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.

26 thoughts on “The Mid-Range Narcissist

  1. Stephanie Farlow says:

    Mine would call it “dumb looks and silence” (this was his response to people who should not ask personal questions etc) and he did do it to me occasionally if he did not want to answer a question or fuel. He did not very often at all subject me to the silent treatment where he would disappear a lot. Not sure why.

  2. Gman says:

    In my experience this sort of person is also likely to obfuscate their intelligence as well. They have an average to above average IQ, but you would suspect idiocy if you didn’t know better.

  3. Malcolm in the middle.


  4. CK says:

    He might be busy elsewhee but that does not stop him from hoover me on daily basis without making direct contact. I am stuck in his 6th sphere. He makes it obvious that he is out there watching and not letting me go even when NC is in place.

    1. cherrylin says:

      Oh 😱 I think maybe he’s not ignoring you then! Sounds like some scary stalker stuff! Have you read No Contact?
      Mine ultimately didn’t give two craps about me, even as I saw and basically treated him as if he were a master over me. Haven’t heard from nor seen him since going N/C.

      1. KC says:

        I find it very hard to believe if he is happy with his new shiny toy, then he would spend an hour same time almost every day stalking/hoovering me due to malice obsession. I made contact recently but was ignored. Wonder where this is leading too..

  5. I don’t think I’m worried or concerned about this category, because it’s virtually impossible for any of these mid range types to be able to ensnare me, or even go farther than half an hour of the first date.

  6. abrokenwing says:

    After being horrible to me all day at work he send me a msg at 4am saying ( just a part of it) ‘ You can not think about anything but yourself…. I will never speak to you again unless you apologise to me’. I went on my holiday day after. Returned to work 6 days later. He asked me what was the last message I received from him. I replied ‘ I got your message H. I’m just not sure what would you like me to apologise for? If you could explain?’. ‘Err…….. I would do this for you! I would apologise if I would know that you need this!! But you can not do it for me , righ?! Ok. You won! And now we not gonna see each other anymore! ‘ . I did not apologise to him on this occasion and we were still seeing each other for a while.

  7. gabbanzobean says:

    I forgot to ask this in my orginal reply but will you ever do an article about the victim and cerebral categories? And I suppose somatic and elite as well too. I’d love to read your analyzation of those types like I’ve read here for the middle range.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There is material planned in that regard.

      1. Gabrielle says:

        I look forward to it. Specifically victim and cerebral as I find much of what I have dealt with falls among those 2 categories.

  8. Gabrielle says:

    The dialogue you use when you talk to the Malcolm the mid ranger and the dialogue he uses to respond to you in this exchange….particularly “Isn’t what right my dear?” I can HEAR my mid ranger saying those exact words. I used to begin the conversation with “I have a question for you…” and he would say “What is it my dear?” or “Yes, darling girl? Honey? Sweetheart?” and so on….always with that damn charm!

  9. giulia says:

    Once you have given up the ghost, everything follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.

    Henry Miller

  10. giulia says:

    …”I like to put some pressure on you…make you cry a little…”
    “I want to be the reason of all hungers and all satieties”
    “I like your sadness, I need it”

    I wish he wasn’t what he is…so much…I’d have real memories. I could tell myself I had known him because I don’t think I ever knew him.
    I don’t know who he is.

  11. Amy S. says:

    “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.”

    … and that’s exactly how he spoiled my Friday.

    1. windstorm2 says:

      AmyS, keep reading and learning. It may not help today, but eventually you will be able to laugh at him and view his behavior with contempt. Then he will be a source of amusement and no more ruined Fridays. 😊

      1. Amy S. says:

        windstorm2, I know. Although, I occasionally lose it and try to annoy him instead of just ignoring him. He loves it … once he said: “sassy… I like that!” This drove me even more mad.

  12. Victoria says:

    I love it when you show this type of scenario it really magnifies the personalities of the different schools and cadres.
    Thanks HG and have a fabulous weekend! Relax and enjoy 🙂

  13. strongerwendy says:

    Changed my mind. I was with a somatic mid ranger, not a somatic lesser.

  14. Karma says:

    Hoovers are hell.. the nasty man thinks he can revive the golden period! Ha! I am so quit and don’t respond and he keeps trying. I am content, beautiful and strong. My life is going really well as I watch from far when his life is falling apart… yet again!
    Weeks of NC now and I have to say I’m feeling much better. The last time the Midrange fucker tried I knew he was a N but fell for it! This time he tried again and I simply walk away and never look back!
    Sure I have weak moments and the CD kicks in but then I read my books and come here… and that is the reason tonight.
    But all that time he gave me the silent treatment he will get back with a life long NC. Goodbye forever N … and good luck… looks like you need it now! Soon homeless again … and alone … and oh so ugly.

    Big hug from me to all of you here!!! We can strive again… just a bumpy road.

  15. 12345 says:

    These are some of my favorite entries. I don’t know why but it gives me a clearer picture of how each narcissist behaves in different situations. And…I think its hysterical. No offense, but they seem like complete babies and I find myself smiling the entire time I’m reading it. I will say, it’s only from the outside looking in that I think it’s funny. It’s not quite so funny when I’m the recipient. Hopefully there will come a day when I can see the forest instead of the tree and be able to discern what is right in front of me.

  16. CK says:

    How would my ex-mid range react if I forwarded this post to him? Very tempting…

    1. He probably won’t. I’ve forwarded so many of these about the silent treatment, hoovers, and discards. I am hoping that he will never contact me again because I have exposed him to everyone here in this small town environment, and when he hoovered, told him play by play what it was by switching my name and his name with HG and one of the sources of supply in whatever story I shared, and it was like looking in a mirror or rewinding a scene. He will probably give you silent treatment as did mine because they do silent treatment, discards, vanishing acts, hiding, so well. Plus they are cowards and liars so they will never face or own anything about themselves. I love how he explains the lesser, mid-range and greater narcissists. I know how to define mine – he’s a mid-range.

    2. cherrylin says:

      If he was anything like mine, accuse you of being hateful, say you were spewing poison, question whether or not you accurately remember events because it seems like you’re talking about someone else. Then either ignore you or be magnanimous enough to forgive you, depending on what he wanted.

      1. CK says:

        Currently I am being ignored for quite some time. I just want to push his buttons. Might be a very bad idea… But I am only a DLS.

      2. cherrylin says:

        @CK, if he’s ignoring you and leaving you alone, then he’s playing with some other toys in his toybox and you have an uninterrupted opportunity to sever ties if you choose to.

        I don’t know if I was a DLS or IPSS. but I got to that point too. I wanted to push buttons, provoke, etc. I think for me at least it was less about just purely pissing him off and more about practically begging for punishment in some twisted attempt to make it better. I fussed about it, but ultimately stayed on the shelf till I did finally have enough.

        Consider if you want to use this time to break free, or if you are actually wanting to stick around. Pushing buttons just to provoke him would only keep you mired in the bullshit and make the hoover that much easier.

        I truly do believe that some of us need to have a couple rides on that rollercoaster before we can definitively say, “I’ve taken the time, I’ve done research, yes, I now see you are a jerk, it’s not just me, and that you’re not gonna change. Now I’m ready to call it and be done with you.”

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