The Fuel Matrix – Part Two

THE FUEL MATRIX - PT TWO

As explained in Part One, understanding the fuel matrix for the relevant school of narcissist (with appropriate adjustments relevant to the cadre) allows you to understand how a particular narcissist is likely to respond to your imposition of no contact, dependent on how you fit into that matrix. It also allows you to understand what other competing interests you can expect within this fuel matrix and how the narcissist is likely to interact with these other sources. This part of the series considers the fuel matrix of the Mid-Range School of narcissist.

  1. The Lower Mid-Range Narcissist (“LMRN”)

The LMRN is of reasonable cognitive function. He has no awareness as to what he is. Whilst passive aggressive features are the forte of the Mid Ranger Narcissist, as a lower, he does gravitate towards the aggression of the Lesser Narcissist. This means that when there is an ignition of fury, the relevant victim may well experience the manifestation of physical violence. There is not the blunt fury of the Lesser, but the risk of being punched or kicked is there. The LMRN, when heated fury is ignited, will respond at times by throttling the victim.  There are potential substance abuse issues evident with the LMRN also. He or she will work and have a reasonable job albeit it is unremarkable.

The LMRN relies heavily on people feeling sorry for him or her and this arises either through the manifestation of cold fury, through silent treatments et al or having a temper tantrum as heated fury is exhibited. Unlike the Lesser who will erupt in a volcanic fashion or the Greater who will erupt with a frenzied malice, a calculated application of antipathy which will hurt his or victim, the LMRN is petulant.

Of all the schools and their divisions, the LMRN is most likely to become The Incredible Sulk . He has a fairly low threshold of control on his fury and can either erupt with heated or cold fury and pretty much does so in equal measure, something which is different from the other divisions of schools.

The LMRN has a small fuel matrix. He has little charm, if any, he will have limited financial power and relies on people feeling sorry for him and wanting to help him. The LMRN who is of the Victim Cadre is a pathetic creature indeed. In terms of the fuel matrix, it is as follows

a. The primary source will usually be intimate in nature. There may be occasions where the LMRN will skulk back to his or her parents and place them as primary source but most of the time the primary source will be intimate in nature and is often someone who is a The Carrier Empath to put up with the fairly low energy level of the LMRN and his or her propensity to sulk. The primary source is expected to work and run the house and will be denied much opportunity to socialise as the LMRN will not want that person being away from them.

b. There will be numerous familial secondary sources. Unlike the Lower Lesser or Middle  Lesser, the LMRN is able to maintain reasonably good relationships with his family because he seeks pity and sympathy more than fear and hurt. They will regard him as moody but will put up with it meaning he is able to rely on these secondary sources as reliable. This is necessary because of the point in (c).

c. The social secondary sources will be limited. Lacking charm and generally regarded as sulky, self-centred and something of a mardy arse, the LMRN struggles with creating a significant social secondary source circle. He will have a small number, three or four, inner circle friends with whom he will do most things;

d. The LMRN usually works and therefore will have colleague secondary sources. He will not be held in high regard by them but nevertheless his less volcanic nature means that he will have numerous of these colleague secondary sources dependent on the size of the organisation he works for;

e. The LMRN will have an IPSS when the IPPS is being devalued. It is unusual for him to have more than one and it is often the case that the IPSS will not be recruited from a social setting but usually through work;

f. In terms of tertiary sources, the LMRN will engage with a reasonable number of these sources as he works, he will be out and about in terms of shopping etc and his interactions will largely be benign in nature unless he perceives a criticism and then he will readily erupt in order to draw negative fuel from the offending tertiary source.

2. The Middle Mid-Ranger Narcissist (“MMRN”)

The MMRN has a little charm but his weapon is politeness and behaving in a respectable manner. He or she is well-thought of. The MMRN is not a huge attention seeker and does not exhibit grandiose behaviours. Instead the MMRN wants to be well thought of by everybody. This person is intelligent and is likely to have a good job.

Like any narcissist, the MMRN is hugely sensitive to criticism and the MMRN is more sensitive than most. This is because he lacks the dynamic aggression of the Lesser rf the malevolent charm of the Greater but instead feels constrained by his lack of ability to influence people in a sudden and meaningful manner. This means that the MMRN is an envious individual and is always looking to gain the advantage from covert and secretive means. He throws the figurative second punch (often piggybacking on the behaviour of a Greater although he does not know that this is what that person is). He is two-faced, a spreader of gossip and always looking to get other people to do his dirty work. He is cowardly but will never countenance being called as such. He ingratiates himself with people through his intelligence and limited charm and is prone to repeated pity plays. He is the archetypal architect of the silent treatment in all its forms and heated fury is rare with him. If it does appear, it will be shouting, spitting and slapping. He is an habitual liar, not just in a defensive manner (which is what Lessers and the LMRN do) but in a proactive manner, in order to cause trouble and cajole people into acting on his behalf through the dissemination of gossiping untruths.

The fuel matrix of the MMRN is not extensive but is larger than that of the LMRN.

a. The primary source. Rarely a family member and nearly always an intimate partner. This person will be guilt-tripped into doing everything for the supposedly hard-working MMRN. He will use his façade of being a ‘regular’ guy to keep the IPPS in place. He will unleash repeated silent treatments, blame-shifting and projection to maintain the upper hand;

b. Familial secondary sources.  The MMRN has reliable and extensive familial secondary sources. He is either well-regarded by those of The Coterie who consider him to be a well-brought up son, well-regarded nephew and brother, or as someone who is prone to being viewed as “sensitive” being the unknowing victim’s view of this particular narcissist. Either way the family secondary circle is one which is compliant for the MMRN;

c. Colleague secondary sources. The MMRN has a reasonable sized fuel matrix at work. This is roughly equal between those who consider him a diligent worker and reliable and those who consider him to be untrustworthy and a brown-noser. Whilst the MMRN will make pity plays concerning the unfair attitude of the latter group, the fact remains that he has engagement with well over a dozen people, possibly more dependent on the size of the workplace, all of which who are locked into his fuel matrix.

d. With respect to the social secondary sources, the MMRN does not have an extensive social circle. His matrix draws from the IPPS and the secondary sources through family and work. Lacking the charisma and grandiose behaviours which might draw people to him socially in significant numbers, the MMRN keeps his social circle small with perhaps 4-6 inner circle friends. He will not see these friends with significant regularity but instead does so more through the auspices of organised events, such as dinner parties amongst the groups or attendance at functions.

e. The MMRN will have an IPSS at the appropriate time. He is capable of securing the attentions of two IPSSs through a combination of intelligence and manipulation. He relies, like the LMRN on the workplace being the feeder ground for the selection and cultivation of the IPSS or IPSSs. Somewhat ponderous in nature and also very much aware of his façade the MMRN is careful to keep IPPS and IPSSs very separate.

f. The MMRN will engage with tertiary sources as a consequence of job, social life and general community involvement. Again, his awareness of the façade means that his engagements for the most part will be benign in nature. Should a tertiary source wound him, he is less likely to lash out at that tertiary source and instead more likely to triangulate the individual through the raising of a complaint to the relevant person.

3. The Upper Mid-Range Narcissist (“UMRN”)

This division of the Mid Range school of narcissism is of considerable intelligence. He also has some reasonable charm. People often mistake the UMRN for a Greater. This is because the UMRN has a degree of sophistication, some charm and some calculation. He is rarely physical with his victims and instead he is a master manipulator through the application of silence. Whether it is a steely gaze, a glacial shoulder or ghosting, the UMRN is able to use the silent treatment to the greatest effect. He instinctively identifies victims who find such treatment of being ignored and overlooked especially disturbing. He is also capable in terms of playing people off against one another. He does not have the tantrum behaviour of the LMRN nor the avoidant tendencies of the MMRN, instead he finds considerable fuel in playing people against one another based on petty insecurities. He will use exclusion from a group, be it work, family or social as the stick by which to bring about compliance. He does not hit, he does not threaten but rather he uses the imposition of silence through exclusion as a major modus operandi to achieving what he requires.

a. The primary source. This is nearly always going to be an intimate partner. His attributes and the fact that he will hold a senior or professional position makes him an attractive prospect. He appears lacking volatility since he has a better hold on his ignited fury than the other schools and divisions mentioned so far. He will have decent financial ability. He relies extensively on the IPPS as other narcissists do, but his reliance is not as great as the other schools and divisions touch on.

b. Familial secondary sources. He is generally well-regarded by his family secondary sources and can command numerous of them for the purposes of support and fuel. He is likely to have made an example of one or two and excluded them from the group and no longer bothers with them. Expect therefore one or two black sheep to exist in the fuel matrix of the UMRN;

c. Colleague secondary sources. The UMRN will have a significant work fuel matrix. The UMRN is less likely to be a business owner as he prefers to be part of a large machine, thus as a senior manager in a corporate setting, a partner in an accountancy practice or an academic in a college or university he is able to interface with dozens of people who he will utilise as secondary sources. The majority will regard him in a benign manner, but he will have made one or two enemies within the workplace, again arising from his ability to freeze people out;

d. Social secondary sources. The  UMRN will have the largest social circle of all mid-rangers but it is still not extensive. Work and family provide the bulk of his secondary sources and socially he will have numerous outer circle friends (often drawn from work) perhaps around a dozen and only say two or three inner circle friends who are likely to be long-standing in nature. Outer circle friends will also be lost from time to time through his exclusionary behaviours.

e. IPSSs. The UMRN is capable of operating two or more IPSSs should the need arise. He will carefully keep them separate from one another, deploying the assistance of Lieutenants in ensuring that they do not find out about one another until after the event or if he decides there is something to be served in such triangulation, but this is rare. He has the sophistication and attraction to keep several plates spinning and once people learn about such Casanova behaviour they would be rather surprised by such a revelation;

f. The UMRN knows numerous tertiary sources. He interacts with them as a consequence of his varied involvement in the community, socially and through work. He is most mindful of the efficacy of the façade and therefore is mainly pleasant and benign in his interactions with them as he wishes to remain well thought of. If a tertiary source displeases him, he will not lash out, but again will request their removal as waiter or a change of post man etc from the relevant powers that be.

Part Three examines the Fuel Matrix of the Greater school of narcissism.

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44 Comments

  1. HG, is there an intimate tertiary source vs non-intimate tertiary source or are all tertiary sources in one category?

      1. I got all tangled up in the blog and ended up reading some flirty banter with you and several females a long time ago. Would that be an example of intimate tertiary sources or something else?

          1. I don’t think it’s a secret that Narcs are not fans of the condom. Do you worry ever worry about STD’s? Some of the stuff out there can’t be cured!

  2. Hi HG.

    Which narcissist moves from place to place/relocates a lot? Acts as a helper/do-gooder, always has problems, pretends to be sensitive to others, but he can be aggressive but also is very, very sensitive? Basically, I can’t even express myself in regards to his behavior (he blame shifts and projects) without him thinking or feeling that I am attacking him. Is this the lesser or mid-range? and which fuel matrix of the lesser or mid-range? He is always moving to a different state/city after a couple or a few months have passed by. He sounds like he is a low-functioning/unstable type.

      1. Thank you, HG! He does complain about having low energy and always has something to complain about or uses pity plays so people feel sorry for him – he always has a problem. He is also a recovering alcoholic who goes to meetings. However, he can be charming towards his friends on fb, though, did have a reasonable job, but he lashes out at roommates and then moves again. He can be mean to me, when asked, he often doesn’t know – like he is unaware of why. He flirts with me, but doesn’t want to commit and we met through school. He always asks or needs my help. He is always talking to people through messages, emails, phone, and etc.though. He NEEDS people. Was that enough info? Does he still appear to be a lower mid-ranger? I think so. But you, obviously, would know better.

  3. HG, can the upper midranger be a somatic but also have some cerebral qualities? As in being highly educated, well-read and intelligent.

  4. Do you think HG, that if a UMRN had secured himself a high status IPPS, he would treat her better than other IPPSs? High status can provide golden fuel, not easy to replace.

    1. If this high status provided useful character traits and residual benefits this IPPS would probably be held onto longer before disengagement, but there would be no difference concerning the move from idealisation to devaluation.

  5. You are providing me with the missing pieces of the puzzle, thankyou – my cowardly UMRN had better watch out! There is a book on revenge, yes?? 🤣

  6. Well, after reading HG’s latest NC advisory, I need to rethink my “strategy” to read the narcissist’s “NC emails.” I truly don’t believe I’m in danger of contacting him — when I’m done, I’m done. I don’t think he can even aggravate me, as I know exactly what he’s doing. However, it’s unpleasant to feel I need to stay up on what he’s thinking (What, am I going to have to monitor him the rest of my life?)…and I can’t control what he does anyway — he could seem like the last thing that’s on his mind is to pay me a visit, in an email message — and the next day be at my door. So what good does reading his emails do? It doesn’t protect me at all.

    Ok, I talked myself out of it. I’ll just delete them, without reading. It’s going to make me feel a little shaky, which seems to confirm it’s what I need to do.

    Thank you for the recent NC post, HG. Just when I think I’m adequately educated on this, I do something dippy! Still learning.

    1. Deleting e-mails without reading them is the best way to deal with it – if you do read it, the words seem to linger and ultimately become a permanent scar in your mind…

  7. Dearest HG,

    I know you’ve said you’ve spent many years in people observation –

    When did you put labels to your observations about the various schools of narcissist?

    Did you ever keep a journal of your observations?

    *memoir forth-coming, the delectable HG reveals his most saucy early years (ha! we all know you’re just getting started 😉

  8. Mr Tudor, thank you for your explanations, however I am a little confused: you said previously Narcs cannot change schools (and I tend to accept your word, as your descriptions are always very accurate) but I am wondering whether a Lesser could have passive agressive traits just like a Mid Ranger while a Mid-Ranger also could have very low energy levels such as the Lesser? Untill today I was pretty sure I was dealing with a Lesser but this post made me rethink and conclude he could be a LMRN with very low energy levels. Thank you so much anyway.

    1. There are certain traits which are common to all schools. Some traits only appear in certain schools. A narcissist may have traits from just one school, two or maybe even all three. If traits come from two or three schools then there will a dominant number of traits which mean the narcissist belongs to that school.

      Thus, a narcissist may have some traits which are evident in all schools. He may have one or two which only belong to Lesser. He may have many which belong to Mid Ranger only. Accordingly, he will be Mid Range.

      1. Thank You again, only one remaining doubt: is there any explanation to the Low Energy Level / what do you attribute the Low Energy Levels to?

  9. I’m having the toughest time on identifying the narcissist being an UMR or a LRG. It’s almost an equal split of very specific qualities between the two. But I can’t shake the feeling he *knows* he’s a narcissist, in several things he has said and done — and also little tests given to see how I would react, like he was checking to see if I had figured it out. And there’s an overall intensity/fury I was increasingly sensing in him.

    Oh well… he’s one of these two categories. Guess it doesn’t matter much since I’m “GOSO.” I just would like to know for the sake of NC. I mean, should I be normal-worried, really-worried, or really-really-worried?

    Great descriptions on all 3 fuel matrices though.

    1. Caroline,

      A consult with HG could help you clarify the classification of your Narc. Doing so gave me greater understanding of my relationships with my Narcs. He also warned me that my last Narc might possibly hoover me even after my intentional wounding of him and he did! Knowing also helps me avoid becoming entangled with those type of Narcs again.

      1. Thanks, Kimi – really appreciate it – I might do that sometime…waiting right now to see if it calms down or gets worse. <I know, that sounds like a pretty sketchy plan, lol. I wounded mine unintentionally (didn't know he was a narcissist), and he seems pretty "under the surface" simmering to me. I feel like: "Okay, what is coming next?" Mainly I think, "Are you all done now?"

        They are so systematic, yet unpredictable – still hard for me to absorb it. You are right — knowledge is power.

        1. Caroline,

          Knowledge is power, however I have recently learned that awareness and understanding are not enough to manipulate or even tolerate a Narcissist in an intimate relationship due to their unpredictability. I had no idea how my Narc would behave, some idea of the reaction (fuel) he wanted and understanding of his behavior after it happened. I did find though that once the Narcissistic illusion of love is shattered, my love for him quickly dissipated. Yet I still felt addicted to him. My relationship just ended, with a discard of course!

          Be careful and guard yourself!

      2. So this didn’t take long…I must have jinxed myself with my “What is coming next?” question, Kimi.

        “Guess Who” left me a message (#2 now) on an old email account (one I don’t use regularly but still keep for work), which I had used a handful of times corresponding with him.

        Not long before I got a really bad feeling and went NC, he told me about an award he’d received, and I saw a news clip on it. I sent him a “congrats” type email, on that work email.

        So I get an email reply this a.m. on my (now pretty outdated) congrats email to him. It says: “Thank you very much, whomever…Who is this?”

        Really, dude? Too funny! He’s devaluing me from the NC Grave! If I didn’t know he was a narcissist, I’d probably be worried that he had early Alzheimer’s or something – not even kidding. Or I’d be so confused that I’d call him. Of course, he knows all this about me.

        As much as the message made me laugh, the un-funny part is knowing he is not stopping the manipulations just yet. So I’m being vigilant. I have zero desire to contact him, so I’m going to continue to read any messages he sends me. It makes me feel better to know he’s sending emails — and not physically where I am. The emails will give me some clue as to what’s going on in his swirly mind. If I don’t answer in an way, I think he’ll give up… eventually.

        Because that’s what I want to think.

  10. But the more I learn*
    I just don’t understand why he went to such great lengths to try to keep it hidden from me only to eventually expose?

    I would love to learn more about this type of behavior.

  11. Thank you for this beneficial information as it helps me to better understand. But I the more Iearn, it seems as if the more questions I have.

    I wounded mine by calling him a derogatory (yet deserved) name. In response, he quietly and methodically revealed to me his many written exchanges/conversations with other women. At that moment, it felt as if he supplied to me my “confirmation of fears” solely to hurt me.

    Crushed by these revelations, they were the catalyst of what finally pushed me away.
    So was that just part of the fun of an ugly devaluation or disengagement?

    Was this a regrettable slip up prompted from a blind fury or a calculated move?

    In the mind of the narcissist, what are the advantages to revealing other IPSS’s?

    I am still learning about triangulation. (And I can understand how jealousy might confirm for some a note of caring (Fuel). Honestly, we’ve all probably received a jolt at one time or another from realizing that we can get a rise out our significant other.) But why would an UMRN reveal his other prospects?

    Oddly, almost as fast as he revealed his transgressions, he seemed to have regretted doing so. He was insistent in trying to downplay that anything significant had happened as a result of his internet seeking.

    Not true, of course.

    After a harsh and heated discussion, he withdrew for a bit. Upon return, he said that he revealed his internet activities to me because he was “tired of living a double life.” He said he didn’t understand his need to do such things and he wanted to make it right with me. He tried to portray his reveal to me almost as a “cry for help.”

    He took my advice and sought out therapy as an effort to rectify the damage. But I never really could ascertain that a serious effort was in the making. Sadly, I never saw much improvement.

    I’ve been confused about that chain of events ever since, and I let it haunt me every day. Why did he do this HG?

    1. The provision of the messages was an act of provocation and was devaluing behaviour. The revelation of IPSSs is to upset the person the revelation is aimed at so that fuel is provided, to tell that person they are not special and to demonstrate the narcissist’s superiority because he is able to acquire other intimate appliances. It is triangulation (as you recognised) and may draw hurt, jealousy, upset, anger and frustration

      The apparent regret may have been because you either did not respond as he had hoped or as part of ‘I did not want to have to tell you, but you made me do it, but we can still work things out’ as part of drawing you back under his control again.

      1. Yes! He did brag before, when I was trying to pull away from him on another occasion, that he wouldn’t have ANY trouble replacing me. He actually said, through his tears of anger, that he had “six or seven” he could pull from his back pocket anytime he needed. This was early on, so I thought he was saying such out of being hurt, but there was definitely a threatening undertone through his sobs as he was very confident in his skills to quickly snag another woman… if there should ever be a need, of course.

        Now I realize for certain that these women have always been at his disposal.

        And you are right HG. I did my best to not much react during his big reveal (even though I was crushed inside and later gave his indiscretions too much Fuel)! But in response to his 30 plus emails, I was calm and acted as if he didn’t much matter.

        I actually thanked him, saying that I appreciated the confirmation that my suspicions were valid, and I told him that it was reaffirming to recognize that my silent assessment was correct…

        “It’s good to know you really are a narcissistic sociopath.”

        He replied, “Oh honey.”

        That sent chills up and down my spine. But then right after his smartass reply, he went back to trying to “make it right,” acting as if no one compared to me. It was all a mistake; he didn’t understand why he did something so stupid.

        Yeah, neither did I, but I’m getting closer to understanding!

        Thank you, HG, for sharing your wisdom. Your guidance has been much appreciated in helping me to take the necessary steps to break free.

  12. The sheer volume of fuckery doesn’t feel like it could be supported by a matrix so small for lowers and midmids.

    Is it maybe abandoned attempts and more frequent tertiary engagement?

    I feel like I’m missing something.

  13. <3…Upper Mid…just as described,just as witnessed.
    Much love, many thanks.
    Yours, truly.

  14. HG, is it possible for a mid ranger to have some traits and qualities of more than one area? For example a middle mid and an upper mid? I think my piano narc falls more among middle mid but his occasional flickers of awareness that something it not right makes me wonder if he an upper mid. Is there anything else that distinguishes these two areas of narcissist?

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