The Mid-Range Narcissist




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


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

“Isn’t that right Malcolm?”

“Isn’t what right my dear?”

“You are a Mid-Range Narcissist.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Oh really, who said that?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

31 thoughts on “The Mid-Range Narcissist

  1. onemore1 says:

    Hi, I want to shift my emotional thinking and start to move on from this pain. So, my question is: I had a friend, she was my best friend for a long time, years. She then started to see me differently. I do not know how, but I fell for her. We became a couple (F30, Nex F25). Well, she discarded me, went back to her ex boyfriend and they will marry soon. She does not speak to me anymore. I tried to contact her and she never replied. She never broke up in person. Now I found your work and I am sure she is a MMR narcissist, she thinks she loves herself first and that she did nothing wrong. She lied, she cheated, she was heartless etc, but she could not do differently. Will she ever come back? 3 months she does not talk to me.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. yes, subject to the Hoover Trigger and the Hoover Execution Criteria ; and
      2. I recommend you undertake a Narc Detector Consultation and consult with me thereafter so I can assist you in moving forward.

  2. Nina says:

    Hg the guy I just broke up with was a wealthy lawyer. Is someone with a professional job like that usually upper mid?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Could be MMR,UMR or a Greater.

  3. freddy says:

    Hello HG, thankyou for you blog, I am slowing going through it and it’s helping me keep perspective. I have a question: as a greater narcissist, how do you know how the lessers & mid-rangers think & feel? Thankyou

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Observation, interaction and consideration.

      1. Freddy says:

        What I’m really trying to figure out is how vengeful min-rangers are generally & mine in particular (at work, not intimate). We had a volatile relationship, i could not put up with his manipulations & self interest. I did not coo & flick & flutter on the most, despite his attempts to train me. I spoke my mind & wounded him many times. If I criticise him, is that a wound or fuel? Perhaps my words wound but my delivery is fuel? Surely the wounding is not worth the fuel?? I have been waiting for his final revenge but so far only some slander & lots of triangulation.i no longer speak to him unless I have to which is rare. I know he hates this & is scared of me (really!). Am I playing with fire by doing this? That’s if I want to stay employed…I hear narcissists can hold a grudge for a long long time…thanks!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Your criticisms will either be Challenge Fuel or wounding, dependent on the method of delivery – please see the article Fuel, Fight or Flight.
          You can be painted black for a long time, yes.

  4. J says:

    Hello, it’s a great article. I’d like to use the comment section to say that I’ve read a few of your books already and I came to find out they describe mainly the Greater narcissist. Please write a book only about the Mid-range combining the topics of fuel, red flags, idealization, devaluation, discard, friends, etc. Thank you!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello J, the books do cater for responses of all school of narcissist (as some behaviours are inherent to all types of narcissist) and specific behaviours relevant to only certain schools/cadres, however there are books in progress which will be entirely dedicated to the Lesser, Mid-Range and Greater schools (including their sub-divisions) and then the cadres of Elite, Somatic, Victim and Cerebral. There will also be books concerning the schools of empath and their cadres, just so you people on the other side of the fence don’t feel left out!

  5. YM says:

    Would the mid-range hoover a shelfed DLS back only to punish her? Could his sole purpose be that he gets her back but simultaniously starts looking for her replacement and drops her as soon as her replacement is in place?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      If the DLS is placed on the shelf then she has not done anything wrong, is just not needed for the time being. If she was dis-engaged from and then hoovered back, punishment may follow from a MR, but it is not a likely scenario. He would be likely to punish by not bothering with her post dis-engagement and finding a new DLS.

  6. XYZ says:

    After I went NC, he reactivated his old dating profile but now he included his picture. Which is more likely? Does he want to draw thought fuel from me knowing that I will see it or more to do with the aim that he is desperate to find his next DLS since the same IPPS is still in place? Could this mean that I have become F.R.E.E, since his original plan to punish me has failed and knows that he does not have any more hold on me?

  7. acushla1977 says:

    What is it in this description that precludes the possibility of Malcolm being an empath? Why should this character necessarily lack honesty, a desire for truth, compassion for those who really need it, generosity, and joyfulness if left to himself in peace (from this seemingly annoying partner)?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The clue is in the “seemingly” and he lacks honesty, a desire for the truth and compassion because he is one of our kind.

      1. acushla1977 says:

        Would paranoid vampires be considered narcissistic or empathic?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Hello Acushula, these categorisations are not ones which I recognise. The author makes his own distinction between paranoid ‘vampires’ and narcissistic ‘vampires’ but I do not place much stock in the definitions.

  8. “Malcolm views the world from a position of suspicion and wariness.”
    That’s so sad.
    The world is not that bad malcolm! There are honest, loving pple in the world, really.
    🎶 “Heal the world, make it a better place, for you and for me and the entire human race…” 🎶 (Michael jackson, ‘Heal the World’).
    My ex is very passive agressive. He’s introverted, reserved, quiet. He is not malign and hates arguments. He is actually very sweet, affectionate, loving, gentle, tender, and responsive when he wants to be. But when it inconviniences him, he only makes the effort abt 50% of the time.

  9. F.T.H. says:

    “The Greater of course has hundreds of fuel lines because he can draw them in through his outlandish greatness, his achievements and golden accomplishments.”

    H.G you complimented yourself there. I think this is all too funny. You have the underdeveloped conscious of a toddler. I’m sorry, but your kind will never be great, no one you’ll ever be interested in will ever truly love you. You take and take and take from “empaths”, what makes you think you’ll ever find an empath who will obey you and provide long term fuel without disappointing you at some point? Surely you’ve come to the realization, as a “Great” that your existence is a giant joke. The closest thing to a primary source of fuel that won’t dissapoint you that you will ever find is another narcissist that can mold themselves to be the “perfect empathy primary source” you so desperately long for. You are only great in your own head. Sad, empty, reality you live in. Glad it’s a hell I’ll never know. Losers. All of you.

    1. Laurie says:

      I don’t believe he was complimenting himself, F.T.H. I believe he was just making fun of his kind’s own grandiose perceptions. It’s HG’s humor that has me addicted to this site, not just his window into the pathology.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Thanks Laurie.

      2. denise sines says:

        Wow! It wasn’t always this way until we got married. I thought I was nuts because I could quite articulate what was happening.
        It makes me so sad to know it was all a game and I was losing because I didn’t know I was playing and even if I did I don’t work that way!
        As sad as I am because I truly loved him he really loses this “game” because he will never be happy with himself.

    2. FTH, that’s so mean! Narc existence is not a joke😟

  10. Janice says:

    Thanks H.G. I rather consider you a friend as you enable me to sort out my relationships. My parents could pout, throw temper tantrums and “barrow” my babysitting money. At 12 years of age, I was to be self supporting.
    My husband chased me and then disappeared from my life during our marriage He excelled at parading women in front of me. More recently, my relationship with my boyfriend felt eerily familiar. He too was a very seductive and then rude and distant.
    Thank you for enlightening me and others.This is a very ethical and compassionate thing you do.
    And happiness is still mine. Life can be fair.

  11. Laurie says:

    It sounds like the mid-ranger is also the one who, when you’re on the phone with him, and he’s at home, always needs to talk to someone in his immediate vicinity, yet never bothers to cover the phone and ask you to excuse him for a moment while he does so.

  12. Love says:

    See!!! I’m not crazy. Mids are boring! Passive aggressive sulky kids.
    That’s why they are not memorable. To be fair, I don’t want to keep slamming them. So I have created a Pros and Cons list to being with a mid:
    – less likely to have a criminal record
    – less chance of getting into a physical altercation
    – fairly intelligent
    – most likely to have a good career and money
    – good at pretending to listen
    – great at playing roles for a few hours, i.e. devoted father and husband. Acting skills only last as long as the event/gathering.

    – can’t bust a grape at a food fight
    – talk up the argument but flee soon as SH!T gets real
    – pity party central … Violin never stops playing
    – can’t easily push them into unleashing their fury for fun. Not explosive fireworks material (I.e. no crazy fights with even crazier s*x to follow)

    1. Love,
      You need to read women who love psychopaths by Sandra L. Brown
      Encompasses sociopath and narcissists too. In fact HG should read it, but I can’t tell him what to do, he tells me but, it would support his born this way theory some.

      1. Love says:

        I actually have that book … Read it right after my psychopath. Good book.

  13. Brian says:

    How would you classify a working class guy, who is insecure about his class.
    So he tries to sound intellectual all the time.
    I’ve met a couple of those in England,

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Lower Mid-Range.

      1. Brian says:

        Yeah that sounds right, thanks. They are not physically violent but fairly outwardly aggressive.

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