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. Chingona says:

    I’m in the d&d stage… i’ve learned it’s really nothing personal because you’re not a person to them. Like a lot of targets, it’s not my first time at the rodeo. It’s the last time – all use the same script, and it gets boring. tedious…spare me, here comes Stock phrase #27.

    these are archetypal roles, and we are really the same coin. other targets can’t face it. this intense relationship, however shortlived, is based on a dynamic that can’t exist without this specific pairing of extreme personality. nobody else thrills a super-empath like a narc and super empaths give the best supply/fuel.

    empaths suffer during and right after the discard. NSPs suffer at the end of life because they’ve got nothing left with which to seduce new supply, and they find they get old, ugly, ill and broken, like everyone else.

    it’s comical. i can be hurt, angry, numb… but part of me is utterly amused by the absurd predictability of what he says and does. Same as the last one, same as the one before him. Not a one has any originality about him. we’re both equally bored, though. he’s almost 60 now. his athletic body is deteriorating, hes getting fat, he’s in pain, young women don’t swoon. he’s got no money and, while he’s had success in some cool careers, at 60 the only place that’ll hire you is Wal-Mart. he lives with mom, bro pays his bills. mr wonderful is in his room most days drinking, watching tv, reading, trolling craigslist, watching porn. Eat sleep drink, sit naked in front of the computer, repeat,

  2. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    You’re fucked every which way. It is a complete no win situation.

    1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

      I’m not it about a no win situation – I’m about a win-win situation lol!

  3. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:

    I think we have established that disobedience and see through are the ones that made it all go down hill lol. 😂

    I’m so disobedient – ugh that word makes me twitch.

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      Dr Q
      I’ve got to argue with your choice of words there. Dogs can be disobedient, children can be disobedient, but grown women can not be disobedient. That would imply there was someone you should be obedient TO. Which of course is ridiculous.

      1. Dr. Harleen Quinzel PsyD. says:


        I agree lol! I never had to be obedient to anyone. When that loser used to say the word disobedient a switch went off and let’s say I wasn’t very nice and would make things very difficult for him.

  4. Katie says:

    I see kindness in you x not just because I’m an empath … because I’m not much of an empath x lol x this post makes me feel better x

  5. Just Mw says:

    “You cannot win over any narcissist because we have to exert the control.”

    I must repeat this until it sinks in and choose my battles wisely… without emotion.

    1. Windstorm2 says:

      True. That statement is the key to understanding. Nothing else is as important to them.

  6. Bibi says:

    And sometimes if they are grooming you and if someone more convenient and immediate comes along, they will drop you instantly for this other person.

    Expect one day to be told you are’ everything he could ever want’ to literally the next day him ignoring you, only to then be told that he has a new girlfriend–someone who is completely opposite from you in every way imaginable. I guess she too is ‘everything he could ever want.’

    Until another one comes along, and so forth.

  7. Becoming Observant says:

    A thought has been lurking since your writings crossed my eye-path: what of the squealy girls? I always thought of a certain type of girl/woman (it starts young) who begins each sentence with the name of the male(s) they find most advantageous to be associated with. Those sugary-sweet, girly-girl, overly-swooning type females who fawn all over the alpha-male-types: are they all desirable as fuel, or is there ever some level of annoyance for you?

    Gotta know. They aren’t all empathic. A good many are probably sociopaths (?), but for whatever reason feel that they have to gain admiration of the alpha-males to be human.

    Is this fuel, or is this annoying? It may all be dependent on the mental capacity of the narcissist…

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Their comments would be fuel.

  8. Amber says:

    every piece now is the best piece you’ve written. second, what if you don’t want to break free? is there any way to win over a greater narc? 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.
      It is your emotional thinking telling you do not want to break free, it is conning you.
      You cannot win over any narcissist because we have to exert the control.

    2. Willow says:

      I’m with you, Amber. Yesterday was my first day of No Contact (admittedly I hadn’t yet blocked him from my phone–and then he texted me, and I caved. Just had to try to set him straight on the inflammatory and false things he was saying. Realized that, as completely frustrating and futile as it is, I still want to engage with him. I won’t initiate it myself now, but when he does…. I know that I have to break free, but I still don’t want to. Pretty maddening, and not at all like me, as I am normally (for all of my 49 years until this guy came along a year ago!) very disciplined with myself.

  9. abrokenwing says:

    I think In my case it was mainly disobedience but also see through.

  10. Jenny says:

    I know mine started when I became pregnant , he encouraged me to have the baby but started treating me very badly. Also withheld sex hence me googling it then all the pieces fit and I figured out what he truly was.

  11. Jane Hall says:

    So True. Just as we were getting along well, often after intimacy and what seemed like the most amazing romantic experience. BOOM!!! He would find something to complain about, swear, curse, rant. I always wondered WHY? Why spoil everything. Just as everything going so well? I could never understand it. It seemed he had a self destruct button. One day – the elastic didn’t bounce back. The trust went. I left him and I did let him back into my life. It has never been the same. Not even had sex with him in 8 years. Thanks HG

    1. SuperXena says:

      Hello Jane Hall,

      Your comment resonated a lot with what I experienced with my ex narcissist. I also wondered many times if he self sabotaged his own happiness ( as you mentioned as self -destructive).
      Now I understand that it was because :
      – by seeing me happy in the relation meant for him that I would feel to comfortable in it and would not try as hard to please him( for him equivalent to losing control). By causing conflict ( upsetting me and thus getting negative fuel ) just exactly when things were going great, brought me back ( according to him) to try even harder ( more fuel) to make it work. Bizarre logic indeed. With time it became tiresome and exhausting for me so it had the opposite effect …I did not try anymore to make it work..
      – another reason for this that now I understand (sounds bizarre as well) is that he was jealous of my happiness even though he was the one causing it…jealous because they cannot really feel happiness as we do…

      1. SuperXena says:

        *typo* I meant ” …I would feel too comfortable…”

      2. Windstorm2 says:

        Yes. They can be very jealous of our happiness – even when they caused it. They are jealous and can become very angry because we have something they can never have. Very true observation.

        1. SuperXena says:


          I experienced that a lot with my ex narcissist : his anger ,jealousy and fury for being deprived of certain feelings. We, non -narcissists have all the feelings they have as well as the feelings of happiness and real love that they are deprived of. Their feeling of empowerment I could equate to the feeling of fulfilment we experience. I feel blessed of being capable of experiencing those feelings they are deprived of .I can’t imagine how would it be without them..
          The more I learn about NPD and now being completely detached from my ex, the more I understand that , regardless how sophisticated or simple their fuel matrix is, the underlying factor that makes them operate the way they do is their fear of losing control.

          By the way, I think I read somewhere here that you still have interaction with your (ex) narcissist? If that is the case: what do you get from that interaction? I see you as a very strong women, certainly if you are motivated to stay it seems to me that it is because you get something positive from it?
          Since I am now completely detached from my ex ( 23 months no contact after 6 years in a formal relationship with a Greater) is hard for me to think on any reason why I should have kept any contact or way of interaction with him. For me it is completely out of the question.
          I hope you and your grandchildren ( specially your 20 months old granddaughter) are feeling fine.

          1. Windstorm2 says:

            Thank you. Yes, we are all fine. We are all at the zoo right now, but I feel like we carry our own zoo with us, along with a circus!

            Yes, I never cut any narc off. So many of them are family anyway. I have learned over the years how to protect myself, mainly by using distance and leaving any situation where they become abusive. I also have long ago crossed that emotional sea HG talks about. I live far inland now! Lol!

            For my exhusband it took several years after I left him before I could enjoy his company again. He was never physically abusive And Is very intelligent, keeps up with current events and makes good conversation. Currently he highly values my company and conversation And Is willing to take me out often to eat and to movies and grocery shopping (I absolutely HATE all types of shopping)

            We’ve been together for 44 years, since he was 17 and me 16. We both know each other’s entire family and history. He is the only person I ever dated and I’d truly be shocked if he’s even dated since I left him 10 years ago. We’ve sort of molded to each other. We just have so much shared history and family.

            Plus he has mellowed as he has aged. He has a job that lets him get lots of negative fuel And Is willing to restrain from trying to pull negative fuel from me (probably because he knows I will walk away and avoid him for several weeks).

            So I guess the answer to your question is yes I do get a lot from my relationship with him. Most of the time I really enjoy his company – as long as there’s not too much of it!

            I can vent to him and discuss all manner of things and get intelligent conversation and opinions in return. We both know what he is and what I am, understand and are comfortable with it. I actually enjoy providing positive fuel and we are both very at ease with each other. We both probably know and understand each other better than anyone else on earth knows us. Someone like that is worth holding onto – for him as well as for me.

          2. SuperXena says:

            Hello Windstorm2,
            I hope your visit to the zoo with your grandchildren was fun, I understand what you meant having a zoo and a circus of your own. You made me laugh! My lovely sons are teenagers now but I recall those hectic but precious times when they were small. Our circus manifests now as a teenage circus sometimes..if you know what I mean. I feel grateful to see how they are becoming healthy and happy adults .
            Thank you for sharing your story with me. It is one of its own and very, very rare.

            As I write this to you here, it feels like fencing with a double-edge sword.
            What I mean is that for reaching that stage you have reached with your ex-husband requires very unique circumstances. Your case which I find unique , should not encourage people to think that this is achievable with any narcissist because:

            1. If I understand you right, your ex husband has admitted to himself and to you that he is a narcissist?
            That would mean that he has reached a high level of insight ( something that is hard to achieve) and that he has a high cognitive functioning. Is that right? In that case that is very rare . Settling the grounds of this dynamic between you two at a different level.
            2. In that case the dynamics is completely different from any other. It has been perhaps easier for you to find protective mechanisms for not being abused. He accepting what he is and accepting to extract just positive fuel from you.
            3. It has been quite a large journey together 44 years to achieve this.

            Does that mean that although he has not change in the core of what he is, he has adapted some behaviours towards you? Is that what you mean by he is more “mellow”? Do you think it is something related to him ageing? Do you think that his fuel matrix has changed in any way?
            Best wishes!

          3. Windstorm2 says:

            I know what you mean about teenagers! I had 4 teenagers at the same time! – 15,16,17,18. That’s when my hair went grey!

            Yes, I realized my situation was unusual right after I started reading here on the blog, when I learned about Love bombing and so many people wanting the great sex back. I never had either of those.

            And you are right, my exhusband is a very intelligent cerebral with extraordinary insight into human nature, his own and everyone else’s. Another uniqueness is that his family is not only full of narcs, many of them are alcoholics (him included). His father was very involved with AA and his mother with AlAnon. This meant that everyone understood narcissism, alcoholism and all the various manipulations used by both.

            His mellowing was due to several factors – age, massive heart failure-quintuple bypass and hitting the nadir of his alcoholism. He had to come to terms with what he calls “hard truths” about his own limitations and what he really has and doesn’t have. This has caused him to show much greater appreciation for those of us who care about him and are willing to put up with him.

            He is still and always will be a narc. And he will always be a challenge for all of us to tolerate, but when he sees we are stressed or irritated with him, he will back off now and give us the time and space we need for ourselves. And he often makes conscious choices to be helpful when we are in need.

            As for his fuel matrix, some of the people have changed. I’m no longer his primary source, but he hasn’t replaced me with any other single person. He seems to have a raft of many people. Some long term friends, many work friends and colleagues, all our 4 children and 1 of our granddaughters in particular, his sister and brothers and then me of course as well and probably many others I do not know. No romantic interests, that’s not his style. He sees those as complications.

            His job is a prosecuting attorney in family court, so he gets a lot of negative fuel jerking fellow narcs along thru the court system. He deals a lot with child abuse cases and victims of narcissism. So in a way, he’s using his narcissism to gain justice and help for narc victims. ( if he heard me say that he would laugh! He’s certainly not doing it for “justice” or out of “the goodness of his heart” because I’m sure he doesn’t believe either one actually exists!)

            Hope that answered your questions. He has many flaws as a friend and companion, but he’s a lot better than nothing. He’d probably say the same about me! – at least he’d say, “better than nothing”. Maybe not “a lot!” 😝. (I can hear him laughing in my mind. He has a great sense of humor – dark, but very good.)

          4. SuperXena says:

            Hello Windstorm2,
            Thank you very much for your extensive answer. Yes, you answered all of my questions!
            I like your humour about it:.” but he’s a lot better than nothing. ”
            I really hope that it is not your second best choice but rather your first best choice .
            From the few interactions I have had with you and what I have read here, I think you are a woman who is able to make choices so I hope this is your FIRST best choice ( meaning the best for you)….you really deserve it!
            Best wishes

          5. Windstorm2 says:

            Thank you and best wishes for you as well! My life is what God has given me. I have no desire to argue with God. And actually I have no real problems, so I feel very fortunate! ❤️

          6. SuperXena says:


            I understand how you see this and I do respect it. I am not religious in the sense of thinking that my life has been predetermined.

            I see life like a journey on let’s say a river being the end of the journey death ( not entering into the beliefs of life after death since I do not have any personal testimony of its existence ….yet)

            When born you are provided with a small boat and a pair of oars( being your character traits from birth). The boar and the oars are then shaped during childhood. When you reach adulthood you can reshape them and form them as life goes along choosing the path you want to follow….making them stronger,steadier,more effective when finding obstacles along the way.

            You can chose which path you are taking are the one controlling the oars….
            Best wishes again…

          7. Windstorm2 says:

            I like your analogy that life is like traveling on a river. It is very similar to my own. I do not believe that my life is predetermined. I see all of us making our own journeys by various ways to the same destination. Some may be in your river, some on the ocean, some by land, some by plane, but all ultimately headed to the same final destination. I am definitely traveling by land.

            My concept of God is that of an energy force that guides and supports us on this journey. Some are never aware that this force even exists. But some can sense it. If you can sense this force, it can guide you along the path, you just have to be open to it and watch for signs of what is best to do or to avoid.

            For whatever reason, I began this life’s journey surrounded by narcissists. There was no way I could avoid them. I had to learn how to continue my journey with them all around me. I can only believe that there was a reason for this.

            Maybe it’s not all even about me. After all, all of my narcissists are on their own personal journey too. Maybe my presence in their lives is essential to their journeys? Maybe their presence in mine is essential to my own? I have no way of knowing. All I can do is watch for signs from “God” and keep moving forward.

            Best wishes to you. I very much enjoy our conversations!

          8. SuperXena says:

            You are travelling on land and I see myself travelling on water..I have always had a deep fascination for the element water…specifically the sea. It makes my journey more exciting and more challenging.
            Different life situations, different journeys. In my case I have moved forward from my ex narcissist…feels good to have left him behind. In either case what is similar with our journeys although they are different is that we are moving forward.That’s what matters..

            I enjoy very much our conversations as well!

          9. SuperXena says:

            *typo* I meant of course: “The boaT and the oars are then shaped….

          10. SuperXena says:

            By the way, that reminds of the song: row, row row your boat…gently down the stream..merrily ,merrily, merrily life is just a dream…
            If you remember the rest of the lyrics, they are actually applicable to this context …

          11. SuperXena says:

            *typo* I meant :” he has not changed in the core..

  12. gabbanzobean says:

    When you say,

    “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.”

    From the DLS perspective….is this basically saying that he gets “bored” or “restless” with his wife and thus has to have the DLS? Like that strawberry ice cream analogy? The wife can continue to be a predecessor even if she is primary? Back and forth as he samples his different ice cream flavors? Reading that made me flash back to the ice cream article.

    And the “woe is me” guilt party is always the constant. It is always the excuse for the silence, the ghosting, and on the rare occasion when I challenge him, the occasional nastiness.

    And still I continue to go back and forth with this “is he really a narc or is he just some infidelitious cheating sex addicted a-hole?”

    When I hear him say, “I am going to do the right thing” I always take his word for it. And then negates it by telling me he loves me misses me, has sex with me. Over and over and over.

    I am stuck on the merry go round from hell and I always think it will be different each time.

    I am sure he must devalue his wife right? What excuse does he give her? Surely it can’t be the same one he gives me? If he whined to her about his guilt it would be quite suspicious would it not? If he silent treats me wouldn’t he do the same to her?

    THIS right here….THIS is the overthinking that makes me wonder how he REALLY treats her. It confuses me and makes me think she could not possibly get it as bad as me.

    It makes me jealous and continue to wish I was her and he was mine.


  13. Willow says:

    🙌🏼 THANK YOU! Finally, the answers I have been searching and begging for, but know I would never get from him. This is one to read over and over every time the wondering begins. I sincerely thank you for this.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome Willow.

  14. Anm says:

    It probably falls under Stale, but for the ex narc, it was when he was still showing me off to his friends, and one of his friends said I was “not very impressive”. That alone put me in devaluation. He claimed I tried to flirt with that friend, and that was his excuse to not bring me around that friend again. Then the compartmentalization began.

    1. Amber says:

      what were you supposed to be? a car? and how funny that if he had felt possessive of you, such as if you had been a child, then he would have ended a friendship over a far more innocuous critical remark, yet in that instance, he would choose a hateful “friend” over a possible love affair? their logic is impossible to comprehend as mr. tudor says. I’m sorry that guy said that. I’m sure you’re plenty impressive, whatever that even means. what are you supposed to do, shoot fireworks from your a** while goose stepping and saluting him at the same time? what a jerk.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous article

Sex and the Narcissist

Next article

Achieving NoFuC