The Four Classes



I have written before about how there are four cadres of narcissist – the Victim, the Somatic, The Cerebral and the Elite. I have also references on many occasions the three different schools – the Lesser, the Mid-Range and the Greater. Knowing what cadre and school your narcissist belongs to is extremely helpful in enabling you to understand why he or she behaves in the manner that they do and also to enable you to know what you need to do and what you should expect.

It is also worth your while knowing that there are also four classes which are applicable to the interaction between us and our primary sources. There are, effectively, four overarching methodologies which our kind applies to our primary source of fuel. The people who are our primary sources are almost always intimate partners and we operate in a certain way with regard we treat those people. I am not referring to the narcissistic cycle of seduction, devaluation, discard and hoover but instead the interaction over time between us and our primary sources.

Identifying the type you are engaged with or have been engaged with will provide you with insight into his or her behaviour and allow you to understand what you can expect by way of further interaction.

The first is the Nomad. This narcissist will form a relationship and conduct the narcissistic cycle and then as part of that cycle, identify a new appliance. Once with the new appliance, there may be the occasional hoover of the old appliance and there will be intermittent seduction of passing interests whilst with the new appliance and then another new appliance is sought out. The Nomad will triangulate the new appliance that he has and that triangulation will be with both the old appliance and other appliances, but he will only “skirmish” with those old and other appliances whilst with the new. He uses the old appliances and the other appliances naturally for fuel, he uses them to triangulate with the current, new appliance but he will not return to the old appliance to form an ongoing relationship. He may spend a few days with that person, a night together, maybe even a holiday but he will not want to commence the more formal relationship with the old appliance. He will always consider a return, after all hoover fuel is excellent fuel and he will take it but he has no desire, nor the energy, to instigate a long golden period through this hoover. He will connect, charm for a night, a few days perhaps a week or two and then he will return to the current appliance. He may come back to the old appliance much later down the line, when there is a different new appliance, but the pattern will remain the same. There will be no relationship in the formal sense with that old appliance. That has happened once and will not again, but the opportunity for a brief burst of fuel will not be relinquished. As for the other appliances, he will utilise them in the same way. He will spend a night with them, perhaps a few days but there will be no relationship at all. Unlike the old appliance, where there once was a relationship, the other appliances are just passing fancies, to distract him from the current, new appliance and to use for the purposes of triangulation.

Once he tires of the new appliance, he finds someone different and does not return to the old and the other appliances but seeks fresh territory. He will seek out a completely new appliance. He will triangulate this new and different appliance with the recently discarded one, he may even do so with the one before that, the older appliance but he will not form relationships again with the old or older appliances. He is always moving, seeking out new victims, occasionally hoovering old ones, but not to the extent of resurrecting an ongoing relationship with them.


The second is the Ping Pong Player. This type of narcissist will secure his new appliance and he will triangulate her with the old appliance. He will then hoover the old appliance and return to her as part of an ongoing relationship. He will triangulate her with the recently replaced appliance who was the new appliance. He will then vacillate back and forth between these two appliances, leaving one for the other, a lengthy and ongoing tug-of-love as the narcissist bounces back and forth like a ping pong ball between the two same people. There may be interaction with other appliances on an intimate level but they will be one night stands and brief liaisons. He is only interested in the long-term in moving between two particular appliances. He has his two primary sources who he goes back and forth between for as long as he can. Should one eventually decide against continuing with this arrangement then this narcissist will organise a replacement and draw them into this ping pong set-up. The newly escaped former appliance will be hoovered initially in order to maintain the ping pong set-up, but if this fails then a new person will be drawn into the arrangement. There may be intermittent hoovers of the escaped appliance but she will no longer form part of the ping-pong arrangement as the narcissist now has two primary sources to shuttle back and forth between



The third is the Anchor. This primary source is long-suffering. The narcissist will have a long-standing intimate partner, usually a spouse and there will be children involved. The narcissist will seek out fresh appliances and conduct affairs, possibly leaving the long-standing appliance and striking out anew with the replacement. After a period of time, the narcissist will return to the long-standing appliance, often citing missing the children, or doing it for the children, or they realised just how much their spouse truly loves them and they love her. The recently acquired appliance will be cast aside for some time. The narcissist may hoover that discarded appliance at a future point but only for the purpose of one-night stands and infrequent liaisons. He has no interest in resurrecting the relationship again. Instead, he will then seek out a new appliance and leave the long-standing one again as he pursues the dream of potent fuel forever with the newly acquired individual. Once again the affair will end and the narcissist will push her to one side and return to the long-suffering appliance. Time and time again he will leave her, having affairs and leaving home, before returning at a future point. It is often an individual who is regarded as the Anchor, the one who remains in situ and never changes, who is co-dependent to a considerable degree and is unable to want anyone other than the narcissist no matter how many times he has left and come back and no matter how many affairs that he has had.


The final category is the hybrid. This narcissist may operate the Anchor scenario before over time changing to the Nomad and then perhaps back to the Anchor or the Ping Pong arrangement. He will morph and shift between these different approaches, often as a consequence of the disruption to the primary source of fuel, whereby for instance the long-suffering Anchor finally moves on or is helped away from the narcissist, or perhaps both primary sources in the Ping Pong arrangement reject the narcissist and he is forced to adopt a Nomadic approach.

There are numerous reasons why these arrangements are adopted, dependent on the type of victim, the type of narcissist and other factors which I shall elaborate on in a separate article. No doubt you can recognise which methodology was applicable to your entanglement.

75 thoughts on “The Four Classes

  1. Lauren says:

    Hi HG,

    Regarding the madonna-whore complex, at the beginning of their formal relationships, are the IPSS’s the whore and the IPPS’s the madonna or vise versa?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Lauren, please see the book Sex.

      1. Lauren says:

        Hi HG,

        Okay. I just read about the Madonna-whore complex in your book, Sex and the Narcissist. From my understanding, the IPSS is the good whore and the IPPS is the bad whore or Madonna (pending on the type of narcissist), Did I understand this correctly?

  2. alexissmith2016 says:

    HG, how do each of the classes treat their SSIPs? In a similar manner to how the treat their PS? Or how you describe an N treats an SSIP generally?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The differences between the classes are more marked for the IPPS. The IPSSs will be treated in a broadly similar manner by the classes.

      1. alexissmith2016 says:

        Incredibly helpful and very interesting. Thank you HG! It really does amaze me how you understand the intricacies of so many different personalities within personalities. Happy New Year!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome. Same to you.

  3. Queen 3 says:

    Hi HG,
    As it relates to the pong narcissist, when he disengages with one primary source to return to the other, diodes that start a new golden period for the secondary source turned primary or it consider a respite period for that person. How long typically before they are then devalued? I feel that I’ve been pulled into a potential ping pong situation but I’m a third party seeming to be the constant SIPSS. Is he potentially seeing me up to be a ping pong player if one of the originals don’t return to the fold?

  4. Queen 3 says:

    Hi HG,
    As it relates to the ping pong class, how long are the golden periods when they return to one of the sources? Is it much shorter than the initial golden period and then can somewhat be considered more similar to a respite period when they return?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes, they are shorter and similar to a respite period.

  5. Insatiable Learner says:

    HG, what about how these four classes behave with respect to shelved secondary sources? Which ones take them off the shelf and which ones don’t? Thank you!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The four classes are with regard to the primary source as stated in the article IL.

      1. Insatiable Learner says:

        Sorry, HG! I thought there was some sort of a correlation that could be drawn with respect to secondary sources. Apparently, not. I appreciate you clarifying!

  6. Supernova DE says:

    Possible to ping pong between spouse and online long distance secondary IPPS/IPSS? Or would it be physically moving between two homes? Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Yes can pingpong as you describe in the first sentence.

      1. Supernova DE says:

        Thank you for answering HG, I know you had a backlog. This makes the most sense for the pattern I see the past three years…and warns me of the coming hoover also. I’ll make sure I’m ready! Also wanted to tell you that both Fuel and Fury have been most helpful to me to understand everything I’ve experienced.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  7. /iroll says:

    Sorry for long post – this is what was missing here for me:

    Yes, i was with a lesser nomad.

    I get msgs (still going NC but he’s only partially blocked as i’m still curious, i’ll get over it again soon!!!): that say:

    • I am his property and can’t see other men (i’m in a relationship) or I will be useless to him
    • I am useless
    • He demands to see me, now! but i rejected his first ‘offer’ and must now wait for him to summon me. I’m given an open ticket along with a silent treatment, but Plans May Change and i won’t be informed

    This is all independent of any response or non-response i have, i cannot sway conversation with him at all, there are a lot of stock phrases that i’m sure he issues to all women. I thought i could manipulate things to get a breakthrough or try to be more callous, myself, but that was wishful thinking.

    If i respond in the wrong way, by seeking any kind of communication or challenging him, anything beyond basic information, then i will get a big old malign hoover and a silent treatment, which is more like total abandonment than a sulk. But it’s all one big ‘silent treatment’, which comes from his compartmentalisation and the unreality of the connection.

    I think he’s a minor sociopathic-narcissistic sexual predator who is very vain ‘somatic’, who boosts his ego and escapes his boredom (very flat emotion, primal intellect and callousness), by trophy hunting women. He picks up women by traveling, he attempts to combine his hunting style with his ‘work’ but struggles with practical reality because he prioritises the hunt. I can’t explain that w/o specific details. I get compartmentalised not just because he has other sources, but because he has practical survival issues. He dreams of endless wealth, power and success – and his homebase is very austere where he has rigid routines. When i went to see him during Our Time, he made the food and cleaned up, i wasn’t allowed to touch anything. When we went out together, he was constantly micromanaging me, i was treated like a child who can’t even walk down the street alone. But when not together, i had to be out of sight and mind.

    This was all very antagonising of my own triggers.

    He won’t have any single primary source, but multiple sex partners, some are just for a night and some become his ‘property’. He will fake relationships with the ones who attach, with future fakes and domination fantasies involving pregnancy. Then he will brutally neglect these, usually young, very pretty and naive women. It’s very sad, i hope they realise he’s a mess sooner rather than later. He said i was annoyingly intelligent and intellect became a major focus of his devaluation.

    His seductions of me were always a cycle of bullying and bribery, in a very savage way. He’s not physically abusive unless you count sex, which i do, i just didn’t fully realise it at the time. He doesn’t have an explosive temper, he just has a tough outer callousness that protects a very vain and fragile sense of self that is detached from others by hostility and jealousy.

    I once asked him, WHY? and he said that: “He wanted me to experience a moment of bliss in his arms, then forever suffer in misery without him”.

    This moment of bliss is an actual thing for him as well, not just one of his fantasies: after blitzing with hours of sex, he lies back and absent-mindedly scratches me all over, until i have red marks. He doesn’t look at me while doing this, but has a far away glaze and a smile on the corners of his mouth, he looks like a big sadistic, lazy cat playing with a mouse. It is grandiose, but it seemed genuine.

    The whole thing was so unreal seeming, that it was a bit hypnotising.

    One time i slept at his place and he said “i’m going to do anything i want to you”. But when we slept at my place, he completely fell apart and was an insecure wreck, punishing me with cold sulks and i cried the whole time. That was the last time i saw him. It was after he moved away and came back to see me, but acted like he didn’t want to see me, even though it’s a long train ride.

    But when the endorphins are over, he’s got the most sour, mean and petty grinch like disposition. I really managed to find a specimen.

    Interaction with someone who can’t even pretend to be normal, is actually harder than it sounds.

    1. Clarece says:

      Damn iroll, that is an impressive synopsis!
      Nope, no desire to re-enter the dating pool knowing that is out there lurking around…

  8. Meredith says:

    Hg – How can I figure out which class my ex fiance is? He told me that he was on and off again a few times with the ex he had before me but who knows if that is true. I know he has seen her since he discarded me because my friend told me she posted a picture of them on instagram. Does that mean he is probably ping pong?

  9. Caroline says:


  10. Caroline says:

    Good morning (afternoon), HG! You’re looking mighty dapper today. Would you be so kind to answer this question: Is it possible to be perceived as an Elite (Greater)’s Anchor, even years after you left the Formal Relationship/never married him? Even if you are *not* co-dependent?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you. It is possible, albeit unlikely.

  11. Overthinker says:

    Ah okay u never restart relationships with old appliances I guess mine was an anchor since he restarted our old relationship once after discard but I don’t know if he will do again.I don’t think there’s another woman he’s pingponging me with and its funny u mentioned the whore Madonna complex because I think when we are together he sees me as the Madonna and seeks out whores I wrote a paper on that in college of course if he never hoovers me again than my assumption of the anchor will be incorrect

  12. Samantha says:

    Since cerebral narcissists don’t like sex do they have sex with their other women? I know they cheat but does that cheating always involve sex? Do they have periods where they have lots of sex?

  13. Scout says:

    Ms Brown, with reference to your reply about human animals I am in total agreement with you; for all our big brains we are the lesser species on many levels. I could talk/write about this subject forever and a day.

    1. Ms brown C★ says:

      great minds think alike, Scout!

  14. Scout says:

    HG, is possible for an anchor to change to a nomad post divorce? Narcy was married for around 20 yrs before he claims ‘he went off the rails’. I assumed he lost the plot after his ex wife refused to stay in the marriage thereby he lost his IPPS?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      That would be the hybrid.

      1. Scout says:

        Thank you HG. That’s interesting. I don’t know how a hybrid functions. Have you written any blogs on the hybrid that you can point me to? TQ.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Let me see…..

          “The final category is the hybrid. This narcissist may operate the Anchor scenario before over time changing to the Nomad and then perhaps back to the Anchor or the Ping Pong arrangement. He will morph and shift between these different approaches, often as a consequence of the disruption to the primary source of fuel, whereby for instance the long-suffering Anchor finally moves on or is helped away from the narcissist, or perhaps both primary sources in the Ping Pong arrangement reject the narcissist and he is forced to adopt a Nomadic approach.”

      2. Scout says:

        I thank you for your helpful reply HG, with ref to the hybrid narc. I can see him as you describe.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  15. strongerwendy says:

    HG, which one are you?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am a Nomad.

      1. Pamela says:

        Have you ever returned to a previous appliance for longer then a week or so, months perhaps? So you flit about numerous appliances for maximum fuel output when levels with current IPPS dip lower than desired? Can you imagine ever being an Anchor, HG or would that be too boring a prospect for you?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I have returned to a previous appliance for a week or two, not in a Formal Relationship but more in terms of giving them the impression that might be achievable as I gain additional fuel from their delight at thinking that I have returned.
          I would not be an anchor, no.

          1. Pamela says:

            So they believe it is the return of the formal relationship, so the positive fuel flows considerably to you.

  16. Natalie says:

    Excellent analysis! The ex narc was definitely a nomad. All former exes were downgraded to friends that he kept in his harem. He always said, “exes are exes for a reason”. When I became the “friend” post escape, we still talked several times a day, went on dates etc, all while he had another primary source and secondary ones I’m sure.

  17. MetaMorph says:

    HG…I have no clue as to which one the narc I dated for 2 years was. When he met me, he dropped me a message (we were friends on social media and did not know each other well) and made up some story about having a dream about me. He said he was living with a woman, had been for about 10 years. He was on the run from the law I had found out later, and needed an appliance for shelter and to hide, so that she would work and he could raise her children…that was the arrangement. He could not put himself out there–they would find him. He told me he wanted to live off the grid for a time, which was a lie. He was waiting for a warrant for his arrest to expire. They of course had a child together, but according to him when I met him, they were sleeping in separate rooms and he wanted out of there asap. Except he was not working, she was. So he secured a rented home with his son, and looked for whatever job he could to help pay half the rent. WE finally met but due to another crazy reason, he could not make it down to see me. I had to go see him. I paid for dinner. I stayed at his rented home. He love bombed me so badly, that I agreed to let him stay at my place, with my kids, while he sought an apt. in my area and sought work as well. That was the condition. I did not want to be living with someone. But lo and behold, he never did find and apt., and I ended up living with him. He caused so much drama and interference with my family, that I kicked him out 2 months later. He hoovered the whole summer, and then I thought well maybe I was wrong, he was a good guy. The whole cycle started over, but I refused to let him live with me. Unfortunately, he did something terrible and got arrested, which helped me end the relationship. When he was with me, he was with no one else, b/c he was with me every minute. But when he was younger, he was a player. He was definitely a con-man. How would you categorize this man?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      His behaviour certainly points in the direction of him being a narcissist. In terms of applicability of the four classes it depends on whether he was actually living with someone else and had arrest warrants in his name as this may well all have been part of his manipulation of you to enable him to move in with you and bind you to him.

  18. Scout says:

    Another insightful blog adding layers to my narc knowledge. But as I understand it from your writings, HG, narcy is a Lesser Greater but could be a victim…. I think in connection to this blog he’s a Nomad but could have been an anchor whilst married to his ex-wife. I’m really not sure where he fits in the scheme of things tbh.
    What I do know is they all act like stray dogs; no moral compass and no boundaries, spreading diseases…. I still cannot believe I became entangled with such as person. He plagues my dreams. It’s a never-ending nightmare.

  19. Matilda says:

    As always, I am grateful for the insight… but this is an abysmally pathetic way of living one’s life!

  20. Nat says:

    Do nomads/ Elite narcs get married? Why would they if they’re eventually move on

    1. HG Tudor says:

      They can do yes. They do so because in the moment it binds the victim to the narcissist. As I have written elsewhere, marriage is a very useful tool to our kind. Since we have a large sense of entitlement and no sense of accountability it is easy enough for us to use the many benefits of marriage and then throw them off later when it suits us.

  21. Sarah says:

    I can just imagine the face he’d pull if I walked up to him while he was with a group of people and said “You’re a mid-range cerebral ping ponger”.

    I’m almost certain that I’D be the one sectioned.

    1. SVR says:

      Yip agree…chuckling 😂😂

  22. windstorm2 says:

    There are exceptions to every rule. For the 30 years we were married mine came home every night. If he ever had an affair, he sure kept it well concealed.

    1. SVR says:

      Home every night. That means nothing. There are 24 hrs in a day. Is this not correct HG?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        There are 25 hours in a Tudor Day naturally.

        1. MLA - Clarece says:


      2. HG Tudors # 1 fan says:


        25 hours a day 8 days a week, HG’

      3. HG Tudors # 1 fan says:

        Sorry, I posted on the wrong article.

  23. Carla says:

    Hmmmm… Anchor. I’ve heard that before. I take it the “anchor” does not need to be a spouse per se? Just someone they see as a constant that they feel that they can return to time and again?

    1. HG Tudor says:


  24. gabbanzobean says:

    Now instead of mid range cerebral I can say mid ranger cerebral anchor Mr. Piano recital during church. LOL. (Jenna)

  25. Ali says:

    it’s never as simple as just one type, is it? lol

    by his behavior during VS after me, he must have been a hybrid… I was (offline) ipps, he seemed to be nomadic other then latching on to me as ipps… but then after I broke free he seemed to ping pong a couple of women online for a while and then for a while latched onto a new (online) ipps… after being nomadic a while again… at times he has been an anchor…

    oh the mind games he has played…not only with me but with others…

  26. Giulia says:

    Mine was an anchor man. He had an ex wife and children. He was still living with them, playing family for the sake of the children but ready and willing to leave everything for his true love…which was taking the shape of me, another ex which he was still in love with but according to him was mean as hell and another ex which he didn’t have the heart to leave because she was madly in love with him, another woman, friend, which was always around, another friend that needed him, another friend that wanted him but he wasn’t interested and other ones coming and going.
    He was keeping us all there, half dead, after the golden period was over.
    It was a cemetery where every once in a while he would open our casket to let us out and then buried again.
    A chilling tale of horror. Still can’t believe I was part of this.

    1. SVR says:

      Fantastically put and the cemetry, I will never forget that. It’s even better than being pulled off the shelf. Thank you.

    2. Narc affair says:

      “Didnt have the heart to leave”…first off he had no heart secondly he didnt leave bc she was madly in love with him and kept pouring out the fuel.
      I think anchors are the supply sources that have stood the test of time and have put up with their bs

      1. Giulia says:

        It’s funny….one time he said I had broke his heart…I answered “you don’t have a heart”.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Cold. So mean.

      2. Giulia says:

        Never enough HG….never enough…he had gone back already to his ex and dumped me. I commented on that….and I broke his heart?
        What heart?

      3. Giulia says:

        Needless to say I found out “on line” by reading the comments on his page.
        It was sweet.

    3. pj russell says:

      This is too funny…but true.

  27. gabbanzobean says:

    Hah!!! Anchor! Totally makes sense.

    “I’ll never leave my wife. I’ll die first”
    “No one in this world will ever make me leave my wife, not even you. I’ll never leave her. Ever!”
    (Referencing his wife) “I know what it feels like to be unfulfilled by the one you truly love. It is a feeling that comes and goes for me.”

    Why does he go back to the anchor, HG?
    He also says he wants to have more kids with her this a common thing to make the wife more of an anchor?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The anchor represents stability and it can be the case that the anchor is regarded as the Madonna, in the Madonna/Whore complex. The anchor, when viewed white, is also an excellent provider to the Prime Aims.

      1. Annie says:

        For what it’s worth, I suspect some of these anchor narcs need their wives like a child needs his mother. And they are terrified of being abandoned by her. These dudes are super needy with her, and when I am operating in my logical space, I think how grotesque that must be in their house ( and all the resentment and the sexless days that must go along with that resentment and neediness), which is why they look for their ‘whores’. In my emotional space I am completely aware of how he distances self from me to make sure I know how much he doesn’t need me. Of course that keeps things exciting, but logically I think the Madonna wife must be an awful life (the whore spot is no better if course). For a good picture of what may go on, check out zelda on amazon. F Scott Fitzgerald was definitely a needy narcissist, and you can really see what it is like for his wife.

    2. Narc affair says:

      Ive become the anchor! Hes also my anchor but as time goes on its becoming less fulfilling. I can really relate to the anchor from the “anchors”perspective.

  28. Laurie says:

    Hi HG, I’m assuming these n ships are not just formed with romantic partners and are applicable to friendship and business relationships too.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Correct, but they are more prevalent in the romantic sphere.

  29. SVR says:

    OMG it’s so disgusting. Like animals. Yuck!!!

    1. Scout says:

      There are many animals that bond and mate for life. Many humans and narcs could learn a thing or two from the animal kingdom when it comes to ‘love’ and loyalty. ☺

      1. Scout….along that line of thought, I have often said that the human “animal” of the animal kingdom, is of lesser intelligence and far less superior than all other species, due to the fact that we DO know what we are doing. it is an opinion based on observation of human kind and nature

      2. Yes.. No insults to the animal kingdom please. Also, many species of birds mate for life.

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