The Five Devaluation Triggers


You will be familiar with the fact that one day you are cock of the walk and the next day you are a feather duster. You are atop the pedestal and in a flash you have been thrown from it and you are lying in the dust as we stand over you berating you. The sudden switch from hero to zero, from princess to pauper, from “good person” to “bad person” is perhaps the most confusing, bewildering and upsetting part of our behaviour. People cannot comprehend why they were being feted as the love of our life on Monday and then by Tuesday they are the devil incarnate. It is something which causes (and of course we want this) victims of our nefarious behaviour to cling to us in order to get an answer, to receive an explanation and some kind of reasoning which will allow them to make sense of what has happened. They are unlikely to accept it, the emotional hold of the seduction and the golden period prevents acceptance of this sudden fall from grace for a very long time, but if you are able to understand why it happened, you are able to move yourself forward with greater speed than you would otherwise. Our reasons may appear illogical to you based on your world view but at least you have some reasons and that is more than you would usually ever receive from our kind as we plough on with your devaluation offering no cogent or realistic explanation for this sudden switch. I am not explaining why we devalue you (fuel, control, reinforcement of our need for superiority and self-worth). I am explaining what is it that makes us love you then hate you in the blink of an eye. What causes this sudden change, this 180-degree swing, this volte face, this switch? You will be given no answer or if you are they will not be anything to do with the real reason why we suddenly idealise you then devalue you. This false reasons are wheeled out to make you remain all the more, pursuing an elusive point as we continue to drain you of negative fuel until we decide you are to be discarded. Thus, here are the five reasons that are the triggers for the devaluation.

  1. Stale

The fundamental reason for seducing you is to gather your potent and positive fuel. In the beginning and for some time afterwards we are invigorated by this precious fuel that you supply to us. We are reliant on it, we want and need it and we marvel at the fuel you provide us. This may last months or it may even last years dependent on our demands and your ability to fulfil them. Your complacency however causes the fuel to become stale to us. You may not regard yourself as having done anything wrong. We understand that according to your view of how a healthy and mature relationship should progress that after a dizzying, honeymoon period the relationship moves to a deep-seated position where that initial buzz of excitement has faded to be replaced by something long-lasting, substantial and fulfilling. Should you appreciate your relationship with us with this mind set, it results in us seeing you as complacent. You may regard it as a natural and understandable, indeed potentially necessary progression. We do not. Your failure to admire us in the way you once did (or at least the manifestation of this admiration), your demonstration of love, adoration and such like becomes lessened. You may not think that you love us any less but it is the way that appears to us that matters. This change manifests as complacency to us and it makes your fuel become stale, less potent and this in turn threatens to weaken us. In order to defend ourselves we must immediately switch to the devaluation and extract the negative fuel from you which will power us to the extent we want and demand.

  1. Disobedience

Our sense of entitlement, inability to recognise and respect boundaries and huge need for control means that we have to have you do what we want. This control arises through the application of the incentive, the carrot approach, when we have seduced you and the golden period is in play. Through the application of wonderful and loving behaviour we cause you to do what we want by providing fuel and carrying out our wishes. We have delighted you and you want to please us in return. We provide you with the love you desire and you respond by complying with our requirements. When you stop submitting to this benign control then we will switch and commence the devaluation. You may, when viewed objectively by others, be correct in not doing what we want, taking an alternative course of action and doing something else but to us that is irrelevant. You are challenging our control and this cannot be countenanced. In order to stamp out this uprising before it gains traction and undermines our careful operation that has been constructed to control you and gain fuel from you, we must tighten our control, remove the dissent and increase our grip on you. This is when the devaluation begins. We move from benign dictator to malign tyrant.

  1. See Through

If we apprehend that you are working us out. If we perceive that you have been influenced by another source and you are joining the dots. If we gauge that you are beginning to realise what we are and what we are doing, then we must strike first in order to shock and awe you into submission once more and dispel your fabrications. You may well be right but we are not going to accept you being right. We will switch to the devaluation in order to unleash all those manipulations which will confuse you, drain you and most of all make out that it is all your fault. We have done nothing wrong other than love you with a perfect love and instead you have brought this on yourself through your lies about what we are and your treachery. We cannot allow you to unmask us and therefore we will assault you with a frenzied devaluation which gives you no option other than to try and defend yourself so you lose sight of your goal of seeing through us. We will make you feel guilty, cruel and heartless in the hope of tapping into your empathic traits so you stop what you have been doing and concentrate on putting things right between us, mending the relationship and showing that you care. The commencement of the devaluation when you are uncovering what we are is a massive distraction exercise designed to protect us and harm you.

  1. The Hoover Opportunity

This is not a hoover against you. Instead it is the opportunity which suddenly arises to hoover a predecessor. This person may have been discarded and moved away from our sphere of influence or they have escaped and done likewise, but now something has happened whereby they have come back into our sphere of influence. The promise of that sweet and powerful hoover fuel will outweigh the positive fuel that you are currently providing us with. The prospect of getting this hoover fuel means that we want to focus our attention on the predecessor and hoover them. We will not get shot of you, not yet, because that will leave us in in-between primary sources of fuel. Instead, we commence the hoover to seduce again your predecessor and thus because they have appeared on the horizon they make you look like the less desirable option. This causes us to question why we are with you, to regard you as a mistake and therefore we switch to devaluing you as we begin the seduction of them once again. Should the hoover fail, expect the golden period to be reinstated for you, with another sudden switch. Should it succeed and we begin to tie the predecessor back to us once more with the hoover fuel beginning to flow, you can expect the devaluation to worsen as you hurtle towards being discarded.

A sudden switch to devaluation may indeed herald the fact that a predecessor has appeared on our radar and we are hoovering that person at your expense.

  1. Total Control

You are aware that we want to control you. This is fundamental to the dynamic between us. Yet, as a further example of the double standards that we engage in we want to control you and if you disobey us we will commence your devaluation but furthermore if we believe we have obtained total control over you then we will similarly commence your devaluation because we know that you will do anything that we want and we will just use you to validate ourselves in the event that other, more exciting prospects do not fuel us during the course of the day. You become relegated to the reliable and dependable, because you are actually doing precisely what we want, but through our warped logic, this equates to you no longer being special. Thus we need to make you special to us once again and we do this through devaluation. We will not cast you aside when we have achieved total control, not at all. This state of affairs brings with it considerable benefits but they will now be channelled through the filter of devaluation and not idealisation. It is symptomatic of the bizarre (when judged from your perspective) logic we apply that when you finally do the very thing we want, we turn against you and begin your devaluation.

How do you deal with all of this? The short answer is you cannot. Any of these five reasons may suddenly apply without warning and your devaluation starts. You cannot avoid it and you could not avoid it. You did nothing wrong, but you did everything wrong from our world view. There is nothing you can do to avoid this happening, because once the trigger happens, the devaluation will follow. The thing you can draw the greatest solace from however is that in knowing this is how we are, in knowing that there was nothing you can do or you could have done to have changed the outcome, you at least now have this knowledge and through it you can attain freedom from the doubt, uncertainty and sheer bewilderment of wondering why it happened.


59 thoughts on “The Five Devaluation Triggers”

  1. I’m interested to find out what happens when the house of cards topples and the hoovering and charm can no longer evade capture by authorities and full exposure is about to ensue? I refer to a higher level in this instance. Reason enough to think they’re a serious threat to life and they aim for a grand departure?

    1. A Greater would continue to deploy charm in order to escape the consequences, he would manipulate in all manner of ways to evade capture. If however capture was inevitable, a Greater could be pushed to take life IF that meant capture could be evaded. A Greater has enough awareness to realise that is likely to make things worse and would aim to manipulate the justice system to secure freedom, placing his faith in his abilities to manipulate others to secure the result he requires.

  2. In my 3 years every part happened… but of course you know that already HG. Even the words you use remind me so much of my N. He told me I was complacent quite often. He was different in the fact that he didn’t even speak to his family. Was just a loner. I would feel that someone (N) who does things would want to brag about it to others. Like how “good” he is. But they don’t do they? Off topic.. please tell me that my N didn’t wet my bed to get me to be more empathetic on purpose. Yea that happened several times and he told me it was because he fell so deeply into a sleep around me because I made him feel safe. At times besides the passionate amazing sex I really did feel like his mother:(

    1. He sounds like a Victim Narcissist Smoke with you feeling like you were his mother. The wetting of the bed probably was not a deliberate act, but his explanation (whether true or not) was certainly designed to draw more fuel from you.

  3. Hahaha, yes you are bril HG and funny and I’ve no doubt you’re a gorgeous hunk of man flesh. There’s your fuel for today!

  4. In short: we are dammed if we do, we are double dammed if we don’t. So, instead of trying to apply logic to where there is none; we should, swallow the bitter pill, spit up the hook, deal with the pain, put the big girl’s panties on, forget the honeymoon phase, and raise it up the master’s arse on our way out while vowing to keep strict no contact.
    Instead of wasting time and precious fuel on one that flew over cuckoo’s nest, we should try to build better boundaries and work through the internal issues that got us to put up with Machiavellian games to begin with.
    Did I get that somewhat right? Totally right? Or f***ing right?
    (Last sentence is an adaptation of a Little Britain skid).
    Thank you very much HG for eloquently making sense of it all. The scientist in me would like to know if there is a brain MRI study to figure out which part of the brain lights up when the narc switches mode. It would be interesting to know if there is a common neurotransmitter pathway in the brain wiring of all NPDs.

    1. You got it right.
      You are welcome, thank you for the compliment.
      I do not know about the MRI brain study, not my area, but I daresay some of the readers will have some knowledge on that.

      1. BW, I would like to know that too! And, if I t hasn’t been done yet, you got an awesome study idea on your hands. One place to look is to go in google scholar, if you haven’t already. (free scientific paper access search engine for abstracts)…in fact I’m going to tip toe over there now bc I want to know 😊

    2. Yes there is. But I’ve watched many documentaries and I forget which one.

      My three favourites are

      ‘I am fishead’

      ‘Psychopath – BBC documentary’


      All on youtube. The last two are British and maybe you can’t watch these if you live outside the U.K. ?

      1. That first one sounds interesting Alexis? Is it about a man who is crappie or a ray of sunshine? Or someone who keeps herring voices? Or someone so marvellous he’s regarded as a kipper? Then again it just might be a load of Pollocks? I suppose it could be good for the sole? Maybe eel tell us himself so I don’t have to keep carping on? Is it an aquatic medical drama, you know with a charismatic sturgeon who has a cod complex? I guess we shall just have to tuna in and watch it? Oh salmon stop me I’m too brill!

  5. Makes sense… mine told me if I hadn’t played detective, we would still be together! He didn’t like my telling him how to live… even though it was really bad for him and us! I did not respect after awhile and it became apparent. How can you still love someone after they mistreat you in so many ways… you can’t. I guess when there is another person eager to fill your position, not knowing the truth, it is easy to move on to new supply. It is sad that many people have no morals anymore. I don’t think it would be so easy to go from person to person if more people had boundaries and respected others and their marriages. I was amazed at how many women knew he was married and got involved with him anyway… And I and the awful one ??… I am glad this behavior is being exposed.

  6. Thank you for explain all the ups and downs in my previous relationship – while going threw it I would step back and be like- something is not right here- now I see what was deeply going on. Since all of this is going on in the inside of the person (N) and to keep the other person confused is the goal so they slither undetected but is there anyway to detect these swings as the other party? Do they ever take off the mask and show others what is really going on in the inside? Do they not engage in this activity with some people (non-supply)/ is it the whole world? Thank you.

  7. I disobeyed
    Then I payed
    He ran away
    Then he played
    So I stayed
    And I prayed
    And he preyed
    And some more he played
    Then he ran away
    Then came back another day
    Not much more to say!

  8. Thank you for your books and just for sharing the process, HG. I’m in the mist of breaking away from my narc, who has been my spouse for 16 years. I’ve been devalued now for close to a year, while he preys on new fuel on Facebook and now that he sees it’s really final, I do feel some very subtle hoovering starting to take place. My friend introduced me to your blog, bless her, because otherwise I’d have convinced myself he truly wanted to work on the marriage. Now I’ve girded my loins and am prepared to ignore,ignore, ignore.
    Thank you

      1. HG… meet my awesome friend, Lynne. Lynne, meet HG. As I’ve told you, he will give it to you straight from the other side, raw and tough and bitter, no sugar-coating. He will become the fire under your fanny to get you out safely. He is the reason I survived. He’s right… you are in the best possible place to seize your power back.

    1. Lynne, you have been in the devalue phase for over ten years. You will learn that each time you have been “discarded” or have “escaped”, returning to your formal relationship was only because he hoovered you back and granted you respite in glimpses of the “golden period” all those times. Keep reading and you will piece together your entire relationship from the day it began. There is the one initial golden period, then devaluation and discard can happen on an endless loop by using intermittent hoovers and reminders of the golden period. But the only way to end it all, completely, is to escape and go No Contact/No Emotion. And stay there. And spend time EVERY day with HG. EVERY DAY.

      1. Yes I feel empowered already! I have to say I’d love a bit of revenge, though…Dangerous I know, but it would feel fabulous

  9. I just had the Grand Hoover of Hoovers done to me in August & then an immediate discard. Really wish I’d found you in June or July & I might could have avoided it. Thank you for helping me to make sense of it all.

      1. Hi Wompus. You may have noticed it’s not always possible on this site to reply to the correct post. (This is the fault of Word Press, NOT HG, just to be clear! 🙂
        Having the courage to post here at all is a courageous step. No need to share until/unless you are ready. If you are able to share this much, what are some of the signs that your N is a mid-range elite? I have a hard time emvisioning an elite being anything less than, well, elite, but am curious where he lost points and only scored in the mid-range category.

      1. Thanks for the welcome. Not sure I’m ready to talk about it. I already knew he was a narcissist & the idealization/devaluation/discard cycle. But was totally sucked in when I really should have seen it coming. I underestimated how much they value the devaluation and negative emotion part of it & how evil they truly can be. It wasn’t until I read ‘Fuel’ & Sitting Target by Mr. Tudor that I realized my mistake. My narc was textbook Mid-range Elite. Sadly, I didn’t read the books until after the discard. I’m in No Contact now & every day gets a little better.

  10. This is a fabulous post in regards to your actions and reactions to us. I recall telling my exN that sometimes I was a *itch but that he liked it about me. I do recall if I was completely subservient to him he would end up treating me like crap, like I was a bore to him. I noticed with surge in my confidence and attitude I would be treated as his queen again. It worked well for us… for quite some time. But then there was that jealousy and insecure monster that would come out to play… and he would get nasty. 🙁

    1. This is for BND: you sound remarkably strong for someone who has not been out more than a few months. Hope you are feeling a little stronger every day.
      How did you meet exN? How long were you together- I realize this varies based on how you define “together” (do you count the silent treatments and devals, for example)? When did you first suspect he was a narc? Do you know if you were the primary?

  11. I have just recently started reading this site and find it extremely helpful. Things I knew but questioned have been confirmed by HG.

    Some of the verbiage was eerily verbatim what exNarc said to me.

    Glad to have that chapter of my life in the past.

    Thank you.

    1. Hi BND. Welcome to the sisterhood (apologies, gents) you never wanted to join. This is overall a very supportive group so please feel free to share your story. You will learn things you never wanted to know and yet desperately long to finally understand. Did you recently escape your ex-N?

      1. Hi, Cody. Thank you.

        The break from exNarc was some months ago. Not the first break, but definitely the last. I knew for some time the relationship was irreparably broken but kept plodding away anyway. All the while I was becoming less tolerant of the games, manipulation, gaslighting, triangulation.

        It has been a while since the last Hoover attempt. Based on past behavior it is getting near time for another. He has told me that we are not through, and has been sending smoke signals. Presumably to provoke a reaction from me or maybe another appliance. He was very busy and activly grooming new appliances while we were still together.

        Thinking back I ignored so, so many red flags. Not just Narc behavior but just bad behavior in general. I was succeptable (and take full accountability for my part) and he was a master at exploiting.

        Definitely not something I want to ever repeat.

        I will share more of my story later or if you have specific questions, I will answer.

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