh let me see. Generous, yes generous and kind, considerate and successful. Entertaining as well. I don’t think I know anybody who can light up a room like you do. I love to watch you when you have everyone’s attention, I can see how much they love to listen to you.”
“Oh you are just saying those things to make me feel better.”
“No not at all, I mean every word, I really do. I have not met anyone as special as you and that is why I love you as I do.”
“You shouldn’t, I don’t mean to be rude, but you will only get hurt.”
“How? By you?”
“I don’t know; I just always seem to mess things up. It may sound strange but somehow I want to think, I mean, I kind of know it should work with you, with you more than anybody else, I suppose I am just terrified that what we have is so wonderful, so perfect that I might do something to ruin it and then you would be hurt and I could not stand for that to happen.”
“You see, there you are again, considerate and kind.”
“I could not live with myself if I hurt you and I just do not want to run that risk of that happening. You do not deserve to be hurt.”
“That won’t happen, I can feel it. What you and I have is something out of the ordinary.”
“Yes we have haven’t we?”
“Absolutely. I love you and you love me and nobody is going to change that.”
“I know, I know, but what if, you know I do something?”
“I don’t know, it is just that well, previous relationships have not exactly been successful have they? My track record is not great.”
“No but that wasn’t your fault was it? Look, you told me all about what has happened in the past. Not many men would be so honest as you to admit to what you have gone through. That takes real courage and is typical of the honesty and decency you exude. You are a good man and you have been treated abhorrently by some wicked people. Oooh, if I ever met them, I don’t know what I would do.”
“I knew you would understand. You always do. You get me. They never did you see. I tried you know. I always tried to make it work. I just wanted both of us to be happy but you know when whatever you do is not enough? When no matter how hard you try to please somebody but they always find some kind of fault? That was them. They made me feel like it was my fault a lot of the time. They had that way of twisting everything around so I was made out to be the villain. It is hard to explain it, but that is what they did.”
“I understand. There are some people who just delight in the misery of other people but that is not going to happen with you and me.”
“No. We have both suffered previously.”
“I know. That is why I do not want to hurt you, you have had enough from the past and you deserve to be treated properly.”
“Well that is what you do. I could not ask for a better boyfriend, I really could not. You put me first, ahead of everything and you do so much for me. I really do appreciate it and each day I feel more in love with you because of what you do for me.”
“Thank you. That is all I want. Both of us to be happy. I think it must just be because of what has happened in the past, I am worried that this time, having found you, it will go wrong again and you will be hurt and I could not live with that.”
“Honestly, there is nothing to worry about. You have just been made to feel like this because of what they have done to you. It is understandable. I know you won’t hurt me. How could anyone who says the things you say to me ever hurt me? I have never had someone say the wonderful and beautiful things you say to me before. You leave me in tears. Tears of happiness admittedly because you just know what to say, you understand me.”
“Yes. There is a connection and it is deep and meaningful and I do not want that ever to be severed. I will fight to my dying breath to stay connected to you. I want to become you.”
“See, there you go again, saying the most wonderful things.”
“You bring it out in me. If it wasn’t for you I don’t know what I would do.”
“Well you don’t have to wonder do you? You’ve got me and you always will have.”
“Do you mean that?”
“You see I am really in heaven every time we kiss. I don’t ever want to hurt you or lose you.”
“That will never happen. You have me forever.”
“I hope so, I really do.”
“You do. Now, let’s not have any more talk about you hurting me, that isn’t going to happen. We have the rest of our lives to be together and be happy. Let me get another bottle of wine, no, it is my turn, you stay there. You do enough running around after me, let me do something for you for a change.”
“Okay, same again please.”
“Coming right up. I love you.”
“I love you too.”