The Five 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.


18 thoughts on “The Five Devaluation Triggers”

  1. Dear HG, I trust you are well. Thank you for continuing to be there for us! Quick question if I may. If a narc demoted an intimate partner secondary source to non-intimate, would he ever consider promoting her back to intimate and if so, what can she do to make this more likely even though, obviously, it is always down to the narc to make that decision? Thank you!

    1. Yes.
      Be compliant and outrank competitors.
      Correct, it is always down to the narcissist and also you do not know what is going on in the wider fuel matrix, so you NEVER have a guarantee of success, so don’t bother.

  2. I have a headache now

    I do understand Hoover trigger now thou….anything can cause it. Yet I find it is no different then when I came across a picture of him I took long ago. For a moment I wanted to speak to him….I wrote a letter instead. A Hoover is nothing more then a desire to “connect” . Difference is they are willing to give up what they have to seduce that what was.
    With me once I close that door, I lock, nail, use industrial glue, bolt and cement it close. To much effort to remove all of that to go back, just to “see” if things work out. Nope take the lessons, forgive and move on.
    Now to finish putting these shelves together HG you have distracted me in many ways today….blog binging, book reading…..
    Hope your evening runs effectively!!!

  3. I was IPSS so theoretically I didn’t have the same demands placed on me as his IPPS. I’m confused that I did experience subtle devaluations over the course of a 5 year daily engagement. Staleness and total control then?

    I’m finding out that other attempts have been made to contact me. All passively blocked. Self imposed isolation will continue until I attain Zero Impact or he stops actively looking for a hoover opportunity. Again…why? I’m IPSS.

    I can’t chalk it up to being “special supply” or excuse him as a lower spectrum narcissist…both would be emotional bias.

  4. Great article. Being able to at least grip a unemotional explanation. I wouldn’t MIND, so i was told. And after horrible treatment, abuse, devaluation, I’m finally getting over it. I see him starting the same cycle with a new blushing unaware person, sorry, plural, lol. But, him being a lesser, the first time his , I’m the boss, gets challenged, she’s in for a shock! Rage, and cold, and night’s of crying, until it’s their turn, or they figure it out. He’s not very cleaver, almost stupid, and defiantly not aware of how close his own destruction is!

  5. Jeeze, I was stale, disobedient and he would try to control my opinions on many topics (total control). He even tried to control how I used the word “patina”. No wonder he devalued me. Mostly, I fought back and gave him copious amounts of negative fuel, which is exactly what he wanted. Winner, winner chicken dinner. He won; not I.

    I got a Parental Hoover today. My mother and aunt (both narcs) pulled into my driveway and beeped the horn for me to come out to them. Turns out my cousins have bed bugs. There is never a dull moment when you are related to narcissists!

    1. K, you made me smile with “Winner winner chicken dinner”! The house always wins.

      (Carhop Parental Hoover, with bedbugs on the side. Hugs and giggles to you, poor dear!)

      1. Merripen
        The house always wins and, as much as it kills me to admit, I have to concede. Nothing like a side of bed bugs, with a drive by hoover to make your day.

  6. This information is so helpful,HG!
    It helps me to understand the very confusing behaviour surrounding my discards. I had been wondering what the heck I had done to provoke him.
    Thank you so much.

  7. I read this three times. The first two, because following the intricacies of the narcissist’s complex world view, is like following the plot line to Orphan Black. (But, I really love Orphan Black.) The third time was just because I’m crushing on your writing style HG. There’s just a flicker of humanity (yes sober, but somehow almost kind) infused in the horrific and very necessary lesson that you convey to us. It is a strange dynamic, this.

  8. Thank you HG.. So poignant..I do have a question for you though. When I first connected to my narc.. within about 2 weeks he would ask me, “How’s it going player?” or “how are you cunt?” .. i found these offensive and asked him not to call me those things because they were derogatory. Why would he call me these awful names? He continued though, calling me those things and worse, throughout the next few months. Would you consider the reasons why he would say these things to me was because he was devaluing me and trying to get negative fuel from me? He had, or should I say still has, 2 concurrent long term girlfriends.. which at the time i didnt know about because I was right in the “golden period”. Btw he is a player, not me…

  9. I was disobedient in his eyes. At first, i used to remain silent to the future faking. Several months later, i started asking abt it; he used to deflect. A few months after that, i informed him that it hurts me. That’s when it stopped. But he viewed me as disobedient for asking in the first place.

  10. “There’s just a flicker of humanity (yes sober, but somehow almost kind) infused in the horrific and very necessary lesson that you convey to us. It is a strange dynamic, this.”

    Strange dynamic indeed…..yes, you will note a similar demeanour in a few other articles too…….sometimes it’s easy to forget that he is actually a narc…….I have to remind myself of that fact every time I log in!!!!!!…….Diva

  11. Hi HG, Which of your books should I read on the topic of Disengagement?

    I hope your treatment with the doctors is going well? I know you went through a lot as a child. I truly hope you experience healing, peace and love.


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