Why Does The Narcissist Blow Hot and Cold? Part One



“I don’t get it, one minute he is all smiles and cuddles and the next he acts like he doesn’t know me.”

“I don’t know what is going on. Earlier in the week he wanted to hang out with me and now when I call to make arrangements he doesn’t seemed bothered.”

“He was in a foul mood and then suddenly he was being really nice to me and I have no idea why.”

Familiar sentiments? Most likely they are when you are dealing with our kind. Why is it that one moment everything is wonderful and the next it all goes wrong? Why are there periods of elation and then periods of erosion? Why are we so inconsistent in the way that we behave with you? Let’s begin with the Intimate Partner Primary Source, the most common recipient of this behaviour.

The Intimate Partner Primary Source (“IPPS”)

Whether you are our wife, boyfriend, partner or lover, the IPPS will find themselves subject to this vacillating behaviour.

The Seduction Golden Period

Once you have been installed as the primary source, following your seduction as an intimate partner secondary source, you reap the rewards of being our primary source of fuel, the apple of our eye and the light of our life. There will be only the heat of manufactured passion, the warmth of apparent caring and the fire of fabricated desire during this period.

During this golden period our fury (which is expanded on below) is in effect capped and therefore does not manifest. This ‘capping’ occurs for two reasons. The first is that you are supplying us with positive fuel and therefore if you happened to criticise us, we are able to brush it off because (a) we are being well fuelled in a positive manner and (b) we regard you as ‘white’ ; you are wonderful and our mind set is such that the criticism does not have the same effect. Secondly, even if we began to react to your criticism, we exert control because we do not want to lose you at this juncture and we want the positive fuel to keep flowing (we do not want your negative fuel at this point). There is also the issue that you are highly unlikely to cause a criticism because of the way you are responding to us during this golden period.

Accordingly, it is extremely rare to see us blow hot and cold during seduction for these reasons. You might find a reaction from a Lesser Narcissist who is criticised early in the golden period, who cannot exert sufficient control and accordingly he erupts, but it is extremely rare.

The Devaluation Period

This is when the alternating between hot and cold commences and there are a variety of reasons why this happens.

The first occurs in The Instant and is as a consequence of the ignition of fury. If you say (or more likely) do something which is perceived by us as criticism, it wounds us. Bear in mind that it may not seem like a criticism from your perspective, indeed you are usually at a complete loss as to why we have reacted as we have done. The blowing hot and cold which occurs in The Instant is naturally your fault.

Whatever it is that you have said or done, it has been perceived as a criticism. This wounds us and our self-defence mechanism is for the churning fury that is ever present, to be ignited. This happens more often with Lesser and Mid-Range narcissists because those members of our brethren are unable to control their fury with the same skill and discipline as the Greaters.

This ignited fury may manifest as heated fury as we erupt and call you names, break things, slam doors, hit you and such like. Accordingly, all was going well and you cause a criticism and our volcanic rage erupts as the situation becomes super-heated. Alternatively, this ignited fury emerges as cold fury whereby you are subjected to a baleful glare, being cold shouldered and treated to silent treatments. Thus the situation becomes ice-cold.

In the blink of an eye, you have unbalanced the situation through your criticism. Our reaction is based on self-defence. Since you are in the devaluation period, the ‘cap’ on  our fury that existed during the seduction period has been removed. Accordingly, it is only a matter of time before you do or say something which ignites our fury and boom, we react. One minute we are enjoying a family film and the next we have thrown the popcorn across the room and are glaring at you from our armchair.

The reason the fury ignites is to cause an intense reaction so that you react to it and provide us with fuel (or others do who witness the explosion). Usually, the ignited fury is directed towards the person who has caused the criticism by way of punishment and the need to cause them to atone for their transgression. By insulting you, striking you, spitting at you, shoving you, glaring at you, sitting and sulking we are aiming to prompt an emotional response from you. This provides us with fuel. Once you provide us with fuel, the wound you have caused is healed and our ignited fury abates. Consequently, we then carry on as if nothing has happened. Accordingly, in the space of a few minutes we go from calm to furious and then calm again. We have blown hot and cold and of course it has to be your fault because we are never at fault in our minds.

That is how we blow hot and cold in an instant and whilst theoretically this could happen at any stage in the narcissistic cycle it happens most with the IPPS during the devaluation.

We also blow hot and cold with you over an elongated period because of the need for contrast.  Isaac Newton’s Third Law stated

” For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”

Whilst this was directed in the field of physics, this is of equal application to the narcissistic dynamic. We have to create contrast in order to derive the most potent fuel. If we dig a ditch which is ten feet deep and shove you into it, you will probably be hurt as you fall into the ditch. If we build a tower thirty feet high next to the pit and push you from the top of the tower, then you have a forty foot drop and will suffer greatly owing to this starker contrast.

When we are seducing you, we are devaluing someone else.

When we are devaluing you, we are seducing somebody else.

When we allow you a Respite Period during the devaluation it is because we have turned against somebody else and thus we see you as ‘white’ once again.

When we start devaluing you again it is because we are savouring the resumption of seduction of another or perhaps starting a seduction anew with a new appliance.

It is all about creating that contrast.

If there are times where we have walked in to the house and we begin berating you from the moment we arrive you are at a loss to even identify what you could have done to cause this. The belittling commenced the moment we stepped through the doorway. What has happened is that we have been with someone else (not necessarily in an intimate way, it might have been an Non-Intimate Secondary Source, a friend) and having gained their positive fuel, it remind us of why we are devaluing you. This causes us to continue to regard you as ‘black’ and therefore we are unpleasant to you as soon as we first appear and continue being so until your emotional response fuels us and we stop.

If we are driving and we cut up another driver who we then pulls up alongside us and we swear at him and threaten to get out the car and stamp on his trachea until it bubbles, we gain negative fuel from the other driver’s frightened or upset or angry response. We can then turn to you (even in devaluation) and smile and kiss you on the cheek, to enjoy your contrasting positive response to the negative one which we have just obtained.

Accordingly, when we are seducing somebody else, we seem them as ‘white’ and thus you are ‘black’ because we need the contrast between the two of you. The IPSS we are seducing is seen as wonderful (and all the more because we despise you) and you as the IPPS are seen as awful (and all the more because we adore the IPSS). The contrast makes the fuel from both sources all the more potent.

If we decide to give you a Respite Period it may be because a NISS has been disloyal and we have devalued them, so we see your dogged loyalty as a good thing for a short time. It might be because the IPSS we have been cultivating is not delivering as we expected and whilst our disappointment in them is not sufficient to cause us to devalue them it means we will park them for the time being  and you gain by getting a Respite Period.

All of the various appliances that we are connected to have an effect on one another and most of all on  the IPPS.

Thus during the devaluation period you will find us behaving “okay” with you when we are neither especially pleasant or horrible, but then suddenly we shift to being unpleasant and then a Respite Period comes out of nowhere. It will appear arbitrary and inconsistent to you but there is a logic behind it.

The Discard

What about the period post discard when you were once the IPPS and you have been demoted from  that heady position? We once adored you and now we do not even acknowledge you. This is because we are obsessed with the new primary source and have no interest in you anymore. This is why if you stay out of our spheres of influence and the Hoover Execution Criteria is not met, you hear nothing from us in the immediate aftermath of discard.

Then, some time later, we appear with smiles and compliments as we apply a Benign Follow-Up Hoover. Our approach to you has altered again and you have done nothing. In such an instance we are now devaluing your replacement and we want some delicious  hoover fuel from you. You triggered a hoover, the Hoover Execution Criteria was met and thus we come after you for that positive hoover fuel. Deny it us and we may suddenly shift in an instant to a malign hoover, again you are puzzled as to why our attitude towards you has altered so quickly, but from our perspective it makes sense. If you have rebuffed our hoover and we have decided against withdrawal, the easiest way to gain some fuel from you (to heal the wound caused by your rebuffing criticism) is to dole out a malign hoover and seek negative fuel from you.

If you approach us when we are infatuated with our replacement, you will receive a malign hoover (if not ignored as explained in The Immediate Aftermath ) because at that time your replacement is regarded as ‘white’ thus you remain ‘black’ as the opposite and equally strong reaction.

We blow hot and cold because of the ignition of our fury in the instant and also because of this constant need to create contrasts and accord with the principle of opposite and equal reactions. This is why we engage in black and white thinking, it enables us to create the contrast that our needs demand and consequently causes us to blow hot and cold with you. Sometimes the hot appears as passion and desire, other times as rage, sometimes the cold appears as indifference and disinterest and other times it is a silent treatment and ignoring you. So long as there is a contrast, we will blow hot and cold.

The effects of blowing hot and cold are as follows:-

  1. First and most importantly the gathering of fuel. This is to power the construct and also in certain instances to heal the wound caused by your criticism;
  2. To maintain control over you;
  3. To underline our omnipotence by being able to control you;
  4. To emphasise our notion of superiority;
  5. To disorientate you so you give fuel and fail to comprehend what is happening;
  6. To create an apparent lack of consistency which prevents your understanding and adds to your confusion;
  7. To prevent you from being able to move forward because you are emotional, confused and disorientated.

All of the above fits together so that there will be wheels within wheels as we blow hot and cold with you.

Part Two examines why we blow hot and cold with the Intimate Partner Secondary Source, the Dirty Secret Intimate Partner Secondary Source and the Non-Intimate Secondary Source which includes the familial narcissistic dynamic.


54 thoughts on “Why Does The Narcissist Blow Hot and Cold? Part One”

      1. Thank you Supernova!

        HG….how much is the cost for the service where you tell us what kind of empath we are?

          1. May I ask how it works? Do you sent us a personality questionnaire or something? Ask us situational questions? Something else I may have missed? Then match it up on some kind of scale? I am just wondering the process. Thank you!

          2. I invite you to detail behaviours and attitudes with regard to yourself which I then assess. I provide you with areas that you need to address.

  1. This, and Sex & the Narcissist, and the Shelf iPSS articles, illustrate how the delinquent mind works in such forensic detail.
    How it’s never about the victim. Understanding it brings complete healing.

  2. The narc friend who just spun my head around a few weeks ago did this from the beginning. He wanted to come visit me . . . then he didn’t. He wanted me to visit him . . . then acted disinterested when I actually said I would. Then acted enthusiastic when I actually showed up. He’d suggest something, and if I wanted it too, he’d change his mind. Generally speaking, if it was his idea, it was fine. When it started to feel like my idea, everything changed. If anything in the scenario made him accountable to me, he lost all interest.

    My narc ex (different guy) was described by his mother as “contrary.” Same kind of deal. He was like a two-year-old who would say no just to prove he could. I think this has something to do with the narcissist’s need to be in total control; agreeing with us might make them accountable to us to do what we want. They can’t have that. So the narcissist naturally wants something different so that they never have to live up to what they say and can change their mind and remain in control.

    1. Michelle
      He did it for three purposes.

      1. The narcissist is never wrong
      2. To keep you confused
      3. For fuel

      When you have the time, please type: Tweedledee into the search bar and read that article.

  3. I experienced the hot and cold during the seduction phase of the narc whi worked at our house. He only worked for 9 days. The seduction was really subtle things since I am married, my husband was the guy who hired him. Just gestures: the way he looked at me with laser focus and the Ted Bundy smile, whistled whenever I am alone then stops whistling when my son or daughter approaches me then starts again when they leave, the way he spoke to me witb suchj a tender coice and gentle but suggestive body language, and telling me stories about how he has so many friends who love doing stuff with him and his love for the outdoors and his friendship with kids that he takes fishing with him like he’s a father figure to them etc. The cold are also subtle stuff like he made a face when I didn’t give him my phone number and told him that I don’t mind that he keeps texting my husband when he is coming work because mg husband always let me know anyway. When my husband decided to without warning move his patients to a different day and took he day off and be home to catch up on yard work. I saw that the narc handyman was taken by surprise when instead of me opening the door for him, my husband greated him as he was getting out of the car. I got silent treatment that day, he was ignoring me like I was just part of the furniture. And the big cold treatment was when I didn’t meet him in the room that he was working that night that he decided to wait until midnight. My husband was asleep brcaise he takes sleeping pills at night. I just went straight to bed and avoided the narc because with the seductions that he did earlier that day I had a feeling that he was going to escalate it. We didn’t agree to meet anyway so I was just rationalizing that maybe he was just working hard but I didn’t want to check on him because I didn’t want to take that risk. So the next time he went to work which was his last day, he had an angry face when I opened he door and he said some stuff that I didn’t understand but I noticed the angry tone. Silent treatment with heavy steps and angry body language. It never progressed beyond the seductive phase and we were never intimate. Thankfully. I had a difficult withdrawal and was so tempted to contact him just to see his face again because I have his number even though he didn’t hve mine. I stalked him on FB too without sending him a friend request. His profile is public anyway so I didn’t need to. But now thanks to your work I don’t even have a desire to look at his FB. Thank you so much for doing this, you are helping a lit of people.

  4. Sometimes I do this all as well . I’am not consistent either . So confusing eventough I may like him very much .

  5. Superb timing as I’ve been puzzling as to what just happened…. after months of “mostly silent treatment” peppered with rage, snideness and utterly selfish behaviour, 10 days ago he was all smiles, being caring and wanting to share things. I felt I’d stepped into a parallel universe! I went along with it and after a few days was actually enjoying the companionship and general relaxed air. I wondered if we’d turned a corner but paranoia set in as to when the bubble would burst. Last weekend he insisted we go for a drive and lunch. Lovely! Then “how about staying out longer and going to a different town?” Fantastic… except we unexpectedly walked into two young female colleagues and he reacted amazingly oddly, racing past them and hiding from them! I stopped to chat but when I caught up with him he looked haggard and was breathing heavily. He was full of rage from then on so I kept quiet and it’s been back to the silent treatment ever since then! Whoa!

  6. This afternoon is a hard one. I had someone who I trusted talked shit with another client, who happens to be a housemate of mine.
    Well, just great. My response is the silent treatment. Fuckers. Then maybe I’ll be passive/aggressive and put Nair in her shampoo.
    For fuck sake, there’s no escaping bullshit, is there?
    Fuck karma and fuck forgiveness. It would be the same shit anyway.

  7. “the heat of manufactured passion, the warmth of apparent caring and the fire of fabricated desire” Indeed!

    After 18 months no contact, I actually find this not only spot on, but quite amusing.

    Thanks for putting a smile on my face. 🙂

    Great post, as always.

  8. I also have a question….
    Can a DLS/IPSS become an NISS? As in the intimacy stops but they remain friends? Or is it like the point of no return where as soon as intimacy commences (even if it stops) one is branded with the “IP” part of the title forever no matter what? I began as an NISS before I ever met him and then after meeting him I became DLS/IPSS. If intimacy stops am I back to NISS status or am I always DLS/IPSS?

    1. I tried this FOTS – being friends. It was impossible. There was too much sexual innuendo and attention seeking behavior from him, and I still had to walk on eggshells. Eventually, I wounded him. No going back, as HG says. You can only move up the scale, not back down.

      I have to say, though, that I am not real friends with any exes (in touch with some but not exactly friends) because I don’t mix friend/lover categories. I tried with MRN because he was going through some transitions and seemed to ‘need’ me. But I had originally told him that I didn’t want to hear from him in any capacity unless he left his marriage (before I knew the extent of his disorder). Of course he ignored that request.

      1. SMH,
        Yeah I was curious how that dynamic is. He goes hot and cold on the sexual intimacy. Always the lecture on “finding the balance”. Always saying that ideally he wants to keep it “platonic”. 😑

        1. FOTS,

          Mine didn’t want to keep it platonic. I did.

          When he would inject sex into the conversations post-escape, I would suddenly disappear – do what he did to me. It really felt like a violation – I said no. He wouldn’t believe me or take no for an answer. My body, my rules.

          I think he got frustrated because our last conversation before my supernova was pure attention seeking – he wanted me to keep asking him what he meant by X or Y. I was occupied at work, which he knew.

          He would converse from work all the time because he was at a desk on a computer with his phone at the ready. But when I go to my actual workplace, my days are full on, I am running around, I have a long commute, my phone is off, etc. I am not in a position to be bantering all day or giving him attention as he tries to make me guess what it is that he wants. He knew that. A wound followed at the end of that day. I then got an ST and then I went ballistic.

          I can’t see a narc with whom you’ve had an intimate relationship wanting to ‘keep it platonic,’ to be honest. Sex is too big of a fuel source/weapon. Yours wants to keep you off balance and therefore under his control.

      2. I most definitely went down the scale. I think HG is right though: That is fuel terms you’re always treated like IPSS, just a discarded, imperfect, but retained one.

        1. J, Maybe it is possible with some other type but the ongoing sexual innuendo that I guess an IPSS will always get bothered me post-escape – I didn’t want to be his plaything anymore. I also don’t think he knows how to be friends with a woman.

  9. “When we are seducing you, we are devaluing someone else.

    When we are devaluing you, we are seducing somebody else.

    When we allow you a Respite Period during the devaluation it is because we have turned against somebody else and thus we see you as ‘white’ once again.”

    After seeing my MMRN again last night (after a few weeks of avoidance) this makes so much sense. Yeah back off the wagon I went. Sigh.

    Oh and not that it matters but in the midst of the prior avoidance I actually got a reason. I am too “intense”. And he needs distance from the intensity.

    1. My NX said I was “too aggressive”, which turns out was code for “I want to have other women over to my place without you knowing and having sex and I don’t want you coming over and messing it up.”

      I am now GOSO and seeing things more clearly as time passes…ah hindsight. ☺

    2. It means you have feelings and emotions they don’t do feelings and emotions I had a brief dalliance with a midranger although it was a walk in the park compared to my ex greater it’s still a fact they aren’t interested in your feelings I was ghosted then he turned it around and said I ghosted him then I was ghosted again he’s simply telling you to remain as the object you are and don’t bring up pesky emotions

    3. FOTS,
      I got the “intense” excuse also. Most recently I got, “You are demanding, let’s just get that out there. If you ease up babe, I think you’ll find that everything will be just fine.”
      In the past its been really hard for me to tell what is typical “you’re on the shelf” coldness and what is silent treatment (due to long distance and text being predominant form of communication). What I realize with HG’s posts and ruminating over things is that mostly it is due to shelving, and that reacting to it is futile and will only make things worse. I’m much more chill these days. I should be NC instead of just chill, but I’m getting there…..

      1. Supernova DE…

        ” I got the “intense” excuse also. Most recently I got, “You are demanding, let’s just get that out there. If you ease up babe, I think you’ll find that everything will be just fine.” ”

        Oh man!!!! Sounds eerily similar to what I heard which was…”We just need to find the right balance here and we will be okay”

        There goes that play book again!

        1. I know! Your narc and my narc often sound the same haha. They are both married cerebral MMRN/UMRN anchors though, so I guess that’s not surprising! Do you know your empath classification? If you don’t mind sharing.

          1. Supernova…
            Yup!!!! He is MMRN with some slight UMRN behavior. Cerebral anchor.
            The other night he told me he is thinking of seeing a therapist! I feel sorry for that therapist (if he does actually follow through) because I can totally see him sexing the therapist. He is such a sexual monster.

            No idea where I am on the empath scale. Some of HG’s stuff that I read makes me feel like I am the Narc.

            “I needed to go no contact with you for MY sanity” (said before we did not speak for 5 months) – He has to go NC! With me! Like I am the Narc or something. He actually used the term “no contact” too.

            “You are in DIRE need of professional help. You seek attention and validation from me like a drug addict seeking heroin!” (reminds me of a Narc seeking fuel)

            “Ideally I should let you go but I cannot let you go because I love and care about you, but I hope you can get some help” (again like I have the problem)

            Just a collection of stuff that has been said to be over the years. A few days ago he was sharing a story about the ex (the girl before me) and he said “she was very hot and cold to me”.

            I am convinced he moonlights here and reads this freaking blog sometimes.

            Anyway sorry to go off on a tangent there but again I have no idea what my empathy rating is. I know HG said he offered a service for that but it is nowhere on the main menu bar. Maybe HG will clarify because I would love to know where I land on that chart.

          2. FOTS,
            Mine has said all of the same things to me, except telling me I need help. He would never insult me as such, he knows I’d walk immediately.
            I definitely have heard the “no contact for my sanity” pitch multiple times. Mine told me during seduction that he “runs hot and cold.” which he needn’t have said as I was already well aware of that from our teenage years.

            I am pretty sure mine has had many psychological evaluations due to his profession, and may have been labeled narcissistic long ago. I also believe he has been to therapy with his wife…soon after that is when I started to get more devaluations. Which makes me wonder if he has been trying more to play nice with her (if she got wind of his condition), and attempting more negative fuel from IPSSs. Who knows.

            You are not a narc lovey. You pull out some narc tricks on him when you feel you have to, I have done the same.
            I’m awaiting HG’s opinion on what type of empath I am, I consulted him to find out.

      2. Supernova DE,
        I can relate to the long distance confusion regarding shelving vs. coldness. Text and phone calls are also our main ways of communication too. It is so easy for him to just not reply to me and it makes me batty sometimes. The “intensity” makes him take steps back and “distance himself” (so he says).

      3. FOTS and Supernova DE,

        I got the intense/difficult thing too and also from a married cerebral MRN, so I decided to run with it. OK, you ain’t seen nothing yet, and I let fly. I told him with impeccable logic and absolute coldness that he was sick, sucked all the joy out of life, and needed to stomp out every little bit of light that got in. I made it totally clear that I did NOTHING wrong, ever, and that he would never touch me again. I was brutal.

        It wasn’t a question of believing everything I said (of course I did some things wrong) – it was a question of taking what he thought he could offer – his fake view of himself as funny, smart, cool, charming – and tearing it to bits. It wasn’t about me, you see – it wasn’t about how I ‘felt’ anymore or about what he was doing or not doing TO me. It was about what a loser he was in general. It was about disengaging.

        This was all before I found HG. You two have the benefit of this site and you both know that neither of you is a match for them. Regulating your reactions will only work for so long before you are again spewing fuel of one sort or another. Neither of you has a good reason to be in touch with your narc and both of you broke NC, as I understand it. You were not directly hoovered. Hope you get to NC before they get to you (again). Shudder.

        1. SMH,
          I appreciate your response, though I have a hard time not interpreting what you say as you feeling superior to me because you walked, of course cloaked in concern and support. I hope I am wrong.

          What you describe when you tore down your narc coldly…I have done this too, several times. And left after. Or he left. That was also before I knew about NPD or HG. But the hoovers followed after a few weeks or months. I can tell in your tone that your addiction is not as strong as mine (or FOTS), and I am happy for you in that regard.

          I know exactly the things my ET says to me that keep me in contact. I have awareness of why he says and does things. I have written various times in other posts about how I don’t like him as a person, and I find him less physically attractive all the time. I also know that in some twisted way, knowing he has NPD keeps me in contact more than if I was ignorant. Knowing why makes it not hurt which feeds the ET into telling me that I can stay and feed the addiction. I am under no illusion that he cares for me as a person, he does not respect my opinion, or intellect, or body, or privacy etc. etc. I know that I should go. I know I give myself license because he is not my primary relationship, and we are long distance so the relationship is not very “real.” Oh, but the addiction is as real as fuck.

          My ET used to be about convincing myself he cared. Now my ET is about convincing myself its OK to stay addicted. It’s a strange shift. But it is more logical, and I am taking steps to try and fix this. I have started to use a physical item to go to (as HG talks about in Get Out Stay Out Part One) that I use when I have the urge to reach out to him. I am trying, and so far successful, in elongating the periods between interaction. Last time was three days between texts, now my rule is “you cannot text until at least four days”…next time it will be five days etc. Is this better or worse than cold turkey NC? I don’t know, and of course he won’t play by my rules and he’ll throw a wrench in. But its what I feel I can accomplish right now (without being physically ill and disrupting my life with withdrawals), and it’s better than nothing. Any distance I can squeeze in allows for more logic and more connection to myself.

          1. Supernova DE, Yes, a bit irritated but not superior. I think I just feel that you have this site – it is like boot camp. I did not have it. That is not my superiority. It is just the way things played out. I found this site post escape. But now that I have it and I am here, I use it to learn and to weaponize myself. I have not broken NC since I found this site and did the last thing I had to do with narc.

            My addiction is not strong now but it certainly was before. And I broke NC many times because I didn’t see it for what it was. I saw it as more of a cooling off period – what normal people would do after a fight or when things were not going well etc. That is why I ended up breaking it so many times. I’d cool off, he’d cool off, I’d feel ready to be in touch, he’d rope me back in.

            Now that I know all about narcs thanks to HG, I have not broken NC. I almost feel that it would be disloyal to HG to break NC since he freely gives so much of his time and energy to teach us not to (really HG – I think I feel this way! Still waiting for that GOSO T-shirt). But that’s just me.

            I know what you mean about shifting the focus of your ET. It’s kind of what I did when I would write everything out over and over rather than contact narc. I knew it was an addiction and I needed to do something to feed it. I totally understand why you are giving yourself small doses. I also understand tapering off rather than going cold turkey. I think that is pretty much what I did too except I did it by not suddenly blocking him. I just let things fade away.

            You are right that any distance helps. The only thing that I would add is that your narc is not an inert substance like a drug – it is not just up to you how things play out, it is not all under your control, which is why it is so dangerous to try to manage the interactions etc. I think substituting narc with another ‘drug’ is safer than trying to regulate the narc doses.

          2. SMH,
            Irritated yes. You can get in line cause I’m quite irritated with myself over the entire deal too.
            Thanks for your reply.
            I feel like I need to treat myself like a toddler right now. The best example I can give (because I’m currently going through it at my house) is when you show your toddler the stack of diapers. “When these diapers are gone that’s it, you’ll have bid kid undies and use the potty!”
            Prior warning, some preparation, move forward with the plan no matter what. I just need to get my head straight and set a date (in the not so distant future) and get it over with.

          3. LOL, Supernova DE. Glad you are so self-aware. That helps a lot. It took me quite awhile to get there – or I would get there and then get confused again. That’s what concerns me about what you are doing. You are clearly there but he will confuse you, just as your toddler will pee (wee) on the floor if you don’t keep providing the diapers (nappies)!

            It is like pulling off a band-aid (plaster for you Brits). Do it quickly and completely.

      4. FOTS
        you are not a narc. He only projects his behaviour on you. You are addicted to him as I was to my narc. I am working on my addiction by not thinking about him most of the time. Now it is only when i am at work, I think about him.

        Thus you contact him more than he does, I think. If you don’t contact him, I am sure he will not contact you either before he is out of fuel (like some months).
        For him right Balance is when he contacts you, because he is selfish and don’t care about Your needs of being in contact with him (Your need is not fuel but attention from him = that you are valued by somebody whom you love).

  10. HG
    When a narc starts devaluing or start ignoring you, does that mean that in his brain he are wishing you to leave him? As New Source have emerged or he has got bored of the present Source.

    If we don’t take Clue or leave them, then they increase the tactics to scare us away. But in between this process, as they need fuel, they give us crumbs also, so that we don’t leave them forever also.

    1. No, it does not mean he wants you to leave because you still serve a purpose.

      The narcissist does to want to scare you away (you are not allowed to escape) and if you are disengaged from, this is for one of the reasons explained in the article about why we disengage from you.

      1. Yeah my MMRN acts like this too. He will actually coerce me into not talking to him, taking a break, etc. He even used the term “going no contact” with me and said we needed to do that. HG told me once that it is not meant and that it is said to make me actually stay. Was I right with that HG? It seems kind of like reverse psychology right?

  11. Relying on someone else as your source of happiness can cause hot and cold behavior.

    If you expect someone to fulfill all your dreams, you will always the disappointed.

    1. Tammy, I am so happy for you. You were stronger than you gave yourself credit for after all! We all are.

  12. Excellent article, HG.
    It helps me realize how far I’ve come. I realize there’s no perfection, only progression in being “free”, of your kind. Like you stated, “Till death do we part, ” as I get odd messages on my phone, guys trying to friend me on Facebook. I’m 90 percent sure it’s him, as he poses as women too. Life can sling some crazy shit. I know that also can happen to you too, HG. It’s completely bitter sweet, then bitter again and again.
    Finally feeling joy in doing the things for myself that brought me so much joy in doing thing’s for him. Once again In my life I’m able to feel some unhappiness.

  13. The way your kind operate seems so exhausting. Physically exhausting and mentally exhausting. Aren’t you tired? Maybe that has something to do with how easy it is to act cranky? Every considered that? Also, how does your kind ever get anything done? This seems like a full time job all on its own. What about during sleep? Let’s say I’m stressed over something or mentally exhausted, it will come out in my sleep. During a dream for example. You attribute your kinds ways to keeping the creature under wraps so to speak. Does it creep out in your dreams? Could this be why feeling it when you first wake up occurs?

    1. I have wondered about the IMMENSE time and mental energy commitment too. How do they even hold down jobs?

      1. Thing is, J, that some aren’t able to hold down jobs…or they always able to find a new job but they can’t *maintain* employment. And some of them are super adept at making it look a third party is the reason for things not going well at a job…or they attribute it to health issues etc. Higher functioning narcs are able to gain fuel in ways at work *without* losing their job.

  14. Never thought it would happen but it started hoovering by text and calls 4 days ago haven’t responded , last time he discarded me on June 17 he said he had his own life and no use for me , now because he claims he finally got a visa for the usa suddenly he expects me to drop everything which basically means he wants a place to live when he gets here , it’s not happening I have no emotional feelings toward him anymore , I know he has no bond or attachment towards me I’m just a means to an end, I have not responded and never plan to , he unblocked me on a social media account he had blocked me on before I could block him on it , now he’s blocked on that as well as everything else ,the ship has sailed and I’m never going back

  15. All of that, and more …

    Succinctly explained HG – you really are a master at this. As we recover, I hope you too find some solace.

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