The Fading Star
I have explained how we draw fuel from primary, secondary and tertiary sources. These sources vary in potency and are affected of course by the method of delivery of the fuel. The primary source remains our most important source of fuel since it is this person, usually the intimate partner, who we are with more than anybody else but also who has the greatest emotional reaction to what we say and do. Therefore, this person provides us with the most fuel and of the most potent kind. The primary source is naturally the most important fuel provider which is why we seduce this person with such dedication, unleash such a terrible devaluation and keep on hoovering following escape or discard. We make such an investment in you as the primary source that we regard it as our right to keep drawing fuel from you, whether that is positive or negative, whether it is now, next week or in ten years’ time.
The secondary sources are those which contribute good fuel and are invariably those who are part of our façade. Our lieutenants and the coterie are drawn from the secondary sources – friends, family and colleagues – who we interact with frequently but not to the same extent as we do with the primary source. Nor do the secondary sources give out the same heightened fuel as the primary source. The secondary sources serve an excellent function as part of the façade and the maintenance of this façade is important, therefore we prefer to keep the same people in at and keep adding to it. Secondary sources enjoy lengthy golden periods with us. This is because our call on them is intermittent and therefore we are far less likely to regard their fuel as stale. Moreover, we can have many secondary sources but we only ever have one primary source. Thus if a certain secondary source is perhaps not admiring us as much (but they are not criticising us and are still providing some fuel) it does not merit a devaluation. They remain loyal, they remain part of the façade and we will just switch to another secondary source to increase the fuel. There is no need to devalue or ditch the initial secondary source. Thus you may see our kind have a friend who is “flavour of the month” because their fuel is better than other secondary sources and then the fuel dips in quality but it is not a concern as we can add another secondary source or switch to another who perhaps we have not seen for a couple of months. This is advantageous as it means our energy can be saved for devaluing the primary source whilst keeping a range of functioning secondary sources on hand and the façade intact.
The secondary sources very rarely stop providing fuel. They have no need to. A primary source may do so owing to the descent into ill health caused by the devaluation or learning how to tackle our kind as a response to the abuse. The secondary source, nearly always treated to an elongated golden period, has no need to adopt a stance of not providing fuel.
A secondary source may however criticise us and if that is the case they may be subjected to devaluation but usually they are excluded from the coterie and replaced easily enough. They will be smeared and made to feel like an outsider, with the narcissist using the façade and other secondary sources to achieve this aim. We like to create our cliques and if anybody threatens our supremacy or delivers a criticism who is a secondary source they will be ejected from the group.
The occasion for devaluation of the secondary source is rare. It only happens in two instances. Firstly, the source has criticised the narcissist (this criticism might come through something said to the narcissist or something done, for example through exposing the narcissist’s behaviour to others) and thus fury is ignited and the narcissist decides this person must be made an example of, before being discarded, in order to show the rest of the coterie who is in charge.
Secondly, in an even rarer instance it may happen when the narcissist has no primary source. If there is an absence of the primary source for a period of time, say a number of weeks, the narcissist’s fuel levels will have been tested. He will have sought to seduce and embed a new replacement primary source and most times the narcissist in such a situation is able to do so with success. However, let us assume this has not happened. The narcissist turns to his secondary and tertiary sources (more on tertiary in a moment) and relies more than usual on them to provide him with fuel during the absence of the primary source. At first there is no problem, the secondary sources provide positive fuel which is sustaining the narcissist, but if he has only a few secondary sources, then it will not be long before his fuel demands outstrip the positive fuel they can give. The lesser quality of their fuel (compared to the primary source) is being exposed by the absence of the primary source. It is also because greater demand is being placed on them. Ultimately, the primary source will always go further for the narcissist than anybody else and they are also far more proximate. No matter how seductive if the secondary source has to deal with his own family, his work and so on, he may not be available to provide fuel. If this keeps happening, combined with the increased demand and the lack of a primary source the strain on positive secondary sources will start to tell. This means the narcissist will either have to add new secondary sources and/or devalue the secondary sources to shift to negative fuel so he is sustained. This will work for a period of time with the confused inner circle friend who is a secondary source trying to work out why their supposed best friend is ignoring them and then trying to patch up the relationship. A secondary source however will not sustain devaluation as long as a primary source and may even infect other secondary sources by pointing out how they are being treated. The narcissist is already suffering reduced fuel levels and the supremacy of his façade is being challenged. This increases the demands on him.
The tertiary sources provide the least fuel and generally they are also treated to lengthy golden periods – for example the lady who works in the petrol station or the postman – since they are only extracted from on an intermittent basis. Tertiary sources can also be used straight away for negative fuel, for example, upbraiding a waiter or shouting down a shop assistant. We do not regard them as necessary to the maintenance of the façade, their negative fuel provides a useful boost and such high-handed behaviour may impress a primary (or secondary source) and draw positive fuel from them where appropriate.
If there is no primary source for a period of time, the reliance on tertiary sources increases. There will be increased activity to use technology to draw these people to the narcissist – such as on dating sites, chat rooms or through social media, but if the reliance is frequent and sustained the quality of the fuel will diminish quickly and those who have been attached to the narcissist in this way will be discarded and replaced with new remote tertiary sources promptly. There will be a high turnover. At the same time, the narcissist is likely to lash out at physically proximate sources more and more as the fuel level dips. This happens for two reasons. Firstly, he needs the fuel more than ever from tertiary sources and negative fuel is better than positive. Secondly, he will be furious at being placed in this position (through having no primary source but he has not got one to lash out at) so tertiary sources bear the brunt of this rage.
A narcissist without a primary source will eventually alienate secondary sources and in certain environments – say a small town – will struggle to replace them as people become wise to what he is. He may lack the energy to keep up the turnover of remote tertiary sources and spends his time lashing out at those which are physically proximate. At this point the narcissist faces losing the façade (since so many people know about his behaviour) in order to keep drawing fuel. It is now that he has three choices: –
- Secure a new primary source immediately;
- Move his environment so he can seek out fresh secondary sources and tertiary sources and rebuild his façade; or
- Sink into depression and inactivity as his fuel levels plummet.
The narcissist becomes a fading star. Once brilliant, magnificent and illuminating, his loss of the primary source and inability to find another means that the alluring shine is fading as a black hole awaits. Thus you can see just how paramount the primary source is to the existence of our kind and why we make such an effort to secure them, replace them and hoover them back again.
34 thoughts on “The Fading Star”
Or you can just keep one person as your ip and main primary source for the rest of your life and not abuse them . You should give that a try
I try every single time Starr.
Is it for fear of betrayel or getting hurt so you must hurt them before they hurt you ? There are many women out there who will cherish you and won’t hurt you you just have to treat them with the same respect .
I devalue you because they let me down in the provision of fuel. That is how they hurt me.
They don’t mean to . They aren’t doing this on purpose or trying to hurt you on purpose . They still love you and would do anything for you .
What would you consider a failure of fuel provision? As a smart person, you surely no that nodoby is perfect all of the time?…except for you of course 😉 …..so to search for that is setting yourself up for falure?
Is it wrong to strive for that?
I suppose it depends on weather that is realistic, nobody is 100% perfect all of the time, because we are all human… searching for someone who is perfect for you is a good idea, but you will only find that person when you stop looking for faults in girls and embracing them. Otherwise you will always end up disappointed, there will always be someone better looking, richer, smarter etc etc but I guess you choose the qualities you want and admire in a person and understand that along with those qualities there will be somethings that happen that you might not want but you except them because you want the over all package of the person… do you think you’re projecting when you start to devalue?
Thank you Em. Projection is indeed part of the devaluation.
No problem, I hate the thoughts of anyone being sad or missing out on being able to really love, I’m grateful for this blog and the knowledge you kindly share, but I flip from disliking you, to feeling sorry for you, to being totally impressed by you, I really hope you find peace in your therapy, you’d be the best partner in the world then! Achieving everything you could in the corporate world m, strong independent with a deep understanding of yourself while conquering your own demons to achieve a wonderful personal life. You’d have girls lining up for that and for all the right reasons ❤️(Swoon😍)
Thank you Em, stick around and see what happens. Your sentiments towards me are entirely understandable and as long as I receive a reaction then I remain content.
Em, Mr. Tudor already has girls lining up and swooning … 😍
That i have no doubt about love… but not for all the right reasons…
My narc is a fading star for sure. I had escaped him, then exposed him to others. He does not have a primary source anymore. He is starting to dislike all his friends. Now i understand why, thanks to this post. He needs to devalue them because he has no primary source to devalue. And yes, he does want to move and change his environment. I feel so sad for him. I try to praise him as much as i can since we are in contact after the hoover.
All these sources seem very spot on. But how do you deal with friends who know you and spread words about you, like “Oh, he is such a player/Casanova”? Do you simply swap those male friends?
Or does a player rumour make you more appealing, to girls?
Very few of the coterie would ever say such disloyal things about me and those that do, if they are of use in other ways, would be tolerated. If anybody I was targeting said they knew of my reputation with the opposite sex (unlikely as that would be) I would easily talk my way around it with some charm. Ultimately, if someone was disloyal and problematic they would be replaced, as you identified.
Well, my latest narcissist does this: He surrounds himself with good looking charming men who all happen to be unemployed, or have some other great misery about them. & they are simply empaths.
This makes us new targets simply most likely choose the N. He seems superior. He has a job. He seems calm and cool.
I have noticed that he uses his social superiority to covertly threaten those lieutenants sometimes. Thus, i have never heard any ill spoken word about the N, from his team.
He probably does what you say: Clears his team/gang from criticism about quickly dismissing girls and finding new ones within days.
CB brings up an interesting point. In most social circles, a man only ‘plays’ in his early 20s. After that, the social norm is to enter into a marriage and be viewed as a committed family man. Even in the business world, it seems being a married man with kids gives you more credibility.
Mr. Tudor, do you keep your coterie for a long period of time? Or do you swap them out every few years?
The reason I ask, is if you’re switching out IPs every couple years, then it must raise some eyebrows and murmurs.
My coterie is roughly 50% the same, with the other 50% altering through the years. I have engendered fierce loyalty in the constant 50%. The other 50% are not necessarily disloyal but alter as a consequence of changing environments in which I operate in and therefore I have less need to engage with certain people as time moves on.
When you are as persuasive and convincing as I am Love, the raised eyebrows and murmurs are minimal, amount to fuel and cause me no problems.
Thank you. I can imagine how incredibly persuasive and convincing you are.
I’m really starting to learn about the importance of being and remaining a secondary or tertiary ‘supporter’ of an N.
All my life I’ve struggled with these types, especially the female ones.
I didn’t realise they were Ns but knew there was something I didn’t like about them. So I couldn’t praise them in the same way others did and would maybe purposely irritate them.
Now I understand the game HG (well most of the time, unless they’re extra sneaky………. getting there though, even more so just recently).
Now I’ll give them some praise, remain a secondary. Make sure there is no way I’m too desirable for promotion or insufficient fuel to be devalued.
I guess I’ll have to keep feeding the many crocodiles out there. There are too bloody many of them.
But you’ve taught me what they like to eat and why.
And that they are crocodiles. I didn’t know this before.
To be honest though, in writing this, I’m not sure which I find more tiring, feeding them or fighting them?
You are a slave to fuel just like an addict is a slave to his drug of choice.
How do addicts heal?
Firstly, they acknowledge that there is a problem, which you have done. Even if therapy was forced upon you, it is a good start.
They need to want to heal: do you want to get better? You see the problem, and you see how it affects others, but if you cannot find it in yourself to CARE, your path to healing will stop dead in its tracks right there.
They face their own past, what happened to them, which you are doing now. It takes a lot of courage, and honesty, and I salute you for that.
They examine their own actions, past and present, to identify the root causes of their behaviour patterns, namely unprocessed anger and shame. For you, this means facing the creature you have kept locked inside all your life. It is the biggest battle you will ever fight in your life. It is also the key to healing.
Addicts are encouraged to acknowledge a higher power in their lives, and surrender for redemption. Usually, this is God, but if you are not a religious person this will not help you. You have to find something you can believe in to be your guidance in life. This may be love, though you say you do not feel love as we do. This may be another person, though you probably would not give someone else such power over your well-being. If you cannot believe in anything or anyone, you can always let yourself be guided by the *Golden Rule*: ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you’! In the end, this is what it boils down to.
They try to make amends with people they have hurt. And they monitor their behaviour to avoid further hurt. This is a major challenge for you. You do see your wrongdoings, but if you do not care, you see no reason to apologise or abstain from hurting others in the future. You need to see the benefit of caring first: the benefit is PEACE within, something your racing mind desperately needs, in my opinion! You could at least try it out. You will not risk anything, and you will not lose any power if you start to care!
They seek spiritual cleansing in prayer, mindfulness or exercise such as meditation or yoga. Mindfulness and meditation might be good options to calm you down. Music, creating art or writing are also good tools. You are a very talented writer – a most satisfying, cathartic exercise it is, indeed.
It is a rocky path, not for the faint of heart. You are not weak, you can do it if you want! 🙂
Thank you Matilda.
So I’ve had a thought following this, my narc and I had planned a trip a few months back, on the morning we were leaving I didn’t hear from him until late afternoon (he didn’t answer my call) I got a sense something was wrong and didn’t bombard him with calls or texts and just waited to hear from him… it took the whole day and really there was no actual reason for him not showing up when he did text, he said he didn’t think he was well, I requested he call me and explain what had happened, he didn’t call so I took this as a cowardly way of him losing interest in me and so I sent him a text saying I wished him all the best but wasn’t willing to let myself be treated like that, he followed up with some other texts which I deleted because I couldnt make any sense of them (one was a cartoon picture which was really weird) he also then sent a series of nasty messages, anything nasty he sent I replied by something positive, so if he said he hated me I’d reply to him he would never get my hate and I wished him happiness in his future, or if he said he hated my coat I’d reply I like his one and not to worry because I wasn’t going to ask him to wear mine (sounds so childish writing it but that’s the level of text conversation we had at the end, I think the coat comment came because he knows I love clothes and this was a new expensive coat that I was wearing in my whatsapp pic) we lost touch and that suited me fine, but he’s back in touch recently and has since been blocked from everything.
So was HG, was he putting me through a test by not showing up or was it an actual discard? I always just thought it was a cowardly way of breaking up but now I’m wondering if he was testing me to see how much I would put up with …. the trip cancellation was the first big upset between us, but now that I’m looking back it followed a series of events where he started cancelling dinners or just arriving 30mins late, he had also taken to taking hours to reply to a text…. so to me at the time he was just being a jerk, I didn’t realise what I was part of at the time, the only thing I would say is he rarely got me angry because I could almost see he was trying to…and that to me made me feel sorry for him I thought it was more like a cry for help, and I’d try to be kinder… obvi now I’d have run for the hills but at the time I knew nothing of NPD… looking back I might have set myself up as a pretty good supplier of positive fuel? 😖
HG I’ve heard you use the phrase super empath in interview etc. I’ve done some research on this and can’t seem to find a difinitive description, is it a phrase you have coined yourself? And what’s your description of this type of person?
Yes it is and you can read about it here
Finding your blog was a breakthrough in my life, HG.
Thank you Marcella.
Is it possible for a narcissist to only have secondary and tertiary sources and no primary source at all?
Hello Pink Halo, yes, this is possible but only for a short period of time. This can happen when the primary source has escaped and the narcissist is forced to turn to the supplementary sources (secondary and tertiary) when the narcissist has not either targeted or embedded a new primary source. The Greater can last longer without a primary source but ultimately all require one. It need not always be an intimate partner, sometimes it is a family member.
Yes, this is so accurate HG. My ex showed signs of anxiety and depression and fell into addictive behaviors to “self soothe” during these times. Do those that slip into “depression” ever feel the urge to get treatment for depression if fuel is not readily available ? Particularly the mid rangers who are smart enough to know about depression but not aware of their narcissism? Is there any research on that as well as the use of counseling and or psychiatric treatments to treat this “depression”? If so, how effective are antidepressants in staving off the need for high rates and or quantities of fuel? Or use of CBT techniques for those symptoms? Elements of DBT also can teach us how to fuel ourselves to a degree as well. Very curious as I know the tendency is to avoid treatment as it is an insult to their viewed superiority unless the benefits to the self outweigh the cost.
Yes a Mid-Ranger would seek help for the depression as he would blame other circumstances not being aware of what was behind it. I do not know of any research on that however. A Mid-Ranger would use the bid for treatment as a pity play thus gaining fuel, blame-shifting (the ex caused this or the boss etc) and therefore the passive aggressive behaviour would be exhibited still without any dent to his superiority.
Thank you for your insight on this. He did that, exactly as you described. I do wonder if antidepressant use would provide a slowing the need for fuel…
You are welcome.