The House of Discards



The discard. The end of the road, or so you might think. I have mentioned previously that I am of the view that the cessation of our current involvement with you would be better regarded as a dis-engagement because it is temporary in nature. When we bring the current relationship to a halt and there are many ways we achieve this, we will, at some point, return ready to hoover and therefore the discard is really a temporary act unless there is some intervening act. Nevertheless, I will continue to use discard because it is common parlance in the narcissistic debate and it is faster to type than dis-engage. The act of discarding you can occur in many ways but they belong to one of the five houses of discarding. Whilst we are creatures of economy and conservation of our energy and thus exhibit repeated and patterned behaviours, we are not so intransigent as to adopt differing methods of discard should the occasion merit it. Those differences may manifest from victim to victim or you may find yourself on the receivaing end of several variants of discards from our kind. Whatever they may be, you will find the method used will belong to one of these five houses.

  1. The Vanishing Act

Probably the most popular form of discard. As far as you were concerned we were both in a relationship. Admittedly, matters had been difficult if not downright awful for some time, punctuated with periods of respite, but now we have just vanished. You cannot get in contact with us. You have rung our number and if it has not been changed or you have been blocked, it has just rung and rung. You have left repeated voicemails asking where we are, each more fraught that the one before it. Your texts have filled up our inboxes. Enquiries of friends have proven fruitless. Your calls have always been held up by the switchboard or a secretary at work and you have seen neither hide nor hair of us. The days accumulate and there is just a void. This discard is a massive silent treatment. It will take you some time before you realise that you have been discarded and often this comes by way of inference and implication. You are not told to your face or in a message that it has ended. Instead you learnt that we have been seen with someone else in a romantic clinch in a bar or walking down the road. You keep trying to obtain answers but they are not forthcoming. It is bewildering upsetting and hurtful. It is all by design.

You may interpret this form of discard as appearing cowardly on our part, that we could not even face telling you that it was over. It is nothing to do with cowardice. This method of discard happens for the following reasons: –

  1. We are utterly infatuated with the new primary source which we have ensnared so she is all that matters and you are reduced to an afterthought purely for sucking the last few drops of fuel from, before we delete you;
  2. We draw one last burst of fuel from your frenetic attempts to contact us. We may see your messages, we may listen to your voicemails and we may even watch you desperately knocking at our door as we peek through the blinds. This all provides us with fuel. Even if we do not witness your attempts to contact us, we still draw fuel from knowing how you will have reacted to this callous act. Once we have drawn this fuel we then forget about you (until it is time to hoover) which makes the silent treatment that this form of discard is, easier to elongate;
  3. The manner in which it is utilised is designed to annoy and upset. You are made to feel worthless. You did not even merit an explanation. We see no reason to provide one to you. You are worthless in our eyes;
  4. It reinforces our idea of omnipotence. You are a chess piece which is picked up and moved round the board and we decide when and where you move.
  1. The Savage Strike

This is where you are told that it is at an end. There can be no doubt in your mind with this particular discard, compared to the Vanishing Act. You are told in no uncertain terms that it is over and you are told precisely why we have decided that it is over.

“I am sick of the sight of you. You are pathetic and I realised I cannot be with someone like you.”

“You are selfish. I do so much for you, yet you never think about me.”

“You think more of the children than you do of me.”

“You have put weight on. I am repulsed by you actually.”

“You don’t make any effort anymore. You dress down, never do anything and I hate it when a bitch lets herself slide.”

“You are a parasite and I cannot stand you taking from me any longer.”

These are but a selection of the horrible and harsh words that will be thrown in your direction. You will be the one to blame for the demise of the relationship. We have been forced to take this action and now we hate you for it. We will insult you, label you and lash out with a verbal tirade. Very little of this will be based on a foundation of truth, but this will not stop us. This approach is adopted for the following reasons: –

  1. To obtain fuel from you by making you upset and angry, hurt and fearful.
  2. To identify things which are wrong with you so that you obsess about them. This undermines your confidence and means you will struggle (along with everything else) to move forward which makes hoovering you easier.
  3. If you make changes based on our insults, then when we hoover, we will see this as underlining our power because you have acted on what we have said.
  4. There may even be some early triangulation by us comparing you to the new primary source if we decide to twist the knife and tell you that we are leaving you for someone else.
  1. The Wedge

This discard is so-called because it is designed to keep the door well and truly open for our return and an easy hoover at some future juncture. It lacks the viciousness of the Savage Strike but also applies doubt in the same way as the Vanishing Act but you will at least know why (or at least you will be given some suggestion as to why it is at an end). Expect to hear comments such as: –

“I need some space.”

“I have a lot on and I need time to deal with those other things.”

“I am not sure what I want at the moment.”

“I need time apart to figure a few things out.”

We will not point to anything specific but instead we will rely on amorphous and vague observations all revolving around needing time and space. The ideas behind this form of discard are as follows: –

  1. It makes us seem like some kind of deep troubled soul which is both intriguing (so it keeps your interest) and draws sympathy (fuel);
  2. It keeps you hanging on because we make it sound temporary in nature. We just need time to work things out (chase down the new primary source) and therefore you are given the hope that we will come back;
  3. It creates doubt and confusion so you will not move forward but instead you will hang around waiting for our return;
  4. You will keep trying to “check in” with us during this discard period which will give us further fuel and allow us to triangulate you (“she is just a friend who is helping me gain perspective”).


  1. The Golden Wedge


As above but you actually receive a host of back-handed compliments as part of the leaving speech.

“You have been nothing but good for me, but sometimes it is too much so I need a break.”

“You have done more than most, but even that has not been enough and I just some time to figure things out.”

“You are wonderful, wonderful in so many ways. I love you, but I am not in love with you, so I need to be apart until I get that feeling back.”

“Nobody is as special as you are but even then it is too much for someone like me and I need to stand back and decide what I need before moving forward. I know you will understand, you always do.”

Akin to the Wedge this is designed to: –

  1. Have you think we are still wonderful because we have been so complimentary about you even though we are ending the relationship. Fuel will be forthcoming;
  2. Sow doubt. If you are so good, why are we sending it? Vague and amorphous answers once again follow to keep you hanging on;
  3. The terms of departure are as amicable as possible meaning that the eventual hoover is very easy;
  4. You retain hope and keep “checking in” during the period of discard. We gain fuel.
  5. Our façade is maintained

5 The False Discard


This is not intended to be a discard although if that does actually happen (although it is rare) we will still manipulate the situation so that it turns out to be a win for us. We will appear earnest and upset as we trot out such comments as: –

“This isn’t working is it? I can see I am hurting you. Perhaps you should end it?”

“Just let me go, please.”

“I am not good enough for you. Please, do the right thing and end it.”

“We’ve taken this as far as we can. It has been wonderful but I think you should draw a line under it, don’t you?”

“Please, just put me out of my misery. I cannot do this to you anymore.”

The intention is to cause you to be alarmed at the suggestion that this should end and therefore you will pour fuel our way with your upset and concern. It allows us to assert more control as we extort from you, your additional submission and obedience as conditions for us staying. Accordingly, we make you upset and anxious before agreeing to continue. We have gained fuel, gained new concessions from you, gained further fuel from your relief but also sowed seeds of doubt which will keep you on your toes going forward.

If in the rare event that you do what we want, we still win. We will have a new primary source waiting as a contingency and then we can tell all and sundry that you ended the relationship. This means we can seek sympathy from other sources, cast you as the villain (assisting our smear campaign) and engaging with the new primary source in the knowledge that you ended it so we are free to choose who we want to be with (conveniently forgetting that we of course had them already lined up and we pressed your finger on the trigger which killed the relationship).

67 thoughts on “The House of Discards

  1. Insatiable Learner says:

    My apologies, HG! Putting everything into one question. Hope this makes sense and really appreciate your insight! My narc discarded his old primary source and has a new primary source. Last time we communicated was October. We chatted amicably as friends and then he told me he enjoyed catching up and will try not to be distant in the future. I replied “ok and thank you.” I have not heard from him since then and I have not reached out either. In your recent article on the narcissist blowing hot and cold with secondary sources, you said that it is rare for DSIPSS to be placed on the shelf. If I was a DSIPSS, have I been placed on the shelf? Thank you!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He has dis-engaged from you.

  2. Lauren says:

    Hi HG,

    Did you receive my comment or did it get lost?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I have a backlog of comments Lauren, I am working through them.

      1. Lauren says:

        Ok, I understand, HG.

  3. Lauren says:

    Hi HG,

    What type of discard was this? As the IPSS candidate, he told me he couldn’t leave his wife because his daughter wasn’t ready, it would feel wrong, and he had a lot on his place. But then he asked me what did I want to do and do I need to think about it? I didn’t give an answer but I cried and said that I will think about it. So, the next day, I emailed him and broke it off with him. Was this a test that led to more of the devaluation and he was already going to discard me?

    Or was this part of the devaluation which led to all of those emails between us after this “news” and “break up” with the devaluation occuring? In the beginning of the devaluation post break up, he said that he still liked me a lot and there were compliments. I waited a year for his return in hopes that his situation regarding his daughter changed and he knew this because I told him. But as you read from my background, it got worse and worse (still had some compliments mixed in his email replies, though).

    In the end (my version of end, of course), he said that he felt nothing for me anymore and I asked why he didn’t fight for us, he said that he didn’t think there was much to fight for with the knowledge that he had. I got upset. Then he replied with, “when you talk about the past, you get upset. When you are stuck in the past, you can’t move forward.”

    So, what was the type of discard and was there more than one discard – at the “break up” and at the end of all of that emailing? because the night he gave me this news, would first look like the discard but maybe it was devaluation and manipulation that led me to break up with him and then the devaluation continued. I’m confused.

  4. Victoria says:

    Hi H.G.
    After reading many of your books, a questions still lingers about the devaluation leading to discard. . . During the devaluation period when you write “you pull us out and then push you back in over and over again until we eventually cast you to one side” What I don’t understand is why stay so long in the devaluation period-I mean years. Why not start with a new IPPS? I know that in “Fuel” it states how the negative fuel is so much more potent but. . . I just don’t understand how watching an appliance break down can be as appealing as a new appliance. I just have that rattling around in my head-You know us empaths and our quest for answers. .
    I love this article H.G. It’s one of my favorites! Thank you

  5. Insatiable Learner says:

    Thank you for clarifying, HG! It does not feel benign at all. It’s heartbreaking and torturous.

  6. Claudia 🌺 says:

    Yes, poof…he vanished when I called him out on his “stuff”. It was like magic!

  7. Dragonfly says:

    I’m feeling powerful after reading this because I discarded him! We had a terrible fight, verbally abusive which led to physical and I kicked him out of the house, said sayonara and got a restraining order. He did Hoover And got arrested and I’m pretty sure he has a new supply because he’s left me alone. So nanny nanny boo boo to him! I hope I crushed that grandiose ego. Good riddance!

  8. redridersite says:

    So HG when do you unshelf an IPSS? Is it in between finding a new IPPS or we enter one of the spheres and then a Hoover happens??

    1. HG Tudor says:

      When they enter a sphere of influence and the hoover execution criteria is met, yes. There may well be ongoing devaluation of the IPPS and engagement with a different IPSS and then you come into our sights gain.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Hi HG. Sorry for being a stickler for detail but I recall one of your previous responses about the shelved IPSS was that no hoover is needed if no discard. Instead, when a narc decides to unshelf, he’ll just get in contact as usual. Am I missing something? Thank you!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          There is a distinction between devaluing and dis-engaging with the IPSS and placing the IPSS on the shelf. The latter is regarded by us as a benign stance towards you.

  9. Mary says:

    I don’t understand why a IPSS would stay a secondary source for a couple of years. Don’t they wonder why they are not the primary GF or are not taken to family functions and holidays? Do these people have a lower self esteem because they accept being a IPSS? I have been involved with a midrange and was IPPS for years until recently. Then I find out that he is now seeing someone he met 21/2 years ago and had told me he had not seen or spoken to her in awhile-lies of course. So why would this IPSS be around knowing he was with me while she was seeing him?
    Love your article!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Future faking, comfort crumbs, dangling promises in front of the IPSS – it happens regularly and many IPSSs go along with it because they do not want to risk pushing matters and losing the narcissist (of course they do not know he or she is one). The IPSS also becomes addicted to the narcissist.

      1. sarabella says:

        They also often don’t know about others. So, especially if they are all young, they think there is time and no need to rush things and females are taught that men have all the power to control the pace so they learn their role is to wait. Wait for the date, wait for the calls, wait for the proposal. My narc, because I was so hurt by one of his core lies and was ‘demanding’ to know his feelings and intentions, told me that ‘relationships are such that one offers and the other accepts”. Ergo, I was supposed to be content with the future faking and crumbs. But please, in true love and at our age, that no longer applied. That waiting around mentality didn’t wash with me at all. So it blew up hard and yes I did ‘lose’ him but only to his own games. Really, when you think of it. If he didn’t love me and want me, there was nothing I really lost, just deeply made to feel that way, that I was lising, it was all my fault, and I caused the demise. So not true, there was nothing there to begin with. Just an aging narc still acting as if he was 20 and no ED and with no other life game to play.

    2. sarabella says:

      Mary, the answer is in your question. He wasn’t with you, either. You were duped, too. Just because you met family and all didn’t make you the only one. He deceived you both and in the end, you were both supply, neither of you the recipient of true love.

  10. Insatiable Learner says:

    HG, the Sith, (:)) would you please help me umderstand my current status? I was IPSS or DS. My narc discarded his old primary source and has a new primary source. Last time we communicated was October. We chatted amicably as friends and then he told me he enjoyed catching up and will try not to be distant in the future. I replied “ok and thank you.” I have not heard from him since then and I have not reached out either. Any insight? Thank you very much!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You remain on the shelf IL simple as that because he has a new primary source.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Thank you, HG! I am much obliged to you for your quick response!

      2. Insatiable Learner says:

        Dear HG, a quick follow-up question if I may. Was my short response of “ok. Thank you.”as I outlined in my previous question devoid of usual pleasantries and compliments, etc. perceived as a criticism or something of that sort? Many thanks!

        1. HG Tudor says:


      3. Insatiable Learner says:

        Dear HG, sorry for raising another follow-up question here. In your recent article on the narcissist blowing hot and cold with secondary sources, you said that it is rare for DSIPSS to be placed on the shelf. If I was a DSIPSS and with the facts as provided in my previous question you kindly answered, have I still been placed on the shelf? Thank you!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I don’t know, I cannot recall the facts of your situation.

  11. Curious says:

    HG – how you determine when you decide to disgard and when you decide to vanish?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Vanishing is a dis-engagement (“discard”).

  12. sarabella says:

    Ok, then, since there is no real discard, and one has done the dance on all of these, lets say, hypothetically a victim doesn’t close all doors of contact, what type of hoover would match which type of ‘last known discard’?

    What if a narc is pushed into a discard he wasn’t controlling? LIke #5 was the last one but I do not think he intended it but was triggered into that one. I think some of his discards with me got to be quite accidental. Maybe i am wrong.

    I am waiting to play my last card and then I fold. But he was pushed into #5 and I wonder what would trigger him out of it, if anything at all. Maybe even he has a tolerance level?

  13. HG, I hope this question is not inappropriate but are you aware when a poster is overtly flirting with you in their remarks or replies?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes I am.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          It is but of a very low potency. See the book Fuel for why.
          It is always good to receive fuel but ultimately it is not sufficient in itself to sustain me.

      1. sarabella says:

        What restrains you from flirting back? The rules?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          My strong sense of fidelity and morality naturally Sarabella.

      2. sarabella says:

        “My strong sense of fidelity and morality naturally Sarabella.”


    2. sarabella says:

      not in the individual flirt on the blog, but the cumulative is probably more powerful

      1. Ms brown says:

        I would think HG has much greater fuel flowing from other sources and does not derive fuel from flirts on this blog

        1. HG Tudor says:


  14. Insatiable Learner says:

    Anne Belle, thank you for your answer. If you were not the primary source, then frequency and quantity would not likely have been the basis for the discard. I recall with secondary sources who are rarely discarded, the reasons for the discard HG listed were wounding with intent, disloyalty/ failure to comply with the narcissist’s wants, failure to provide fuel (complete rather than providing less), exposure, and challenging the narcissist. HG, please correct me if I am wrong.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are correct. I viewed it from the perspective of IPPS. If it is an IPSS then placing the appliance on the shelf has occurred or there has been some form of devaluation (although usually this is no sustained with a secondary source) followed by the dis-engagement.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Thank you for confirming, HG, the Jedi Master. 🙂

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I am a Sith.

    2. windstorm2 says:

      Insatiable Learner
      Ooh, see myself there: wounding with intent, failure to comply with the narcs wants and challenging the narc. Those are my go to ways to back my narcs off when they go too far. They may not understand my feelings, but they’re usually smart enough to understand that relationships are quid pro quo. If they can’t handle being bitten back on occasion, that’s when I discard.

  15. abrokenwing says:

    It hurts too much to read about it.

  16. Thankfully I got out before the discard could take place. I could tell that this was getting close to turning out badly for both of us. They would usually start with a degrading comment like I was just all Tits and Ass and not good for anything else. As things progressed along these lines I thought it was more of a Toxic Attitude. They did not like me speaking out. I never intended on challenging them. I really really liked them. I would have continued Trading Assets with them. I thought we were having fun. I thought it was mutually beneficial. I guess all good things have to come to an end, hence the discard or disengagement. I would have Treaded Airily because I didn’t really want to leave. I wanted to stay and make things Tremendously Appealing. Why would anyone want to say TaTa to someone who was so willing to be obedient and brought such fun to the relationship HG????

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Because your fuel was not at the level required.

      1. Thank You HG. I always knew I was a Tight Ass when it came to fuel. ♡

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You either were not providing it at the quantity and frequency or required or it became stale to them.

          1. Thanks Again HG. Since I was there and you were not, I will go with Quantity and Frequency.

    2. Insatiable Learner says:

      Anna Belle, were you the primary source? Hope you don’t mind me asking.

      1. In this instance No.

  17. Flickatina says:

    Golden Wedge for me! *sigh*

  18. Insatiable Learner says:

    Red Rider, may I recommend you read the article “Have you seen who he is with”? HG addresses your question about the downgrade there. Very best!

  19. Ms brown says:

    typo… THROW.. (not through)

  20. abrokenwing says:

    No 2

  21. Red Rider says:

    The lovely Vanish Discard. I can’t thank you enough HG for this website!!!!! Otherwise, I really would be in such a state of confusion on trying to figure out what had happened and why. Although , I will never understand the thought process of an N. How you invest all that time into “lovebombing” us just to throw us away like a piece of garbage. And even though I know he’ll do this in all his relationships, it still deeply hurts. No contact is still going strong and I will continue to read this daily to be ready and prepared for the Hoover. Questions though, do lessers or mid range tend to vanish over the greater? Or it doesn’t matter, you just see what fits for what type of person we are and what will hurt the most? And also his new primary, I mean not to be rude but he really downgraded!! I’m dumbfounded on how he went from me to her. Is this normal?? Thanks so much:)

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Lessers and Mid Rangers are more likely to pursue elsewhere if your no contact is good. Greaters, will, as a rule of thumb, apply more effort.

      As for your other question read

      1. Red Rider says:

        It doesn’t say what to read;).

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Have You Seen Who He is With.

    2. Ms brown says:

      if I may…. I believe they “downgrade” as a means of getting fuel and compliance from the new primary, because they can through us, the ex in the triangulation mix…

      1. Red Rider says:

        Thank you! Yes, I’m guessing it really doesn’t matter what they look like or the trashy way they represent themselves, as long as it’s good fuel. It definitely messes with my head and self esteem though, thinking, REALLY?!? Not to mention since I told him Sunday, he won, I will be leaving him alone…..he is constantly posting on Facebook and even tagging her. I am really in disbelief but I know I’ll be better in the long run. Thanks for letting me vent;)

        1. Ms brown says:

          it (you) will be used to keep the new source (the downgrade as you put it) pitted aginst you.(unknowingly to you) he will use you to instill insecurity in her, obtain fuel and the fake triangulation (that you know nothing of) HG talks somewhere about that form of triangulation… also will ensure he gets compliance from the downgraded appliance!

  22. LCT says:

    Which catagory does my discard fit into , We had a disagreement he went over the top left me then text me it was over and never to contact him again , he then blocked me off everything i havnt seen him in six week .

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Vanishing Act.

  23. Ms brown says:

    All of the above, and in that exact order, rotated over and over and over…

    1. Ms brown says:

      The last paragraph is what pushed me over the edge… (of course before I found HG Tudor) He has provided me with much knowledge and knowledge is true power!

    2. sarabella says:

      Yup, #5 was this weekend’s special serving.

      But no matter, I tanked him up good with so much fuel this past week, intentionally, and all with a plan to just disappear. Everything is in place to replace the focus on him with something else. So it will not be a struggle to not contact him anymore. He will have gotten all that fuel, all my pleas, my poured out emotions, my humility, shamelessness, and the begging from me … only this time? It was all on purpose. He has heard this from me when I didn’t get the game, but now that I do, I gave it to him in the same way. I just gave it to him in spades! On purpose. Calculated this time.

      And now, he is being cut off… I have one more card to play, see if he bites, and then I am closing the last door.

      I hope he feels it… the outpouring of fuel and then dead silence. Forever. And he can go climb under a rock and die, pathetic human that he is.

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