The Mid-Range Narcissist




Meet Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist. Say hello Malcolm.


Ever obliging is Malcolm, part of his charm. He doesn’t have the ubermensch mentality of the Greater and nor is he governed by the almost rash instinctive behaviour of the Lesser. Malcolm is not so much defined by what he is, but by what he is not.

“Isn’t that right Malcolm?”

“Isn’t what right my dear?”

“You are a Mid-Range Narcissist.”

Malcolm laughs. It is an affable laugh. He knows that a veneer of self-effacement is effective to get what he wants. He is not prone to the wild outlandish boasts of the Lesser (based on what he thinks he is and therefore says as such as a matter of immediate response) or the Greater (who actually has the achievements and accomplishments to back up those boasts, but boasts about them the Greater always must).

“Hey, what can I say, I like to look good and you know, you have to love yourself before you can love anybody else, that’s what I always say.”

You see, Malcolm thinks that is what a narcissist is. Somebody who loves themselves. He lacks the higher function to know what it really means and lacks the cunning to know it himself but to deny it to those who would seek to topple him. He has some understanding so the comment does not present as a criticism to him, but since he has a moderate degree of function, he knows enough to use it to maintain his façade of being a decent, likeable and reliable fellow.

“You are a likeable chap, I must say.”

“Why thank you and may I say how lovely you look today.”

“That’s most kind, mind you, you are not the first person to compliment me on my appearance.”

Let’s see how he responds to that little piece of provocation. Did you see it? There was a flash of the inner fury but he kept it under control. Watch again. You see the sudden frown and the narrowing of the eyes as his jealousy started to climb inside of him as he felt the injury from this criticism. My comment suggested that someone else might be interested in me, that I am not just Malcolm’s. Of course, it was just a well-meant and polite compliment, but like all of their kind, Malcolm views the world from a position of suspicion and wariness. Wariness is an apt description for Malcolm. He doesn’t erupt in the way Lee the Lesser might have done if I had made the same remark. Lee would have responded with insulting questions to my comment. The Greater would show no sign of concern but file the remark away to be used at the appropriate time, when the moment is exactly right. Anyway, let’s get back to Malcolm. There is that flash of fury but he has enough control to keep it held back. For now. He won’t let it go though, he cannot.

“Oh really, who said that?”

He asks in a tone of relative disinterest but he is dying to know. He wants to know because he feels uncomfortable at this revelation. He does not know precisely why, although he knows he has to be wary about someone interfering with his partner because after all, he wants to maintain his façade of family man with the dedicated wife and so forth. Steady Malcolm who knows he is not amongst the elite of the world, but he is also far from the underclass too. He has abilities and people should recognise that. Okay, he is not the best, but he is still good, very good actually.

“Oh you know the attendant at the petrol station, he chats to me every time I am in there, he probably fancies me.”

There it is again. The brief look of consternation. The fury is rising but he is managing to keep a grip on it, but he won’t be able to do so for long. He does not want to erupt, he knows that will not do, that is not how he behaves, but he knows he needs to do something to counter this threat. He does not like the fact that I am accepting compliments from this interloper, I should only receive them from him.

“Yes well, I was told by Lucy at the florists that I look ten years younger than my real age.”

There we are. He is switching to an alternative fuel source. His level of function allows him to rely on a past event and still draw fuel from it. The Lesser would not be able to do that. Firstly, his fury would have erupted already and secondly even if it had not, he would struggle to bring up the previous compliment. His mind does not work that way. Malcolm can though and this is his way of switching the spotlight back on to him. He is also looking to get a reaction from me as well to provide him with some fuel. Let’s pretend I haven’t heard him.

“Yes the guy at the garage, Luke he is called, strapping lad, so pleasant. He always tells me that my hair is looking nice or that I smell gorgeous. He fair makes my day.”

“Yes well he can’t be too bright though can he if he is working in a garage.”

Malcolm doesn’t say it as a question but it’s a statement. He is losing control; the fury is coming. His comment had a dual purpose. You see, his mid-range function provides him with some weaponry in that regard. He wanted to cut down my comment in order to provoke a reaction from me but also by stating that Luke is not very bright he is undermining the compliments that Luke has sent my way. He’s a little bit clever with it you see.

“Oh, he just works there in between his studies. He is going to be an architect, he wants to show me some of his designs, I think I might do that.”

Let’s push it a little more. You can see Malcolm’s face is now set in a frown. He doesn’t like it at all that I am not giving him any fuel and moreover by fawning over Luke I am implicitly criticising Malcolm, at least in his mind that is the case.

Malcolm won’t respond in an outwardly aggressive manner. It’s there if he is really pushed, if he feels cornered in some way or has a frantic need for fuel then the fury will erupt as heated fury and he will lash out. He can only keep the fury under control for a short while. The Lesser can barely do so. The Greater can and will or will not, dependent on how the Greater has calculated whether the unleashing of the fury will provide him with the greatest return at that instant. Malcolm is caught between the two. He can exert some control but not enough to really deliver and savage aggression is rarer with him. Watch now and see how his ignited fury manifests.

Do you see? He has snatched up his ‘phone and rings one of his secondary sources. He knows he does not like this feeling of being ignored and he knows that to deal with it he needs attention from somewhere else. He does not know it as fuel of course, only that when this happens, if I, his primary source, is letting him down, he has to either up his game with me and/or draw attention from somewhere else.

“Hi Janice, just wondering if you were still on for lunch today?”

There’s no arranged lunch but he knows that Janice likes him, he makes sure that this remains the case and she is usually available. Notice the sideways glance to ensure I have heard him. There are not the bold assertive moves of the Lesser (through instinct) or the Greater (through calculation) but the wary steps that are the hallmark of the Mid-Range Narcissist.

Janice is cooing down the ‘phone and he feels better already but he also wants a reaction from me.

“Who are you calling?” I ask in a loud voice.

“Yes I thought so too Janice, thanks for saying that, I appreciate that.” He is ignoring me. I repeat the question but there is no response as he continues to talk into the ‘phone and lap up the fuel from Janice whilst enjoying my irked expression. This is a silent treatment from him as he refuses to acknowledge me. The Mid-Range uses the silent treatment more than any other cadre of narcissist because the Mid-Range is a creature who is passive-aggressive. The Lesser uses them, of course he does, but they tend to be short-lived. The Lesser will storm out of the house and disappear to a friend or a bar for an afternoon. The Greater will organise the silent treatment and apply it for maximum effect, it will not be a knee jerk reaction. The Greater will apply them for a long time as well but does not use them as often as the Mid-Range. The silent treatment is the main method of manipulation for the Mid-Range Narcissist. This is because it allows him to exert control, it can be used whilst preserving the façade (there won’t be a sudden eruption and storming away with slammed doors and cries of “You’ll never see me again”) but rather he will quietly depart for a period of time, or more likely use the present silent treatment. The Mid-Range is a sulker. He has enough control to sit and say nothing to you and drink up the fuel as you keep badgering him. He can sit and sulk for hours, days if need be. He can breeze around the house as if you aren’t there. Yes, Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist revels in the effect of his silent treatments and his dual approach here is providing dividends for him.

I walk over to him and stand in front of him, hands on hips. He sees the gesture and this fuels him further but to the him it is as if I am not there. He just looks through me. Again this is some of the discipline that I afforded by him by virtue of being Mid-Range.

He ends the call and walks off ignoring my comments as they drift fuel-filled through the air to him. He won’t shout back (he rarely does) he knows it is more effective to sulk and also then the neighbours won’t hear so he remains seen as pleasant, good neighbour Malcolm. He will probably head next door and hide there with Margaret for a couple of hours. He is good at cultivating a wide range of fuel sources. The Lesser keeps his circles tighter, lacking the discipline to operate too many fuel lines. The Greater of course has hundreds of fuel lines because he can draw them in through his outlandish greatness, his achievements and golden accomplishments. The Mid-Range doesn’t shine as bright but he has charm and ability which he uses to develop many different fuel sources and he can always rely on them. He does not have a high turn-over, keeping many of them in the golden period for years. The Mid-Range is most likely to have long-standing friends going years back. The Lesser and Greater may have as well, but not in the same number of the length of time as the Mid-Range.

So, Malcolm will be away giving me the silent treatment as he draws fuel from Margaret and then Janice. He knows how his silent treatment affects me and that is why he also uses it so often. Oh well, that’s my day spoiled already and he knows it. I suppose I had better go and fill up the car with fuel. I know a good garage and a sympathetic ear to hear my woes.

28 thoughts on “The Mid-Range Narcissist

  1. CatWhoAteTheCanary says:

    Ahhh here’s my golden boy. Intelligent but (presumably) lacking self-awareness… Malcolm, you poor fool, you should know better than to ask people to read your mind. These days with the internet it’s entirely possible.

    (These articles are a treasure trove. Does the author fuel up with the knowledge that they are toppling countless inferior narcs? Ingenious.)

  2. HadEnough says:

    Will he turn his attention back on to me if he will fail to secure a new IPSS/DLS that he is currently inensively looking for (if the IPPS is still in place)? After wounding him, I went again NC couple of weeks ago and this time he has not hoovered.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There is a risk of being hoovered, there always is, but since you wounded him and it has only been two weeks, I doubt he will do so immediately.

  3. NP says:

    HG Tudor, one question: How do the three types of Narcs react when their empath/source of fuel, primary or secondary is in genuine need, e.g., sick and needing physical, financial and emotional care, sympathy, empathy, etc etc. I am still trying to understand what exactly happened when I was seriously ill.

    And, how do the three types of Narcs play out in the family, either as spouses, grandparents, parents, or siblings, cousins, e.t.c.

    And, in other settings such as workplaces, general friendships, church, school, neighbours and associations, etc. That is, in all other types of interaction apart from romantic interests, how would you know what you are dealing with… Thanks.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It depends when it happens.

      If during the golden period, you may be assisted as part of the seduction (although we will usually get others to do the dirty work and claim credit for the orchestration of the assistance – also, if this support is to be provided from words rather than deeds, then we will be more likely to do it during the seduction).

      If you are in devaluation, forget about the support save when the façade requires it. Lessers are unlikely to provide anything at all, Mid-Range and Greater will do if it suits the façade otherwise they will not.

      With regard to the question in your second paragraph I do not know what you mean – do you mean what is it like to have a narcissist as a spouse or a sibling? Similarly in the third paragraph do you mean how might the narcissist behave in school or with neighbours?

  4. Sail Away says:

    Hi HG,

    Going back through your archives for research. I hope you are well my dear. 🙂

    I think N might be Mid-Range because he just doesn’t seem as calculating as a Greater.

    Are Mid-Ranges “safer” in a way? Are less safe because they are less calculating?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Mid-Ranger are calculating but not to the degree that a Greater is. Nowhere near. They are more passive-aggressive in their behaviour thus they are less prone to physical violence and if it does manifest it is holding,pushing and spitting, rather than punching and kicking. They are however harder to spot because they know how to maintain a veneer and a facade more readily. They might be regarded “safer” in the way that a venomous spider is safer than a hungry lion because it is smaller, but all of our kind have the potential to cause significant (albeit differing) consequences.

      I am well that you for asking and I am pleased to see you are applying a scholarly approach.

      1. Sail Away says:

        Thank you HG. It is so hard as you well know.


      2. Sail Away says:

        (That reply was on my phone.)

        Thank you for your detailed response. That’s *extremely* helpful. I can’t believe it’s taken this much reading to apply his behavior to your words and make the appropriate match.

        Do Mid-Rangers who are married usually blackmail their primary (secondary as the case may be) source when/if that source goes No Contact?

        It seems like losing the facade may not be worth the risk and they also seem too passive aggressive for that?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Blackmail is an option but more likely to be seen by an upper echelon Mid-Ranger or a Greater.

  5. Lisa says:

    So so accurate. I know this narc too. If only I knew it a little sooner. Sensed it, but didnt act on it straight away. Hmmm. Wake up Lisa!!! Trust your gut!!!
    Thanks HG.

  6. B says:

    Thank you HG for the answer. I haven’t read up much on smearing as I didn’t feel it applied, but it sounds like I need to read this book. Funny how blind I am to things. So disappointed in myself for not seeing the obvious 😖

  7. SG says:


    Do you think Trump is a mid range or a greater?

    A recent article in the Independent said this:

    “In an interesting piece entitled “Inside Donald Trump’s Last Stand”, the New York Times discovered that he struggled to suppress his “bottomless needs” for attention”

    So we know what he is but whatare narcissists like with the level of power that Trump now has. Do you think he will listen to his advisors. What do you think wecan expect in the next 4 years?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I think he is an Upper Lesser.

      He will listen to those who tell him what he wishes to hear and of course, as is already beginning, he is putting in place his Lieutenants who will carry out his will.
      His drive and focus will bring about beneficial changes to the USA, especially in business and the economy. He is likely to make the USA a more isolated nation and will draw back from the USA being the world’s policeman. The difficulty he will face is where his wants fall foul of two things,
      1. Your constitution; and
      2. The treacle effect of bureaucracy

      If you have ever wanted to understand how someone with the best will in the world who gets into a position of power sees their ambitions repeatedly thwarted then you can do no better than to watch (or preferably read) the creation that is Yes, Minister and Yes, Prime Minister. Although British, its applicability to how pandering to various interest groups and the glacial speed of the bureaucracy along with its own self-interest, is not bettered. Read those books and you will understand how even somebody who is US President will struggle to do what he wants to do. You have to turn to North Korea to bypass such functions.

      1. SG says:

        Thanks interesting view but It does make sense now that he is a Lesser. But it is really scary too. So given the fact that he runs his own businesses and always gets his own way, and as you have noted that it is likely that he will struggle to do what he wants to do, doesn’t that mean rhat he is even more dangerous that even his worst enemies perceive him to be. Ie. The most powerful man in the world is a lesser who can’t control himself if people xriticise or say no to him and he has access to the nuclear code whixh could easily be triggered in a rage.

        Two Narcs together like TrumP and Putin, makes you think that the wnd of the end of the world is nigh.

  8. HG are the lesser, mid and greater all determined by their degree of intelligence. The lesser yes. But is it possible for a greater to be highly skilled in his approach but lack awareness as to what he is ?

    Mine I think borders on the mid / greater – he is most certainly aware of what he is. But some of the skills you describe which a greater has, he most definitely lacks.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is determined by cognitive function and awareness Alexis, keep in mind that there are subdivisions within each school thus
      Lower Lesser Medium Lesser Upper Lesser
      Lower Mid Medium Mid Upper Mid – your guy may well be in this subdivision
      Lower Greater – or he maybe an LG – Medium Greater Upper Greater
      oh and then there is of course HG status.

      1. Oh I don’t doubt he HG status at all – you’re in a league of your own.

        I’m soooo glad we’ve never met (in a good way)

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Oh there is time yet Alexis

  9. Love says:

    Ah, Malcolm, Malcolm, Malcolm. Not crazy enough to be fun, not smart enough to be sinister.
    It seems my supertanker codependent fuel is wasted on you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I like the way you framed that Love.

      1. Love says:

        You’ve opened my eyes Mr. Tudor. Nothing but the best from now on.

        1. HG Tudor says:


  10. B says:

    Question for you HG. So what does the Mid-Ranger tell his friends and family about us during the silent treatments? Does he tell them that our relationship has come to an end or does he just not mention us? I wonder with all the silent treatments I am given that lasts for weeks or sometimes months. I always thought it was odd that as soon as I returned from a long silent treatment he would be on the phone with his mom, or his daughter, or a friend and would mention me to them. Telling them that he was with me, watching a movie, eating dinner, what ever the case may be. Like nothing ever happened as if we were never apart. Do they know about all the on again off again’s that go on? Surely he is talking bad about me durring the silent treatments so how does he think that makes him look when he keeps going back to someone he talks so poorly of? Also does he bring other fuel supplies around during my silent treatments?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello B, he will be smearing you as a consequence of his passive-aggressive nature and the need to maintain his façade and draw fuel from the constituent parts of that façade. Have a look at the book Smeared which will expand on this for you. He will engage in the on/off behaviour but as you know hypocrisy and contradictory behaviour will not be a bar to us getting what we want and he will explain it away quite readily through instances such as giving you another chance (thus making him look kind) or how you have agreed to seek help for your drink problem (showing the problem is yours but he is willing to accommodate the issue because you will make improvements even though oyu have no drink problem nor have you agreed to seek help – he will say whatever is required to keep up the façade and the flow of fuel)

  11. Angie says:

    Unbelievable this actually scares me because this is exactly what I go through all the time.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      But you have access now Angie to the tools to tackle this situation.

  12. 1jaded1 says:

    Yepyepyepyep….N2 was calculating though and proud of it.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous article


Next article

The Narcissistic Truth No. 17