Why Does He Blow Hot and Cold?


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

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

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

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

The Intimate Partner Primary Source (“IPPS”)

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

The Seduction Golden Period

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

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

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

The Devaluation Period

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is all about creating that contrast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Discard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


54 thoughts on “Why Does He Blow Hot and Cold?”

  1. HG what happens when you respond with positive emotions during devaluation instead of crying and feeling insulted etc? Does he not want positive emotions and admiration from someone he is devaluing?

  2. Hi HG,

    When you can, may you please explain to us Why Does He Blow Hot and Cold Pt2 (regarding the IPSS and Dirty Secret) either through a youtube video or an article on your webpage? Unless it is somewhere, but I don’t see it. Thank you! It would be much appreciated!

        1. It means it is a work which is either going to be written or is part written. It is not ready at present but will be posted at a future point Lauren.

          1. Ok, gotcha. I also just wrote something on What Am I to Him? regarding IPSS. Thank you, HG.

  3. HG – Do you have any posts specifically on the victim narcissist, or vulnerable narcissist? I’ve done a few searches but can’t find anything specific.

      1. Thank you HG. I have read, enjoyed and commented on that article.

        Will there be any further articles specifically about the covert / victim / vulnerable narcissist? I hope so.

        1. Thank you I am pleased you enjoyed it.

          I do not categorise in terms of covert or vulnerable.

          There will be further works on the Mid-Range and the Victim narcissists in due course.

      2. I do believe that in many ways, the covert / victim / vulnerable narc is the most dangerous of all. Other narcs display more obvious behaviours (intermittently, of course). The vulnerable / victim narc is difficult to spot and cannot be called out, because they turn everything into a pity party and get everyone to feel sorry for them.

        In the UK – generally speaking -we have a tendency to support the underdog, to love the weak and be suspicious of the successful (in contrast to the US, where success is encouraged and celebrated). I think this national sensibility provides another aspect that allows the vulnerable narcissist to flourish – in addition to manipulating those around them.

  4. Interesting that you talk of being blocked. I got blocked but it was another attempt at hurting me. It was because I got invited to his cousins hen do n so did his daughter. N I tried to speak to the daughter n say let’s make it good for the sake of the cousin. The cousin backed me up n insisted I went out. His daughter never did go. He’s turning up places where I want to go all the time instead n finding different ways to follow me. I’m just not allowed to follow him! (not that I would, cba!)

  5. “Hot and Cold.” One of the very earliest signs of your bewilderment in the relationship. Read, understand and discern the typical nature of a Narc, here with HG and everywhere legitimate resources abound. Let your “logical” instincts lead over your sensitive heart & emotions. Then you are on your way to strapping on the necessary armor to protect yourself going forward.

    If you are a true Empath, Fixer or Rescuer, you will need to stay diligent to your protective therapy for your compassionate emotions can sink back into relational entrapment again.

    Thank you again HG! So glad that you are out there for all who can, will and have-been become ensnared.

      1. If an appliance has it in her nature to be simply submissive–and truly adores the man–is it likely she would be devalued soon? From what I gather, it seems maybe,a bit random?

  6. I couldn’t concentrate on anything else you wrote after “…stamp on his trachea until it bubbles.”

    Where did that kind of extreme violent imagination come from?

      1. Mr. Tudor, if I was in the vicinity, and you were feeling infuriated, would you take delight in cutting my body up into lots of pieces, even while I was still alive, and torturing me? Would you kick me in my mouth until I was all bloody, and smash my face in?

      2. I just want you to know, dearest Mr. Tudor, I would Not like it if you did these things to me. I was only asking if you would receive pleasure from doing it, but I do Not want this done to me. I just want to make that clear, so that there is no confusion. I do Not want to be slaughtered. Thank you. I appreciate it.

    1. Very funny.

      I’ve noticed that each time I ask you a question about violence, you either don’t approve my comment, don’t answer it or deflect, as you have done here.

      I don’t like extreme violence, so I don’t particularly relish the idea of you doing a post on it. But perhaps you should. Admittedly I probably wouldn’t read it, but it sounds like it could be a topic that you need to explore within yourself.

      Or you could write one of your books about it. There’s enough violence on the internet within easy discovery from a search engine as there is.

      1. Not the case at all. I haven’t deflected it. You asked what kind of imagination envisages such a thing and I have queried you stating ‘imagination’. That gives you the answer.

      2. So you have stamped on another person’s trachea until it bubbles?

        What is the story with you and violence?

        1. Yes.
          I do not use violence against women because I regard it as unsophisticated, beneath me and I have other manipulations which are far more effective.
          Where I have used violence against men it has been entirely necessary because of the situation I have been in. I have been in some very dangerous situations.

      3. That is an excessively aggressive act.

        Would that act be judged by an impartial bystander to be in self-defence – even if aggressively so?

      4. Then I am very sorry you suffered such a scenario.

        Do you think that all of the violence you have both witnessed and acted out against others has inured you to violence in general?

        1. I acknowledge your sentiment Sunshine but you did not cause it.

          Yes. I am not some reckless or haphazard proponent of violence but rather it is another string to my bow similar to sex, humour, charm, threat and so on, in order to obtain what I need and to continue to excel and survive.

      5. Why do you think that being inured to violence is a string to your bow?

        Being inured to violence is only really helpful when you are in a perpetually violent environment that will outlast your life.

        You don’t exist in that environment. I appreciate you say you’re able to control it, but if you’re inured to it, you may not be able to control the extent to which you use it. If you’re inured to it, I’d argue that you don’t really understand violence the way others do.

    2. HG this post confuse me a little bit since you wrote previously in one of your hoover articles that a midranger will benign hoover you if he is well fueled- what then about the contrast you are explaining above?

  7. I read that Narcissists need 4 times the dopamine to get the same “high” as they get during the seduction phase. What would happen if you took an antidepressent with dopamine in it? Is therE a s SDRI — like a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor? The ssri allows the receptors to retain the seratonin for a longer period.

  8. He was hot and cold to me for over a year. Then someone said he’s a narcissist. The last time a giant e-mail of discard. Then he married 3 months later. Blocking me but leaving his wife’s fb account open for me to spy on.
    Why did he do that and will he ever try to hoover again?
    He was hot and cold exactly how you describe.
    I just want to know can I breath again and will his new “wonderful” wife suffer as I did?
    Will he come back even if he’s married?

    1. You ar blocked because you are effectively deleted (until such time as he hoovers) because you are now painted black.
      Will he try to hoover? Yes subject to the Hoover Trigger being activated and the Hoover Execution Criteria being met (see and

      You can breath but you have to remain vigilant. Read Black Hole, Fuel and No Contact and arm yourself.
      Yes she will suffer in time.
      Yes he will – marriage is just a device to serve his purposes and his sense of entitlement and lack of accountability mean that those vows will not stop him hoovering. All is as the fuel wills it to be.

      1. Thank you for the speedy response. Just in time. He sent me the first email since September 2016.
        Acts like he didn’t devastate me at all.
        I moved 1300 miles to live with him. He dropped his mask within 3 weeks because I asked him a question. I thought he was going to beat the crap out of me but gained his composure quickly. I moved 2 hours away. He came for me a month later. He doesn’t know I have been studying his kind. Very malignant. Very scary and volitile. I will be armed.

      2. Well its been been 7 months since the ex narc told me he married this wonderful woman.
        He told me at that time it wouldn’t be right to keep talking to each other.
        He just sent me a text that started with my hopeful upcoming job but soon became a sex text.
        I guess the honeymoon is over and he’s bored.
        He scolded me for post things on fb about him. Saying he couldn’t be working for homeland security if he had done those horrible things.
        Then he jumped back to reflecting on our sexual encounters.
        Of course I got tempted to respond because I was so in love with him at one time.
        He was pulling me back in.
        Right about a year ago we celebrated my birthday.
        I’ve read a lot and kind of know what to expect so I wasn’t as upset as I was 7 months ago after discard.
        Is there any other possible reason he contacted me except for fuel?
        When I told him another man was interested in me but I didn’t feel a connection, he said there’s no reason for ME to rush into another relationship.
        What was that about? Keeping me on the back burner?

        1. Your time line is a little difficult to follow, but essentially you are being hoovered and this is done to achieve the Prime Aims, chief amongst which is the need for fuel. Do not convince yourself it is for some other reason.

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