Why Does He Blow Hot and Cold?


“I don’t get it, one minute he is all smiles and cuddles and the next he acts like he doesn’t know me.”

“I don’t know what is going on. Earlier in the week he wanted to hang out with me and now when I call to make arrangements he doesn’t seemed bothered.”

“He was in a foul mood and then suddenly he was being really nice to me and I have no idea why.”

Familiar sentiments? Most likely they are when you are dealing with our kind. Why is it that one moment everything is wonderful and the next it all goes wrong? Why are there periods of elation and then periods of erosion? Why are we so inconsistent in the way that we behave with you? Let’s begin with the Intimate Partner Primary Source, the most common recipient of this behaviour.

The Intimate Partner Primary Source (“IPPS”)

Whether you are our wife, boyfriend, partner or lover, the IPPS will find themselves subject to this vacillating behaviour.

The Seduction Golden Period

Once you have been installed as the primary source, following your seduction as an intimate partner secondary source, you reap the rewards of being our primary source of fuel, the apple of our eye and the light of our life. There will be only the heat of manufactured passion, the warmth of apparent caring and the fire of fabricated desire during this period.

During this golden period our fury (which is expanded on below) is in effect capped and therefore does not manifest. This ‘capping’ occurs for two reasons. The first is that you are supplying us with positive fuel and therefore if you happened to criticise us, we are able to brush it off because (a) we are being well fuelled in a positive manner and (b) we regard you as ‘white’ ; you are wonderful and our mind set is such that the criticism does not have the same effect. Secondly, even if we began to react to your criticism, we exert control because we do not want to lose you at this juncture and we want the positive fuel to keep flowing (we do not want your negative fuel at this point). There is also the issue that you are highly unlikely to cause a criticism because of the way you are responding to us during this golden period.

Accordingly, it is extremely rare to see us blow hot and cold during seduction for these reasons. You might find a reaction from a Lesser Narcissist who is criticised early in the golden period, who cannot exert sufficient control and accordingly he erupts, but it is extremely rare.

The Devaluation Period

This is when the alternating between hot and cold commences and there are a variety of reasons why this happens.

The first occurs in The Instant and is as a consequence of the ignition of fury. If you say (or more likely) do something which is perceived by us as criticism, it wounds us. Bear in mind that it may not seem like a criticism from your perspective, indeed you are usually at a complete loss as to why we have reacted as we have done. The blowing hot and cold which occurs in The Instant is naturally your fault.

Whatever it is that you have said or done, it has been perceived as a criticism. This wounds us and our self-defence mechanism is for the churning fury that is ever present, to be ignited. This happens more often with Lesser and Mid-Range narcissists because those members of our brethren are unable to control their fury with the same skill and discipline as the Greaters.

This ignited fury may manifest as heated fury as we erupt and call you names, break things, slam doors, hit you and such like. Accordingly, all was going well and you cause a criticism and our volcanic rage erupts as the situation becomes super-heated. Alternatively, this ignited fury emerges as cold fury whereby you are subjected to a baleful glare, being cold shouldered and treated to silent treatments. Thus the situation becomes ice-cold.

In the blink of an eye, you have unbalanced the situation through your criticism. Our reaction is based on self-defence. Since you are in the devaluation period, the ‘cap’ on  our fury that existed during the seduction period has been removed. Accordingly, it is only a matter of time before you do or say something which ignites our fury and boom, we react. One minute we are enjoying a family film and the next we have thrown the popcorn across the room and are glaring at you from our armchair.

The reason the fury ignites is to cause an intense reaction so that you react to it and provide us with fuel (or others do who witness the explosion). Usually, the ignited fury is directed towards the person who has caused the criticism by way of punishment and the need to cause them to atone for their transgression. By insulting you, striking you, spitting at you, shoving you, glaring at you, sitting and sulking we are aiming to prompt an emotional response from you. This provides us with fuel. Once you provide us with fuel, the wound you have caused is healed and our ignited fury abates. Consequently, we then carry on as if nothing has happened. Accordingly, in the space of a few minutes we go from calm to furious and then calm again. We have blown hot and cold and of course it has to be your fault because we are never at fault in our minds.

That is how we blow hot and cold in an instant and whilst theoretically this could happen at any stage in the narcissistic cycle it happens most with the IPPS during the devaluation.

We also blow hot and cold with you over an elongated period because of the need for contrast.  Isaac Newton’s Third Law stated

” For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Whilst this was directed in the field of physics, this is of equal application to the narcissistic dynamic. We have to create contrast in order to derive the most potent fuel. If we dig a ditch which is ten feet deep and shove you into it, you will probably be hurt as you fall into the ditch. If we build a tower thirty feet high next to the pit and push you from the top of the tower, then you have a forty foot drop and will suffer greatly owing to this starker contrast.

When we are seducing you, we are devaluing someone else.

When we are devaluing you, we are seducing somebody else.

When we allow you a Respite Period during the devaluation it is because we have turned against somebody else and thus we see you as ‘white’ once again.

When we start devaluing you again it is because we are savouring the resumption of seduction of another or perhaps starting a seduction anew with a new appliance.

It is all about creating that contrast.

If there are times where we have walked in to the house and we begin berating you from the moment we arrive you are at a loss to even identify what you could have done to cause this. The belittling commenced the moment we stepped through the doorway. What has happened is that we have been with someone else (not necessarily in an intimate way, it might have been an Non-Intimate Secondary Source, a friend) and having gained their positive fuel, it remind us of why we are devaluing you. This causes us to continue to regard you as ‘black’ and therefore we are unpleasant to you as soon as we first appear and continue being so until your emotional response fuels us and we stop.

If we are driving and we cut up another driver who we then pulls up alongside us and we swear at him and threaten to get out the car and stamp on his trachea until it bubbles, we gain negative fuel from the other driver’s frightened or upset or angry response. We can then turn to you (even in devaluation) and smile and kiss you on the cheek, to enjoy your contrasting positive response to the negative one which we have just obtained.

Accordingly, when we are seducing somebody else, we seem them as ‘white’ and thus you are ‘black’ because we need the contrast between the two of you. The IPSS we are seducing is seen as wonderful (and all the more because we despise you) and you as the IPPS are seen as awful (and all the more because we adore the IPSS). The contrast makes the fuel from both sources all the more potent.

If we decide to give you a Respite Period it may be because a NISS has been disloyal and we have devalued them, so we see your dogged loyalty as a good thing for a short time. It might be because the IPSS we have been cultivating is not delivering as we expected and whilst our disappointment in them is not sufficient to cause us to devalue them it means we will park them for the time being  and you gain by getting a Respite Period.

All of the various appliances that we are connected to have an effect on one another and most of all on  the IPPS.

Thus during the devaluation period you will find us behaving “okay” with you when we are neither especially pleasant or horrible, but then suddenly we shift to being unpleasant and then a Respite Period comes out of nowhere. It will appear arbitrary and inconsistent to you but there is a logic behind it.

The Discard

What about the period post discard when you were once the IPPS and you have been demoted from  that heady position? We once adored you and now we do not even acknowledge you. This is because we are obsessed with the new primary source and have no interest in you anymore. This is why if you stay out of our spheres of influence and the Hoover Execution Criteria is not met, you hear nothing from us in the immediate aftermath of discard.

Then, some time later, we appear with smiles and compliments das we apply a Benign Follow-Up Hoover. Our approach to you has altered again and you have done nothing. In such an instance we are now devaluing your replacement and we want some delicious  hoover fuel from you. You triggered a hoover, the Hoover Execution Criteria was met and thus we come after you for that positive hoover fuel. Deny it us and we may suddenly shift in an instant to a malign hoover, again you are puzzled as to why our attitude towards you has altered so quickly, but from our perspective it makes sense. If you have rebuffed our hoover and we have decided against withdrawal, the easiest way to gain some fuel from you (to heal the wound caused by your rebuffing criticism) is to dole out a malign hoover and seek negative fuel from you.

If you approach us when we are infatuated with our replacement, you will receive a malign hoover (if not ignored as explained in The Immediate Aftermath ) because at that time your replacement is regarded as ‘white’ thus you remain ‘black’ as the opposite and equally strong reaction.

We blow hot and cold because of the ignition of our fury in the instant and also because of this constant need to create contrasts and accord with the principle of opposite and equal reactions. This is why we engage in black and white thinking, it enables us to create the contrast that our needs demand and consequently causes us to blow hot and cold with you. Sometimes the hot appears as passion and desire, other times as rage, sometimes the cold appears as indifference and disinterest and other times it is a silent treatment and ignoring you. So long as there is a contrast, we will blow hot and cold.

The effects of blowing hot and cold are as follows:-

  1. First and most importantly the gathering of fuel. This is to power the construct and also in certain instances to heal the wound caused by your criticism;
  2. To maintain control over you;
  3. To underline our omnipotence by being able to control you;
  4. To emphasise our notion of superiority;
  5. To disorientate you so you give fuel and fail to comprehend what is happening;
  6. To create an apparent lack of consistency which prevents your understanding and adds to your confusion;
  7. To prevent you from being able to move forward because you are emotional, confused and disorientated.

All of the above fits together so that there will be wheels within wheels as we blow hot and cold with you.

Part Two examines why we blow hot and cold with the Intimate Partner Secondary Source, the Dirty Secret Intimate Partner Secondary Source and the Non-Intimate Secondary Source which includes the familial narcissistic dynamic.

34 thoughts on “Why Does He Blow Hot and Cold?

  1. Mehdi says:

    Thanks HG. I have a question. My narc is a married woman and she could deceive me into a relationship. What confuses and bothered me was that she immediately triangulated me with her former ex and withheld sex with me during all the phases. She openly talked about having intimacy with her ex and believed he was so understanding in terms of anything. She claimed he had left him leaving her a wound. Plz tell me why she did and said these things to me. Did she tell the truth? Is she really afraid of having sexual contact with a new supply? I don’t get it

    1. HG Tudor says:

      This is a matter for consultation as I need more information and have to convey more information to assist you.

  2. Jacquie says:

    Brilliant, and *thank you..

    I want nothing to do with them! (Anymore!)

  3. D1983 says:

    This is amazing! Thank you 🙏 so confusing and painful being with someone like this. What’s even worse is I think I’m a lesser narcissist… so it’s jusy a huge mess

  4. Lou says:

    Thanks to you HG

  5. Lou says:

    This article was very revealing for me HG. I had the image of a bicycle; when one pedal is up the other must be down and this is the movement that allows it to move. The blacker the black side is, the whiter the white one will be. That must give a lot of energy and propulsion to your actions.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Lou, that is an excellent way of putting it. I shall use that in future, thank you.

      1. Ptsdafternarcsbuse says:

        HG, 👏👏👏 to you! You are giving credit to Lou and informing him that you will be using his anology. Normally, narcs use other people’s ideas freely because they feel entitled. This means your therapy is changing you HG!
        However, this is your blog after all, and i am sure we all would be pleased if any of our comments serves as a catalyst to your writings.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Or maybe I am just buttering Lou up with a compliment to get what I want.

          1. Ptsdafternarcabuse says:

            Haha! I don’t think you need to butter up anybody for a compliment though! You are intelligent, brilliant, creative, well spoken, articulate… shall i go on?😊

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Please do!

  6. Ptsdafternarcabuse says:

    Hello HG,
    My narc used to blow hot and cold even during seduction. What I mean by that is he would be extremely loving, warm, caring etc. when we were together, but would not contact me until he sees me next, which would usually be the following week. It used to upset me, and I asked him about it several times, and he would just say he’s tired in the evening (when i would want to talk/text). Do you know why this is? I know he didn’t meet the other woman until several months later.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Seems to me that you were an Intimate Partner Secondary Source whilst this was going on.

      1. Ptsdafternarcabuse says:

        But i know for sure that he didn’t meet the other woman until 7 months later. So how can i be an ipss? Plus when i escaped him 2.5 yrs later, he hoovered. Is this not indicative of being an ipps? Thank you HG. Hope you’re having a great day!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You may not be right about that other woman but let’s assume you are. You could be an IPSS because there was somebody else before the other woman. We will hoover an escaped IPSS it is not just IPPS that are hoovered.
          I am thank you for asking. I trust you are as well.

  7. Seduced says:

    He loves me…
    he loves me not…
    he loves me…
    he loves me not…

    true is: He never DID ….

  8. ICGB says:

    1) Isn’t this akin to bipolarity, albeit with a Machiavellian bent?

    2) It just blows!

    Nice, clear analysis of this compartmentalization. It sounds like an emotionally cruel robot mind.

    I don’t miss the insanity. Yep…stop the insanity!

  9. DFA/twilight says:

    HG the lessors are more fists first then hot/cold or was this just an area skiped over and straight to blunt force trauma for me?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Lesser are more prone to physical violence, yes.

  10. I am reading reading reading reading, but it’s still not sinking in. “Manufactured passion, apparent caring, fabricated desire”….. I just don’t get it. You say it’s all for “fuel”, and again I do not get it. Then you say you provoke unrest and arguments to receive fuel, and that the fuel you create and receive from arguments is more potent and satisfying than the fuel you receive from love bombing and pretending to be in love. I don’t get it, I don’t get it, I just can’t understand this madness.

  11. Kind of related. Well almost.

    I was wondering how ‘the switch’ occurs.

    Tonight I realised. I was at the watering hole.

    For months one of the guys always kisses me as I arrive or leave.

    For the last few weeks he hasn’t and I’ve gone to him for the kiss.

    God damn it !

    I’m sure you’ve taught us this already HG. With your posts about texts etc

    Sometimes it takes a few different ways of telling me before it sinks in 😊

  12. Jane Hall says:

    Yes…..I know that HOT and COLD feeling. However, as far as I know..H has never been unfaithful to me. So will be interesting to read the next installation of this…because maybe he was using family members for the contrast?/

    What gits.

  13. Ollie says:

    And it all makes sense now… thank you for making sense of these illogical actions and breaking it down for me. I wish I would’ve known and recognized these patterns sooner…

  14. Matilda says:

    I find it sad that everything about you is warfare… what a waste of potential!

    So far, you have been Heathcliff, a man stuck in his ways, miserable until his last breath. But you have the potential to be Edmond Dantès, the Count of Monte Cristo! 😀 … a man who was wronged, who unleashed revenge on each and everyone who had harmed him (and rightly so!). Yet after all was said and done, he realised that revenge alone did not satisfy him. He needed to regain his humanity after endless years of merely existing, telling his love: ‘through you I again connect myself with life, through you I shall suffer, through you rejoice.’ There is much truth in this tale. 🙂

  15. Come on write the others !

  16. help351 says:

    So true HG….. I just give it right back to him tho … Everything he does to me I do it right back .. He says I’m playing lol… I tell him he taught me everything I know lol … I’m gonna go out with a bang 😊💁🏼… I’m a sweet heart but like I said I got a little gangster in my blood, he says I’m the car batterie that’s top of the line but will blow up the car from so much spark lol… I don’t even like him any more I just want him to dscard me so I can walk freely away .. But the dude is addicted 😱 I may just have to take him out shhhh😉Don’t tell 😊👸🏼

  17. Lacy says:

    Great job at explaining the contrast thinking. This really hit home to me. I know now that when he was nice to me some other poor soul was being tortured and vice versa. Knowing this is immensely helpful. Looking forward to part 2

  18. CB says:

    Lovely post.
    ” Isaac Newton’s Third Law stated
    ” For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.””

    Oh I have always been such a slave to this reaction law. Huge big smile and giggle that can light up any room, if i got flirted with or complimented.
    Or when i got complaints: a nervous immediate response, many many words “Oh, but can I do it this way instead?” etc etc questions, explanations, tears.
    My emotions written all over my face.

    Being this nervewreck probably was a child coping mechanism to deal with my mother. (Others turn into narcissists, another coping road)

    At this latest devaluation, this spring, I started to change though. Read a lot of dating info and info about narcissistic abuse, on the net.
    “Get you ex back” etc.

    Knowledge is power and nowadays I have the goal to answer with a calm Mona Lisa smile, “oh, you think so?” regardless of whether I get praise or complaints or someone tries to bully me. To not get provoked or bend/lean in when being pushed or pulled.

  19. Insatiable Learner says:

    Bravo! Another enlightening post! Thank you for making sense out of what seems like complete non-sense. Looking forward to part 2!

  20. By reading this, the image that crosses my mind is of an acrobat, keeping several little bowels spinning on sticks. The narc is the acrobat and the bowls are our hearts. He gives the attention to one to keep it turning and when it is stabilized, he runs to the other to prevent it from falling down. Eventually, he drops a bowel and it breaks into hundred pieces. Tell me the truth, HG, isn’t this tiring?

  21. Sail Away says:

    This is such a great post HG. Bravo.

    If the N is married is the wife automatically IPPS?

    N told me once “I don’t care about her. I dominated her for years.” (lie probably)

    Just curious where affair partners who are fuel-licious for in. 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you Sail Away. Yes she is, but if the narcissist is ping ponging between two sources he may promote the Other Woman to primary source and relegate the spouse to IPSS or even NISS.

      1. Lacy says:

        But would that mean that a DLS is promoted to primary? I thought that rarely happened?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Hi Lacy, I was referring to the IPSS not the DSIPSS when I provided that answer. You are correct though it is very rare for the DSIPSS to become the primary source.

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