The Mid-Range Narcissist




Meet Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist. Say hello Malcolm.


Ever obliging is Malcolm, part of his charm. He doesn’t have the ubermensch mentality of the Greater and nor is he governed by the almost rash instinctive behaviour of the Lesser. Malcolm is not so much defined by what he is, but by what he is not.

“Isn’t that right Malcolm?”

“Isn’t what right my dear?”

“You are a Mid-Range Narcissist.”

Malcolm laughs. It is an affable laugh. He knows that a veneer of self-effacement is effective to get what he wants. He is not prone to the wild outlandish boasts of the Lesser (based on what he thinks he is and therefore says as such as a matter of immediate response) or the Greater (who actually has the achievements and accomplishments to back up those boasts, but boasts about them the Greater always must).

“Hey, what can I say, I like to look good and you know, you have to love yourself before you can love anybody else, that’s what I always say.”

You see, Malcolm thinks that is what a narcissist is. Somebody who loves themselves. He lacks the higher function to know what it really means and lacks the cunning to know it himself but to deny it to those who would seek to topple him. He has some understanding so the comment does not present as a criticism to him, but since he has a moderate degree of function, he knows enough to use it to maintain his façade of being a decent, likeable and reliable fellow.

“You are a likeable chap, I must say.”

“Why thank you and may I say how lovely you look today.”

“That’s most kind, mind you, you are not the first person to compliment me on my appearance.”

Let’s see how he responds to that little piece of provocation. Did you see it? There was a flash of the inner fury but he kept it under control. Watch again. You see the sudden frown and the narrowing of the eyes as his jealousy started to climb inside of him as he felt the injury from this criticism. My comment suggested that someone else might be interested in me, that I am not just Malcolm’s. Of course, it was just a well-meant and polite compliment, but like all of their kind, Malcolm views the world from a position of suspicion and wariness. Wariness is an apt description for Malcolm. He doesn’t erupt in the way Lee the Lesser might have done if I had made the same remark. Lee would have responded with insulting questions to my comment. The Greater would show no sign of concern but file the remark away to be used at the appropriate time, when the moment is exactly right. Anyway, let’s get back to Malcolm. There is that flash of fury but he has enough control to keep it held back. For now. He won’t let it go though, he cannot.

“Oh really, who said that?”

He asks in a tone of relative disinterest but he is dying to know. He wants to know because he feels uncomfortable at this revelation. He does not know precisely why, although he knows he has to be wary about someone interfering with his partner because after all, he wants to maintain his façade of family man with the dedicated wife and so forth. Steady Malcolm who knows he is not amongst the elite of the world, but he is also far from the underclass too. He has abilities and people should recognise that. Okay, he is not the best, but he is still good, very good actually.

“Oh you know the attendant at the petrol station, he chats to me every time I am in there, he probably fancies me.”

There it is again. The brief look of consternation. The fury is rising but he is managing to keep a grip on it, but he won’t be able to do so for long. He does not want to erupt, he knows that will not do, that is not how he behaves, but he knows he needs to do something to counter this threat. He does not like the fact that I am accepting compliments from this interloper, I should only receive them from him.

“Yes well, I was told by Lucy at the florists that I look ten years younger than my real age.”

There we are. He is switching to an alternative fuel source. His level of function allows him to rely on a past event and still draw fuel from it. The Lesser would not be able to do that. Firstly, his fury would have erupted already and secondly even if it had not, he would struggle to bring up the previous compliment. His mind does not work that way. Malcolm can though and this is his way of switching the spotlight back on to him. He is also looking to get a reaction from me as well to provide him with some fuel. Let’s pretend I haven’t heard him.

“Yes the guy at the garage, Luke he is called, strapping lad, so pleasant. He always tells me that my hair is looking nice or that I smell gorgeous. He fair makes my day.”

“Yes well he can’t be too bright though can he if he is working in a garage.”

Malcolm doesn’t say it as a question but it’s a statement. He is losing control; the fury is coming. His comment had a dual purpose. You see, his mid-range function provides him with some weaponry in that regard. He wanted to cut down my comment in order to provoke a reaction from me but also by stating that Luke is not very bright he is undermining the compliments that Luke has sent my way. He’s a little bit clever with it you see.

“Oh, he just works there in between his studies. He is going to be an architect, he wants to show me some of his designs, I think I might do that.”

Let’s push it a little more. You can see Malcolm’s face is now set in a frown. He doesn’t like it at all that I am not giving him any fuel and moreover by fawning over Luke I am implicitly criticising Malcolm, at least in his mind that is the case.

Malcolm won’t respond in an outwardly aggressive manner. It’s there if he is really pushed, if he feels cornered in some way or has a frantic need for fuel then the fury will erupt as heated fury and he will lash out. He can only keep the fury under control for a short while. The Lesser can barely do so. The Greater can and will or will not, dependent on how the Greater has calculated whether the unleashing of the fury will provide him with the greatest return at that instant. Malcolm is caught between the two. He can exert some control but not enough to really deliver and savage aggression is rarer with him. Watch now and see how his ignited fury manifests.

Do you see? He has snatched up his ‘phone and rings one of his secondary sources. He knows he does not like this feeling of being ignored and he knows that to deal with it he needs attention from somewhere else. He does not know it as fuel of course, only that when this happens, if I, his primary source, is letting him down, he has to either up his game with me and/or draw attention from somewhere else.

“Hi Janice, just wondering if you were still on for lunch today?”

There’s no arranged lunch but he knows that Janice likes him, he makes sure that this remains the case and she is usually available. Notice the sideways glance to ensure I have heard him. There are not the bold assertive moves of the Lesser (through instinct) or the Greater (through calculation) but the wary steps that are the hallmark of the Mid-Range Narcissist.

Janice is cooing down the ‘phone and he feels better already but he also wants a reaction from me.

“Who are you calling?” I ask in a loud voice.

“Yes I thought so too Janice, thanks for saying that, I appreciate that.” He is ignoring me. I repeat the question but there is no response as he continues to talk into the ‘phone and lap up the fuel from Janice whilst enjoying my irked expression. This is a silent treatment from him as he refuses to acknowledge me. The Mid-Range uses the silent treatment more than any other cadre of narcissist because the Mid-Range is a creature who is passive-aggressive. The Lesser uses them, of course he does, but they tend to be short-lived. The Lesser will storm out of the house and disappear to a friend or a bar for an afternoon. The Greater will organise the silent treatment and apply it for maximum effect, it will not be a knee jerk reaction. The Greater will apply them for a long time as well but does not use them as often as the Mid-Range. The silent treatment is the main method of manipulation for the Mid-Range Narcissist. This is because it allows him to exert control, it can be used whilst preserving the façade (there won’t be a sudden eruption and storming away with slammed doors and cries of “You’ll never see me again”) but rather he will quietly depart for a period of time, or more likely use the present silent treatment. The Mid-Range is a sulker. He has enough control to sit and say nothing to you and drink up the fuel as you keep badgering him. He can sit and sulk for hours, days if need be. He can breeze around the house as if you aren’t there. Yes, Malcolm the Mid-Range Narcissist revels in the effect of his silent treatments and his dual approach here is providing dividends for him.

I walk over to him and stand in front of him, hands on hips. He sees the gesture and this fuels him further but to the him it is as if I am not there. He just looks through me. Again this is some of the discipline that I afforded by him by virtue of being Mid-Range.

He ends the call and walks off ignoring my comments as they drift fuel-filled through the air to him. He won’t shout back (he rarely does) he knows it is more effective to sulk and also then the neighbours won’t hear so he remains seen as pleasant, good neighbour Malcolm. He will probably head next door and hide there with Margaret for a couple of hours. He is good at cultivating a wide range of fuel sources. The Lesser keeps his circles tighter, lacking the discipline to operate too many fuel lines. The Greater of course has hundreds of fuel lines because he can draw them in through his outlandish greatness, his achievements and golden accomplishments. The Mid-Range doesn’t shine as bright but he has charm and ability which he uses to develop many different fuel sources and he can always rely on them. He does not have a high turn-over, keeping many of them in the golden period for years. The Mid-Range is most likely to have long-standing friends going years back. The Lesser and Greater may have as well, but not in the same number of the length of time as the Mid-Range.

So, Malcolm will be away giving me the silent treatment as he draws fuel from Margaret and then Janice. He knows how his silent treatment affects me and that is why he also uses it so often. Oh well, that’s my day spoiled already and he knows it. I suppose I had better go and fill up the car with fuel. I know a good garage and a sympathetic ear to hear my woes.

22 thoughts on “The Mid-Range Narcissist

  1. Diana says:

    HG – Are mid rangers more likely to hoover on anniversaries of a past relationship? Like the anniversary of when we started dating, proposal, marriage, etc. My ex is a ping pong player and a mid ranger so I am wondering if that will affect if he hoovers me again on our anniversary.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Anniversaries are hoover triggers and therefore will increase the risk of a hoover.

  2. Super Empath says:

    Insatiable Learner:

    I can literally feel your desperation searching for answers and just why. My heart is breaking for you, I can feel your pain. You’re still in love and when the one you love discards you it is very difficult to get over. I think you dodged a bullet – at least you didn’t have any children with him.

    I don’t know of any formula, pill, counsellor and/or anything else to help someone fall out of love. But baby, it wasn’t meant to be, and you must stop focusing on all the if’s, whatof’s, should, coulda, etc.

    Take solace in this one thought, “if he did it to you, he will do it to her.” When it happens, she’s going to be in a world of hurts because of the baby connection. At least you are free of that burden.

    Think deep and hard about what happened, write yourself a letter, detailing all the bad things/lies he did and said to you. Read it every day if you must and start keeping a daily journal. Use your pen and paper to let your emotions flow free.

    I pray, in time, you heal yourself, I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

    Be sweet and stay true to yourself.

    1. Insatiable Learner says:

      Dear SuperEmpath,

      I have just now come across your precious message to me! You touched my heart in a way you cannot even imagine. Thank you for caring and your prayers. Amazing how you don’t even know me but yet can understand and extend your empathy, kindness, and support – all the things we can never get from the narcs we poured so much of ourselves into. I will start journaling as you recommended. I talk a lot in my head, going over hurtful things, etc., but, perhaps, seeing it all on paper will help with a shift away from thinking fondly of him. Thank you again for taking the time out of your busy day to reach out to me with your invaluable words of encouragement, kindness, and support! Blessings!

  3. Insatiable Learner says:

    HG, Thank you very much for your invaluable insight as always! I am a strong person of action but this situation makes me feel so powerless and helpless at times. It’s like a battle against myself.

  4. Insatiable Learner says:

    Based on my private consult with you, I was/am a shelved dirty little secret. I have not seen him since April of 2016. He has been with a new primary source since early last year. Our communication has been more along the lines of friends since I learned about her back in May of last year. No contact for many months then reconnected about two weeks ago. I reached out and he responded. Now he asked for a break again as he and his IPPS need space to work out their personal issues. They had a baby a few months ago. He said he would reach out soon. I told him it was breaking my heart that we had to take a break but I loved him very much and will always do as he says.

    1. Peppi Boudreau says:

      Hi Insatiable Leaner, You sound like a sweet soul and loving to those people you care so deeply about. But can i make a recommendation, Please leave this guy alone. He has his own life now with his primary source. As you said in your comment you are identified as his secondary source. Nothing will ever come out of this relationship to serve your own purposes and that is to become his primary source. He will never move forward and make adjustments for you to be his primary. Once he disengages from his present relationship he will find another primary and you will not be it. This guy has absolutely no interest in you and he will continue to give you scrapes if you let him. You need to detach yourself from him and move forward in your life. Nothing will ever get better for you until you do. He will never change his behavior for you or anyone, especially his child. Please stay away from him for your own mental health, because he will never stop abusing you. He will continue to disguard you over and over again. You deserve happiness and joy. Not some man who is a Narcissist that gives you nothing in return, except being heartbroken and depressed. Disengage from him and go no contact. It will be very difficult at first, but maintain your resilience and you will go far in your recovery. Know he will never change for you or anyone else.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        For the sake of accuracy, you may become the IPPS but that means that you will also be devalued and disengaged from. Alternatively, you will remain the shelf DLS, engaged with occasionally, given repeated false hope after false hope as the years roll by and you remain frozen, hoping for change. Whichever route occurs, it is with a narcissist and therefore the outcome will do you no good.

      2. Insatiable Learner says:

        Hello Peppi Boudreau. Thank you so much for your caring and heart-felt message! It actually brought tears to my eyes. You are absolutely right. Intellectually, I know all of what you said is true but my heart is struggling to give up. When we first met, what he shared made it sound like he was unappreciated, neglected, unloved,… you get the pic. As an entirely different story began to unravel, the hook was already too deep and denial set in. I really appreciate you taking the time and caring enough to respond! I am trying to start my NC again and continue building that logic vessel HG speaks about. All the best to you!

  5. Insatiable Learner says:

    HG, if a secondary source tells the mid-range narc that because she loves him so much, she will always do as he says, what goes through his mind? Thank you!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      What type of secondary source?

  6. Scout says:

    This is so right. My exUMR, used to squirm if I wounded him by complimenting another bloke or an individual I admired, and yes, he would send texts on his phone (probably to some woman). I didn’t understand then but I do now. Thank you HG.

  7. M. says:

    Generally, I do not focus on the pictures, but I am glad to see that you have changed this one! Malcolm had to be handsome,at least!

  8. Robert says:

    hg can you please write about telling the difference between a mid ranger and a greater? I feel like its easy to recognize lessers but its more layered trying to figure out if someone is mid or greater.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      If you read the various articles about the schools you will be able to see the distinguishing factors there. If you are still unable to distinguish, let me know.

      1. NarcAngel says:

        The articles are great at pointing out the characteristics of each school and cadre but I think a consult is better because I see so many people on here convinced that they were/are with a Greater and I cant help but think a lot of them are getting it wrong, which can have bearing on how to go about dealing with their Narc. Also the consult can determine what kind of Empath you are so you can better use the information regarding your own tendencies and characteristics.

        Have you found a number of those who have consulted you have got it wrong in both the type of Empath they are and what type of Narc they are dealing with? I think its too hard sometimes to be objective when youre that close to the situation and best to have it confirmed (and by who better) before planning a strategy or moving on.

        Just me?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Yes, there are those who have no idea, a number who have applied what they have learned and been accurate, a fair few who are close and quite a number who have it wrong. The most common mistakes are “I am with a greater” when they are not and “I am a super empath” when they are not. The articles are very good indicators but there is no substitute for giving me all the information and having my detailed assessment. Plus ou are correct that many people are not objective and it is understandable why that is the case.

  9. Suzie says:

    That Malcomb post made alot of sense. I guess I was with a Malcomb for years. I wish that I had know it at the time, but hindsight is always more clear than foresight. I finally got out, but not with out damage to my finances. Some of it was just me spending more money due to the fact that I was in denial, felt deprived, and empty so I ran up my credit cards. Another part was the fact that I couldn’t work as much because I was so stressed out and lastly my health was falling apart so I ran up Dr. bills. He cost me, cost me, cost me without stealing money out of my account, or wallet or making me pay to support him. However, I did have to pay half of everything which seems fair enough. Yet, it still ended up costing me way more than half just to put up with him. It wasn’t worth it.

  10. Sophia says:

    Are MRN’S the most likely to become a fading star? My ex LMRN/MMRN doesn’t have the energy to fake charm for an extensive amount of time.
    It seems he is unable to keep most women around longer than 3-6 months. Wouldn’t the constant turnover wear a narcissist out, especially a MRN?

  11. Diva says:

    There is only one thing worse than a Mid Range narc…..a Lesser narc……Diva

  12. Christine says:

    All your posts seem to come at the right time of the situation I’m going through. Currently I am dealing with a mid-range narc who I have just reported to the police for assult. My ex is currently with a new girl and assaulted me after I threatened to tell her about him hurting me emotionally and physically. What is the likely hood of him hoovering me ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Consult with me and I will be able to tell you.

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