The Five Devaluation Triggers

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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.

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50 thoughts on “The Five Devaluation Triggers”

  1. Thanks a million H.G, you are teaching me a lot….. The saying is knowledge is power but knowledge is nothing without applying it..Keep it coming🌹

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  2. This is the reason I will worship You forever HG. YOU gave me my sanity back… how paradoxical! You gave me myself back, You stopped my blaming hours and tears…. I cannot thank You ever enough… ever…

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  3. HG I have always found your articles interesting and I am still amazed that my N has always used the same vocabulary as you. Everything you write is liking hearing it from his mouth. However, you offer the explanation. He would never. I thank you for that!

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  4. so much of this rings bells for me. as i’ve told you hg before, i am massively grateful to you for helping me to see what’s going on here, and that throughout the almost five years i’ve been entangled with this man, that i’m not mad/bad/worthless after all.

    hg, i desperately need some of your brilliant advice right now. i’m in a bad situation. i’ve come to realise that when the narcissistic behaviours began (and subsequently escalated) that my reaction has been to put my guard up and withdraw emotionally (past scars and all that). he sees that as ‘punishment’ i see it as self protection. either way, it’s happened once too often for him and he won’t put up with being wounded this way again by me taking the love away when he’s done nothing wrong. *yawn!* so i’ve been discarded, which i may have been able to cope with if i were not stuck in the same house as him. i thought i’d been drip feeding positive fuel which would buy me some time to formulate an escape plan, and we were even intimate a few times over the last few weeks. but that only led to him treating me with contempt the following day, then bedding me the next night, then contempt again! i asked why the contempt, and he said it shouldn’t have happened it was just lust, doesn’t mend the hurt or relationship, and we need to stop sleeping in the same bed, as it’s a ridiculous thing to do when we aren’t even a couple anymore.

    i realise my only option is to leave ( i moved into his house), but even though i saw this coming, it has still knocked me for six now it’s come. i have spent the last few days in turmoil. crushed, grieving etc and despite coming back to moments of clarity, i just can’t seem to function.

    i don’t have the means. i have little savings, i am not working at the moment (stupidly, i became essentially his ‘housekeeper’) and i’ve been looking for property to rent and jobs, rents are too high and wages are too low. i feel completely overwhelmed just thinking about it all. don’t know what to do. i just haven’t got the strength right now, i feel like someone’s died…. utter sense of loss!. i’m just trying to keep out of his way until i can find some strength.

    how can i get through the next few days having to share the same space. what can i do to strengthen my position because i dare say he’s getting lots of lovely fuel from seeing me like this, even though i’m trying my best not to crumble in front of him. being discarded sucks, even when you saw it coming! he’s not being overtly malicious to me or anything, he thinks of himself very much as a ‘good guy’ so i feel even more beholden to him. i know i have no alternative and need to sort myself out, but right at this moment i don’t have it in me and i need to allow myself a short grieving process. do i ‘be pleasant’, ‘neutral’ ‘ a pain in the proverbial’ or what?

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  5. Wow HG…

    This was a powerful one, thank you!! Even though I KNOW the truth, it’s very hard to let go of the WHY. Figuring things out and evolving is such a fundamental part of who I am.

    I just finished Exorcism and loved it, thank you. I had been naturally doing some of your suggestions, but not all of them. Thank you for giving us the insight and tools we need to get over this toxic relationship once and for all. I’m gaining knowledge and healing more and more every day, but definitely not 100% yet.

    My biggest obstacle is that I can’t shake the hoover anxiety. My narc was a greater and has made a couple of weird stalking appearances already. It’s been over a month and I know he’s with another primary source so I’m not on his radar at the moment. I will never contact him again or enter his 5 spheres, but I know he won’t return the favor. Sometimes, I wish he would hoover already and just get it over with. I know I’m not supposed to show emotion and ignore him, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to be that strong if he’s standing in front of me. Even if it’s a year down the road. I hate the not knowing and the fact that he is in control of the timing. Do you have any suggestions for me? Why can’t I shake this anxious feeling? I want to be DONE so badly. Thank you❤

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    1. Hello Sunshine, thank you for reading and for your kind comments. The way you feel now is entirely understandable. He will try to hoover but if you apply the principles in my work you will lessen the risk and you will also feel stronger and be more able to deal with it when the hoover happens. Many people struggle the first time they are hoovered, I have seen it with my victims and many have their no contact breached more than once. It is all about crossing the emotional sea.

      As for your anxiety, this stems, as you identify from the not knowing. There are many things you can do short-term to address anxiety from listening to meditative material, snapping a rubber band against your arm, placing an ice cube in the crook of your elbow and so on (I have heard my sister go on about these methods and others as part of her recovery work from her narcissist husband) and I am sure the readers here can suggest others. Of course if it becomes very bad you can seek medical assistance.
      The reality is, in terms of overcoming anxiety in the long run it is all about replacing the unknown with the known. Once you know and understand, the anxiety will disappear. To do this, know your foe. I am not suggesting you obsess over him but rather read my work so you
      a. understand what has happened;
      b. Have ways available to you to counter what is happening;
      c. remind yourself of why you were ensnared;
      d. remind yourself of why you need to stay away (complacency is often lapsed in to and reading about the way me and my kind behave will keep you alert)

      and over time you will push out the emotion and use logic and understanding and with that the anxiety will leave you.

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      1. Your sister had a narcissistic husband (not suprising I guess)?! And did you help her? Does she know your work? ?

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      2. Hi Ava. His sister is a lovely codependent lady. Sounds like she knows something because she no longer is with her narc husband. She is in a healthy relationship with a normal man.
        If I may offer, Amazon Kindle offers monthly memberships where you can read 10 books at a time for free. It is cost effective and worth looking into.

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      3. Does your sister know that you are a malign narcissist who is entertaining a blog on that and educating other victims?

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  6. I would very much like it if you could write about the revaluation process. Eg. In my situation the wife was devalued and I was idealised. I got pregnant and that wasn’t the plan, he covertly resented needing to support me or give me attention, he triangulated, acted the victim, she provided positive fuel, I was devalued but because of distance didn’t really provide much fuel as I was wisening up, and thus, by default, she was revalued. I never wanted him to be with me anyway if he couldn’t have a ‘between time’ on his own.

    I always knew it was about her leaving him. And then again, he’ll never allow her to leave – their dans macabre is for life.

    I guess you write about this in the Hoover Opportunity, but what about if the primary source never left in the first place? What happens to me then? But pretty much, I see similarities in what you’re writing here. Thanks.

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    1. Hi JWAHL, do you mean a situation where a narcissist has a primary source which he is devaluing whilst he is seducing and idealising an intimate partner secondary source? In such an instance once the IPSS is embedded sufficiently, they become the new primary source and the old one is “discarded”. When the new IPPS is eventually devalued, then a new IPSS will be sought – this might be the first IPPS who was earlier discarded or it might be somebody new entirely. The first IPPS may never be put back in place as an IPPS but instead is a non-intimate secondary source, namely a friend who is hoovered on and off for benign (and possible malign fuel).

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      1. Thank you for your response. I just read Fuel and I have a headache. I see things much clearer now. I like your Doctor E. He’s a smart man.

        What would happen if someone kidnapped you and tied you to a chair in a white room for a month? Or.. how long would it take with no stimuli for the creature to come out?

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      2. I do not know Jar, but I mentioned a number of weeks back that there is a proposal that I go into total seclusion and isolation from fuel to see what happens and write about the experience. It is in the early planning stages.

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      3. Since you’re addicted to power then it makes sense, just like anyone withdrawing from anything. I’ll be very interested to hear how it goes.

        I wonder if a person can learn to live alongside the creature, or kill it forever – or lose your freaking mind. Put me in your will, anyway.

        No, it’s very courageous. No doubt if you do it, it will be the most courageous thing you’ve ever done.

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      4. I really wonder what would happen if you learned not to need fuel anymore from others. Playing 100 scenarios out in my head.

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    1. It is for your fuel Paula. Hoover fuel is excellent fuel to us, it makes us feel powerful and since we have gained fuel from you before you are regarded as a viable target and indeed you belong to us (in our eyes) therefore having invested time and effort in attaching you to us (we never discard we just switch off the draining of fuel from you for a period of time) we regard it as our RIGHT to come back and draw more fuel from you.

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  7. This makes so much sense HG! Thanks and happy new year. Quick question though: this is inevitable right? Also when is the Narc most fulfilled: during love bombing or during devaluation?

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      1. Isn’t everyone most fulfilled during seduction? Thats why I dont believe we were meant to be monogamous. There are those who will say that the comfort later in the relationship is the cream but I think given the choice we would all stay in seduction every time. The only difference between a Narc and a normal that I see is that the former expects to stay on that high and when it starts to wane looks for potency in either someone else or another emotion or behaviour of the same intensity. The latter group hopes every time it is sustainable but knows in reality it is not and so rather than keep chasing the next person or “high” , resigns themselves into accepting a less potent atmosphere and makes the best of who they are with. This is why I have trouble with the concept of love. It is different to each person. Who am I to say that you should just resign yourself? Isn’t it the Empath that always espouses hope?

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  8. hg, have you ever been in a position where someone escaped, and there was no replacement available, or that your ‘chosen’ replacement didn’t ‘step up’ for whatever reason? if that were to happen, how long do you think it would take before your fuel levels would drop to a level that would cause you to sink into a weak/depressed state?

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    1. Hello PD, I have been fortunate enough to have replacements on hand but they needed to be embedded. I was able to rely on other secondary sources so my fuel levels did not dip to dangerous lows. If I could not have done that, it would have been a few days before the weak/depressed state would have arisen I estimate.

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  9. wow, as soon as that eh? i think my mild-mannered-mid-ranger must have the patience of a saint. i know he’s (mostly) having to rely on secondary sources (family and friends) for fuel at the moment, and a fair dose of ‘thought fuel’ no doubt, and has been doing so for a long time.

    he’s a ‘stay at home and be looked’ after victim type, so the fact there are still ‘residual benefits’ ie: cooking,cleaning, shopping etc being done for him is maybe just enough to literally not turf me out on the street (yet!) but he definitely hasn’t got a replacement lined up. he is in a weakened state though, what with heartless me having crushed his self esteem and confidence and all!…… poor lamb. 😉

    i appreciate your reply, and the help you give in increasing understanding. thank you hg. the sooner i can detach myself fully from this mess the better, i’m stuck in a horrible, soulless limbo, trying to muddle through. one of the things that’s weighing heavy on my mind today is that i will be being smeared now to his family and friends, and yet i’m still here. i’m finding it hard to hold my head high whilst also keeping a low profile (if that makes sense). knowing that they will be assuming things about me that are either not true at all, or exaggerations barely based in truth as a result of the crazy-making behaviors i’ve endured for almost 5 years. how can i face these people knowing their view of me has been poisoned and they are being 2 faced?

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    1. Thanks for sharing PD and you have a clear grasp of the situation from what you have written. You are welcome for the understanding. In terms of how do you face these people, you may ask yourself, do you need to? Do you tell them that you know what has been said? Do you expose their duplicity? All relevant considerations but ultimately getting out, staying out and finding a non-toxic environment are the key factors rather than trying to shame or persuade a group of people who will only react defensively.

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      1. No. There will be Respite Periods which occur largely when I decide albeit there have been occasions where somebody has dug deep and I have reinstated the golden period owing to they provision of excellent positive fuel again, but it is ultimately a downwards trajectory towards discard.

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      2. I mean that they have tried harder to please the narcissist by showering him or her in positive fuel. So they may be more overt in demonstrations of affection, do more for the narcissist, run around after them, sing their praises more readily etc.

        In terms of why the discard happens. Read the article “The Cast Off Quintet”.

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      3. I read that article and enjoyed it. I see other people do the same thing I’m doing. We read an article and it reminds us of our situation and we think, “could I have done this could I have done that?” So often we look for deeper answers and they really are as you explain them. Letting go is hard. You are an excellent help. 😀

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      4. Wow HG, you are so patient here! You didn’t simply refer her to the relevant articles, because you have already outlined it in great detail. I am so impressed by your patience with us! I just wish you could be like that in the real world!

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  10. #5 – This. I was sensing he wanted submission from me. I even through out a few probes some time ago, and he replied in the affirmative. Why didn’t I give it to him? Because I sensed more than knew what you wrote here. That if I did, he would not want it anymore. Submitting to him did not mean a respectful power imbalance, if that can exist, maybe a bit kinky fun. It would only mean stepping down one more level into the disorder with him. But, I am giving it to him now because I cannot fight him anymore. He may have it. I will give it to him, my submission, I will stop fighting as the alternative. And then our bond will break. The wound of attachment, the broken trust, can begin to heal.

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