Understanding the fuel matrix which is applicable to the type of narcissist that you are engaged with is extremely useful in ascertaining how the relationship is likely to proceed and moreover what you can do about it. If you understand your place within that fuel matrix, you will also gain additional insight into why you are treated in the manner you are and why the narcissist behaves in certain ways.
Naturally, whilst our kind is very similar in many respects there are also subtle yet important differences and one of those differences arises in the way that our fuel matrices are constituted. People who are unfamiliar with our kind and the differing schools and cadres tend to think of a narcissist as someone beautiful, who is self-obsessed and is always preening themselves in the mirror. Whilst that has some applicability to some of our kind, it is not representative. By a similar token, the fuel networks which we establish vary between school.
The Lesser School
Beginning with the Lesser school of narcissist. Recognised through his lower cognitive function, lower control threshold, propensity to erupt with heated fury, aggression and lower energy levels. As you know, there are three divisions within the Lesser School. There are differing considerations applicable to those three divisions.
1. The Lower Lesser Narcissist (“LLN”)
The Lower Lesser is lacking in intellect, a base individual who has limited employment prospects and history. Nothing by way of charm and governs those around him through either naked aggression or being a hapless victim to con some individual into mothering him or her. He is likely to have a reliance on alcohol and drugs, he sponges off people and defaults regularly on debts and the like. He is regarded as a good for nothing by many people, a hapless loser who is an inelegant bully who uses brute force to get his way if Somatic and a pathetic malingerer if he is of the Victim Cadre.
The Lower Lesser will have a small fuel matrix. This most likely will consist of the following:-
a. A primary source. This is not necessarily an intimate primary source. The LLN is more likely than any other school of narcissist to install a family member as the primary source. In some instances this may actually be an intimate family primary source, since incest is being committed. The LLN’s sense of entitlement, very low energy levels and lack of attracting factors, means that he will bully an individual into such a role. By reason of the familial connection the LLN does not need to engage in seduction and therefore he will use aggression to force the victim from being a Non-Intimate Secondary Source into an Intimate Family Source.
If incest is not part of this dynamic, the LLN is still likely to have ensnared a family member as primary source, again because there is no need for seduction and the familial connection is established.
If the LLN has an Intimate Partner Primary Source (not familial) they are unlikely to excel in any regard and will be plain grateful for the attention of the narcissist. Their victim is highly likely to have special traits and be damaged in some way which means their ensnarement was easy for the low energy LLN.
The IPPS of an LLN is the mainstay fuel source for the LLN. He has a heavy reliance on this person because the LLN is unlikely to work and therefore will be around the victim more than usual and also because his fuel matrix is limited (as will be seen). He looks to the IPPS not only for fuel, but of course character traits and residual benefits. He has a considerable reliance on this person and most of his effort will be focused on controlling this person to ensure they continue to comply with his wishes.
b. There will be a small number of familial secondary sources. It is highly likely that the narcissist will have alienated certain family members and therefore they either do not form part of the fuel matrix or if they do, it is purely from the perspective of providing negative fuel as the LLN will consider them as painted ‘black’. Those family members which are painted ‘white’ will be few in number. They will find their relationship with the LLN to be prone to volatility given the very low control threshold.
c. There will either be no colleague secondary sources (because the LLN does not work) or if he does, they will be limited in number, being likely to number only a couple. The lack of charm and ability of the LLN means he is unable to cultivate an extensive network through the world of work.
d. The LLN will similarly only have a couple of social secondary sources as friends owing to the inability to sustain a wider network and his latent volatility so that friends are lashed out at following the ignition of fury and then remain distant from the narcissist, unwilling to be subjected to a further bout of verbal and physical aggression.
e. In terms of Intimate Partner Secondary Sources, the LLN will secure them but there will rarely be more than one. The IPSS is likely to be drawn from a close network (for example sister in law or best friend of the IPPS) again because of the smaller social and familial network which the LLN inhabits and low energy levels which means the LLN will not put tremendous effort into securing new sources.
f. In terms of tertiary sources, the LLN will have a low number of those also. This is because the LLN will either spend most of his time at home or if he works and has some external interests they will be limited in nature and therefore he will not interact extensively with tertiary sources.
The LLN has a small fuel matrix. He risks loss of secondary sources on a repeated basis and will struggle to replace them. The burden placed on the primary source is extensive and in such situations the LLN is likely to keep an IPPS in place throughout a long period of devaluation as he struggles to find a replacement for this person.
The Middle LesserNarcissist (“MLN”)
The MLN is similar to the LLN but he will have a slightly higher cognitive function, he will have a better degree of control on his fury (whilst still not significant since he is after all still a Lesser). He is a charm-free zone still, aggressive but more likely to have regular employment and a better energy level.
The fuel matrix for the MLN is not extensive however. This will consists of
a. A primary source. Again this is likely to be a family member and if not, the IPPS will be kept in place through reliance on the narcissist and fear arising from displays of naked aggression. The IPPS will be frightened of the MLN which will result in much of the fuel (both positive and negative) being provided out of a sense of obligation and fear. Just like the LLN, the IPPS will be heavily relied on by the MLN.
b. Familial secondary sources will be similar to the situation of the LLN described above.
c. Work secondary sources are more likely than the LLN. They will still be low in number, rarely being more than a half-dozen since the MLN will be regarded with some wariness by those who are regarded as friends who have witnessed (albeit not been on the receiving end of the MLN’s ignited fury) which means they take the view that they are better staying onside with the MLN than being the subject of their notorious temper.
d. Social secondary sources will also be limited in a similar way to that as the work secondary sources. The MLN will go out more often than the LLN, but his interests are not varied and will include certain regular haunts (for instance a local bar, the race track, the gun range, a sporting venue, the gym and so forth). There will be a reasonable turnover of social secondary sources caused by the repeated ignition of fury from the MLN owing to the low control threshold. Those friends who remain friends do so for similar reasons as explained at (c) above. The MLN has some success in replacing those social secondary sources he loses. He will engage with the social secondary sources on a regular basis – for instance one or two nights a week in the same bar, or playing darts or bowls with a similar group. He may draw some respect from elements of the social secondary source circle as a consequence of directing his aggressions against a third party to the benefit of a secondary source. That is purely serendipity for the MLN and not an conscious act.
e. The MLN will have an IPSS, usually just the one, during devaluation of the IPPS. He has some interests and financial clout which gives him a degree of appeal and his swaggering confidence, although based on little, will draw some in.
f. The MLN will have a number of tertiary sources and will regularly draw both positive and negative fuel from these tertiary sources. The MLN is less concerned with the façade (as all Lessers are) compared to the Mid-Range and Greater of our kind and therefore will readily abuse, piss-take and denigrate tertiary sources in the community.
g. The MLN is also likely to make use of intimate tertiary sources as a consequence of one-night stands and the use of prostitutes if he is a Somatic MLN.
The Upper Lesser Narcissist (“ULN”)
The ULN is an interesting division. Whilst in the Lesser category because of the use of aggression (usually physically and sexually) and also having a low control threshold, the ULN is above the LLN and MLN in terms of cognitive function. Indeed his cognitive function would be better than that of a Lower Mid-Ranger and in some instances a Middle Mid-Ranger. However, the use of violence, aggression and the low control threshold mean that he belongs very much in the lesser school.
The ULN is an individual who is not academically bright and may well have left formal education with little to show for it. He is however street smart, savvy and wily. The ULN makes an effective businessman. He will not have the polished charm of the Greater or the cool considered intellect of the higher reaches of the Mid-Ranger, but he as a degree of charisma and is best considered a rough diamond.
He will not be a captain of industry, academic or professional but more likely to run his own small or medium sized enterprise. He is intolerant, driven and bullying but this achieves him success and he may quite well off. He will be disliked by those who hold positions in society, since he lacks the finesse and good manners associated with education and good breeding but his money remains good for many occasions and therefore he will be tolerated (although talked about behind his back) at the golf club for instance. He regards himself as well regarded by everybody in his community, unable to detect the sneers and down-the-nose looks he receives at his crass behaviour. He is direct, to the point and forthright. He is a serial embellisher, stiffs people in business, reneges on arrangements but considers all of this part and parcel of the cut and thrust of dynamic business.
Of all the Lessers, the ULN has a wider fuel matrix.
a. He is far less likely to have a primary source who is a family member. He will have an IPPS and he will use his financial resources to assist him in luring in a suitable individual to become IPPS. There is a risk that the ULN is likely to snare a Lesser or Mid-Range Narcissist himself, failing to recognise them, as an IPPS. He will rely heavily on the IPPS because ultimately he is a Lesser Narcissist and will ensure this person stays in place through intimidation, the threat of financial ruin and violence (physical and/or sexual).
b. In terms of familial secondary sources, the ULN will have a wider number of these sources than the LLN and MLN but there will be other family members who have fallen foul of his temper and intolerance and they will remain as scapegoats. He will relish the opportunity to draw negative fuel from these individuals and rather than ignore them, he will actively invite them to family events which he hosts purely for the purposes of showing them up and making them a scapegoat. They refuse invitations at their peril.
c. With regard to work secondary sources, if the ULN is employed he will have secured a low management position of some description and will operate through a combination of thinking he is one of the gang but then upbraiding people when his fury is ignited. This makes for a difficult environment for those who work with him. His degree of cunning also means that he will be difficult to usurp. If, which is more likely, he has his own business, then he will make great play of regarding his dozen or so employees as the ‘family’ and he will draw fuel from them repeatedly but always through the unequal relationship that exists since he is the boss.
d. The ULN has a social network of both inner and outer circle friends (the LLN and MLN will only have inner circle friends) . The ULN will use his better financial position and perceived standing in the community to generate more social connections through neighbours, members of clubs and such like and therefore will have a social secondary source circle (both inner and outer circle) of between a dozen and two dozen people. He is swift to discard those he regards as unworthy to remain in it and finds new recruits with comparative ease.
e. The ULN will have one or more IPSSs (especially if Somatic) as again his financial clout will assist him with seduction. He regards himself as attractive and irresistible and possessing a higher energy level than the LLN and MLN he will engage in more social activities and therefore has more hunting grounds for the acquisition of an IPSS or IPSSs when the IPPS is being devalued.
f. With the increased financial clout and his perceived role as community hero, the ULN will engage with many tertiary sources. He will largely appear favourable to them as he has some regard to maintaining a façade but given his Lesser status, aggression and low control threshold he will also relish a degree of notoriety so that people are wary of getting on his wrong side. He will often lash out at tertiary sources given his inability to control his ignited fury.
Part Two examines the fuel matrices of the Mid-Ranger school.