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.

63 thoughts on “The Mid-Range Narcissist

  1. Leesie315 says:

    Is it possible to be in the golden period for 5 yrs if the mid ranger is chasing you? My mid ranger chased me for yrs, wined, dined gifts, treated me great but i didnt like him so i kept him as a friend, but he kept chasing me, it wasnt until i finally gave in in the 5th yr and got into a relationship that he started to change. Real subtle and insidious. I only noticed because my relationship before him was with an overt narc. And before he could really devalue,
    I dumped him but it felt like devaluation started to begin but i ran out and told him it was over. Havent heard from him in a month. Is it possible thatnthe midranger is a covert narc? He was really hard to detect because like i said i wasnt head over heels in love. I just loved the way he treated me. Also he seemed really ok with the break up. Told me he will still be here for me and is just a text away if i need him. He seeemed ok with it. Is he hiding his wound or is he ok with it because he already has my replacement?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      This is a matter best suited to consultation as I need more information from you.

  2. Jess says:

    Dear HG: if an UMRN is of the ping-pong variety (reinstated FR with me at least 3-4 times) could he change tactics to, say Nomad, with future victims to lure them into the FR, or do they tend to stick to one way of acting?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There are hybrids, but if he has acted in a ping pong fashion several times, he will more than likely stick with this modus operandi.

  3. Jess says:

    Dear HG: is there any link between the duration of our entanglements with UMRNs and the frequency/duration of hoovering, even if I don’t respond to the hoovers? As in, the FR was 2yrs so fewer subsequent hoovers than say after a 12yr FR.

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Jess says:

        Thank you. So again, no logic to it. Would the level of provided fuel have any impact?

  4. Jess says:

    SMH: I’ve only had email hoovers so far, though exN knows where I live. Am post discard only a few months so only time will tell if the hoovers will intensify or lessen. I have blocked all avenues of contact save for email as I had to sort out some property issues. Do you feel better after no contact?

    1. SMH says:

      Hi again Jess (answering you all over the place :-)), Do I feel better? Interesting question. I think I wrote somewhere else that I feel more whole and peaceful. I don’t feel happier though I am having euphoric moments (I am probably hypomanic anyway). I guess for now I will have to accept whole and hope that helps me to continue to dig my way out of the hole.

      As for being friends, I think devaluations happen in inverse proportion to how important you were to your narc, right? It also depends on the kind of narc and whether or not you recognize what is happening. For instance, mine is passive aggressive, so the devaluations were subtle and hard to call him out on. He never ever criticized me. Really was only obviously hostile once. But that one time gave me clarity. He tried to calm me down but couldn’t stop me from pulling away. It was a year ago and it has taken that long to get to the point where I am now because of my travels, his hoovers, near re-engagement, and trying to be friends.

      1. Supernova DE says:

        When you say the devaluations were passive aggressive and hard to call out, what do you mean?

        1. SMH says:

          Hi Supernova DE, They consisted mainly of stranger zoning and shelving (no silent treatments until post-escape but he was often curt), so there was always a plausible excuse. Those are forms of indirect aggression that consist of not doing anything rather than doing something. I have to admit that from the beginning I sensed that he was controlling in this way and I dumped him. But I second guessed myself because p/a behavior is hard to read. Had his devaluations been more direct, I wouldn’t have struggled to decipher meanings.

          1. Supernova DE says:

            SMH – Yes I know that pattern well. I did get silent treatments also but I think that was mainly as a response to me wounding (of course I just thought I was being sassy haha).
            I have a hard time with this because I think my narc often did not react immediately when I ticked him off. He might let the convo trail off to nothing, but since we are both married and have families at home, a text trail stopping was expected and no big deal. He’d then save it until a day or two later and then give me the stranger zone when I tried to talk or reject me in some way to hurt me. He definitely knew how to get me to overanalyze every single one of his words and actions!!!

          2. SMH says:

            Supernova DE,

            The only silent treatment I got was in response to a wounding. That’s how I knew it was a wounding because it was also me being a tease. I realized then how very fragile his self-esteem was and I also realized then that he was definitely a narc. I’d had doubts before. I found this site right after that – Googling ‘why doesn’t he answer my messages.’ It all came together! And yes, I spent weeks overanalyzing this and everything else. I would probably have handled it differently now by ignoring him right back. But to be honest I was so exhausted by the whole thing at that point (this was in our trying to be friends period) that I let loose with everything I had held back. That is why I am surprised to find him hoovering again. But I shouldn’t be surprised since at many points I thought it was over, only to have it spring back to life.

            So you are a DLS. That is different from my situation. I am also technically married (I often forget – the divorce is taking so long) but we do not live together anymore. I think my marriage, which had just ended when I met narc, made the whole dynamic different than it would have been had I been in the market for a new partner. I wasn’t. I just wanted a fling :-).

  5. Jess says:

    I agree with Caroline, I don’t think that it is possible to be ‘friends’ with the exN. Unfortunately. As HG said, devaluation is inevitable, correct? So no matter how much we would try to maintain a friendship, it will always go sour. It is just hard to get our heads around the fact that someone we knew closely for so long (over 10 yrs in my case) is unable to deliver what ‘friendship’ is all about.

  6. Jess says:

    Caroline: thank you, I can totally relate and feel the same. My exUMRN has started to hoover and although he is not trying to reinstate the FR, well not yet anyway, that he wants to keep lines if communication open just in case. So formally there is disengagement, but no completely so if you get my drift.

    1. Caroline says:

      I do, Jess. Are you trying to get away from him – or maintain a quasi-neutral friend-like truce/minimal contact? (only another empath would get what I mean by that, LOL).

      Before I came on here and realized my ex-BF is a narcissist, I attempted to be friends with him when he Hovered (actually, I tried to be friends with him with two separate Hoovers — because one time was just not *enough* fun, gaah!)… so if you need affirmation of what a big-A mistake that was, just ping me anytime!;-)

      1. SMH says:

        Ping me too, Jess, if you want to, because I tried what Caroline tried and also with an UMRN who seemed perfectly normal on the surface.

        He hoovers constantly, directly and indirectly. I’ve tried everything – full contact, no contact, minimal contact, passive, assertive, sweet, angry, friends, formal, informal, normal, abnormal, you name it. Nothing I do makes any difference. All I can do is not get involved again thinking that he is capable of being different.

        It is hard to accept that nothing you do matters to someone you care about and who you want to care about you. I hope I can make my peace with it because I don’t blame him. It is as Caroline says – like someone with Alzheimers (I think of it as a mental illness).

        1. Caroline says:

          I can relate, SMH! But have you cooperated with his younger brother as a form of “soft accountability” (to motivate the narcissist to stay more often in his lane)?

          Coz that’s what I’m doing now… yeah, don’t ask — and I won’t tell. LOL. (actually effective thus far).

          Note: What Caroline does is not necessarily the best approach. Let Caroline be Caroline — so nobody else has to. 🙂

          1. SMH says:

            Caroline, is that the brother who announced you were going on holiday with narc? I seem to remember something like that. Glad he is in your corner, if I am not misreading you.

          2. Caroline says:

            Hi, SMH~just Caroline again :-)…

            Yep, that would be the very brother – good memory!

            He (my ex-BF’s younger brother) was pretty concerned about him. He knows me very well from when we were a couple, so he wanted to talk to me about what is going on… so we did.

            How I/we handled the whole thing is unconventional, to say the least. But, so far, I feel quite peaceful about it. I don’t mean to sound mysterious, but I wasn’t going to define the parameters/explain on the site what was agreed on (by me, the brother and my ex) BECAUSE it is so unconventional. If this continues to work, it’s only because there is a very special third party (younger brother/great guy) who deeply cares about both his brother AND me.

            Anyway, back to the important…you did a great job in your answer to Supernova DE. Yes, you got my feelings correct…

            I do not advocate being “friends” because my experience is that if you have been in a long-term, intimate relationship with a narcissist — and they digged the special attention/good fuel you gave them — they will want THAT particular fuel (sexy fuel!)… friendship just will not do.


          3. SMH says:

            Thank you, Caroline, and I agree about the fuel. I saw that when I tried to be friends. This was after I told him that we could not even be friends but of course he ignored my boundaries. It felt like a guy pawing me on the tube or something and made me feel more distant from him. More ignoring my boundaries. But then I cannot say I am friends with any exes really, so in that respect it is no different.

            I am glad you have brother to watch over you and help you to navigate the ex, however unconventionally (it is an unconventional situation, after all).

            I wish I knew someone who knew my narc, though if I did they would probably only know the facade. Here’s something funny: narc’s brother got caught in a long affair and IPPS left. I have to wonder if the whole family consists of narcs!! I suspect dad is a narc. I asked my narc once but in a very hostile way ‘are you just like your father??!!’ Then I saw a picture of dad and he had the same demeanor, body language and accessories (sunglasses) as my narc. Bingo. Narc dad. Narc sons. Lucky your ex’s brother is not like him and cares about him.

          4. Caroline says:

            Oh gawd, do I feel for you, SMH! I’m here for you also anytime, truly. I get it, on pretty much all levels.

            Yeah, the younger brother is married and has kids — he is SO an empath! He’s so nice. And he’s (physically) tots adorable! Actually, ALL the males in the family are SO flippin’ cute… my ex is gorgeous, and the other two brothers in the family are total cuties … even the Dad (who has now passed away) was SO cute and had this sexy vibe to him, I kid you not! LOL… I really do think (being around them for 3 years) that my ex was the only narcissist in the family… the Dad was rough with punishments for my poor ex (got physical), but IF there was another narcissist in the family, I feel it was the Mom… she was pretty icy.

            Anyway, my compassion for my ex (which still remains) is because I absolutely know that something in his upbringing wounded him. It makes me so sad.

          5. SMH says:

            Thanks, Caroline. You know your ex better than I know mine. Mine once told me his sister was an utter control freak. I could barely suppress a laugh. I do suspect something wrong in his family but I can’t bring myself to have much compassion because why should I or anyone else be his punching bag? Sounds like your narc’s family has just has one bad egg :-). Hope it all works out!

          6. Caroline says:

            Exactly right, SMH~you nor anyone else should be anyone’s punching bag. Ever. We can empathize with the narcissist’s plight (not that anyone need feel that way/it’s very individual, and my total respect +love for all victims narcissists).

            If this arrangement holds the narcissist to staying in his lane, great. If not, I will have to make new arrangements. It’s all about if the narcissist feels a motivation to do this. He does so far, but he’s a narcissist, so that’s subject to change. I’m realistic about it.

          7. SMH says:

            This is interesting, Caroline, because I gave mine a way out – I handed it to him on a silver platter. Please stay in your lane and find another IPSS because I don’t want to anymore. I actually think he tried – I even know her first name because I spied it out of the corner of my eye when I was making him delete all of our correspondence a few months post-escape. She must have failed and that is why he is hoovering me. I hope your plan does not fail!! 🙂

            Yes I have empathy, which is one reason it is so hard to disengage. But then I did try to be friends because I thought he ‘needed’ me. I must admit that I felt I was speaking to a child. Yes, I support you. Yes, I am proud of you. Yes, I will be there for you etc. No reciprocation whatsoever…I had to ask myself, do I have any friends like this? Nope. Do I need a friend like this? Nope. Do I even need another friend? Nope. I tend not to mix friend/lover categories anyway.

          8. Caroline says:

            LOVE your last paragraph, SMH. That’s clarity. Good for you!:-)

          9. SMH says:

            Thanks, Caroline. I was once in a situation of rejecting one guy for someone else. I offered to be friends with rejected guy and he said, ‘I don’t need more friends.’ Always stuck in my head. (We did become friends later but we were never actually lovers; also, guy I rejected him for fathered my kid – I think back then I must have known which gene combination would work best.)

      2. Supernova DE says:

        Caroline and SMH,
        Can you explain what happened, over what time frame, and how you handled it when you tried to be “friends” upon hoovering after the formal relationship ended?
        I’m struggling with whether to try this in future at some point, and it’s the thing that’s stuck in my head right now.

        1. Caroline says:

          I’d be glad to, but I wanted to clarify that I was *not* friends with him after the FR end… it wasn’t until last year (many years after the FR ended) that I attempted to be friends with him. Since it *was* many years later (had no clue then he was a narcissist), I thought it would be fine.

          If that’s still helpful, let me know. I’m heading out and won’t have internet again until late tomorrow night or the day after. I’m sure SMH will respond, but I’d be glad to add anything that may help you too!

          In the meantime… I’d really-and-truly not advise attempting to be friends with a narcissist you were previously in FR with — at all!:-)

        2. SMH says:

          Hi Supernova DE,

          I second Caroline. Here is what happened with me: Following 6 months NC (mutual decision to end it), mine asked me back to the FR. I was away those 6 months and he was indirectly hoovering the whole time.

          We saw each other, it was nice, I said I’d think about it, I was golden for 10 days, he went stranger (I can pinpoint the minute it happened) and I declined to return (escaped) without seeing him again.

          I asked for NC in ‘normal speak’ (i.e. I don’t think we should be in touch etc). But he ignored me and direct hoovers started. I thought, okay, let’s try friends. He initiated all contact. I kept responses minimal but supportive and friendly. We did not see each other.

          After about five weeks, I inadvertently wounded him (still walking on eggshells) and he went silent. I apologized (typical empath!). He stayed silent. I went supernova due to the silent treatment, which he had never done before, and sent two brutal emails about why I wouldn’t return to the FR. This is also when I found HG.

          A few weeks of NC followed while we both decompressed. I noticed another indirect hoover.

          I decided I wanted him to delete our correspondence as I felt it was keeping us connected, though we were no longer in the FR. I had to watch him do it, which meant I had to see him again. I knew it would be hard so I geared up for a battle (more eggshells, anxiety, etc).

          He was away when I asked to see him, but he tried to engage me. I did not take the bait. He returned and gave me the runaround for a week, at one point keeping me on email for 10 hours and in tears of frustration.

          I threatened to go to his house (I was IPSS), and he finally came over and did what I asked. I found a fake FB profile during this time, so the indirect hoovers were ongoing. He denied it (narcissistic defense). NC since then.

          It’s been a year since we were in the FR, we’ve only seen each other twice, and we live in different countries now. But he still hoovers. In fact, I’ve just found a second fake FB profile and believe he is trying to get me to break NC.

          The hoovers are to try to persuade you back into the FR or flip the script to gain control, or just drive you crazy because he only wants fuel. He doesn’t want a friendship. The past intimacy will set the fuel tone, which is why I think Caroline specifically warmed against it.

          Hope this helps you!

      3. Jess says:

        Caroline and SMH, I am in almost ‘no contact’ and don’t wish to engage in any form. I only responded to emails about the return of property, otherwise not responding to the hoovers. I know that nothing will change on the exN’s part and that any contact will only hamper my progress. I wonder if/when the hoovers will lessen in frequency. Thanks for responding!

        1. Caroline says:

          Good goin’, Jess. Keep it up – and may he fade from view sooner, rather than later. It’s all still so individual, depending upon many factors (some you can’t control), but the odds do increase for successful disengagement/less Hoovering with how you’re handling it. 🙂

        2. SMH says:

          Jess, The direct hoovers have only happened twice after I have escaped – once 18 months ago and then the first few months of this year. I only discovered the indirect hoovers last year, so I have no idea how long they have been going on or how long they will continue.

          He’s used 3 online platforms – one for direct and two for indirect (silent). On two of them he contacted or pinged me individually (anonymous but straight to my profile on one, and with an alias but a picture and conversation on the other). On the third, he hasn’t tried to contact me directly but he has multiple profiles which I find because I know his aliases, locations, fake emails, etc. Don’t know why he doesn’t just contact me directly, to be honest. I didn’t tell him we could not be in contact. But I did wound him and maybe humiliate him by escaping.

          Anyway, brace yourself because I’ve been shocked each time. I learn something new every day. Still.

  7. Claire says:

    Dear HG: is there any ballpark timeframe within which the new/replacement IPPS goes from love bombing into devaluation with an upper mid N and when he starts to target new potential victims?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is governed by the devaluation triggers and roughly can be between 6 months to 2 years.

      1. windstorm says:

        Ha, ha! Things started to go south with my Moron in Munich after just 3 weeks. But then I imagine I set off tons of devaluation triggers. Lol! Even just thru texts and phone calls I’d already identified him and told him he was a narcissist before three months were up.

        Of course I still hung in thinking we could be friends and still talk/text to each other, but he didn’t want that. In retrospect, laughing at him and flat out telling him I knew he was a narcissist was a bridge too far. I should have realized any further pleasant relationship was doomed.

  8. Jess says:

    Dear HG, is there any ballpark figure reflecting the timeframe within which an upper mid takes to go from lovebombing the new/replacement IPPS to devaluation/looking for new target replacements?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      No, it is affected by the devaluation triggers and there is no set time.

      1. Jess says:

        Thank you. Was asking as many voices here are talking about several months up to a year. Are devaluation triggers and subsequent devaluation/discard/disengagement inevitable in all IPPS entanglements?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Devaluation is inevitable. Disengagement is not.

          1. Caroline says:

            Jess (I’m sorry, HG – I can’t reply directly to Jess, so I’m borrowing your reply button, lol),

            I hate to tell you this, as a former IPPS… but my ex-BF (I was in FR with him for 3 years/I then broke off the engagement) has NEVER fully disengaged with me… like Hoover, Hoover, Hoover over many years.

            He persists today, on-and-off, to get me back into the FR. Maybe this kind of dogged persistence is uncommon, not sure…he’s either an UMR or Greater. I actually think he’s one of those unusual Greaters (HG said it happens) who doesn’t allow himself to know he’s a narcissist.

            Like I said, maybe rare. (I think it may have something to do with my breaking off the engagement).

  9. Jane Hall says:

    My X and I laughed and laughed.
    He was very funny sometimes.
    Trouble is they lob you high – like a tennis ball – higher and higher you go and then WHACK they smack you down. The higher you go – the further you fall – the bigger the lob on the tennis ball. I realise now that the laughter was me going up, up. up ready to go WHAM down. Not so funny. You will laugh again and it will be sincere and not a crazy up on a mad roller coaster.

    1. Jess says:

      Thank you. You are right. Nothing stops me from laughing.

      HG this description brings so many little things to light. Im glad I read it again. Am I remembering correctly, from my reading, you mentioned that a great sense of humor is an Elite narcissist’s quality? I’m beginning to think my Victim narcissist was an Elite. He wasn’t pathetic enough… Always the pity and sympathy… but all MR can be like that. I know I need to audio consult.

      1. SMH says:

        Jess, I also have a hard time determing if mine was a mid-ranger or a greater but I think ‘upper mid-ranger’ fits well. He too had a very good sense of humour – when we got going we could have hours of excellent rapport/banter and a lot of laughs. Yet he would also throw pity parties and pressure me to be his ‘release.’ Calm on the surface but roiling underneath. On balance, his passive aggressive behavior and facade as a nice and normal family man point to mid-ranger.

        I laugh now but at the beginning, he lied about his name. A friend and I spent weeks Googling with the little information I had, and I must have looked at thousands of pictures of white men in ‘casual’ business attire. Not my world so they all looked the same… now I have ‘mid-ranger’ stuck in my head as a white finance guy, hair greying at the temples, in a dress shirt unbuttoned at the top, no tie, glasses perched on nose, much like the picture here, even down to the cuff links (Mad Men retro, as was his life in general; I think he aspired to be Don Draper – IPPS even had a flip do, like Betty!) HG sure knows how to pick ’em…

  10. Donna says:

    HG, can you please decipher this event? I was IPPS in devaluation. On different occasions, two flying monkeys became so involved in the Narcississt’s lies that they threatened physical violence toward me while the N sat back with calm no comment. When confronted, the N stated he didn’t intervene in his friend’s threatening behaviour toward me as he needs to make me “strong”. The N appears to be a Mid-Ranger. Is this just a pure BS answer to get a rise out of me or is there more to the idea of supposedly making me strong?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is a response to reject accountability for his behaviour.

  11. Caroline says:

    I’m sorry for your hurt, Jess — and your child’s. Talk lovingly to yourself, especially when you hear his words in your head or replay situations — outright reject his false words and speak what is true. Cold, hard logic of your affirmation of self can — over time — dispel the negative tape in your head. Do it out loud, if nobody’s around, so that it won’t look a tad nutty.;-)

    Every time I read this one, it sounds pretty unlike my ex narc… and I think this Malcolm is not so intense. But passive-aggressive stuff can be awful… good reminder to all. It’s insidious.

    1. Jess says:

      Thank you Caroline. I’ll remember that.

      1. Caroline says:

        You’re very welcome, Jess. It often takes more time than we’d like to process through and heal from an entanglement with a narcissist. It makes sense to me that it would. We poured much love and care into another human being, and it’s hard to come to grips with the fact that they never had that same emotional bond with us…it’s hard to absorb that.

        Sometimes I’ve thought of a narcissistic entanglement being similar to a loved one having Alzheimer’s… they’re physically here, but we can’t really reach them. We have all those emotional heart memories, but they do not. It’s sad to me, but I’ve made peace with it by realizing it’s nothing my ex-BF could help. It’s what he is — not what he chose to be.

        When I realized he’s a narcissist, I replayed so many moments/scenarios with him from our 3-year relationship. There were many light bulb moments… and it was very hard on my mind and heart.

        It’s been like grieving a loved one’s death. When I do miss him, I miss what I thought he was… it’s almost like missing a ghost. Now that’s going to take time to sort through, lol!

        Anyway, I would understand any way you are feeling. I hope each day brings more clarity.

  12. mollyb5 says:

    midrange I know acts like a lesser at times …once a month maybe. Does what a narc do for a living affect his fuel …like if he is criticized for his efforts , or behavior by clients who get disappointed in product or designs etc . He can’t stand the criticism …he is very creative . Then he is sulking and just like any person would be from hard days work . But ….he likes to be praised and needs it often …all day long . HG , isn’t their job the main source of fuel ….for some ?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      The reactions by people to the job, yes, but not the job itself.

  13. Donna says:

    It’s amazing that those momentary silent flash furies are distinctly detectable while communicating on the phone. No need to see facicial expressions or body language. Once this flash is felt, (by both partners), you know some deeply cruel manipulation is not far behind. The lying tactics increase in severity and continue until your pain and confusion leave you shouting and/or crying. The session ends with his calm, “It always has to be about you, why do I put up with this?”.

    1. Jess says:

      Right in the feels Donna… That’s exactly what it was like.

    2. Lilly says:

      Donna, you put it so well and I immediately remembered this feeling. When the silence would fall on the phone, my heart would start to pound and I braced myself for the upcoming false accusations. Subconsciously I knew what was about to come as at this point I was programmed to feel this way. I learned to stay silent as well, nevertheless I could feel the tension building up. When he saw that silence did not work he would say things like “Why are you not saying anything?”, “Why do I always have to be the one who wants to resolve our issues?” and so on. When I eventually took the bait and would start to defend myself and attack him, the conservation ended with, you always have to make it all about you, aren’t you? Manipulation at it’s finest.

      1. SMH says:

        I could feel it over email, never mind the phone! It got to the point where I had such ‘feels’ that I knew from the timing of his emails where he was and therefore what the pattern would be, just from a word or two. Hell, the email could be blank and I would still know. How nice to be able to use my email now without an anxiety attack.

      2. windstorm says:

        Sounds like you are describing most phone conversations with my mother.

  14. Noel says:

    Mr Tudor,

    what does it mean in the narc speak when he says (about his relationship with ex DLS) “I felt wanted, I felt loved, she was the only one who truly wanted me”. And he talks about it as it was a perfect relationship (but I assume it wasn’t so perfect since she escaped him). Is it about her good provision on fuel? Does he really mean what he says? I don’t get it.

    And when he was talking about problems in our relationship (I was a regular girlfriend, not DLS and when I met him he had no IPPS or DLS) he was saying something like “I don’t feel wanted enough, I don’t feel loved enough, I don’t feel accepted enough” – I did’t understand what he was talking about – I was attentive, loyal, everything was about him and his needs, gave him a lot of mental and physical warmth (you know what I mean, a typical empath-narcissist relationship)..

    I know it was triangulation to frustrate me to draw some negative fuel from me but do you think that when he was talking about him feeling wanted by the ex DLS, she actually was doing something extraordinary, had some secret key to his soul, was a perfect friend, lover as he says? Or is his perception only a consequence of black and white thinking and actual behaviours of people in his fuel matrix? And maybe the narcissists idealize relationships with DLS more because it is not a regular relationship with all the every day problems normal relationships face?

    I will be grateful if you could explain this.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is triangulation. She was viewed as white and thus ‘better’ than you, although objectively she was not and was not doing anything special. There is more detail to this and in order to unravel this for you further I recommend you arrange a consultation with me.

  15. SMH says:

    Very clever. And accurate, I might add.

  16. Sharon Marinucci says:

    Malcolm Really Doesn’t Seem All That Bad HG. Compared With What Some Of Us Have Dealt With . We Meet The Malcolm,s Of This World Every Day , Our Doctor,s Teacher,s Maleperson ,They Are Nice people ,Or Are They? I Look At Every Person I Come In Contact With , Very Differently Now , Been Trusting All My Life , My LOVELY Sweet Nature Has Been Ripped Apart , At Least For The Time Being .😍😋😅😀!

    1. Jess says:

      I’ve had 14 yrs of romantic entanglements with three narcissists and I have to say that the MR did the most damage to my self esteem. It’s bc he did seem nice and normal on the outside. I let him get very close to me…and my child. He would lie just to see my expression change. I’ve been no contact seven months and he’s still in my head.

      1. Jane Hall says:

        I am in the same boat – 5 months though no contact. Isnt it great to be free? Living in peace and quiet? Able to watch TV and not listen to the moaning and groaning and complaining? Sometimes – because of the trauma bonding – we do suffer – but you are doing well at 7 months. Never go back only forward. That what I tell myself. My husband was a MR he could sulk and ignore for days. He was ridiculous. I kind of miss the crazy sometimes In a weird way it was entertaining and I must get used to a different way of living. It can be done. Better than living with the psycho for sure.

      2. Jess says:

        Thank you all for the kind words. I will not go back. Life is peaceful and lovely….most of the time. Until it’s not. It doesn’t last but the longing is pervasive. From the latest poll I realized that it’s when I’m feeling down that I miss our time. We laughed all day long. Until we didn’t…

        Instead of going back I write my thoughts here. It helps me invaluably andany others. I’m grateful for this place.

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