The 5 Central Questions to a Middling Degree


I have come across these five questions on a number of occasions. They are often regarded as the five fundamental queries which are raised about our behaviour. They are usually answered in a forthright manner by certain commentators in order to drive the message home. However, these observations and answers are provided by people who are not of our kind. They are naturally entitled to comment but the true value arises from someone who is on the other side of the fence, the perpetrator of the actions, the doer. Furthermore, the usual observations are provided without regard to the fact that narcissists are both similar yet different because we operate in certain schools which are linked to our degree of functioning and malign outlook. Accordingly, the traditional answer provided to one of these questions may be correct for the greater of our kind, but not for the mid-range or for the lesser narcissist. This time the focus falls on those narcissists which are from the Mid-Range school. It is usually the case that those who Mid-Range are not so much defined by what they are, but rather by what they are not. Thus if a behaviour which accords with a lesser narcissist is absent and a behaviour which accords with a greater narcissist is absent but the individual still displays behaviour which accord with narcissism as a whole, this person falls within the Mid-Range. The Mid-Range is neither a creature of complete knee-jerk reactions but nor is he or she fully aware of what he or she is and the capabilities that he or she may possess. He or she will not exhibit the driven, malign nature of those narcissists from the greater school. Here are the five answers to the five central questions.




  1. Do We Know What We Are Doing?


Whereas the lesser narcissist operates through instinctive responses and in a knee-jerk manner the Mid-Ranger knows what he or she is doing. They notice that they feel a sense of unease and being unsettled. This is when their fuel levels have dropped to a low level. They do not know that the sensation of unease is linked to the reduced fuel levels. The Mid-Ranger does know that provoking reaction in the person who is his or her primary source and other people causes the unease to diminish and vanish. He or she is aware of the link between the need to receive attention and the reduction in the state of unease. He or she realises that certain reactions do not always work (i.e. unemotional ones) and that some reactions are superior to others (the sense of unease vanishes quicker and is replaced with a feeling of power) but they do not know why that is. They do not realise the index of fuel supply governs their own state of power/unease. They do know what if they are praised they feel better, if you are made to cry, they feel better and if you are losing your temper because of something that they have done, they feel better.


  1. Do We Know That We Are Hurting You?


Akin to the lesser, the Mid-Ranger is aware of the hurt that is being caused. The Mid-Ranger will also give some consideration to how this might be achieved whereas the lesser just does it. The Mid-Ranger does not behave this way because of any innate malevolence but rather because he or she is aware that the evidence of pain on your part gives them a “good” feeling and lessens the unease which may appear. The Mid-Ranger knows that if he or she acts in a certain way, it will cause you upset and therefore he or she will take some time to evaluate how best to respond in a situation so that the “good” feeling can be obtained. The Mid-Ranger will be aware of what it is that you are doing which has generated contempt, irritation or annoyance. He will be able to provide you with a reason behind this sensation and moreover if there is no actual reason he is readily able to invent one. Whereas the lesser can only usually respond in a vague and amorphous fashion, the Mid-Range will provide you with a reason for this annoyance at your behaviour and why he or she is hurting you. It is most likely a lie, but a reason will be provided nevertheless.


  1. Do We Do This Deliberately?

The Mid-Ranger is deliberate in his or her behaviours. They do not know it is fuel, they do not know its true purpose but they are sufficiently aware and of sufficient function to link the provision of certain reactions by you to the settling and empowering effect it has on them. The Mid-Ranger is aware that he or she can provoke good and bad emotions from you, that these reactions serve a purpose and therefore they will apply some time and effort to ascertaining the best way of doing this. They are also able to apply a wider range of manipulations from their repertoire as a consequence of their increased function. The response is thought out and whilst the plotting and scheming is far removed from the grand scale of the greater narcissists, there is no doubting that the Mid-Ranger will plan. He or she will consider how people can best serve them. This is not done from a malicious point of view but is more about working out what will serve him or her the best. The Mid-Ranger will consider which friends serve him best, who will make the best target and how the various people that are his fuel lines knit together. He does not behave in the random and chaotic fashion of the lesser nor with the pinpoint, malicious accuracy of the greater but with a sense of organisation and planning so that he or she gets what he or she wants.



  1. Can We Control This Behaviour?


The Mid-Ranger is possessed of the ability to control his or her behaviour. Since he or she is not a creature of instinct like the lesser but adopts a more considered approach there is greater thought given to how he or she should respond. The Mid-Ranger is not aware of why they ought to behave in this way, they only know that there is a way of behaving which suits them best and they need to tailor their responses and behaviours to accord with this way and this includes control. The Mid-Ranger only has so much control and in situations where fuel levels plummet and there is a real or perceived threat of a primary source cessation then the Mid-Ranger will lose control when placed under such duress. This may manifest in the use of physical violence. The Mid-Ranger knows there will be consequences but is unable to contain the urgent need to “do something” and therefore control is lost. The Mid-Ranger is particularly prone to using the silent treatment as this represents a halfway house between exerting and losing control. He or she may be panicked into a sudden reaction but they do not lose control to such an extent that a frenzied response, by way of violence both physical and verbal may appear. Instead they vanish. The Mid-Ranger is also more likely to engage in emotional, financial and sexual abuse through planning and the greater subtleties and insidious nature attached to these particular machinations.


  1. Can We Stop It?

Yes, the Mid-Ranger can. He has an awareness and therefore is able to decide that the behaviour can stop. Indeed, where the Mid-Ranger perceives an advantage to be acquired he will do so and amend his behaviour accordingly. Whereas the lesser narcissist will instigate a respite period instinctively without knowing why he is doing, his need to devalue will just abate and the golden period returns, the Mid-Ranger knows the value of a respite period and will grant it because he feels settled and prone to wanting the contrast of the positive fuel again. Similarly, when those fuel levels drop the Mid-Ranger knows to commence the devaluation again. His awareness and control enable him of her to stop the devaluing behaviour as and when it is required. He does not exercise this with regard to any sense of malevolence, like the greater, but rather it is driven by need. The Mid-Ranger could stop his or her abusive behaviour but will not do so if they perceive a need for it to continue. The lesser is unable to stop it because it “just happens”. Of the three schools, the Mid-Ranger is less volatile, less malicious but in some respects can be regarded as entirely culpable for the behaviours which are engaged in and that are doled out to his or her victims.

25 thoughts on “The 5 Central Questions to a Middling Degree

  1. Anabelle says:

    ‘He or she may be panicked into a sudden reaction but they do not lose control to such an extent that a frenzied response, by way of violence both physical and verbal may appear. Instead they vanish.’
    I can’t recognize if my ex was Great or Mid-Ranger, but I remember that when he had a bad day (low day as he once said) he avoided me. He said then that it was better for me to stay away. Do you think that he was afraid of losing control of himself? Maybe he didn’t want to show me his weakness? I have one more question on another topic. He said that he never comes back to ex’s and he burns bridges. When I said that mature person can live in harmony and be in touch with ex’s he got angry. Do you think it is possible that he didn’t return to his victims?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. Use this
      2. No he was exerting control over you by telling you stay away.
      3. If he is a narcissist, he will have returned when the Hoover Trigger occurred and if the Hoover Execution Criteria, which on balance will mean yes.

      1. Anabelle says:

        What’s the point of such control? I’m sure he is a narcissist.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I do not see the previous comment in moderation Anabelle, could you provide some context please with regard to the control you are referring to.

          1. Anabelle says:

            I said: ‘I can’t recognize if my ex was Great or Mid-Ranger, but I remember that when he had a bad day (low day as he once said) he avoided me. He said then that it was better for me to stay away. Do you think that he was afraid of losing control of himself? Maybe he didn’t want to show me his weakness?’

            You said: ‘2. No he was exerting control over you by telling you stay away.’

  2. Coco says:

    Hello, almost a year ago I discovered my husband of 10 years has been living a secret life of gay, random hookups, for years. Since then we have separated and he is still in denial of his sexuality. I am slowly recovering from years of gas lighting and his psychological abuse. From reading your blog, he seems to be middling. I have moments of anxiety when I think he could possibility snap and come to hurt me or our children. He is highly successful in business, competitive athlete and mr all around great guy in the community. I think his utmost concern is his image so he would not lash out. He is not a violent person. That said I did not think he would ever meet strangers for a threesome in a hotel so who the hell is he really..? Any insight into the gay husband in denial narcissist?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Coco and thank you for your post. If he is a Mid Range there is the possibility of him snapping and using violence, but the likelihood is low. Violence is either used by lesser who lose control and respond in a knee jerk manner or by greaters as part of the malice that they possess. As to the gay husband in denial I replied to Mary on this point today and if possible you should find that answer (and it will also save my fingers!) If you cannot let me know and I will add the detail for you. The essence of it is that he is looking for fuel and he finds that engaging in covert homosexual behaviour is a way of achieving that. It will also be his way of lashing out at you because he knew that one day you would find out (no matter how long it might take) and he would be able to draw considerable fuel from your reaction once you realised what he had been doing. Somuch of what we do is a fabrication and a lie and that permeates into our social circle, sexuality, career, family and so forth.

  3. Maddie says:

    thank You ! Your knowledge is the greatest of all x

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are absolutely right.

  4. Blue1 says:

    Thanks for the clarification.
    I am working on preparing myself to disconnect. By nature, in my few close relationships (family and a few trusted/ legitimate friends), I am selfless and give love unconditionally. During this last Golden Period (short one), he told me I treated him better than anyone has ever treated him. I believe that this is true. The irony is that he has treated me worse than I have ever been treated. I care about him deeply and feel sad that there is nothing I can do to make things work. I will pray for healing for both of us. Sincere thanks for your insight.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome

  5. Blue1 says:

    Hi HG, Hoping I haven’t missed the Elite version of this article? Still not totally sure whether mine is Elite or not.. At one point after discussing why he and his ex wife split (said she cheated was crazy and put him through emotions b*) he asked if my ex was emotionally abusive. He very rarely asks me questions. I said no not at all. My Ex did have a bad temper but was not at all emotionally abusive. This question was very surprising. Is that a sign of the self awareness of an Elite Narc? On occasion after a couple bottles of wine and a bit of fury he says his mind is ** up from what happened to him as a child. It appears I am still in the devalue stage. Asked him to call me when he was on the road. Said he was too tired and quiet. I texted well thought you would have a minute for me. He later said ” I do miss spending time with you! I am just tired. ” In another text I said “You used to ask if I miss you. I miss you!” That is when he responded about missing spending time with me. He will say he misses spending time with me and looks forward to it. But will not say he misses me? Texts still every couple of days with no interaction to speak of. It had been about a month since I have seen him. Between vacation with his son and his job. Apologies for the message length. Please advise regarding your thoughts.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Blue1, no you haven’t missed the third one. It is about the greater btw not the elite. The lesser, middling and greater are the schools, the victim, somatic, cerebral and elite are cadres. Some of the schools and cadres overlap.
      In your situation there does appear to be some awareness which form what you have written would suggest at least a Mid Range narcissist.
      The comments concerning missing time with you v missing you provide you with an interesting insight. He misses the time with you because this is fuel. He does not miss you as a person.

  6. 1jaded1 says:

    Hi HG. Your blog is fascinating and captivating. I’m going to read every post. So far the mirror post and the dread of the falling asleep post have stuck out…and the joy pain one. Dr. O sounds like a skank or a Basic Instinct Catherine wannabe.

    I was going to wait before commenting; however, this post describes my ex to a T. We were together for 13 years and the last 10 were hell. He sounds like midrange. Very planny and calculating. When we met, he did the lovebomb. He even stalked me. I found it creepy. Unlike other people who I dated and were made fun of by my family, they adored him and pood on my red flag feelings. He called me his challenge. Until I accepted his proposal, which he admitted he did because he didn’t want to lose me (hah?), we had compromisish (hah). Then the ring suddenly made me his. Except it didn’t.

    Before the proposal he was possessive. After it was just outrageous. He would call to the point where I turned off my ringer. He bought me a cell out of care but it was really to keep tabs. He bought a house with the expectation that I was going to cosign (I didn’t). We argued at the real estate closing. He bought it anyway. I did pay for the utilities even though I didn’t live there. When I was transferred out of state and had to stop, he was furious. He only once came to see me and that was cuz my dad hired my bil to transport furniture and ex wanted in on the cash. He accused me of sleeping with my best girlfriend. We finally broke it off. He ended up losing ths house.

    My bil died last year. I took temporary leave of my senses and contacted ex after years of no contact. Talk about fuel. He sent my sister a sizable donation and a note that he misses us and wants back in. I told her that was her choice but I was having no part of it. People I told wonder where he obtained the money.

    My question is what exactly happened with this cf of a relationship? He is a N. His mom is too. My dad defined it before it was a widely known term (the honeymoon wore off with my family). Despite all of his manipulations, I would only let it go so far. He had to go to anger management and I went with once. Even the T asked why i stayed when I could obviously take care of myself. My response was that I needed him (even though i knew deep down i didn’t). I was assaulted within inches of my life when I was a kid so I can completely trust no one. Maybe that’s what is saving me now.

    What are your thoughts? Thank you again for a most interesting blog.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello 1Jaded and thank you for your post. Certainly the snapshot of the behaviours which you have mentioned would accord with this person being one of our kind. Why did you say that you needed him when you knew that you didn’t?

      1. 1jaded1 says:

        Good question. Because my gut had only recently reawakened after the house debacle. I don’t think I was ready to say it and then wasn’t likely the time. The sessions were to evaluate whether his employer should fire him due to anger issues. It was not couples therapy. It did come out then even so. T called me out. She asked if i believed it because it sounded more like he needed me. I replied that he definitely did not need me. Irrespective of the facts that my company was being downsized, he was a part timer at his job and now on disciplinary action, he still bought the house in spite of my opinion, which meant nothing. I ended up admitting that i needed his respect more than anything.

        He always did things for me with the intent of keeping score, and saying no one else would do them, and I needed him. He had our (his) best interests in mind. My family soon saw through after certain things and backed away. They never took anything from him except that he was treating me well. I don’t mean trips and jewels and parties. Ick. He let his mask slip and they caught it.

        I still don’t know what he needed from me.

  7. Cara says:

    Well yeah, you are what you are…as in a malignant narcissist like my mother doesn’t wake up one sunny Tuesday morning & suddenly become something other than a malignant narcissist.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank goodness it is Sunday eh?

  8. Yo says:

    Dear defective person. Did u understand about urself by urself or u realized who u r only after starting sessions with doctors? Thanks

    1. HG Tudor says:

      A combination of the two.

      1. Yo says:

        What was ur 1st reaction once u realized that u r “different” and unable to feel some emotions?

        (P.s. in answer lets avoid the “rationalisation” why it s good not to feel those emotions coz u already did it in one if ur articles 🙂 lrts focus on what did u feel once u realized it and what was ur 1st reaction. Thank u! 🙂

        1. HG Tudor says:

          That the special status that I had been accorded was indeed correct.

  9. nikitalondon says:

    Wow this is interesting and even fascinating to see all these differences. !!! 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻. I look forward to the higher range facts.
    But I would have a question HG. if you are a lesser do you stay there all. The time or can N go from lesser to higher or middle to higher etc?
    Thanks for the info 💝

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are what you are.

      1. nikitalondon says:

        Thanks 😃 For your answer.

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