The 5 Devaluation Triggers



You will be familiar with the fact that one day you are cock of the walk and the next day you are a feather duster. You are atop the pedestal and in a flash you have been thrown from it and you are lying in the dust as we stand over you berating you. The sudden switch from hero to zero, from princess to pauper, from “good person” to “bad person” is perhaps the most confusing, bewildering and upsetting part of our behaviour. People cannot comprehend why they were being feted as the love of our life on Monday and then by Tuesday they are the devil incarnate. It is something which causes (and of course we want this) victims of our nefarious behaviour to cling to us in order to get an answer, to receive an explanation and some kind of reasoning which will allow them to make sense of what has happened. They are unlikely to accept it, the emotional hold of the seduction and the golden period prevents acceptance of this sudden fall from grace for a very long time, but if you are able to understand why it happened, you are able to move yourself forward with greater speed than you would otherwise. Our reasons may appear illogical to you based on your world view but at least you have some reasons and that is more than you would usually ever receive from our kind as we plough on with your devaluation offering no cogent or realistic explanation for this sudden switch. I am not explaining why we devalue you (fuel, control, reinforcement of our need for superiority and self-worth). I am explaining what is it that makes us love you then hate you in the blink of an eye. What causes this sudden change, this 180-degree swing, this volte face, this switch? You will be given no answer or if you are they will not be anything to do with the real reason why we suddenly idealise you then devalue you. This false reasons are wheeled out to make you remain all the more, pursuing an elusive point as we continue to drain you of negative fuel until we decide you are to be discarded. Thus, here are the five reasons that are the triggers for the devaluation.

  1. Stale

The fundamental reason for seducing you is to gather your potent and positive fuel. In the beginning and for some time afterwards we are invigorated by this precious fuel that you supply to us. We are reliant on it, we want and need it and we marvel at the fuel you provide us. This may last months or it may even last years dependent on our demands and your ability to fulfil them. Your complacency however causes the fuel to become stale to us. You may not regard yourself as having done anything wrong. We understand that according to your view of how a healthy and mature relationship should progress that after a dizzying, honeymoon period the relationship moves to a deep-seated position where that initial buzz of excitement has faded to be replaced by something long-lasting, substantial and fulfilling. Should you appreciate your relationship with us with this mind set, it results in us seeing you as complacent. You may regard it as a natural and understandable, indeed potentially necessary progression. We do not. Your failure to admire us in the way you once did (or at least the manifestation of this admiration), your demonstration of love, adoration and such like becomes lessened. You may not think that you love us any less but it is the way that appears to us that matters. This change manifests as complacency to us and it makes your fuel become stale, less potent and this in turn threatens to weaken us. In order to defend ourselves we must immediately switch to the devaluation and extract the negative fuel from you which will power us to the extent we want and demand.

  1. Disobedience

Our sense of entitlement, inability to recognise and respect boundaries and huge need for control means that we have to have you do what we want. This control arises through the application of the incentive, the carrot approach, when we have seduced you and the golden period is in play. Through the application of wonderful and loving behaviour we cause you to do what we want by providing fuel and carrying out our wishes. We have delighted you and you want to please us in return. We provide you with the love you desire and you respond by complying with our requirements. When you stop submitting to this benign control then we will switch and commence the devaluation. You may, when viewed objectively by others, be correct in not doing what we want, taking an alternative course of action and doing something else but to us that is irrelevant. You are challenging our control and this cannot be countenanced. In order to stamp out this uprising before it gains traction and undermines our careful operation that has been constructed to control you and gain fuel from you, we must tighten our control, remove the dissent and increase our grip on you. This is when the devaluation begins. We move from benign dictator to malign tyrant.

  1. See Through

If we apprehend that you are working us out. If we perceive that you have been influenced by another source and you are joining the dots. If we gauge that you are beginning to realise what we are and what we are doing, then we must strike first in order to shock and awe you into submission once more and dispel your fabrications. You may well be right but we are not going to accept you being right. We will switch to the devaluation in order to unleash all those manipulations which will confuse you, drain you and most of all make out that it is all your fault. We have done nothing wrong other than love you with a perfect love and instead you have brought this on yourself through your lies about what we are and your treachery. We cannot allow you to unmask us and therefore we will assault you with a frenzied devaluation which gives you no option other than to try and defend yourself so you lose sight of your goal of seeing through us. We will make you feel guilty, cruel and heartless in the hope of tapping into your empathic traits so you stop what you have been doing and concentrate on putting things right between us, mending the relationship and showing that you care. The commencement of the devaluation when you are uncovering what we are is a massive distraction exercise designed to protect us and harm you.

  1. The Hoover Opportunity

This is not a hoover against you. Instead it is the opportunity which suddenly arises to hoover a predecessor. This person may have been discarded and moved away from our sphere of influence or they have escaped and done likewise, but now something has happened whereby they have come back into our sphere of influence. The promise of that sweet and powerful hoover fuel will outweigh the positive fuel that you are currently providing us with. The prospect of getting this hoover fuel means that we want to focus our attention on the predecessor and hoover them. We will not get shot of you, not yet, because that will leave us in in-between primary sources of fuel. Instead, we commence the hoover to seduce again your predecessor and thus because they have appeared on the horizon they make you look like the less desirable option. This causes us to question why we are with you, to regard you as a mistake and therefore we switch to devaluing you as we begin the seduction of them once again. Should the hoover fail, expect the golden period to be reinstated for you, with another sudden switch. Should it succeed and we begin to tie the predecessor back to us once more with the hoover fuel beginning to flow, you can expect the devaluation to worsen as you hurtle towards being discarded.

A sudden switch to devaluation may indeed herald the fact that a predecessor has appeared on our radar and we are hoovering that person at your expense.

  1. Total Control

You are aware that we want to control you. This is fundamental to the dynamic between us. Yet, as a further example of the double standards that we engage in we want to control you and if you disobey us we will commence your devaluation but furthermore if we believe we have obtained total control over you then we will similarly commence your devaluation because we know that you will do anything that we want and we will just use you to validate ourselves in the event that other, more exciting prospects do not fuel us during the course of the day. You become relegated to the reliable and dependable, because you are actually doing precisely what we want, but through our warped logic, this equates to you no longer being special. Thus we need to make you special to us once again and we do this through devaluation. We will not cast you aside when we have achieved total control, not at all. This state of affairs brings with it considerable benefits but they will now be channelled through the filter of devaluation and not idealisation. It is symptomatic of the bizarre (when judged from your perspective) logic we apply that when you finally do the very thing we want, we turn against you and begin your devaluation.

How do you deal with all of this? The short answer is you cannot. Any of these five reasons may suddenly apply without warning and your devaluation starts. You cannot avoid it and you could not avoid it. You did nothing wrong, but you did everything wrong from our world view. There is nothing you can do to avoid this happening, because once the trigger happens, the devaluation will follow. The thing you can draw the greatest solace from however is that in knowing this is how we are, in knowing that there was nothing you can do or you could have done to have changed the outcome, you at least now have this knowledge and through it you can attain freedom from the doubt, uncertainty and sheer bewilderment of wondering why it happened.

38 thoughts on “The 5 Devaluation Triggers

  1. Luna says:

    HG, it seems both empaths and narcs crave sympathy (a shallow “emotion” really). Have you addressed this craving by both? I am working my way through your work, grateful to have found it, so I may not have seen / heard it if you already have. (BTW, big diff between empathy and sympathy)

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Luna, sympathy is fuel and therefore will be sought by the narcissist. It is of course often sought by Mid Ranger Narcissists.

      1. Sniglet says:

        HG Tudor,

        Where does one fit into the spectrum of narcissism and empathy when one does not feel comfortable giving much sympathy, seek it nor receive it? Additionally at times one needs to fake sympathy in certain situations because it is the norm.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          So sympathy is felt but it is preferred not to provide it because it feels comfortable? Further the individual does not like to receive sympathy but sees the need to appear sympathetic in certain situations. This sound like someone who is rather shy and polite.

  2. giulia says:

    “It is, after all, not necessary to fly right into the middle of the sun, but it is necessary to crawl to a clean little spot on earth where the sun sometimes shines and one can warm oneself a little.”

    Kafka, Letter To My Father.

    1. karen1303 says:

      I LOVE that quote.

      1. giulia says:


  3. giulia says:

    No no, truth is good, so is cognitive empathy. At least it is something.
    I was also wondering if you HG noticed any changes in your empathy levels since you started this site.
    I am just having issues with no empathy, it gives me shivers and I can’t get to the point where I don’t feel the need to connect.
    I always get this feeling of being out of place.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I have no emotional empathy therefore the level cannot alter.
      If you mean cognitive empathy, I have learned more of this from this place.

  4. giulia says:

    Victoria, Karen, thank you for your empathy, I need it to face all the confusion, pain and anger that I am feeling right now.
    As we all know HG isn’t giving any. This is not a criticism but just a thought. If you HG were also a bit more empathic when we cry in your blog it would be easier.
    Just like you make the effort to explain all the secret manipulations we are subjected to and that is a beautiful help for us, if you could go a bit further in the comments, showing some kind of feeling for all those who suffered through a painful relationship with those of your kind, it would be just as helpful to face all the pain.
    I know it is none of your concern our suffering but it is a concern of yours to challenge your nature.
    Just a thought.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I have cognitive empathy so I know how I am expected to respond to somebody being hurt etc but I do not feel any empathy. I understand your point but I am not going to do the ‘tea and sympathy’ routine because it is not genuine and I deliver the reality here, hence you get no empathy from me. The brutal truth is what is required to enable you to receive the relevant knowledge and information.

      1. Nadine says:

        Amen. HG is right. Stop hoping for sympathy when they lack capacity to show such. He personally diagnosed my narc when all I ever wanted to see was the hope and possibility. Now, I call my narc on his bs. I see the love bomb, and when he says ‘let’s pull back’ I see detachment clearly. When he gets upset because he explains His view and I give a differing opinion, I recognize devaluation coming. So the other night, I simply said: this ‘relationship’ (he now needs personal time and I should not be around his friends right now), isn’t one. Take all the time you need because I think you need to let go. It’s too much of a struggle. He got mad (anger) and said I take everything he says wrong. Yes yes. I never had an opinion before.

        Next day, after I was certain Id be in the silent punishment stage he calls: wants me to come over this weekend, his friends will be there (I guess someone broke a ️date?). It’s crazy.

        I would rather the brutal facts than lies. Thanks HG

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

    2. Jessica says:

      giulia: It’s a bit paradoxical and ironic that you would even ponder asking a narc for any kind of empathy seeing as how he’s a narc and telling you point blank that he’s a narc and narcs don’t have empathy for anyone. I’ve learned that if you drop the expectations of other human beings, you won’t feel so disappointed. Let a narc be a narc. Just steer clear of a narc. Don’t have expectations of any kind of genuine humanity from a narc. Just learn from what he’s sharing, the cold hard truth of a true soulless asshole and steer clear of them.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        I’m not an asshole.

      2. Nadine says:

        Wow. That’s a bs statement to call another person an asshole. We ALL make asshole decisions at some point in our life.

        Narcissism is a personality disorder. It isn’t like taking an antibiotic and magically getting better. The fact that he (HG) offers information is a way to help others – and if you are astute and well read enough, he is gaining from this as well. Monetarily and maybe even some fuel. (Sorry)

        I would rather see the beast I am dealing with – feed it as I desire but know I may be bitten. My therapist and my experience NEVER explained it so astutely and graphically as HG did to me. How else to we become powerful empaths without knowledge. I certainly don’t think that makes the sharer of knowledge an ahole.

      3. giulia says:

        I only drop expectations if someone doesn’t make it intellectually or physically.
        But I wouldn’t talk about expectations, that’s not what I feel, with HG or in general. It has something to do with my values. I don’t want to give up on them and the reality of life is such that my core values are constantly challenged.
        Why should I stop believing in them? What would I become? Just because it’s painful or hard to stay on a chosen path, doesn’t mean that it’s wrong. If I believe in something I fight for it.
        HG makes himself available, I certainly don’t look for my ex to give me understanding or a dialogue of some kind. He cannot be diverted from the path he’s in and as far as I am concerned he can keep going on the highway to hell ( listen to AC/DC :)).
        I am not saying that HG can be diverted, even if he could I surely don’t see myself playing any role or part in it beyond the one he allows me to have.
        I am just speaking my mind and being myself, as long as I am allowed to do so.

    3. karen1303 says:

      Hi Giulia, I think for HG to display false empathy would be a very dangerous thing. We are here because we need the truth and it’s that truth and that reality that is setting us free. I think if HG showed a shread of empathy/sympathy it would shatter everything here for me and that would be me gone. There would be no value here and it would just become a site of a narc being a narc playing narc games. I can get plenty of narc games from the ex. It’s the truth I want and need from HG and on that front he doesn’t let me down. I trust him. His worth to me is hearing the brutal truth and yes, it is brutal. There have been times when I’ve not been able to handle the brutal truths and that’s when I’ve taken myself away from here and isolated myself until I’ve regained the strength to carry on listening.
      Also, I think if HG were to start a pretence of caring it would carry the risk of indirectly enabling the narcs in our lives. Some might think ‘oh so narcs DO actually care and show empathy’ if that were the case best case scenario would be us back to confusion and not understanding, worst case scenario would be victims may very well go back to narc with the hope they can change. Both very dangerous positions I think.
      I wonder why you would like to hear that HG has empathy? Why would you need it from HG? You have it from us, the readers in bucket fulls. I wonder if perhaps what you really crave is empathy from your ex? Which is natural of course. And all part of the confusion but when the acceptance hits that’s when the healing can begin.
      I hope you don’t think my post is in any way patronising because it hasn’t been written that way. I do know where you are in all this ☺ Be gentle with yourself Giulia.

      1. Victoria says:

        Karen, Beautifully said. I agree with you and add that with all the BS we have received from our narc’s it is a gift to finally understand the thoughts and actions and what was really happening during our relationship. What HG offers us is priceless knowledge and a means to learn from him what to do to avoid meeting another narc and to heal our wounds with the understanding which kept up prisoners for so long. I thank HG every day and will forever be grateful for what he does. Thanks HG!

      2. giulia says:

        Karen, “be gentle with youself”…good advice, thank you…..
        I guess my father’s legacy is always lurking. The “you can do anything, throw youself in the fire and destroy your enemies” isn’t really my cup of tea.

    4. Gulia, HG is unable to feel empathy, if he had the ability, he would do that for you and everyone else.
      Would you ask a blind person to challenge their nature and ask them to try and see, at least a little? Or would you ask a hearing impaired to try to hear you a little bit harder to try and challenge nature?
      It’s the same with not being able to feel empathy, nor joy, happiness, love, grief, gratitude, etc. Those emotions are completely absent from his brain.
      Anyone now tell me how this is a personality disorder?

  5. Victoria says:

    Thanks for this gift HG. When you say-“knowing this is how we are, in knowing that there was nothing you can do or you could have done to have changed the outcome, you at least now have this knowledge and through it you can attain freedom from the doubt, uncertainty and sheer bewilderment of wondering why it happened.”
    You are right-and benevolent and kind! That was the biggest torture not knowing and wondering if we could have done something different to change the outcome.
    My gratitude-you just make my Friday shine a little brighter. All your writing has but this one, and the way you said it-really touched me!

  6. K says:

    1. Stale: our golden period lasted approximately 2 years. We were both in other relationships when it began. This was followed by 4 years of positive and negative fuel. We were young and randy. He was an alpha male and I was an alpha female. It was volatile and euphoric; I loved it, but he felt otherwise. Next came purgatory, more negative than positive, this lasted approximately 2 years. This felt stale and tedious.

    2.Disobedience: this began after the golden period. He tried to control me and I wouldn’t let him. Sparks flew.

    3. See Through: This commenced after purgatory and he bombarded me with gaslighting, projection, blame shifting, cold fury and rage. This was truly shock and awe, however, I did not blame myself or try to fix it. His behavior was bizarre and erratic, but not my responsibility. I was extremely confused at this point.

    4. Hoover: I was the predecessor in this maneuver. After high school we went our separate ways, then I entered his sphere of influence and the seduction began.

    5. Total Control: I don’t feel this was achieved, however, his controlling behavior was very oppressive and never stopped. His IPSS probably saved me from total annihilation, since that was who he was with most of the time.

  7. SUSAN says:

    Excellent information, concisely written and strangely comforting 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  8. Mrs Linton says:

    Very comforting information when in the throes of a devaluation. I also can now separate my child ego from the mess. Trying to put right all the ways that I have been wronged from my childhood relationships onward is truly futile, when there is an attempt to work through this issue with a Narc.
    I have always known I have disappointed, and never known why. Even if you are perfect, that in the end would become worthless to a narc. Fascinating.

  9. Linda Evans says:

    Any harm in the satisfaction of telling a mid ranger to “FO you’re a narc” before NC??

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It will provide some challenge fuel, he will deny it, probably accuse you of being one but based on that situation in isolation there would be no harm to you.

  10. giulia says:

    The first time I’ve been served devaluation was the n.3 and n.4 combined.
    It has been the most horrible and cruel thing I had ever experienced.
    I still can’t accept what that did to me, nor I am ready to talk about it. I don’t even know how to talk about it.
    It wouldn’t make sense. It would make me look delusional but it was real.
    Somehow I landed on npd and I knew I was in the right place.
    Time went by and he walks in my life again.
    I felt I could have the answers I had been looking for. I felt I could deal with him. I was careful….and I was wrong.
    I lost control of it all and I won the n.5.
    It wasn’t as bad and painful as the first time but it was an eye opener and the end for me.

    1. Victoria says:

      I know and can sympathize with your experience! I went through all of them as well and before finding HG and the gift he provides for all of us with this blog, his books and his magnificent mind- if is futile to know about the machinations of a narcissist and their devaluation. As HG has said so many times-they blend into society and wear their many mask well. It is only us, behind closed doors who encounter the horror. I have read 21 of his books and visit this blog daily, reading all his articles. This I feel is the best armament to have and to keep learning-hopefully we can then reach the Zero Impact Zone. I am anxiously awaiting that book along with others. All the best 🙂

    2. karen1303 says:

      Hi Giulia, I doubt it would make you look delusional. Not here it wouldn’t. Remember we’ve all been there. The ‘not making sense’ makes perfect sense of you know what I mean. 😊
      I’m sure there’ll come a time when you’re ready and you are in the best place for that.

  11. Karin says:

    Do you ever devalue tertiary sources?

    I have suspected my director at work is a Greater elite or cerebral.

    Just recently I saw the flames of power rise in his eyes, and in an instant I was certain.

    I’ve worked with him for 3 years, and have gone in and out of favor with him. I am currently a candidate for promotion and heard he believes I am “not ready” which is total BS.

    You don’t have to answer but I wonder if others have experience here.

    What gives?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes that happens.

  12. Well, All 5 reasons applied to my discard. Funny thing is, I tried to break up several times and was roped back in. Guess he had to make sure my replacement had things set up the way he wanted before he left.

    1. mistynolan01 says:

      And he wanted to be the one to do the discarding.

    2. karen1303 says:

      And that HE was the one doing the discarding.

  13. mistynolan01 says:

    Realizing now that empaths, like myself, get bored with “your kind” too. Once the seduction is complete, you no longer give us what we need. To the unknowing, you appear conceited, not confident. Your “talents” are slowly revealed to be less than you made them out to be. Your grand plans seldom come about. You are left looking like the fake that your kind are. Then our respect for you gradually escapes us.

    We would nearly always leave you because you inevitably bore our kind.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

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

Previous article

5 Fears of the Narcissist

Next article