Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing? The Mid Ranger


Previously I addressed whether the Lesser Narcissist knows what he or she is doing and why, but now let us examine the Mid Range Narcissist. You may well accept that the Lesser, unrefined battering ram that he or she is, just ploughs through life oblivious to the harm they cause, but surely the more cognitively blessed Mid Range narcissist is well aware of what he is doing? He plots and plans, yes? He knows precisely how to manipulate and thinks it through, scheming in advance to get the right result for him?


The Mid Range Narcissist (Lower Mid, Middle Mid and Upper Mid) has an increased level of cognitive function beyond the Lesser. The Mid Ranger also exhibits cognitive (fake) empathy, knowing enough of how he or she is expected to behave in order to fit in, to con and thus ensnare. However, despite this increased cognitive function – and the Upper Mid Range Narcissist may be highly intelligent – it is instinct that once again rules the behaviours and response of the narcissist.

The Mid Ranger does not sit in a hollowed-out volcano like some Bond villain rubbing his hands together and scheming. He or she does not think about all the ways he or she can ruin the life of the empath in the forthcoming weeks. Their narcissism operates in a way, as ever, as a self-defence mechanism to enable the Mid Ranger to function and be effective – because he or she has not developed other coping mechanisms which non-narcissists have, to navigate a path through life. The operation of this is instinctive.

Does the Mid Ranger think that he will sit and sulk so he can assert control over his long-suffering spouse and gain fuel as she begs him to speak to her? No. He instinctively sits in silence because that is the optimum response as a consequence of him having been wounded. His narcissism operates to make him issue a silent treatment. This of course draws fuel and asserts his perceived superiority over the relevant appliance, but he does not decide to give a silent treatment, he just does it. He knows that he is not speaking to her.

Does the Mid Ranger decide that she will issue a pity play to her colleagues about the way she has been passed over for promotion, thus smearing the boss and gaining sympathy fuel from those listening? No, it is her manipulative response to having been wounded by not gaining the promotion.

Does the Mid Ranger recognise that his cold put downs upset you? Yes. He sees your tears, hears the hurt in your voice and your pained expression. This provides him with fuel (although he does not recognise as such) and he feels the power flowing from the provision of such fuel. This reaction to the flow of power might be to smile or smirk at you. You may then think, “He knows what he is doing.” No, he knows his action hurts you, but he feels no guilt, no remorse, no upset at behaving this way because as ever, from the narcissistic perspective, it is entirely justified.

To understand this further, imagine there is a Mid Range Narcissist and a victim. Husband and wife. Both have been at work during the day. The narcissist called his wife twice during the afternoon but she did not answer – this wounds him. She also failed to call him back. He is wounded again. His wife, as his Intimate Partner Primary Source is painted black as a consequence of his split thinking. Thus, from his narcissistic perspective everything she says and does will be viewed through a ‘black lens’ until she becomes painted white again. A normal, healthy person would work out that her failure to answer and return the call means she is busy, perhaps in a meeting. The narcissist, governed by paranoia and the overwhelming need to control is wounded. This person is not doing what he wants, his sense of entitlement (that she should be available) is dented. He feels like he is losing control. He starts to feel powerless and is reminded of a time when he once was regularly made to feel that way. This situation must be addressed – he must assert his superiority and his blackened view of his spouse will enable him to do this.

His wife is at home first. The husband walks through the door and she greets him with

“Hello darling, what have you been doing?”

An innocuous and pleasant question, enquiring thoughtfully about her husband’s day.

The husband does not regard it that way. His narcissism demands that he asserts control and that she is punished for her transgression. He does not think

“She did not answer my call, I must punish her. She did not call me back, I must assert control.”

Those needs for control and punishment are automatic and instinctive. Her question is viewed as prying, controlling and unnecessary.

“What’s it got to do with you?” he snaps at her. His blackened view of her meaning his response is provocative and unpleasant. His wife is taken aback, her expression changes to one of hurt and the narcissist receives fuel from this.

“Sorry? What’s wrong? Why are you being like that?” she asks in a hurt tone.

These questions are challenge fuel. Her emotion gives him fuel, but because she is querying him, she is challenging him and thus (viewed by the narcissist) continues to reject control and rebel against him.

The Mid Ranger does not think

“Ah good, she is upset and confused. I know I will keep this going.” Instead, his instinctive response, which is automatic and swift in order to preserve him as his self-defence mechanism should, causes him to respond

“There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s you, always prying, asking me questions, trying to control me.”

The wife is taken aback once again. She knows she is not controlling (but then she may start to doubt this of course) but she is confused. Her confusion is welcome, it makes her easier to control. Her responses keep fuelling the narcissist. The Mid Ranger however is not considering what he will say next in order to keep confusing her, he is not considering how to gain more fuel from her, he is not considering how to assert his control over her, it all happens as a matter of instinct. He knows she is upset, but it is her fault because the narcissism makes it anybody’s fault save that of the narcissist. He knows that his comments trouble her, but they are necessary because she is the aggressor.

A third party watching this scene would decide that the narcissist responded unpleasantly at the outset and thus he is the problem.

The narcissist does not and cannot see that. He thinks he is the victim. He thinks his spouse is the problem because she failed to answer his call and call him back. His narcissism makes him think she is controlling  and thus he RESPONDS to her abusive behaviour and accordingly he is not the instigator. This is why, coupled with a lack of remorse and guilt is why the Mid Range Narcissist sees nothing wrong with what he is doing because all he is doing is responding to the unreasonable behaviour of another and therefore he is in the right.

This increased cognitive awareness of the Mid Ranger also gives rise to the façade. A Lesser would have an affair and would not care who knows – the cuckolded spouse is at fault for whatever reason he chooses and anybody who dares to say anything bad about his infidelity is a moron. The Mid Range Narcissist knows that society regards infidelity as a bad thing. He does not and moreover his narcissism will give him plenty of reasons why he should commit it. However, because he has enough cognitive awareness to recognise that it is frowned upon, he will hide the affair (unless there is an overriding beneficial reason not to) which gives the appearance that he feels bad about his behaviour. Not so, he does not want his façade damaged, he does not want the aggravation of the steady home life (with its attendant fuel and residual benefits) damaged. but again he does not think in such terms, he just knows that people will frown on him for cheating on his wife, so he keeps it hidden.

It may seem that the Mid Range Narcissist does indeed feel guilty for his behaviour. That he is genuinely sorry and he will make amends. Not at all. Again, he knows enough from instinctive observation that not talking to someone for a week is hurtful and viewed as a ‘bad thing’ and will even go so far as to admit that BUT there will always be a reason or an excuse. He will say

“I know it hurts you when I do not speak to you for a week BUT if you didn’t nag me, I would not need a time out.”

He instinctively blame shifts within this moment of apparent contrition.

Some Middle Mid Rangers and Upper Mid Rangers may plan to correct the perceived wrongs they have suffered, but this remains an instinctive response. He does not think – “I know this is wrong what I am planning, but what the hell, I will do it anyway.” He knows people may regard it as wrong, but he knows that he is justified because he has been offended, hurt, wronged in some way – namely wounded or challenged – and thus his action is justified and necessary.

When the Mid Ranger lies, he does not know that he is lying. The lie is his truth because his narcissism causes it to be – his narcissism will deflect blame, apportion blame to you, revise history, deny and so forth – all part of the instinctive responses which are totally necessary for the narcissist to regain and maintain control and is as a result of the The Narcissist’s Twin Lines of Defence

When the Mid Ranger gas lights, he does not know he is doing so. He may be contradicting what he said five minutes ago but his narcissism blinds him to this, it has to so the defence mechanism remains intact and effective, and therefore he genuinely believes what he is saying is correct and moreover you are wrong and therefore you are the problem.

This is why Mid Range Narcissists believe that they are good people, indeed empathic people and that the other person (the real victim) is the problem. This is why the real victim is labelled as an abuser, a tormentor and even a narcissist and the Mid Range Narcissist truly believes this to be the case. He does not think “I know I am the problem and she is not, but I am going to mess with her head” – he really believes the victim is the trouble maker because that way his responses and actions have absolute conviction, have the best possible chance of a successful outcome (namely fuel and control) and thus the manipulation goes on and on with no prospect whatsoever for change.

67 thoughts on “Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing? The Mid Ranger

  1. Renarde says:

    Here’ a nice little update that some may enjoy.

    I was chatting to a UMS a few nights’ago and we made an agreement. He is meant to be coming over tonight. I am

    1 – Cooking him food
    2 – Offering him assistance in another matter
    3 – The ‘inevitable’

    So; he is getting in accordance with the Prime Directives

    1 – Fuel
    2 – Maintain the facade
    3 – Two residual benefits

    But I ain’t daft.

    I asked him to text me the next day. Yesterday. Did he? Of course not. So I left it.

    I do need to know if he does actually intend to come over as I’m not buying food specially for a no-show. So what is he seeking? Obviously, a ER from me. He is very possibly (probably) busy elsewhere and does not perceive the effort that I am going to on his behalf.

    Not with standing that IF he did get that (he won’t), I would immediately withdraw all three of my points and he would be in a worse position. It’s this kind of utterly, frankly bonkers behaviour, which is the hallmark of a Middle.

    Now, what he has done is transgressed a big social boundary by not having the politeness to respond and either confirm or decline. His time is perceived more important than either respecting someone elses’ feelings or even seeing that he will gain by attending. Or if busy, respectfully declining and ‘keeping them sweet’.

    I sent a single text in a polite and friendly manner, asking him to confirm. That was an hour ago. Let’s see how long it takes….

    1. Renarde says:

      I should also underline that my second point, offering assistance, is regarding something he takes VERY seriously indeed.

    2. gabbanzobean says:

      Sounds kind of like my MRN whenever I make plans with him. Ignores all texts and then at the last minute he is like “Oh I am sorry I thought I told you we were confirmed”.

      They really are like children and it is all a game.

    3. gabbanzobean says:

      Sorry I hit “send” too soon! I also wanted to add that I find it utterly comical how long they’ll drag certain questions out vs. their immediate responses. I am not stupid, I know his phone is pretty much surgically attached to his hand. Such childish games.

    4. NarcAngel says:

      You texted and invited him to confirm? I would have thought “in the absence of a polite confirmation, your “meal” is now being consumed by another more worthy” would have been more befitting a Dom.

      1. Renarde says:

        No. It would be unethical. He is not my sub. We are not in a formal, consensual power exchange relationship
        As a Dom, I wouldn’t cook for a sub. Pretty much ever. Male subs need a much firmer hand than female ones.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Ah. Thank you for explaining. I wondered as you seemed to be deferring to him a lot.

          1. Renarde says:

            I don’t perceiving it as deferring, just being prudent. I genuinely needed to know if he was coming over as it would have made a significant impact on my own plans. If I had got angry; he gains negative fuel. I don’t want that either.
            So he got one text message which he did, eventually respond to.

      2. Renarde says:

        Just between you me and these four walls, I’m not open at present to formal peitions. I’m not in the right space; too much going on, too many things unsettled. I’m also grappling with the much larger issues of the attraction between Ns and Es. I’ll just pick another one you see. Even if choose; I’ll always choose an N.

  2. clair bennett says:

    my ex had occasions of what appeared to be, lets say, clarity, when he realised he was harming his other half (they became ill with a ‘stress related’ condition). These windows of clarity were brief and were then followed by what I would term a ‘punishment’ toward the significant other half. He had these same momentary windows of clarity from counselling, but listening to his tales, I think he continued to manipulate within counselling sessions, to both the counsellor and the other half. My question, to HG, is if the narc enters therapy, either on their own or with a partner, how effective are counsellors at picking up that they are dealing with a narcissist. I would say that my ex was able to charm the relate therapist who was employed to help his marriage and he continued to see her (within therapy) long after the marriage ended. Four years into my relationship with me, and caught out on an affair, we decided to see a counsellor (a different one), yet he then went to see one on his own (without discussion with me). Post our relationship, he is finally seeing another counsellor ‘to ensure he gets it right this time’, yet this one is a man, which suprised me. One of his texts to me just as our relationship was finally ending stated ‘relationships are based on compromise and you need to do this Clair for us to go forward’. This informed me that this had come from the counsellor and he had managed to wrap a male counsellor round his thinking too, which also surprised me. So HG, how effective are counsellors with narcissists, and how did you get ‘found out/diagnosed’ by one, albeit finally.

  3. MIn says:

    I think life has been particularly cruel to them, they are prisoners in themselves. Sometimes they know they are inadequate but they do not know what to do with it. It’s sad, very sad.

  4. Orginal Overthinker says:

    The Mid Ranger I was involved with is now in another relationship.

    I am now 6 weeks post discard, when the facts came out that this relationship has been going on for a while with me unknowing and being picked up and put on back on the shelf a couple of times.

    When I called him out on half truths and lies, I received the most horrendous ignited fury and devaluation which has destroyed me and made the last 5 years we were on and off a meaningless farce. I cry everyday over it all and he has walked away uncaring and scott free.

    He said he wants to make this relationship work and she makes him happy.

    Does he believe this as a Mid Ranger ?

    However, will the Narcissistic tendencies take over in the future?

    He’s cheated on her with me, I didn’t know, he made me feel ashamed for that and that he feels guilty about her.

    Thank you x

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. Yes.
      2. Yes.

      1. Orginal Overthinker says:

        Thank you … I know logic is the key to physical closure… I wish you / I had the key for emotional closure … x

  5. Fuel on the Shelf says:

    “He may be contradicting what he said five minutes ago but his narcissism blinds him to this, it has to so the defence mechanism remains intact and effective, and therefore he genuinely believes what he is saying is correct and moreover you are wrong and therefore you are the problem.”

    Thank you for writing more about the mid rangers, HG.

    However, I have a further question about the above paragraph. While in the middle of a phone conversation I will give reference to something he said whether it be an hour prior or 2 days ago, and then mention the current contradiction he is now saying. I have noticed that when this happens he will “put me on hold” while we on the phone and scroll back through his text messages to re-confirm. He will then apologize to me and tell me that he “stands corrected”. If his narcissism blinds him to contradiction then why would he admit that he stands corrected?

    Is that similar to a “fake apology”? Do you get what I am trying to ask?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Because it serves a purpose to appear to admit he stands corrected – it is akin to saying “I will change.” It is done in the moment but it is transient and readily and easily altered again.

    2. MB says:

      FOTS, I never call MR out on anything contradictory or blatant. I’m just too embarrassed for him. I butted into a text conversation where he replied to me thinking it was somebody else. Whoever he was booty calling at the moment. I made up an excuse and glossed it over like I didn’t know what was going on. I played dumb. You know what he is and what he’s doing. If you choose to engage, there’s really no reason to rock the boat and call him out.

      1. windstorm says:

        Wow MB!

        How can you pass up such a God-given opportunity to make fun of him! I think that’s what doomed my Morons attempt to lovebomb. I was so used to taking any opportunity of inconsistency to turn into a joke (standard procedure in my exhusband’s family). I truly believed (and still do) that a REAL man will hold his own when made fun of. Weak, pansy men blow up in rage.

        1. MB says:

          WS “how can you pass up such a God-given opportunity to make fun of him!” Ha ha

          1. I want to keep him sweet. It suits my purposes better.
          2. I HATE confrontation and conflict.
          3. If he blew up in rage at me, it would never be the same. Like un-ringing a bell. It can’t be undone.
          4. I’ve worked him out although he didn’t think I ever would. (Thank you HG). Since I know what he does and why he does it, I have no desire to get any answers from him. They would be lies anyway.

          One caveat: I’m not proximate to him, so I don’t have to worry about my expressions giving me away. And they would!

          1. windstorm says:

            I can understand that if it’s someone you have to work with. Some narcs we have no choice about and dealing with them the easiest way is always best.

  6. MB says:

    HG, will we get “Do Narcissists Know what they’re doing? The Greater” – or is that self-explanatory?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It will appear in due course.

  7. nunya biz says:

    Oh geez. When my MN found out I’d lost my virginity she screamed hatefully and grounded me to the house and I got ST until I moved out to live with my father. Interesting, Ren.
    I spent years being grounded to the house while no one spoke to me anyway. At a certain point being constantly grounded no longer teaches you any lesson besides “you are a bad person who should not be allowed to mingle with other humans”.
    I’m not sure what part of the world you are in, but in my city we have a couple of small local spas with the word “bath” in the name. When I’m in need of quiet contemplation I can go hang out in an outdoor, zen spa setting for $12-$20 USD. It’s very quiet and they give me a robe. One of them has a female only area which is sometimes cathartic and it’s clothing optional. After my friend died I just sat there teary a bit (sunglasses on) and breathed deeply. Everyone gives each other space the energy is nice. Works for me.

    1. Renarde says:

      I’m so sorry you experienced that. It is utterly HATEFUL behaviour on the part of a parent to do this to a child. For many years, possibly nearly 35 years, I put this down to an almost ‘puritanical aspect’ in my own mothers’ upbringing,

      At the time, as a teenager, she was cold and remote. I’d ask her questions about sexuality and so forth. She would never be open and frank with me like I am with my own children. i obviously parse this in a way which is age appropriate for them. (I have taught this BTW as a professional educator. I know what I am doing)

      My mother, if she had so wished, could had drove a truck through my own sexual makeup at that age.. I suspect her lack of intelligence meant that her manipulations were not carefully deployed. What in effect happened? I am now a Dominatrix myself. Plus a independent sexual educator of BDSM. We were at odds. Which I only see now. She was using the argument that ‘Good girls don’t give out’ against the bigger argument of ‘ Who controls YOU?’ THIS is how females try to control each other. Especially, mothers to daughters. Certainly, not worthy of the title of ‘mother’.

      A loving parent guides and nurtures both of their female/male children into owning their own sexuality in a safe and secure manner. Yes; there must be boundaries but like all relationships, it must be negotiated. Consent is key.

      As an example of MN’s behaviour. Quite a few years ago, she found in PN’s old suitcase and item of female underwear. Rather than going through the fucking roof which I would have done; she sat on it. For many years until the time was ‘right’. THEN she deployed it.

      1. nunya biz says:

        Yes, I mean my daughter is young yet, pre-puberty, and I get it’s a challenging thing for parents, but I’m obviously not going to make her feel uncomfortable with normal sexuality. Viewing behavior as abnormal or objectifying human behavior as some sort of weird reflection on myself that I must control is just absolutely strange. I never understood what her problem was and she certainly didn’t discuss it with me. She did not want me around males much, which was never going to happen. My younger sister watched me growing up and opted to go the other route (follow all the imposed rules and get in line), thus securing her position as the GC. We don’t speak, but I don’t think being the GC is a great position and I do not envy her at all. They say the scapegoat child has the better opportunity to escape. I am bitter though.
        I am actually far more worried about my son developing healthy sexual attitudes in some ways. I had to have a talk with him very specifically because my husband is unable to address certain topics effectively and doesn’t have the perspective I do.

        BDSM work sounds interesting, fun, challenging, etc… I tend to seek out that type of interaction (probably mostly minus the B). I find it cathartic, but I also like things slow and romantic. It is difficult to find people who are genuinely comfortable with physical/emotional intimacy. I feel men (especially younger) are encouraged and taught to resist it and don’t really understand what it is.

        1. Renarde says:

          Sounds like you have got it covered there! Cool!

          Been musing on this. I was talking to someone last night, a man. His ex wife is refusing to allow their 15 year daughter to have access to sex ed. Then it struck me. Just as HG says about how a N will bind, so a male N get’s a woman pregnant, there is also another way of looking at it. A female N might deliberately refuse to allow her kids to get sex ed access so that they DO get pregnant at a young age. Thus they are forced to rely on the N mother who not only binds the daughter but has the addition of another ‘appliance’ in the network.

          Thing is you see, the 15 year old has learning difficulties but she’s 15 and has already started ‘acting out’ with boys. I need to warn my friend. I’m now really quite worried about this.

          BDSM is … yeah… challenging but rewarding. You don’t half get to meet some extremely interesting characters!

          1. windstorm says:

            That’s an interesting hypothesis. My own mother refused to ever tell me anything about sex, dating, my body (other than to make it clear when I had questions that anything to do with “private areas” was never to be discussed). After I was married, I asked her why she never told me anything about sex or relationships. Her answer was, “We lived on a farm. I figured surely you saw enough to figure it out.”

            She definitely did NOT want me to get pregnant. She had no patience with any children and hated anything to do with caring for them. I think she just didn’t want to take any responsibility to have to talk about something that made her uncomfortable. Also due to her lack of any empathy or concern for others, she may well never have considered that explaining things to a daughter was important. I have no doubt that if I’d gotten pregnant and had a child at 15-16, she would have felt zero responsibility.

          2. MB says:

            Windstorm, age appropriate sex education and explaining about the human body is an important part of the parenting role. I’m sorry your mama failed you. I bet that was an interesting honeymoon!

          3. windstorm says:

            Oooh, your comment has triggered so many horrible memories. It’s very surreal. Probably one of those PTSD moments. I’m standing on a balcony monitoring 190 6th graders remembering the horrible consequences of this lack of knowledge about the hows and the consequences of sex…. Let’s just say depending for all my information on a 17 year old narc boyfriend with zero empathy or concern for what was best for me did not end well.

          4. MB says:

            I’m sorry Windstorm! I didn’t mean to trigger you. Sixth grade is the worst age my kids went through. God love you for teaching, especially middle school. There is a special place in heaven for teachers! I’m also sorry about your honeymoon. You deserved mind-blowing finally legal sex.

          5. windstorm says:

            There was no honeymoon. At all. Period. Ever. And that’s enough said on this subject.

          6. Renarde says:

            You OK windstorm? I totally understand where you are coming from with this comment. The very first year that I taught A Level, I sometimes found it hard to get the words out in the beginning. It was because I was empathising with them and myself as a very lonely and frightened 17 year old who kept reaching out to her parents for support and guidance to find it was simply not there. Yet I could see how much interest the parents of these children took in their childs’ education. Mine just didn’t care.

            That feeling did go after a month or so and it never returned. I obviously needed to process something. At the time however, it was strange.

          7. windstorm says:

            Thank you for asking about me. I really appreciate that. All those memories from when I was 16 need to be buried and concrete poured over them, then flood the entire area where no one will ever suspect darkness lurked beneath such a placid, beautiful pond. No one else on earth knows them except me and my exhusband. But he doesn’t count since he hadn’t developed cognitive empathy back then, so they have no meaning to him.

            It’s not just that mothers should talk about sex to their daughters, it is criminal of them not to. No teenage girls should begin dating without some understanding of what sex is and how you get pregnant. It is a longstanding joke here about a young woman hearing from her doctor that she is pregnant and her asking, “What’s that?”

            Thanks again for your concern. I’m digging a deep metaphorical hole and mixing concrete. 😊

          8. Renarde says:

            Oh don’t get me wrong, the Mother in this scenario will be lazy as. All the work will be shifted to the daughter. They are just tools.

      2. nunya biz says:

        I feel like I could do more, time goes so fast.
        But for now I’m just trying to get her to stop crying when she does math.

  8. Lou says:

    HG, I was one of the readers who got very frustrated with the result of the vote you organized to choose the subjects of your next articles. I thought, “Oh great, we are going to continue reading about how the lesser and MR don’t know what they are and how they act instinctively while the greater does know what he does but does not care. Great! Down with democracy at Narcsite”
    But I must say I did enjoy this post and found it useful. Thanks!

  9. Renarde says:

    I’m having more than a moment today. I just need to get this off my chest. I keep breaking down.

    Just the realisation of something has finally hit home. I’m back in that place as a child again. Of not feeling good enough, of not feeling loved or my emotions considered as valid. Of MN wanting attention herself but when I wanted to talk about extremely serious things that had happened, it was all in my head or you just made it up. Or no, it wasn’t like that at all!

    Even as an adult, explaining to her about my sexual assault she would just look blank. I told PN and his response ‘…and?’ It also means the MMN who did it thought his actions towards me were perfectly justified.

    Someone once said do not expect talking about abuse with others to make it better, often it can make it worse if you are not believed. This is the real reason behind why many rapes are not reported.

    Today marks a year of something which I once believed to be very dear to me. (with a GEN). I know it was false but I’m still in love.

    I have stayed my hand today contacting the UM. I could do with that physical closeness but I am too emotional and I will have a proper breakdown. I know I will. He is not good with emotions and he will be cold with me and I couldn’t deal with that.

    This has been the first sustained time in my life I have not being abused that usually it feels great. Today, looking back on it all, I cannot believe I am still here; I really cannot.

    1. nunya biz says:

      Yeah I was never allowed or able to speak to my mother about emotional things. And of course most rapes are unreported, as you say and for those reasons. It’s always obvious to me, I’m surprised there are such large numbers of people who think otherwise. Plenty of people have experienced the fact of others already knowing what things are going on in their lives, the truth, and even then not caring about it or placing blame in the wrong places.

      The other day I commented I was having some manipulation triggers set me off. It doesn’t happen very often to me anymore, maybe once a year (used to be much more frequent, long ago), but if I happen to get hit with six or seven things at once from a person, say in a disagreement or something, that very specifically remind me I can get into a shut down mode.
      Luckily it only goes for a few hours, but for me kind of feels like a full body emotional seizure. I’m still considering EMDR, but it sounds to me like it brings up these feelings strongly. I will probably go forward with it.
      One thing understanding has helped me with is associating narc behaviors with my mother, because at the core they are the same types of motivations and world views and manipulations. So if I feel tempted toward love and forgiveness I remember the things that remind me of her because she is an unloving, cold and also not sexual woman so it kind of shuts things down for me and reminds me not to project my own ideas.
      Also, do you have access to a hot tub or sauna? I like to go sit for a couple of hours when I’m having a bad day. That’s what I did the other day.

      1. Renarde says:

        Thank you lovely for your kind words. Alas, I dont have access to that but I agree with you. A warm bath does help. As does writing.

        MN was v much like yours. Appears warm but cold out of sight of others. Tried to control me sexually. Talked about my own sex life behind my back with other family members. It all got very weird.

        I’m a Dominatrix. Totally now out of the closest. Tries to blackmail me? Go for it sweetie. We live in different times. I’m not doing anything morally or legally wrong.

        Tried once to make 15 year old me swear I would abstain from sex before marriage. At that point I hadn’t but I refused to lie. She lost it. Called me a slut. I ran away. That incident profoundly affected me growing up.

        Not sexually I might add but emotionally. I knew her reaction was wrong and mine was correct. I did not get credit for refusing to lie. Now I understand it was about control. She perceived she was losing it and she bluntly tried to exert it against a SE.

        What kind of mother does that to a growing teen?

  10. Kiki says:

    HG would you ever think of writing a book on howto deal with the workplace narcs .There are at least three I can recognise in my workplace.
    One a lesser who has far too much imagined status ,treats colleagues as if they are his minions and woe be tide if you don’t join his cohort of yes men / women.I get frightened because I can’t understand why everyone does what he suggests , he is not management but even they arse lick him .

    2.A mid ranger also a dominant figure with too much ego and loves to pull strings and push work on others but takes all the glory.

    3. A mid ranger who is smooth but sneaky , he doesn’t bother me too much he had no reason to target me , he is one of the lessers minions also .

    It is difficult , I DON’T want to be a minion and I a DON’T want to be a yes person it’s sickening watching these egos control others .
    How can avoid becoming a minion ?
    How would you deal with them without putting your job in dangerous becoming a target ?


    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is in hand.

  11. Ema says:

    So, when the MR proclaims love, does he really believe himself that he is capable of those feelings ?
    I think mine has always sensed that there is something wrong with him, once he watched a video about psychopaths and told me he thinks he might be one. It was a scary conversation, he said that he doesn’t feel any empathy for people, doesn’t give a rat’s ass about them and feels “different”. Of course I asked him how am I supposed to feel hearing this and that he most probably is incapable of love as well, but he assured me that that’s different and he really does love me. How naive was I to believe it… I could swear he loved me deeply.
    Back then I had started reading about narcissism, but mostly the DSM stuff and told him that he’s not a psychopath, he is most probably a narcissist. He agreed that he matched 90 % of the criteria. Unfortunately I didn’t realize how serious that is and what exactly lies beneath this term.
    Considering the fact that MRs do not recognize their silly insane behaviour, and they believe everything is justified, then maybe they truly believe themselves that they’re in love with someone and that person is “the one and only” ?

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Ema says:

        Thank you.
        And does that also mean that when an Initial grand hoover or Follow up hoovers take place, the MR still believes his own words, proclaiming again his eternal love and trying to suck the victim back in because he thinks he is still in love?
        Where do you draw the line between what’s real and what’s not ?
        I mean, if a person is convinced he feels love towards another person, isn’t that a real feeling in his/her own reality, even though he suffers a personality disorder ?
        Same could apply to someone “normal” who thinks he/she loves someone else, but after time passes, the feelings fade away and the person realizes it was not love in the first place, but lust,loneliness or whatever…
        It just makes me wonder how is “real love” measured and how often people deceive themselves that what they feel is genuine…

        1. HG Tudor says:

          1. Yes.
          2. It is all real because you did not imagine it. You have to distinguish between what is authentic and what is not.
          3. It might be stated that we have our own version of love HOWEVER I avoid writing in such terms because it is not the love that is healthy nor good for you, the victim, but if I started writing in such terms, the love devotee trait of victims sees that four letter word and their surging emotional thinking causes them to feel pity, “He loves me in his own way, so it is okay really, we can work this out” and that is dangerous and contrary to your interests, hence it is far more appropriate and effective to state it is not love.

      2. Ema says:

        Thank you for the clarification, HG.
        It was very helpful. I was somehow left with the impression that everything the N says and does is a trick, a lie, a manipulation and he does not feel ANYTHING. That way of thinking has helped me so far and when reading this post and your answer to my first question, that the MR truly believes he is in love and misses the ex, my ET went crazy, and honestly, last night I was very close to reply to my MR’s hoover, when he texted me a week ago to say how much he loves and misses me and how devastated he is. When I read his text then, it hit me, but I told myself that it is another one of his lies and he is so evil that he only wants to torture me more (and you also advised me on another topic that if I want to wound him, I should remain silent, so I did).

        And now after this… I totally lost myself in the emotional sea, and thought exactly what you wrote ” He loves me, we can work this out “. I was waiting for your response, in the hope for you to stop my urge to do something stupid.

        Thank you again.
        It is an extremely difficult battle 🙁

  12. Kelly B says:

    Poor mid range narcissist I was the trouble maker how dare me. Suppose when they smear your arse the narcissist is not aware.

  13. Renarde says:

    God I loathe the Middles. Read this just now on the back of something that I was tipped off to today by two other people.

    I also have been seriously pondering the question of how are quite a few people in my life are aware of their own behaviour. To my mind (and on a consultation with HG plus another friend has also stated); they are just NOT aware of their own behaviour and how utterly damaging it is, Not to mean hurtful and heartbreaking.

    Cognitive and effective empathy.

    It doesn’t matter how much care and concern I show for others because some people have the limited capacity to understand how others are feeling; I will always be the black sheep. Doesn’t matter how hard I worked, what I did, what qualifications I got or how I supported them. What matters more is that I am perceived to have hurt them because I simply am not responding to them the way that they would wish. It’s in this manner that I am perceived to be ‘black’. There are no shades of grey.

    I find the middles, stuck in their endless circle jerks to be utterly hilarious. Each grabbing their dollops of ‘fuel’ as the supertanker sails by. They sense it, they smell it but it’s just too difficult to get the damn ship to stay still.

    I know what I need to do. I just need to do it.

    Great writing HG. Love the volcano analogy BTW!

    1. nunya biz says:

      Relate to this frustration.

      1. Renarde says:

        I just can’t deal with them anymore. I can’t!

  14. Agnes says:

    Very interesting article, HG so I have a question.

    If I understand it correctly, it means that a MR is quite honest person. He truly believes in his feelings and he acts accordingly. So when he gives you a silent treatment it is because he feels wounded. If he discards you in very mean and cruel way it is because he truly believes you are a bad person, he truly invested in this relationship, wanted it to work out but you “hurt” him deeply so he had to end it. Am I right?

    But there is one thing I don’t understand. He believes you are bad so he discards you and he believes he is your victim. His discard is cruel but from his perspective you deserved it because you are pure evil.

    So what makes him coming back with a benign follow up hoover? You will tell – fuel. OK, I get it. But in his mind you are this evil abusive person who treated him wrong to the point he had to discard you. So it is easy to understand when the hoover is malign. “I discarded her, she is evil, I will piss her off more because she deserves it” (and I need a fuel – but he doesn’t know about it). But benign hoover? It is irrational from his point of view. Why he tries to be kind to the person that treated him badly?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I understand why you use ‘honest’ as a description, but the behaviour is not honest. The MR truly believes he is honest because his narcissistic perspective causes him to think he does nothing wrong, but of course he does, from your perspective and it is dangerous to consider the MR as honest because that will feed into your emotional thinking which will jump all over this idea of honesty. A commenter on YouTube state that it made her feel sorry for the narcissist because he doesn’t know what he is truly doing and that also is understandable but similarly dangerous and is the product of ET.

      He returns because something has altered to now regard you as painted white, thus your abusive self has been forgotten. You were painted black as an abuser and disengaged from because a disengagement trigger occurred. The next victim some time later may have been painted black and thus you now become viewed as white because the narcissism needs you to be viewed that way again, compared to the newer victim, thus the benign follow up hoover occurs – “She is horrible and made me realise how much I miss you” etc

  15. Christine says:

    My father seems like an upper mid-ranger, except that he didn’t use silent treatments. I wish he’d have used silent treatments! Instead, he’d scream his head off, then after he’d broken me down, he’d feel great and turn on the charm.

    As for not knowing what he was doing… sometimes yes, sometimes no. There is a lot that has to have been planned. I think mid-rangers can compartmentalize really well, to the extent that one part of their brain can scheme away while another part is blind to what’s happening.

    1. Fuel on the Shelf says:

      “I think mid-rangers can compartmentalize really well, to the extent that one part of their brain can scheme away while another part is blind to what’s happening.”

      I see the C-word being used again so I felt the need to reply. This pretty much sounds like my mid ranger.

      1. windstorm says:

        I always thought all narcs compartmentalize, but I’ve never known any lessers very well (steer clear of them instinctively). Greaters certainly do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t know what they’re doing. I can see how midrangers would use compartmentalization to keep from admitting their inconsistencies, though.

      2. Fuel on the Shelf says:

        “I think mid-rangers can compartmentalize really well, to the extent that one part of their brain can scheme away while another part is blind to what’s happening.”

        This article popped up in my email notifications so I decided to re-read it. And holy crap this totally fucking summarizes the last week with my MRN. I am printing out this quote and hanging it on the wall!

        Compartmentalizes so well that one part of the brain schemes away while the other part is blind to what is happening.

        Boom. Nailed it. Thank you for the reminder.

  16. candleglow2 says:

    Oh HG This is so true and for me word for word the behaviour I have received and of course word salad to the extreme when confronted about the smallest thing ..and not even in my mind that I have done anything wrong at all ..Thankyou I now know what type I am dealing with as even when he twists things to make me seem in the wrong I always believed that he actually believes what he is saying !! .. thats a wow moment !!

  17. K says:

    Magnificent and precise. When I was a child I used STs and the Twin Lines of Defence (mostly denial, blame shifting, vanishing acts and I lied like a rug), I didn’t plan it; it just came naturally.

    It really is instinct and they just can’t see it.

    And this paragraph is sublime because it explains why they are “trapped” by their narcissism.
    “because he or she has not developed other coping mechanisms which non-narcissists have, to navigate a path through life. The operation of this is instinctive.”

    I was a sheep in wolf’s clothing but I was able to navigate my way out.

    1. Mee too says:

      Dear K,

      Thank you for your story. How did you know what you were? What promted you to consciously change? Has the change improved your life and are you now able to enjoy more of the positive emotions available to others?

      1. K says:

        You are welcome Mee too
        Before I found narcsite I thought I was “normal” but then I read the articles about empaths and realized I was one, however, my childhood behaviour was quite narcissistic, as a result of child abuse. My parents are lessers (my father died in 2010).

        1. I don’t think it was a conscious change; it happened naturally after I moved away from home at the age of nineteen.

        2. Whenever I was away from home, I felt safer so I enjoyed life outside playing with my friends.

        3. When I was very young my primary emotions were fear, hatred, rage, and, sometimes, sadness and I was aggressive and violent.

        4. I have the seven basic emotions: joy, surprise, fear, disgust, anger, contempt, and sadness and two traits dominate my personality: unconditional love and empathy and I have a conscience, however, it is very fluid. Since I have been on narcsite, I have figured out all of my emotions and I accept them all: the good, the bad and the ugly.

        My favorite emotions and feelings are joy, happiness, love, laughter, kindness, playfulness, mischievousness and adventurousness.

        Thank you for asking Mee too, and I hope that answers all of your questions.

        Warmest regards

    2. Renarde says:

      It’s entirely possible, if not very probable, you mimicked the behaviours of an N. I did too.

      This means you are likely an SE.

      How are things for you now?

      1. K says:

        I am not sure if you addressed your comment to me but I think you are correct; I either mimicked the behaviour or it was a defense mechanism, however, things are pretty good now, thank you for asking. I have learned quite a bit since I have been here and it has been a very positive experience.

  18. mollyb5 says:

    I think I have asked before HG, but do midrangers if educated on the fact that what they are doing is abuse ….do they see that it is .?.. I think mine does . I have told him calmly and with total eye contact on him ..unemotionally walk away and told him …that just because I have a different perspective on life doesn’t make me wrong ….it’s how I see the situation …it’s how I see life …He often wants my opinion and says he sees people differently and situations differently when I give my empathic sense to situations he’s in at work…etc. I will ask his perspective also …. and we weigh the possibilities together on what fits . Weird , huh?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      He knows you regard it as abuse. He does not – it is justified because of his alternative perspective, as stated in the article.

      1. Kathy says:

        Amazing. You are amazing. Don’t let that go to your head.

  19. Katy V says:

    This blog is saving my life. Since these days everyone uses the term narcissism for everyone who is selfish, it is hard to spot a real one. Funny is that I have always wondered if I had met a real narcissist. Lol! But, now I am finding answers and confirmations of something that I have been suspicious for a while but didn’t want to admit. My boyfriend or ex-boyfriend (I am on the discard phase so we are heading to the end, AGAIN) is a hardcore narcissist. I think his narcissism is equivalent to my empathy as I am a psychic empath. I pick up things that most can’t and the information I can bring up fascinates people as I just “know” so I was eager to fill up his black hole. After reading this blog I decided to “test” him and his reactions are right on. His anger, silence, the hatred that I feel coming from him, the fragmented comments he makes about things, that veiled accusations that I am not giving him what he needs and blah blah blah. Bullshit. As far as I can sense him, Karma will keep him in this spiritual desert starving and feeding off lesser crawling creatures. I can feel his vital energy vanishing without my supply and his rage because I am not running after him 🙂 yeah he can find another supply but it won’t be grade A like mine and he knows it so I am keeping my eyes and my senses in tune. I can feel the man’s anger.

    Fascinating. My mother is a pitiful narcissist and I barely talk to her these days. I got fed up with the me me me. Not surprisingly I attract the type. Swear God I am going for therapy. Thank you for this blog.

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