The Mid Range Narcissist – Five Facts


I have come across these five questions on a number of occasions. They are often regarded as the five fundamental queries which are raised about our behaviour. They are usually answered in a forthright manner by certain commentators in order to drive the message home. However, these observations and answers are provided by people who are not of our kind. They are naturally entitled to comment but the true value arises from someone who is on the other side of the fence, the perpetrator of the actions, the doer. Furthermore, the usual observations are provided without regard to the fact that narcissists are both similar yet different because we operate in certain schools which are linked to our degree of functioning and malign outlook. Accordingly, the traditional answer provided to one of these questions may be correct for the greater of our kind, but not for the mid-range or for the lesser narcissist. This time the focus falls on those narcissists which are from the Mid-Range school. It is usually the case that those who Mid-Range are not so much defined by what they are, but rather by what they are not. Thus if a behaviour which accords with a lesser narcissist is absent and a behaviour which accords with a greater narcissist is absent but the individual still displays behaviour which accord with narcissism as a whole, this person falls within the Mid-Range. The Mid-Range is neither a creature of complete knee-jerk reactions but nor is he or she fully aware of what he or she is and the capabilities that he or she may possess. He or she will not exhibit the driven, malign nature of those narcissists from the greater school. Here are the five answers to the five central questions.


  1. Do We Know What We Are Doing?


Whereas the lesser narcissist operates through instinctive responses and in a knee-jerk manner the Mid-Ranger knows what he or she is doing even though the response is largely still one of instinct. Most of the Mid Ranger’s response is instinctive but they have a greater awareness of what is happening, the Lesser does not really notice.

The Mid-Ranger will notice that they feel a sense of unease and being unsettled. This is when their fuel levels have dropped to a low level. They do not know that the sensation of unease is linked to the reduced fuel levels. The Mid-Ranger does know that provoking reaction in the person who is his or her primary source and other people causes the unease to diminish and vanish. He or she is aware of the link between the need to receive attention and the reduction in the state of unease. He or she realises that certain reactions do not always work (i.e. unemotional ones) and that some reactions are superior to others (the sense of unease vanishes quicker and is replaced with a feeling of power) but they do not know why that is. They do not realise the index of fuel supply governs their own state of power/unease. They do know what if they are praised they feel better, if you are made to cry, they feel better and if you are losing your temper because of something that they have done, they feel better.

  1. Do We Know That We Are Hurting You?


Akin to the lesser, the Mid-Ranger is aware of the hurt that is being caused, the major difference however is that the Mid-Ranger recognises that you are being hurt (since he possesses Cognitive Empathy) but he or she will never OWN the responsibility for that hurt. Thus, he may say

“I know you are hurt when I call you names, but if you just stopped trying to control me, then I would not have to do it.”

He knows the name-calling upsets you, he also is aware that your emotional response has a positive impact for him (although does not know why) but he will never accept that this behaviour is wrong or his fault.

The Mid-Ranger may also give some consideration to how this might be achieved whereas the Lesser just does it. This tends to be apparent with mainly Upper Mid-Rangers, Lower and Middle Mid Rangers still operate through an instinctive response.

The Mid-Ranger does not behave this way because of any innate malevolence but rather because he or she is aware that the evidence of pain on your part gives them a “good” feeling and lessens the unease which may appear. The Mid-Ranger knows that if he or she acts in a certain way, it will cause you upset. With the higher functioning Mid Ranger, he or she will take some time to evaluate how best to respond in a situation so that the “good” feeling can be obtained. This is why some Upper Mid-Rangers are often mistaken for Greaters because they have a degree of calculation to their actions.

The Mid-Ranger will be aware of what it is that you are doing which has generated contempt, irritation or annoyance. He will be able to provide you with a reason behind this sensation and moreover if there is no actual reason he is readily able to invent one. Whereas the lesser can only usually respond in a vague and amorphous fashion, the Mid-Range will provide you with a reason for this annoyance at your behaviour and why he or she is hurting you. It is most likely a lie, but a reason will be provided nevertheless.

  1. Do We Do This Deliberately?

The Mid-Ranger is deliberate in his or her behaviours but they remain governed by instinct. They do not know it is fuel, they do not know its true purpose but they are sufficiently aware and of sufficient function to link the provision of certain reactions by you to the settling and empowering effect it has on them. The Mid-Ranger is aware that he or she can provoke good and bad emotions from you and that these reactions serve a purpose.

They are also able to apply a wider range of manipulations from their repertoire as a consequence of their increased function. The response is an instinctive response but in some instances will be thought out and whilst the plotting and scheming is far removed from the grand scale of the greater narcissists, there is no doubting that the Upper Mid-Ranger will plan. He or she will consider how people can best serve them. This is not done from a malicious point of view but is more about working out what will serve him or her the best. The Mid-Ranger will consider which friends serve him best, who will make the best target and how the various people that are his fuel lines knit together. He does not behave in the random and chaotic fashion of the Lesser nor with the pinpoint, malicious accuracy of the greater but with a sense of organisation and planning so that he or she gets what he or she wants.

  1. Can We Control This Behaviour?


The Mid-Ranger is possessed of the ability to control his or her behaviour even though the majority of it is instinctive. Accordingly, he will respond to certain behaviours with his own set response but can exert some control, for instance keeping a lid on the ignited fury for a short time, since he recognises the situation demands a certain approach.

Since he or she is not a creature of base instinct like the lesser but adopts a more considered approach there is some thought given to how he or she should respond. The Mid-Ranger is not aware of why they ought to behave in this way, they only know that there is a way of behaving which suits them best and they need to tailor their responses and behaviours to accord with this way and this includes control. The Mid-Ranger only has so much control however and in situations where fuel levels plummet and there is a real or perceived threat of a primary source cessation then the Mid-Ranger will lose control when placed under such duress. This may occasionally manifest in the use of physical violence. The Mid-Ranger knows there will be consequences but is unable to contain the urgent need to “do something” and therefore control is lost. The Mid-Ranger is particularly prone to using the silent treatment as this represents a halfway house between exerting and losing control. He or she may be panicked into a sudden reaction but they do not lose control to such an extent that a frenzied response, by way of violence both physical and verbal may appear. Instead they vanish. The Mid-Ranger is also more likely to engage in emotional, financial and sexual abuse through planning and the greater subtleties and insidious nature attached to these particular machinations.

  1. Can We Stop It?

Yes, the Mid-Ranger can to some extent. Much of his behaviour is instinct. He truly considers himself to be a good person, he believes he is empathic and caring, he regards other people as the problem. He cannot understand why people have to be so unfair, so troublesome and why they cause him pain and anguish, since he has such a different perspective to you.

He has an awareness and therefore is able to decide that the behaviour can stop. Indeed, where the Mid-Ranger perceives an advantage to be acquired he will do so and amend his behaviour accordingly. Whereas the lesser narcissist will instigate a respite period instinctively without knowing why he is doing, his need to devalue will just abate and the golden period returns, the Mid-Ranger knows the value of a respite period and will grant it because he feels settled and prone to wanting the contrast of the positive fuel again. Similarly, when those fuel levels drop the Mid-Ranger knows to commence the devaluation again. His awareness and control enable him of her to stop the devaluing behaviour as and when it is required. He does not exercise this with regard to any sense of malevolence, like the greater, but rather it is driven by need. The Mid-Ranger could stop his or her abusive behaviour but will not do so if they perceive a need for it to continue. The lesser is unable to stop it because it “just happens”. Of the three schools, the Mid-Ranger is less volatile, less malicious but in some respects can be regarded as entirely culpable for the behaviours which are engaged in and that are doled out to his or her victims. The difficulty is however, you can regard the Mid Ranger as culpable but he or she will never accept any liability for their behaviour because they are automatically configured to reject any notion that they are at fault. Their default setting is always to block this, reject it and counter it – usually through Pity Plays, sulking, silent treatments, blame-shifting and projection.

27 thoughts on “The Mid Range Narcissist – Five Facts

  1. theletterafterj says:

    I HATE my midranger! He is a huge PUSSY and I want to kick his ass and the DSM SUCKS!! And we should kick all narcs off the planet earth. They can live on Planet of the Narcs in a galaxy far far away. Fuckers! I think I am going through the anger stage of grief…

    1 Death Star can hold approximately 873,000 passengers. We are gonna need 1,145 Death Stars.

  2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

    I always recognized my ex boyfriends behavior was nuts. I remember while I was in the relationship starting to try and figure out what my ex’s issue was.

    I used to tell him (while we were fighting) ALL THE TIME “There is a serious discrepancy between who you think you are and who you are.”

    As a psychologist (and someone who always found cluster B personality disorders interesting) that sentence above said it all. My mind immediately went to Narcissistic Personality Disorder and I was like “oh nahhhh it can’t be narcissistic personality disorder” -even though that’s the tag line for NPD. It wasn’t until the middle-end (probably more toward the end) of the relationship that I decided to search to search far more into narcissistic personality disorder and realized there were different ways that it could manifest.

  3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD says:

    What I find extremely frustrating is how in graduate school we (psychologists) aren’t educated on this type of narcissism. If I hadn’t gone through what I went through…I would never know about this sub-category of narcissism. I STRONGLY believe that the DSM needs to fix the whole section on narcissism and that graduate programs should be focusing more on personality disorders and how narcissistic personality disorder can manifest in different ways.

  4. Lisa says:

    Hi HG. This could get long, but looking for confirmation from you please.
    I meet a guy within my social circle. All good. Theres chemistry there so it seems….
    Gets to the point after a couple of months where numbers are exchanged. I actually initiated….
    I never actually used his number, except to respond to his texts.
    Id see him now and then,….happy days.
    He would always greet me with a kiss hello. Fine.
    Then that progressed to a more meaningful kiss as time went on. Texts were usually random. X’s for no reason….
    Suddenly started feeling like I was being groomed. Hmm. Red flag no 1.
    Next, he askes me straight out if I want to f+++ him?? Whaaat? Red flag no 2. No decorum there….
    We chat via text…he asks for nude pics…red flag no 3.
    I decline, expaining the obvious…
    Now he moves onto me having trust issues, so he needs to back out. Hmmm. At the same time telling me he is THE most trustworthy guy ever!! flag….
    In the end, projection blaming it all on me. Need I say it?
    Then proceeds to tell me of a fight he had with a fellow friend. Physical.
    BS BS BS….you get the picture…
    My instinct says upper midrange narc.
    Could I be wrong and just conclude, he’s just a dick head? Is it too early to tell at this point if he is UMR??
    Oh….and he does a lot of charity work, that I have witnessed. So….????? Thoughts please HG?
    Thanks heaps. 🙂

    PS for those wondering….no, I’m not going there! Lol 😉

  5. catlady2468 says:

    “Instead they vanish. The Mid-Ranger is also more likely to engage in emotional, financial and sexual abuse through planning and the greater subtleties and insidious nature attached to these particular machinations”

    “He’d knowingly enrage me, apologise (I would also apologise), and build my hopes up again only to crush them when I least expected it. Over and over again until I became completely numb.”

    They may be pussies and seem like such pathetic victims but they sure sting truth betrayal and dream crushing, soul crushing, financially depleting and mind effing that’s for sure.

    I underestimated my ex who I thought was middle midrange victim. I know think he’s upper midrange. The consequences for escaping him heaved into me upon meeting up three months afterwards agreed to because of the financial stress caused by him flip flopping and depleting that reserve. I got partial payment but he got his revenge and it was methodological there’s no way he’d say or do certain things by chance that he did that night knowing, studying, my previous traumas and triggers and all of my weak spots. I was too vulnerable to stupid hope and too honest for my own good and he played that to the max to get back at me, which I questioned at the time but didn’t realise for sure until 2-3 wks later when Houdini vanished again and my marks from his visit healed up (not physical abuse unless you consider link as such however definitely in violation of established norms of trust and respect, and how can one ever truly consent if you can’t make an informed decision based on info given? I question how conning someone for sex isn’t some form of criminal act in a way it definitely is as much if not more of a betrayal than my previous assault by acquaintance was and left me feeling just as used and dirty in hindsight but am not starting that debate now). I should’ve kicked him out. The Assclown had me so deprived for months before I kicked him out and so emotionally and psychologically toyed with in months leading up to and following escape it only took a few hrs of playing nice and pressuring and seemingly so apologetic and wanting to not hurt me that I of course missed his zero regard to any stated boundaries I spoke to him before we did anything because I basically go brain-dead and get wrapped up in feeling all of his emotions (feel me empaths lol?). Just don’t do it they are sneakier than they seem, I shouldn’t have assumed that he was as pathetic as he was. I’m back at square one of worse in recovery now and twice as depressed with flashbacks to original assault to add in to the whole mix now too. The worst part is how mad at myself I am though, the rest I have copied before with but the self-shame of being this dumb is pretty difficult I have to admit.

    1. Matilda says:

      “it only took a few hrs of playing nice and pressuring and seemingly so apologetic and wanting to not hurt me that I of course missed his zero regard to any stated boundaries”

      yes, that’s the problem… I only got off this merry-go-round when I realised that an apology means nothing, absolutely NOTHING to him. And you know why? Because if someone was truly sorry, he would apologise and never do it again!

  6. Stephanie Farlow says:

    Thanks again HG ….so spot on as always !

  7. ajo says:

    I’m still trying to work out what school my ex husband is in. He rarely got angry or put me down. However, he pathologically lied, took advantage of EVERYONE and is an eternal victim. I have also noticed his need to control now since we’ve been divorced. Can one be a narc without all the anger?

    1. Matilda says:

      Hi ajo,

      Read the articles:

      “The Fuel Matrix – Part One”

      “The Fuel Matrix – Part Two”

      “The Fuel Matrix – Part Three”

      They will give you an overview of all three schools!

      Judging from your brief description, he’s neither a Lesser (sadistic animal) nor a Greater (no victim cadre in that school, no malice in your narc’s actions). He sounds like a Mid-Ranger… not a Lower Mid-Ranger who would show mannerisms of the Lesser and lash out more easily… either a Middle Mid-Ranger (pity plays, pathological lying) or an Upper Mid-Ranger (sophisticated and controlled, silent treatments). Take heed of how they interact with their supply sources, that might enable you to determine what kind of robot your ex is! 🙂

      1. ajo says:

        Thanks! Yeah I’ve read a ton of HG’s books and articles including FUEL. He may not actually have NPD and just be a pathological liar. He was an expert at gaslighting, nothing was EVER his fault. He never wanted to work, stole, always uses people for what they can “do for him”, and he exaggerates to the point that it’s obvious. I only saw control come out after our divorce and he was pissed that he was left with nothing (because he didn’t have a job).
        That’s why my midrange boyfriend didn’t strike me as a liar. My ex husband was so obviously exaggerating and lying that it didn’t compare. The ex boyfriend didn’t lie unless he was hiding something about other women. He was far more calculated than my ex husband. Maybe he was an UMR and my ex husband a LMR. Lord only knows.
        Oh, and again. My ex husband is dating a narc. She’s likely an MMR or UMR. Again, another example of narcs being attracted to eachother. She rules the roost and bosses him around. He seems to be attracted to strong women and he even said to me “she reminds me of my mom”. His mom is a narc for sure. Would a narcissist pick a narc as some weird re-enacting of their childhood if their parent was a narc? We empaths sure do!!!

      2. Matilda says:

        “Thanks! Yeah I’ve read a ton of HG’s books and articles including FUEL.”

        Ah, I see, I thought you were fairly new.

        Oh, the irony of your ex being ensnared by one of his kind. A taste of his own medicine will do him good!

        He might have chosen her because it feels familiar to him (narc mother), which makes one feel sorry for him… but considering the abuse he dished out, my compassion is limited.

      3. Ajo says:

        Eh, I don’t feel a bit sorry for him. He doesn’t seem to mind. She comes from money and pretty much runs the home. She keeps the kids schedule, cleans, organizes etc. He is the laziest person i have ever met. The king of half assing things. She doesn’t allow for that. So it’s kinda fun to watch. She believes he is honest, which is hilarious. You’d think narcs could smell lies. But, I don’t know. I think they can get manipulated too. Especially by a victim narc as they can mimic an empath. Interesting stuff. HG, would love to hear more about the victim “pussy” narcs as you call them. There seem to be a lot of them out there!

      4. Matilda says:

        “He is the laziest person i have ever met. The king of half assing things. She doesn’t allow for that. So it’s kinda fun to watch.”


  8. Pack of Wolves says:

    I was his DLS. From day one I felt that he sucked the life out of me but I did not know why. Did anybody else feel this way? Or were you blissfully happy?

    1. Survivor says:

      Yes. I know this feeling. After the escape, I felt myself totally lost and confused about my identity. I was depressed and when I saw a women on the street, I was watching after her, thinking if she is his type and if he was here, will he speak to her. He was always in my mind. But after 5 months totally no contact – this is past. I realized how important is the rule of “No contact”. Now, I don’t feel anger, jealousy or pain. I am happy without him and his dark influence over me. And I cannot imagine to live in the old way anymore. We are strong and beautiful woman. We deserve more than fake love and manipulations.
      I am a little bit afraid if he comes for hoovering, but everything will be all right for me, I am sure.

      1. Windstorm2 says:

        Good for you! And yes we do deserve more than fake love and being manipulated!

    2. Medusa says:

      I was also a DLS, always eager to see him, then in his presence I felt uncomfortable with crying at every moment, something inside me made me feel unhappy.

  9. Alyce says:

    Dont you get more fuel from treating her well rather than upsetting her?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Depends on what you mean by ‘more’ remember fuel is provided in terms of potency, quantity and frequency.

      Thus I could make a cutting remark, she looks hurt and runs away – very potent fuel from a hurt IPPS, moderate quantity and one-off frequency in that moment.
      I could say something wonderful and she responds with loving words and gestures – potent fuel from a loving IPPS, large quantity (she hasn’t run away) and increased frequency as this goes on for a few minutes rather than a handful of seconds.

  10. Carla says:

    But why are they SO passive aggressive and cowardly?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Further article to come explaining this Carla.

      1. Carla says:

        Great. I remember in your last Livestream you remarked how mid rangers are pu**ies and I nearly died laughing.

      2. ajo says:

        I cannot wait for that! I’ve never dealt with a greater thank God and the midrangers I have dealt with are total cowards. Once exposed I can out manipulate them. It spins their heads. But, I now refuse to function in that as I believe in Karma and I only want good coming my way. Plus, messing with them only gives temporary satisfaction and another reason for them to feel like a victim. Poor Poor midranger babies.
        I would also like to know how often narcs marry each other. My ex boyfriend’s wife seems to act like a narc herself. Not as bad as him, but it seems like maybe when midrange narcs are young and immature they marry because it works as they are both so focused on image and superficialness. They can “perform” for each other for a while and then begin to resent as they realize the fuel they’re getting isn’t truly empathetic. They can sit around and talk bad about others together, paint the picture of a picture perfect family, but because of the true lack of fuel, someone ends up cheating. That’s just my two cents from what I observed.

  11. Sandra says:

    No matter how often this piece is reposted, I reread it every time.

    I have presented irrefutable evidence on my escape that I know the MRVN has been hovering another errant IPSS. So, to deflect and distract, he employs a silent absence, on the plausible basis that he knows I have no desire to speak to him. No doubt he is making do with the my predecessor.

    I have enacted a media blackout and removed myself from the first sphere. I can be contacted by email but that has not yet been played. He waits for me to initiate as I have done in the past?

    I am damaged emotionally but my empowerment, logic, self-worth and finances still feel strong. I know he seeks me by appearing where I have avoided. My potent fuel was likely growing stale. He waits for the contrast.

    So I dodge and weave and take comfort in the predictability of his disorder.

    Thank you HG

  12. Matilda says:

    This resonates with me. Mine knew exactly what to say, and when. He’d knowingly enrage me, apologise (I would also apologise), and build my hopes up again only to crush them when I least expected it. Over and over again until I became completely numb.

    Later on, I realised that he did that in order to assess his level of influence over me, and to punish me for my ‘disobedience’.

    I think it is vital for every victim to know that as soon as you refuse to obey, the relationship is de facto OVER! If the narcissist wants to keep you in his life, he ONLY does it to torment you for having had the audacity to challenge his authority!!! Leave, and never look back…

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      Good point, Matilda.

      1. Matilda says:

        Thank you, Windstorm2 🙂

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