Why Does The Narcissist Seem So Odd?



It is accurate to state that we operate in three essential states. There are varying degrees within those states, differing levels of intensity which are affected by factors such as the type of narcissist that we are, what we require from you, the level of empathic individual you are as well as several others. Nevertheless, there are three basic states. The first, as you would expect, is the golden setting. We are at our most wonderful, most brilliant and most loving when in this state. This always appears during our seduction of you and we will reinstate it from time to time and often when we hoover you in order to suck you back in and keep you hanging on to us. The second is the dark setting when we instigate our devaluation of you. This dark setting allows us to deploy our various machinations against you, a variety of different  manipulations as the abuse begins and we make your life particularly unpleasant. This requires effort and energy on our part and whilst we will be rewarded with fuel, a certain degree of application is required to use these manipulations against you. When we unveil our dark setting it is upsetting and confusing but often you will find some reason to explain our behaviour. It is usually the wrong reason but you will find one nevertheless as you like to understand and have a reason to explain why someone is behaving in a certain way towards you – you decide we are stressed, tired, hungover, in need of affection or perhaps you are unduly harsh on yourselves so that you, in that usual empathic manner, blame yourself for the behaviour we have meted out against you. Perhaps you did not listen when you ought to have done, perhaps you should have realised that we wanted to go out tonight, or that we would not want chicken for a second time this week.

There is a third setting and this often proves more confusing than our unpleasant dark setting. This setting might be regarded as a neutral setting, somewhere between the golden and the dark, but it is not. This setting is on the road to the dark setting and is closer to that than the golden. This particular setting is the stranger setting.

There will be times when we do not wish to apply considerable energy to our continued devaluation of you, but the devaluation must continue. It may not be as harsh, since there is no shouting, no violence, no insults and such like. It is not the golden period because we show no affection, we do not do things for you and we do not exhibit any of the charm that once flowed so readily from us. During this stranger setting we are neither wonderful nor awful but we behave like someone who doesn’t really know you and you are certainly left feeling like you are dealing with somebody else.

If you telephone us we will not dole out a silent treatment and ignore your repeated calls. We will not answer in less than a ring and speak to you with affection and enthusiasm, instead we answer and engage in a monosyllabic conversation. It is like drawing teeth. We confirm that nothing is wrong and you may think there is but we have not responded angrily or harshly. We have not accused you of anything, we have not labelled you in some way but the conversation is flat. It is as if our personality, whether golden or dark has vanished and left almost an automaton in its place. We function, we talk about our day but with little detail and certainly no enthusiasm. We ask questions of you but they are polite and perfunctory as if we are just going through the motions. There is no nastiness, no backbiting or sneering. It is difficult to process because it is not nothing, that cannot be the case because we are talking to you, but it feels like nothing.

We may call around to see you but it feels like an inspector has called around. We sit, we decline a drink that you offer us and we answer your questions without offering you anything much in return. Where has the charmer gone? Where has the monster gone? Who is this stranger that looks like us, sounds like us but is not behaving like us? You cannot accuse us of being unpleasant but it feels unpleasant because you are dealing with someone you do not recognise. Any questions about what is wrong with us are politely answered and you are assured there is not a problem, but we seem lifeless. You flatter us, compliment us and whilst we accept them there is no spark of interest, there is no response.

Why are we like this? Why is this being done? Why do we seem like someone else? It is as if we have been abducted by aliens in the night and replaced with a robot which is neither wonderful nor savage but is frustratingly something else. This third setting occurs during the devaluation period. It is not a respite from devaluation as that is the golden setting once more. It is clearly not the dark setting as that is the rolling out of nastiness and abuse. This third setting is an indicator of the calm before the storm. Whilst there are occasions where we might switch from golden to dark setting in the blink of an eye, this third setting is used when we wish to conserve energy in readiness for unleashing a particular savage next stage in the devaluation as we will move to the dark setting and crank it up to eleven. You are not cruising along being driven by fair winds, nor are you being thrown up and down buffeted by a storm, instead you are becalmed or moved along by a weak breeze. This is the time we are girding our loins, gathering information and plotting. The switch of functions to the organisation and scheming of what is to come, along with the intense outpouring of energy required to sustain the vicious intensifying of this devaluation means we adopt this near automatic state. You may not ever see this happen dependent on the nature of the narcissist you have become entangled with, but when you do, you should be aware that a storm is brewing and not just any old storm but a supercell storm of savage and damaging proportions. This is a warning.

18 thoughts on “Why Does The Narcissist Seem So Odd?

  1. Vera says:

    Speaking of odd… I can’t remember reading in any of your posts something about idiosyncrasies associated with narcissistic personalities, sociopaths or psychopaths. Mine had OCD in the form of sanitation. Just taking my shoes off on his door mat at the entrance involved a series of complicated rules, regulations and procedures. I could not touch/lean against the walls because they would get stained. Do you think that was a real disorder or he would just act for the purpose of extracting fuel, to provoke a reaction? (at times, I would get fed up with it and tell him how ridiculous this was, followed by sulking and a arguments from his side). Also, he was incredibly stingy, a miser as I’ve never seen before. Even letting fresh air in was a capital crime for which I was punished with sulking because he claimed he would pay more for the heating hahaha. In a pub he would say “I’ve just enough for a bag of crisps – it looks like I’m inviting you for lunch”. Again, was this a way of extracting fuel? I’ve never experienced the lavish attention in the form of presents that you talk about, in the golden period. I think he was a mid ranger – the hypochondriac type who plays on people’s pity, with fake hospital appointments and a string of imaginary medical interventions. Very covert, not flashy, trying to pose as a modest do-gooder. I know, I have written a lot and I know your answers are laconic – never mind, it does me good 🙂

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It may well have been a co-morbid disorder and would benefit him through the imposition of control and the extraction of fuel. His stingy behaviour is a manifestation of his sense of entitlement, lack of empathy and is again part of the method of control and extraction of fuel.

    2. Sandra says:

      My mother would micromanage and arrange elaborate rules for sanitation too. Her sense of superiority came from unrealistic expectations. I can recall her ability to hear the refrigerator door open when we sought a snack and she would swoop in for some inane criticism…”you made a mess”, “you didn’t seal the cheese”, “you don’t need a snack” etc etc etc. No wonder we all have nervous twitches.

  2. Sarah says:

    “Frustratingly something else”. Absolutely on point description HG – you nailed it for me!

    Your intuition tells you the behaviour is calculated, but it is too non-descript to synthesise. It is a kind of hostile indifference but engagement and pleasantries persist. Ever so slowly anxiety builds…..

    I am really interested in reading more about the stranger setting – can anyone point me in the right direction re: relevant books or articles?

    1. K says:

      This article explains The Stranger Zone very well.


      1. Sarah says:

        K, put simply you are a gem! A great community service you offer – I think you should list it on your resume. Thank you!!

        1. K says:

          You are welcome Sarah!
          And thank you for your kind words. I will add community service to my resume (CV) straight away.

  3. nunya biz says:

    HG, what if it seems like someone lives in this setting though? Like full time, permanently.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Have they been left out in the cold and frozen?

      1. nunya biz says:

        “HG, what if it seems like someone lives in this setting though? Like full time, permanently.”

        “Have they been left out in the cold and frozen?”

        Lol, HG. I’m trying to figure how to interpret that metaphor.
        I think I mean mainly low emotional range, lower engagement motivation overall, generally “fine” but leaning toward dispassionate, etc… Not aggressive though or tending toward blow up.
        Thank you.
        Btw, I enjoyed your Halloween posts very much and have missed the exciting comments activity, I hope all is well for you.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          If you are referring to a narcissist remaining in this state for a long time I would find that unusual but it would be part of an extensive devaluation.

        2. MB says:

          Nunya, I agree. Sundays like these are the best on the blog. HG is quite wordy today. A well-fueled HG is a beautiful thing indeed.

      2. nunya biz says:

        Thank you, HG!

        MB, couldn’t agree more : )

  4. Tixxy says:

    Dear Narcicist, have you ever taken into consideration the idea of undergoing a therapy? Are you fine with this disturb? You are conscious of having a problem and don’t you want to know how it could to fell in love with someone?

    1. K says:

      If you are referring to HG as Dear Narcissist, you can read about him in the “About” section, which is located on the upper left under “Knowing the Narcissist”.

      Love = Fuel to the narcissist and that is what works for him. He isn’t concerned about how it feels to fall in love.

    2. K says:

      This article explains how the narcissist “falls in love” with your fuel, character traits and residual benefits.


Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous article