He doesn’t bring you flowers any more. Or chocolates. Or perfume. Or lingerie. Or a new book.
In fact he has stopped bringing you gifts altogether. Why?
A person who is regarded as a suitor will seek to impress the target of their desire with the provision of gifts. These range from the obvious (flowers, jewellery, chocolates) through to the less obvious (the selection of an obscure piece of literature, sponsorship of an animal or an ‘experience’). The pattern of gift giving will not be overwhelming to begin with, it will not be grandiose nor gratuitous. It will not be on the flimsiest of reasons (see the creation of Golden Milestones in The Creation of Unusual Milestones ). It will accord with birthdays, Christmas, achievements by the other person and those ‘just because’ moments (welcome home, I saw this and knew you would love it, I wanted to thank you for your help). The provision of gifts will not just stop. This is for two reasons:-
a. The gift giving is not ‘feast and then famine’ ; and
b. There is a genuine motive behind the giving as opposed to flagrant self-interest
This approach to the provision of gifts of whatever nature applies to the normal individual, the well-adjusted one who is seeking to make a good impression at the outset of a romantic relationship and showing thoughtfulness throughout its existence thereafter. The fact that you once received gifts and then you suddenly do not anymore is a particular red flag with regard to our kind.
The first matter to consider with regard to the relevance of the pattern and nature of gift giving is how that manifests with regard to the school of narcissist. Accordingly,
The Greater Narcissist will provide gifts of superior quality, elegance and calibre. He or she will provide them frequently during the love-bombing and embedding phases of the golden period. The Greater Narcissist will also be easily able to afford these gifts and they will be recognisable as quality offerings without brash ostentation.
The Mid-Range Narcissist is the most prolific giver of gifts during the golden period. He will provide them frequently, often several times a week. If your birthday falls in this golden period, expect him or her to outdo everybody else in terms of the nature of the gift. The Mid-Range Narcissist (especially LMR or MMR) will often exceed their financial capability when engaging in this gift-giving.
The Lesser Narcissist will not engage in much gift-giving at all, save for the Upper Lesser. The LLN or MLN may provide one or two gifts, but little more than that and will be likely to provide you with stolen goods or with gifts obtained using money he or she does not have. The LLN or MLN is likely to be an Indian Giver, even during the Bronze Period (which is the Lesser equivalent of the Golden Period). The Upper Lesser, invariably having significant personal wealth will be a flamboyant and almost over-bearing gift giver. What he or she will provide will be decent but lacking any real thought or imagination.
Thus with these patterns established with regards to the schools, what about the applications of the cadres?
Elite – expect high calibre gifts, often difficult to obtain save through particular connections, thoughtful, interesting and always treasured by the recipient. The nature of the gift will be varied from jewellery through to a signed special edition book through to tickets to an exclusive culinary experience.
Somatic – the Somatic prefers very visible gifts, thus this will amount to large floral displays delivered to your home or more often where you work (so more people see them), clothing and lingerie are key somatic gifts, along with gadgets and technology, tickets to sporting events, competitive events and holidays.
Cerebral – the gifts from the Cerebral cadre will naturally encompass the arts (thus theatre tickets, literature, music, a rare copy of a photograph, a painting and so forth), there may well be an educational bent (you can expect personalised copies of the narcissist’s own works where relevant) and often there is more to them than first meets the eye, as the Cerebral will delight in showing and explaining to you.
Victim – you can expect recycled gifts from the LL and ML Victim Narcissists. Those from Mid Ranger Victim Narcissists will be more likely to be thoughtful and inexpensive and often practical in some respect (since the narcissist will have one eye on making use of it themselves in due course) . Homeware gifts will be common from the Victim Narcissist.
Thus, combining the school and cadre will give you a clear indication of the gift giving patterns and range of the narcissist during the Golden (or Bronze Period). If you recognise these patterns and the nature of the gifts then this is a strong indicator that the person providing you with these gifts belongs to our brethren and you should take heed.
Similarly, a further powerful indicator is the sudden dropping off of the provision of the gifts. This article will only apply itself to the cessation of gift giving and not the shifting to providing rubbish or inappropriate gifts (for that see The Narcissist and Gifts)
The shift from lots of gift giving to nothing is done because it is contrasting behaviour. Contrasting behaviour is a hall mark of our behaviour. Contrasting is done principally to confuse and bewilder you (thus it increases our grip on you) and also to increase the quantity and potency of the fuel. Control and fuel are the prime reasons for engaging in contrasting. You will see contrasting throughout the narcissistic dynamic.
Contrasting will occur with regard to the provision of gifts however you need to have regard to the nature of the narcissist that you suspect (or know) you are dealing with AND your place in the fuel matrix of that narcissist.
Thus, if you receive a lot of gifts and then this suddenly stops then this will be the behaviour of the Greater, Mid Range and Upper Lesser Narcissists. If you are involved with a Lower Lesser or Middle Lesser you are unlikely to see any drop-off in gift provision and therefore you will need to look to other behaviours to support your concerns with regard to suspect narcissism.
Also take into account your status within the fuel matrix.
If you happen to be a tertiary source (although you are highly unlikely to realise you have some kind of involvement with a narcissist if you are a TS) then the cessation of any gift giving is indicative of being devalued.
If you are a Non Intimate Secondary Source, the gift giving will not be as frequent as it is for an Intimate Source. What you need to look out for is not so much the drop-off of gift giving towards you but a drop-off through triangulation. This means that if you are a NISS and you are being devalued it will manifest in you not receiving a gift when other NISSs do. Thus, if you are a NISS family member, other people will receive gifts and you will not. If you are a colleague NISS, your colleagues will receive gifts and you will not, ditto amongst friends. Thus, it is not so much about there being frequent gifts given, but when they are, the other NISSs will receive them and you will not and thus you are triangulated.
If you are an Intimate Partner Secondary Source (Shelf) , you will enjoy the provision of gifts in accordance with the school and cadre as described above and these will continue throughout the golden period. If the gift giving stops when you are not with the narcissist then this is merely representative of your shelf status and is not devaluation. If no gift is provided when you would expect to receive one (birthday, Christmas) even though you are not spending time with the narcissist, this is also not devaluation. You are on the shelf and out of the mind of the narcissist. If however you are spending time with the narcissist and there are no gifts being provided at all, when there once was, then this will be a Corrective Devaluation aimed at bringing you back into line. If this continues for a repeated and extended period then this will part of your Dis-Engagement Devaluation and you will shortly be dis-engaged from.
Finally, if you are the IPPS and the Friday flowers are not being provided, the jewellery has halted, you drop hints about gifts and there is no response (remember there will have needed to have been gift provision during the golden period to create this contrast) then this is a clear act of devaluation.
Essentially, if somebody engages in excessive gift provision and then suddenly stops doing so, this is a strong indicator that you are with one of our kind and you are in devaluation. It also means that someone else is now likely to be receiving the gifts that you once cherished.