When Narcissists Collide – Part Two

when-narcissistscollide 

What is the dynamic when a Lesser Narcissist and a Mid-Range Narcissist become entangled with one another? Briefly, the Lesser is categorised by a lower level of cognitive function, low control threshold on the ignited fury, reduced levels of charm, a narrower stable of manipulations, an often chaotic life in terms of relationships,work, addictions and finance and a greater propensity for physical violence. The Mid-Range Narcissist is passive-aggressive, with increased charm and cognitive function compared to the Lesser, less likely to use physical violence but instead rely on silent treatments and sulking, makes use of pity plays and seeks sympathy, turns to others for assistance in manipulating individuals and has a wider array of manipulations to rely on. Again, neither of these individuals know what they are nor do they recognise their kind. How do these two types of narcissist interact with one another?

          As an overarching philosophy, the interaction of the Lesser and the Mid-Ranger is one of cat and mouse. Both are in the fight for fuel but have different tools to hand to achieve this. The Lesser will be the agent provocateur, with the Mid-Ranger playing the hard done to individual although he or she will unleash their passive aggressive manipulations as they fight for fuel from one another.

          Within the familial narcissistic dynamic, there is no seduction between the two as a consequence of the two individuals being brought together by reason of being related. Let us take the example of two adult sisters. The Lesser will look to draw fuel from the Mid-Range narcissist by competing. The Lesser is likely to be jealous of the Mid-Range who may well be perceived as more accomplished and successful, in terms of job, quality of home, social circle and such like. The Lesser will regard this success as an inherent criticism of the Lesser which will ignite her fury. She cannot help but lash out at her sister and will do so by accusing her of having her nose stuck in the air, being Lady Muck, suggesting her achievements are not her own but those of other people and so forth. Anything in order to achieve the upper hand in the dynamic between the two. The aggression exhibited by the Lesser Sister towards the Mid-Range Sister will provide the Mid-Range Sister with fuel but the nature of the challenge will mean that she will also look to draw fuel from other people by way of pity play and seeking sympathy. Thus one can expect in the context of say a family gathering, the Lesser will feel the need to verbally attack the Mid-Ranger, often with ad hominem insults such as “You’ve put on more weight since the last time I saw you” or “I have a dress like that, it does not suit me either.”

If the Lesser makes these comments in an angry or savage fashion, the Mid-Ranger gains fuel. If the Lesser (which is less likely) states them in a fuel free way, then this will wound the Mid-Ranger who will either retreat from the Lesser with a silent treatment and/or seek sympathy fuel from non-narcissist third parties. The Mid-Ranger’s hurt response will provide fuel to the Lesser. Thus when the Mid-Ranger bleats, “Why are you always picking on me?” or “Leave me alone, why do you have to be so hateful?” the Lesser gains fuel. Should the Mid-Range respond with a silent treatment then this does not provide the Lesser Sister with fuel, so she will pursue the Mid-Ranger trying to break the silent treatment. This pursuit is likely to give the Mid-Ranger more fuel as the Lesser Sister becomes more and more annoyed and frustrated by the silence. The Mid-Range will maintain the silent treatment until she receives sufficient fuel to heal the wound and will then speak again or the Lesser, deprived of fuel and furious because of the criticism which arises from silence, is forced to seek fuel elsewhere.

          If the two sisters are in isolation, any interaction will soon descend into an argument and the Mid-Ranger implementing a silent treatment in order to defend herself. The Lesser will keep goading the Mid-Ranger until she provides fuel again or will break off and storm away to lash out at somebody else, cursing the baby-like behaviour of her sister as she has her own temper tantrum.

          If the two sisters are with other family members, the Mid-Ranger will first turn to them for sympathy and help in halting the attack of the Lesser. This is likely to descend into allegation counter allegation and all manner of manipulations as there is triangulation, blame-shifting, projection and such like on an industrial scale. Either the Mid-Ranger will sit in sulking silence or slink away, with the Lesser continuing to goad. If this provoking behaviour does not yield results then the Lesser sister will turn to the other members of the family for the fuel that ought to have been provided by the Mid-Range sister.

          Where the two narcissists are friends, an interesting dynamic will occur. The Lesser will see the more successful Mid-Ranger as not only a fuel source but also someone who can provide residual benefits and character traits. Thus, the Lesser will be keen to seduce the Mid-Ranger as an inner circle friend.

          The Mid-Ranger will see the aggression of the Lesser as useful in terms of securing this person as a Lieutenant and will aim to seduce the Lesser to become an inner circle friend who is then used for the purposes of carrying out the dirty work of the Mid-Ranger.

          The Lesser, once having seduced the Mid-Ranger will look to use the passive Mid-Ranger for the purposes of borrowing money, being available when nobody else might be to go out and generally extort the Mid-Ranger’s assets. The Mid-Ranger will comply initially as part of his or her own seduction of the Lesser. It is when then Mid-Ranger expects to “cash in” on their generosity that the problems begin. The Mid-Ranger will seek to manipulate the Lesser to do things for him or her. The Lesser may do so at first but after a while, his sense of entitlement means that he expects to be given things by the Mid-Ranger and need not do anything in return. He will reject this attempt at control and do so in a manner which will give the Mid-Ranger fuel. The Mid-Ranger, pushed by his own sense of entitlement expects the Lesser to carry out his wishes, based on past favours and will react in a feigned hurtful manner to the Lesser lashing out. With both expecting the other to do something based on either entitlement and/or past investment and not gaining the required response, there will be a clash. The Lesser will demand and the Mid-Range will back off. The likely withdrawal of the Mid-Range will cause the Lesser to break off in a fury and cause a temporary cessation of the connection as he seeks out other “friends” to give him what he is entitled to, non-narcissistic ones. The Mid-Ranger, hurt by this betrayal of friendship will retreat and bemoan the selfishness of the Lesser to anybody who will listen.

          They will however not discard one another because they perceive a useful need in one another. The Lesser sees the more successful Mid-Ranger as a provider of bounty, bounty to which he is entitled. The Mid-Ranger sees the Lesser as a useful blunt instrument Lieutenant, one to which he is entitled. Unfortunately for them, their sense of entitlement will lead to them clashing, not bothering with one another after a flare-up and then seeking one another out again drawn by the lure of usefulness to one another. Of course there is fuel to be gathered into the bargain but it is not as extensive as when dealing with an empathic individual and therefore it is actually the residual benefits and character traits that are the main draw between the Lesser and the Mid-Range in a social setting.

          Third parties will be dragged into their fallings out. The Lesser will name call the Mid-Range and attack verbally any other party who stands up for the Mid-Ranger. The Mid-Ranger will play the hard done to party to anybody who will listen and will manipulate them into trying to build a bridge again with the annoyed Lesser.

          What about the situation where a Lesser and a Mid-Range Narcissist are drawn together through work.? Again, this is an non-intimate scenario where there is a pre-existing connection between the two narcissists. Similar to the social setting described above,  the two narcissists will be looking to the other for fuel but moreover the sequestration of residual benefits. The Lesser will expect the Mid-Ranger to be doing him favours, such as lessening his workload, supporting him for promotion or a pay rise, doling out favourable work and such like since the Mid-Ranger is likely to hold a slightly superior position. The Mid-Ranger will expect to lord it over the Lesser and have him or her at the Mid-Ranger’s beck and call. Thus the Lesser will regard any failure of the Mid-Ranger to show him or her favouritism as a criticism. The Lesser’s fury will be ignited and unable to keep it under control, he will lash out at the Mid-Ranger (and others) causing disruption and potentially disciplinary action as the “hurt” Mid-Ranger goes running to HR.

          If the Lesser holds the superior role in the workplace, then he will expect the Mid-Ranger to be his lackey. He will delegate considerable amounts of work to the Mid-Ranger who will consider himself being picked on and singled out. He will not dare to complain direct to the Lesser but instead will gossip to peers, complain to a different boss and potentially raise matter via a grievance. The Lesser demands subservience from the Mid-Range narcissist as part of this ideal of control and omnipotence. The Mid-Ranger, considering himself above menial activity and accountable believes he is entitled to highlight the “mean and unfair” behaviour of the Lesser Narcissist. The two will continue to churn out fuel for one another with the Lesser’s scathing attacks against the Mid-Ranger for daring to defy him and with the Mid-Ranger responding by pleading with the Lesser to leave him alone, or asking why he is insists on making his life a misery. The two of them will certainly provide something a show to other employees whilst causing consternation to those who have to work alongside them or regulate their behaviours. They will effectively fight with one another, blaming and counter-blaming neither ever being at fault and it always being the fault of the other.

          In terms of tertiary source reaction, a Mid-Ranger is mainly likely to be pleasant to a Lesser tertiary source and provide positive fuel which the Lesser will accept. A Lesser however is more likely to be aggressive towards a Mid-Ranger or offend their readily offended sense of importance by pointing out that the Mid-Ranger tertiary source has done something wrong which will result in the imposition of the withdrawal of services which will in turn cause a sudden explosion from the Lesser. Any interaction will be short-lived and will either be the provision of positive fuel (Mid-Ranger to Lesser) or a burst of negative fuel (Lesser to Mid-Ranger).

          Finally, what is the dynamic between a Lesser Narcissist and a Mid-Range Narcissist in the context of a romantic relationship? The Lesser, being the least cognitive able, may well seek to seduce a Mid-Range Narcissist. The Mid-Range will evidence some charm towards the Lesser which will certainly appeal to the Lesser who will press the seduction in order to try and secure the Mid-Range. The Mid-Range however is likely to regard the Lesser as not fulfilling the requisite empathic traits. Whilst the Mid-Ranger is not aware of specifically what he or she wants, he does have an instinctive awareness of the traits in a prospective romantic partner which make him feel “better”. These will be absent in the Lesser because not only are the empathic traits absent, the Lesser lacks the cunning and guile (and the energy and inclination) to feign them to the degree which would satisfy the Mid-Ranger.

          Thus, unless the Mid-Ranger is desperate for a primary source he or she is unlikely to complete the seduction of a Lesser as a IPPS. They will look elsewhere and reject the overtures of the Lesser deeming them to not “tick the right boxes”. The Lesser will not try to press the seduction since this rejection by the Mid-Ranger will cause his fury to ignite as a consequence of this low control threshold. He will lash out at the Mid-Ranger and be forced to find a different primary source instead rather than selecting another narcissist. Thus in most cases the Lesser will flare up as his seduction is derailed and the Mid-Range will train his or her sights elsewhere.

          Even if the Lesser is in desperate straits to secure a primary source, he will not be able to ensnare the Mid-Ranger who will find his or her own needs unmet. However, if the Mid-Ranger is the party which is desperate to find a primary source, they may settle for the Lesser in such circumstances. Of course, the Lesser will be content for this to happen, the increased level of charm and complimentary behaviour of the Mid-Ranger satisfying, at least to begin with, the Lesser’s need for fuel. There are also likely to be character traits and residual benefits which will suit the needs of the Lesser. Thus, if the Lesser is the desperate party, but the Mid Ranger is not, then the Lesser will be denied. If the Mid-Ranger is the desperate party and the Lesser is or is not, then it is more likely that the two will form a romantic couple securing the other as the IPPS.

          In this scenario, the absence of sufficient positive fuel provision will soon surface. The Bronze Period behaviour of the Lesser will not suit the Mid-Range at all for his fuel needs. The selfishness and self-centredness of the Mid-Ranger will not suit the Lesser and therefore devaluation will soon follow after seduction. However, this is where an interesting dynamic will occur because it is actually in devaluation that the pair will meet one another’s needs for far longer than they did in seduction.

          The Lesser, disappointed and indeed infuriated with the Mid-Ranger’s poor positive fuel provision will commence the devaluation. Being on the attack, her angry words, her fury, her nastiness will all be excellent fuel to the Mid-Ranger. He of course will not welcome the challenges made to him by the pointing finger of the Lesser but he cannot resist the tasty fuel which accompanies it. He will lap up the fuel provided by her whilst responding with his own manipulations to keep the fuel flowing. He will blame-shift, deny and deflect and refuse to co-operate. He will roll out the pity plays, beg with the Lesser to stop the hurtful behaviour and so forth, all of which will be excellent fuel to the Lesser, so she will continue with the machinations. Back and forth they will go, cat playing with mouse, mouse evading cat in a scenario which causes them to provide sufficient negative fuel to one another. The Mid-Ranger will turn to the third parties, as is his want, pointing out the horrible behaviour of the Lesser. Such actions will be perceived as criticism by the Lesser and she will respond by further nasty behaviours and also seeking out a new primary source since devaluation is well on foot. Should the Lesser locate this potential new primary source, news of her behaviour will reach the Mid Ranger (either from third parties or from the less than subtle Lesser herself) and this will wound the Mid-Ranger. He will flounce off in a silent treatment and look to find his own replacement primary source. The Lesser will not respond to the silent treatment but instead focus on the new primary source. The Mid-Range seeing that the silent treatment has had no effect will establish contact again with the Lesser. This appeals to the Lesser as she believes she has the upper hand again, although the Mid-Ranger will believe that he has because he has caused the Lesser to engage again. Thus, they are brought together again for a brief Respite Period. Of course, neither will provide sufficient positive fuel during this Respite Period and therefore the devaluation begins again.

          The death knell for the intimate relationship between the Lesser and Mid-Range narcissist is when they both commence their search for a new primary source and find a suitable prospect. Up until that point, the negative fuel provided through devaluation is maintaining their required fuel levels because of the contrast (something as you know which always required by our kind) between their respective styles. The aggressive Lesser and the passive aggressive Mid-Ranger. Thus their devaluation can go on for some time but once one or both of these narcissists turns their attention to a new primary source then the end of the relationship will arrive promptly. Either one or both will ensnare a non-narcissist and the fuel provision from this individual (as an empathic individual) will cause the narcissist to focus on that person and discard either the Lesser or the Mid-Range narcissist they have erroneously installed as a primary source.

Advertisements

41 thoughts on “When Narcissists Collide – Part Two”

  1. HI HG. So, how do you know if the individual is really a victim of a narcissist or is a narcissist him or herself? How does the narcissist react to the “abuse” compared to an empath?

    And what attracted the two together and kept them together? The illusion/mask? because their manipulations should cancel each other out , right?

  2. Oh my goodness. You described us and his marriage. They were together just over two years. He had told me that their wedding night didn’t go well. They were only married for 6 months or so. Very interesting. You are good. 🙂

      1. I am curious, did you ever have a disdain for the study of psychology? When did you become so passionate about it?

      2. I have never had a disdain for it Sophia. My first brush with it was a girlfriend at university who was studying it and I found what she talked about to be of interest. I would not say I am passionate about it but rather I regard it as a very useful methodology with regard to understanding myself and getting what I want. In that respect, whilst I have never studied it in any formal sense, the day-to-day psychology of people and why they do as they do has remained prominent since university both in my professional endeavours and also my fuel-gathering ones.

      3. I am a Psychology major and so is his ex. He hated our field. I went back to my previous career he hated it so much. I didn’t understand why. He also hated that I took antidepressants.
        I would have thought you had a psychology background. You are very knowledgeable and seem to have a passion for people. I love your writing. 😀

      4. The methodology is very interesting. Knowledge is power. You say you’re not passionate about it, yet I haven’t seen someone with your depth of information on a subject that isn’t and doesn’t have a formal education in the subject. I am impressed. I’d be putty in your hands. I just know it. 😂

      5. Thank you Sophia. I suppose whereas someone else might approach it with passion, I do so with a detached clinical focus. I don’t enthuse about it, I just want to succeed at it.

  3. This blog was enlightening for me. It is amazing how being with a Mid-Range possibly Upper has teased the Lesser out of me. We didn’t have much of a Golden Period, more Bronze. He pursued me quite relentlessly, I was in a relationship. The game of cat and mouse started pretty soon after he realized he had me. I went No Contact (I cheated a bit by not blocking his email) for 16 days recently but I caved after the 3rd email. I have to say, I recognize my own narcissistic traits now and see how we have been in this cycle for the last year plus. I could go on about this roller-coaster ride. I have tried to heal him and empathize with him, never judging him. I think I have had more empathy towards him than any of my previous relationships. I believe I give him a pass at times because of my own past bad behavior. I have also recognized that he brings out a fire in me that I didn’t know I had. It seems as though we are both addicted to each other’s fuel. Very interesting.

      1. I wouldn’t say that our golden period was anything you’ve described as having. When he pursued me there were times it felt golden. It was rocky for a bit. I moved into an apartment after leaving my fiancé. It took him a week to come see me after I left. After that it felt very golden, yet that only lasted a month tops.

      2. I am curious if it has something to do with the fact that I prefer to be called first, asked on dates first, etc. I have also wondered if it had something to do with his status being somewhat lower than I was accustomed to. He was always comparing himself to my ex.

      3. The golden period has two constituent parts. The Seduction Golden Period when we chase you and then the Embedded Golden Period when a Formal Relationship is established. With some of our kind, when you are embedded we then want to drink deep of the positive fuel which we have EARNED from the seduction. Thus all is well until down the line it becomes stale. With others of our kind, it is the Seduction itself which is just the golden period and there is no EGP because it is at that point the fuel feels stale and thus devaluation occurs. Thus consider these situations

        1. You are single. The narcissist pursues you through love-bombing, you respond favourably giving positive fuel and after a period of pursuit you and the narc become an item. Then the EGP commences and more positive fuel is obtained.
        2. You are attached to someone else. The narc pursues you through love-bombing etc, you respond favourably etc and then when you leave your partner and hook up formally with the narc there should be an EGP but it does not come (or only lasts a short time) because for that narc, the thrill of this illicit seduction is so powerful that when you become his, the positive fuel becomes stale very quickly and devaluation comes soon.
        3. You are single, the N pursues you and you become an item. However, this is not a tight enough binding for the N so he continues the seduction in order to get you to marry him. Thus the Seduction Golden Period continues from stranger, to dating, to boyfriend and girlfriend and then to fiancee. The day you are married he has you. The binding is complete. There should now be an EGP but there is not. The thrill has gone, he has you, the positive fuel feels stale because the N wants the chase more than anything and your wedding night is hell as the devaluation starts.

  4. Wow. I am amazed. I escaped my Mid-ranger four months ago and immediately replaced me with his Lesser baby’s mama. He always says he hates her but keeps going back to her after and cheated on me with her then they break up a few months later and he hoovers me again. He always says never work out no matter how many times they try. I always ask then why try agan? He says for the kids, what a lie! It has happened twice being with him, not anymore. I don’t think they will ever stop. They are meant for each other. Thank you for explaining this. Both of them always broke up and dated empaths like me yet they always get back together. I escaped and was not discarded. They have such a toxic relationship involving cops, alcohol, property damage, not to mention the children suffering. My Mid-ranger knew that they are better off not together yet he continues to go back. Now I have an explanation. He is trying to Hoover me back though the last few weeks even when she lives with him. I am wondering what is going on that he is hoovering me. Maybe you can explain HG?

  5. “… it is actually the residual benefits and character traits that are the main draw between the Lesser and the Mid-Range in a social setting. ”

    So you admit that narcs have their own character traits?

  6. And now I finally understand why “some people” never seem to be happy unless they are living through some horrible conflict with someone else. These “people” are the ones I might lend an ear to once, offer advice to once, but not thereafter if they show up with the same old crap, different day, and nothing done about it. I found it SO annoying but I never understood why they acted that way. So thank you, HG. Now I get it and see my response to them (GO AWAY) is appropriate.

  7. Bravo! What a fascinating topic! I’m completely engrossed. As I read your work, the characters come to life. I know each and every one of them. I have seen each scenario you list play out in real life.
    Now I question if it is normal to be surrounded by so many narcissists. Family, friends, lovers.

      1. Very true NarcAngel. Maybe the world is just made of wolves and sheep. You are a hybrid – ‘wheep’ lol.

  8. And when you get three adult sisters who are narcissists, well…we collide and roll like bumper cars. Two of us can take sides against the other; we can all three team up and go after mother (although that’s NEVER profitable); we give each other a silent treatment and/or feed off each other like hungry jackals. Competitive for anything and everything, dragging unsuspecting third parties into our tug of war-style power struggle.

Leave a Reply

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