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 dis-engaged from 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 dis-engaged from.

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. Brian says:

    Would you like to write about each one of your girlfriend’s devaluation triggers?
    In another article you said “and then you let go of my hand”
    if you wrote about each time it happened it would help us understand what letting go of your hand means.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      This is addressed in the Asylum of the Grotesque, Brian.

      1. Brian says:

        Very good. I’ll be reading that.

  2. Echo says:

    Mr Tudor, should the subject in question choose to end of the relationship as the narcissist is beginning a devaluation period what sort of reaction might that cause? Thanks for your time.

    1. Echo says:

      Hello me Tudor ,I appreciate you must’ve busy but is it possible to have a response related to my question dated August 1st. Thanks .

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Working my way to it, Echo.

    2. HG Tudor says:

      Your attempted escape will result in a Preventative Hoover and then if you do escape there will be an Initial Grand Hoover for the purposes of drawing you back in. The fact that devaluation has just commenced means that it is highly unlikely that there is a replacement for you waiting in the wings. Accordingly, the narcissist will want to keep you. If you do get away, you will be smeared and the narcissist will be on the hunt for a new IPPS with haste (unless Greater and he or she is more likely to be able to cruise along using IPSSs for a longer period of time). Please see the book No Contact for more about this.

  3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

    Translation: Devaluation is inevitable.

    Devaluation is inevitable for a myriad of reasons but I’ll go through some basic points:

    1.) The narcissist goes into a relationship pretending to be someone else and when he/she starts to behave in his/her authentic manner the significant other will most likely criticize and reject the narcissist. There is an underlying need for acceptance and narcissists set themselves up for failure. They actually set the entire relationship up for failure. It is extremely self-destructive.

    2.) The narcissist doesn’t take any responsibility for his/her own happiness.

    3.) The narcissist often has an idea of this person that he/she cannot live up to and when the significant other fails…we all know what happens.

    4.) Infatuation cannot last forever.

    5.) Narcissists and psychopaths are always chasing the next dopamine high. Things get less exciting over time and that will result in the mask slipping – insensitive, careless, selfish and nasty behavior will follow.

    6.) You have to give to get. People get tired of giving if they get shit in return. Who the fuck is motivated to do shit for someone who can’t do the most basic respectful things?

    The narcissist sets up a no win situation for himself/herself and his/her partner.

    They put a band aid on an ongoing problem. They basically calm the symptoms but never actually solve the problem.

  4. Lynn says:

    I needed to read this. Just today I was questioning my actions, but I know didn’t do anything wrong. I gave everything and it is him. He is the one with the problem.

  5. crystalclearquestion says:

    There is a wife, there is a husband, a married couple – and she had no concerne, felt no remorse/contrition and obviously she still doesn’t question her (own!) conscience. Does “intimate” has any meaning for her – or is it just a word?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is a word which is used as a weapon.

  6. RS says:

    Thank you, HG.

  7. Love says:

    Question about #2 Disobedience.
    You stated Edward Grey in The Secretary was a narc. At the end of the movie, Lee puts a dead roach in the bed to anger him. She was being disobedient. Yet it was her way of keeping the game going. To continue with the punishment play. Would her action be regarded as a reason to discard her?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No it wouldn’t Love.

    2. robins359 says:

      I loved that movie. Very strange, but I did. James Spader. . . I loved him in Boston Legal too.

  8. Lisa Reed says:

    I’m going through this right now, he was asking me to do things he wanted/needed to be done in order for us to be able to stay together. I did part of them, showed willing but wanted reassurance he’s do the same before I did any more. There was then very heated and as usual quite nasty/vicious messages exchanged to then out of the blue last Friday he messaged to say he doesn’t love me anymore. After more nasty messages being exchanged daily today he said if I want to talk to go and see him, it’s exhausting 😔

  9. P says:

    A me vs you poverty consciousness. You’re set to the most basic biological survival. Conservatives are in general, but this is the bottom line.

  10. Scout says:

    Hi HG. What if the victim engages in a straight confrontation with the narc during devaluation; arguing back, fighting, hitting or even mimicking some of the narc’s behaviour? Would physical/verbal confrontation stall devaluation, hasten it or halt that process as fuel is being provided?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      This is Challenge Fuel. It would lead to the devaluing behaviour continuing (see the effect of Challenge Fuel in the article Fuel, Fight of Flight). Mimicking what we do is never a good idea (except when we give you a silent treatment).
      The behaviours described would not halt the devaluation.

  11. Miss Teri says:

    Quite ‘Interesting’ Sir HG Tudor. Thank You…

  12. Twilight says:

    Disobedience and not being able to bring back under control.
    Discarded fast and furious, I laugh today when I think about it, there was nothing funny about things durning. I seriously pissed him off, it was like standing in the middle of a hurricane, wind whipping, rain drops stringing and they struck me, the emotions are like the trees being flung left and right, twisting and turning trying to stay standing yet falling, the rain accumulation and drowning within.

  13. Anne says:

    What a beautiful merry go round!!! Your insight at least keeps my head from becoming a pile of mush tring to figure this out. Funny, i was married to one of you for 20yrs, thought i had all of this figured out, but i think he was a middle. Walked right into again, but i think with a higher so i didn’t see it right away. I tell my family i think i got a sign on my forhead! I guess i do! I feel like a light house, a beacon of some sort. A game of chess between light and dark. Not sure if i should feel like a fool, or proud of what i have inside.

  14. Sues423 says:

    So spot on… it’s exhausting behavior !

    1. RS says:

      After the golden period, it was ALL exhausting!

      1. Sues423 says:

        You’re right!

  15. gabbanzobean says:

    This is where I struggle. While I was technically “devalued” as I was discarded it was done in the most sweet, polite and charming way. I was not subjected to the “fury” that you often speak of. Even when he told me I was crazy and needed help it was done in the most caring way, him feigning like he actually was concerned and wanted to “help”. Yes I realize how it was all bullshit. I assumed that the devaluation was done all nasty and harshly. Even while I was being pushed away, the polite charm kept on oozing. Is this typical of a mid ranger?

    1. MLA - Clarece says:

      HI GB! I believe this is why it is on a spectrum though. Not all are going to be malicious. That’s what makes this so much harder to cope with and explain to other people. Plus HG has said mid-rangers truly are not aware of what they are or that they are even seeking fuel. Each are still going to have some of their own personality traits even if everything else falls in line straight out of a playbook.

      1. gabbanzobean says:

        Clarece (and also Mary too)….
        Yes the faux nice “spectrum”….uggghhh. I had to hear this monologue (as close to my recollection as I can possibly recall):

        “I am doing this for us” (why he was ceasing communication….yes he decided to initiate the “no contact” thing with me. LOL)
        “I am doing this for us so we can have a healthy friendship someday. I love and care for you. We will get there someday but it involves not speaking for a very long time. If my wife ever found out about you I would never be able to speak to or see you ever again. Do you want that? I don’t. You are important to me. This is why I cannot see K anymore (my DLS predecessor)….my wife found out about her and it was UGLY when she found out! That is why I can only check in with her once in awhile over text or phone but never in person. My wife cannot know this and she cannot know of you. I am trying to do the right thing here for once in my life. We will get there someday. I am trying to destroy your need for my prescience in your life, it is unhealthy and our sexual relationship is wrong, I want to have more children and expand my family and I can’t do that if I am with you. But I want to be your friend, I do not want to forget you”

        all said like it was for MY benefit. I am sure there was more. I even copied part of an email where he said I was obsessed with him and it had a barrage of huge vocab in it and I recall people here commenting how ridiculous it sounded. (He is a cerebral narc)

        And he stopped calling me Gabrielle and replaced it with “Gabbs” (what my friends call me). From that point on seeing “Gabbs” in email or text made me so angry. Like I was “Demoted” essentially. He never used to call me Gabbs despite knowing others called me that. He always called me “Gabrielle”

        This was all before I came here and learned what he is. I now refer to this as the “devaluation/discard” monologue. He said a few other things in there too but he was never mean to me. In fact if anything he was TOO nice. He boasted about his niceness too.

        “I am the nicest guy you’ll ever meet” – He said this to me all the time…..he actually believed this. He (faked) showed empathic traits toward others and situations (HG says this is “mimicking”) but damn he was good at the mimic. I now recall a time he ignored me for 2 weeks because he was sad and distraught that his cousin gave birth to a stillborn baby. I realize now this was probably just an excuse to ignore me.

        Anyway back to my main point. I never saw fury. I never saw rudeness or anger or nastiness. I saw a polite, charming, calm, funny, incredibly intelligent sweet soul. Maybe his wife saw his bad side I have no idea. I guess I will never know. I almost wish he was nasty and mean to me, but the fact that he was so nice and polite about it….yes…Clarece this is what makes it so confusing and hard.

        On another note I was bored and I googled him today. He has a very common name so I was not able to find too much even narrowing it to where he lives. I googled the screen names he uses for his social media and I found a profile he made on a fetish/hook up website. Eh. Doesn’t surprise me. Just another blow to me as I struggle with the illusion I fell for (and am still stupidly) in love with.

        1. Sues423 says:

          Wow , this dude is ridiculous .. I’m so sorry he did this to you. Such a POS.. sappy sweet , patronizing jerk. You don’t deserve this.. try your best to hang in there. I know how hard it is. I really do.. Vent whenever you want. I’m always someone willing to listen ❤️

      2. Brian says:

        GB if he was sincere he wouldn’t say the stuff about wanting to keep you as a friend.
        He would actually tell you he couldnt see you again and wish you well.
        All of this I cant be with you but want to be with you is fuel-extracting drama.

        1. gabbanzobean says:

          Amidst all of that he also said ” ideally I would prefer never to speak to you again, but that would be cowardly and cruel”….

          Again, making it look like it was for my benefit. 🙄
          It’s always narc Opposite Day!

          1. Brian says:

            Yes, if he had cut off contact when he first said he should (almost a year ago) you would have recovered and moved on by now. So yes, somewhere deep down he must know he is being cruel. I think it’s the same way that a heroin addict steals money and justifies it…but still feels a sense of shame deep down somewhere.

    2. Mary says:

      I am going to guess that it is typical, Gabbanzobean. My narc was very charming, even when he was being a total dick! He had kind of a smartass way about him, but that’s part of what I liked, he was funny. And when he was an ass, he always made it “for my own good.” It felt condescending and like blame shifting, but under the guise of caring. That’s why I think this happens during devaluation.

      Curious to read HG’s thoughts on this.

      1. gabbanzobean says:

        Mary, you hit the nail right on the head mine was very similar to how you describe as well! Charming smartass ” for my own good” and under the guise of caring. Yet he doesn’t know what he is.

    3. Lynn says:

      Interesting… mine ex was/is a mid-ranger and never once expressed any type of fury toward me and never once even raised his voice. During the devaluation he with held affection and sex, which I would have preferred to have been yelled at. This was very painful.

      1. gabbanzobean says:

        He withheld sex from me but not affection. He would still hug or hold me but said I could have “one kiss” before he had to go. But sex? Withheld. And then the next time I saw him it was like there was a reset button. And he was all over me drawing first blood. After the fact he would say to me “THAT CANNOT HAPPEN AGAIN”. When I reminded him of the withholding he said “oh but my willpower is weak….what you do to me. I cannot resist you”….even while withholding intimacy he was still charming and sweet and lovely. It was “for our own good”….we needed to “behave ourselves” as having sex with me “was wrong”. He spun it around like it was the right thing, and was never nasty, raised his voice. Your devaluation sounds like mine! Was yours a cerebral too?

      2. RS says:

        I agree. Yell at me, slap me but don’t speak to me or withhold sex and affection. . . I almost died and really wanted to.

    4. Sues423 says:

      I agree with Brian, it’s all manipulation. He got a wedge to keep that door open. He knows exactly what wedge to use with you so you’re always second guessing yourself and have a hard time cutting him off. ITS SICK! But I totally understand how difficult it is. I sorry you have to be burdened with this 😞.

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