The Mid-Range Narcissist – Five Facts


I have come across these five questions on a number of occasions. They are often regarded as the five fundamental queries which are raised about our behaviour. They are usually answered in a forthright manner by certain commentators in order to drive the message home. However, these observations and answers are provided by people who are not of our kind. They are naturally entitled to comment but the true value arises from someone who is on the other side of the fence, the perpetrator of the actions, the doer. Furthermore, the usual observations are provided without regard to the fact that narcissists are both similar yet different because we operate in certain schools which are linked to our degree of functioning and malign outlook. Accordingly, the traditional answer provided to one of these questions may be correct for the greater of our kind, but not for the mid-range or for the lesser narcissist. This time the focus falls on those narcissists which are from the Mid-Range school. It is usually the case that those who Mid-Range are not so much defined by what they are, but rather by what they are not. Thus if a behaviour which accords with a lesser narcissist is absent and a behaviour which accords with a greater narcissist is absent but the individual still displays behaviour which accord with narcissism as a whole, this person falls within the Mid-Range. The Mid-Range is neither a creature of complete knee-jerk reactions but nor is he or she fully aware of what he or she is and the capabilities that he or she may possess. He or she will not exhibit the driven, malign nature of those narcissists from the greater school. Here are the five answers to the five central questions.


  1. Do We Know What We Are Doing?


Whereas the lesser narcissist operates through instinctive responses and in a knee-jerk manner the Mid-Ranger knows what he or she is doing even though the response is largely still one of instinct. Most of the Mid Ranger’s response is instinctive but they have a greater awareness of what is happening, the Lesser does not really notice.

The Mid-Ranger will notice that they feel a sense of unease and being unsettled. This is when their fuel levels have dropped to a low level. They do not know that the sensation of unease is linked to the reduced fuel levels. The Mid-Ranger does know that provoking reaction in the person who is his or her primary source and other people causes the unease to diminish and vanish. He or she is aware of the link between the need to receive attention and the reduction in the state of unease. He or she realises that certain reactions do not always work (i.e. unemotional ones) and that some reactions are superior to others (the sense of unease vanishes quicker and is replaced with a feeling of power) but they do not know why that is. They do not realise the index of fuel supply governs their own state of power/unease. They do know what if they are praised they feel better, if you are made to cry, they feel better and if you are losing your temper because of something that they have done, they feel better.

  1. Do We Know That We Are Hurting You?


Akin to the lesser, the Mid-Ranger is aware of the hurt that is being caused, the major difference however is that the Mid-Ranger recognises that you are being hurt (since he possesses Cognitive Empathy) but he or she will never OWN the responsibility for that hurt. Thus, he may say

“I know you are hurt when I call you names, but if you just stopped trying to control me, then I would not have to do it.”

He knows the name-calling upsets you, he also is aware that your emotional response has a positive impact for him (although does not know why) but he will never accept that this behaviour is wrong or his fault.

The Mid-Ranger may also give some consideration to how this might be achieved whereas the Lesser just does it. This tends to be apparent with mainly Upper Mid-Rangers, Lower and Middle Mid Rangers still operate through an instinctive response.

The Mid-Ranger does not behave this way because of any innate malevolence but rather because he or she is aware that the evidence of pain on your part gives them a “good” feeling and lessens the unease which may appear. The Mid-Ranger knows that if he or she acts in a certain way, it will cause you upset. With the higher functioning Mid Ranger, he or she will take some time to evaluate how best to respond in a situation so that the “good” feeling can be obtained. This is why some Upper Mid-Rangers are often mistaken for Greaters because they have a degree of calculation to their actions.

The Mid-Ranger will be aware of what it is that you are doing which has generated contempt, irritation or annoyance. He will be able to provide you with a reason behind this sensation and moreover if there is no actual reason he is readily able to invent one. Whereas the lesser can only usually respond in a vague and amorphous fashion, the Mid-Range will provide you with a reason for this annoyance at your behaviour and why he or she is hurting you. It is most likely a lie, but a reason will be provided nevertheless.

  1. Do We Do This Deliberately?

The Mid-Ranger is deliberate in his or her behaviours but they remain governed by instinct. They do not know it is fuel, they do not know its true purpose but they are sufficiently aware and of sufficient function to link the provision of certain reactions by you to the settling and empowering effect it has on them. The Mid-Ranger is aware that he or she can provoke good and bad emotions from you and that these reactions serve a purpose.

They are also able to apply a wider range of manipulations from their repertoire as a consequence of their increased function. The response is an instinctive response but in some instances will be thought out and whilst the plotting and scheming is far removed from the grand scale of the greater narcissists, there is no doubting that the Upper Mid-Ranger will plan. He or she will consider how people can best serve them. This is not done from a malicious point of view but is more about working out what will serve him or her the best. The Mid-Ranger will consider which friends serve him best, who will make the best target and how the various people that are his fuel lines knit together. He does not behave in the random and chaotic fashion of the Lesser nor with the pinpoint, malicious accuracy of the greater but with a sense of organisation and planning so that he or she gets what he or she wants.

  1. Can We Control This Behaviour?


The Mid-Ranger is possessed of the ability to control his or her behaviour even though the majority of it is instinctive. Accordingly, he will respond to certain behaviours with his own set response but can exert some control, for instance keeping a lid on the ignited fury for a short time, since he recognises the situation demands a certain approach.

Since he or she is not a creature of base instinct like the lesser but adopts a more considered approach there is some thought given to how he or she should respond. The Mid-Ranger is not aware of why they ought to behave in this way, they only know that there is a way of behaving which suits them best and they need to tailor their responses and behaviours to accord with this way and this includes control. The Mid-Ranger only has so much control however and in situations where fuel levels plummet and there is a real or perceived threat of a primary source cessation then the Mid-Ranger will lose control when placed under such duress. This may occasionally manifest in the use of physical violence. The Mid-Ranger knows there will be consequences but is unable to contain the urgent need to “do something” and therefore control is lost. The Mid-Ranger is particularly prone to using the silent treatment as this represents a halfway house between exerting and losing control. He or she may be panicked into a sudden reaction but they do not lose control to such an extent that a frenzied response, by way of violence both physical and verbal may appear. Instead they vanish. The Mid-Ranger is also more likely to engage in emotional, financial and sexual abuse through planning and the greater subtleties and insidious nature attached to these particular machinations.

  1. Can We Stop It?

Yes, the Mid-Ranger can to some extent. Much of his behaviour is instinct. He truly considers himself to be a good person, he believes he is empathic and caring, he regards other people as the problem. He cannot understand why people have to be so unfair, so troublesome and why they cause him pain and anguish, since he has such a different perspective to you.

He has an awareness and therefore is able to decide that the behaviour can stop. Indeed, where the Mid-Ranger perceives an advantage to be acquired he will do so and amend his behaviour accordingly. Whereas the lesser narcissist will instigate a respite period instinctively without knowing why he is doing, his need to devalue will just abate and the golden period returns, the Mid-Ranger knows the value of a respite period and will grant it because he feels settled and prone to wanting the contrast of the positive fuel again. Similarly, when those fuel levels drop the Mid-Ranger knows to commence the devaluation again. His awareness and control enable him of her to stop the devaluing behaviour as and when it is required. He does not exercise this with regard to any sense of malevolence, like the greater, but rather it is driven by need. The Mid-Ranger could stop his or her abusive behaviour but will not do so if they perceive a need for it to continue. The lesser is unable to stop it because it “just happens”. Of the three schools, the Mid-Ranger is less volatile, less malicious but in some respects can be regarded as entirely culpable for the behaviours which are engaged in and that are doled out to his or her victims. The difficulty is however, you can regard the Mid Ranger as culpable but he or she will never accept any liability for their behaviour because they are automatically configured to reject any notion that they are at fault. Their default setting is always to block this, reject it and counter it – usually through Pity Plays, sulking, silent treatments, blame-shifting and projection.

51 thoughts on “The Mid-Range Narcissist – Five Facts

  1. Lori says:


    They aren’t capable of stopping. They are capable of suspending it forca short period of time in favor of achieving something but they will revert back. This hard coded in them

    1. SMH says:

      Lori, he did suddenly revert, just when my anxiety had abated. You are right.

  2. Kim e says:

    Well….I just blocked my MMRN and will try this NC again. My heart will break until my emotional thinking calms down.
    He is off for the holidays but when he comes back he will find that I have changed not only my parking spot at the train station BUT am not taking the regular trains he thinks I do.
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year/Life to me!!!!!
    Thanks HG for the push you gave me. I might be contacting you for more support as time goes on.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

    2. Supernova DE says:

      Kim e,
      Way to go! No one said we have to be perfect at NC the first time (or the second or third). Take it one day at a time!
      I’m in day 55 today. And feeling really good about it.
      Happy Holidays to you. Xo

    3. NarcAngel says:

      Kim e
      Good for you. Hold strong now, and remember we are here and HG is available for consult if you need it.

      1. flutterbymorpho says:

        What is a consult for? To determine schools, give advice? Help in a situation ? Could it help with an escape plan ..that sort of thing? Thanks.

  3. Saskia says:

    HG, if we worry about being a narcissist, simply because we have never been properly evaluated in that regard, thus lack an objective stance/feedback OR we are unsure because of certain behaviours or traits that we recognize in ourselves and that might indicate unhealthy narcissism – does the fact that we even consider that possibility and are willing to observe ourselves from that angle mean that we are – most likely – not? I ask because I have repeatedly read about that notion but am not sure whether it is ‘that simple’.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      If you are concerned you are a narcissist, you are not one. Most narcissists are Lesser and Mid-Range and therefore never ask themselves this question because their narcissism will not allow them to. A Greater would not be concerned about whether he or she is one, they will either know or if they do not know about narcissism would not be concerned by their behaviours in the first place owing to the lack of remorse, guilt etc and the conviction in one’s ability and being.

      1. mommypino says:

        HG, you’re so kind to give us this reassurance. It is so reassuring when it comes from you. It’s easy to worry that maybe we are the problem when we seem to attract toxic relationships throughout our lives. But if we are narc magnet empaths, it does make sense why. But hearing from you, the expert, really puts us at ease. One of the best Christmas gifts I have gotten this year was that reassurance from you. Thank you so much!!!

      2. Saskia says:

        Thank you very much for your incisive explanation, HG, that is appreciated.

  4. Stephanie says:

    HG, I have never been an IPPS but have been involved with narcissists as variations on the secondary source theme. I have read your work extensively and thanks to you and others, I’m finally realizing that your kind have very predictable patterns of behaviour. I used to be so afraid of the narcissists I was entangled with and now that I understand the patterns and the tactics they use, they have become pathetic and thus powerless in my eyes. Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You have seized the power, well done and you are welcome.

  5. SMH says:

    Yes. I knew MRN was capable of stopping the behavior because he did stop it once for a whole month. He could even accept some responsibility – he was sort of half conscious of being an abusive jerk.

  6. Presque Vu says:

    This is so accurate.
    why? why? Do they find their true self that unattractive that they must feel powerful at all costs?

    ‘The Mid-Ranger is also more likely to engage in emotional, financial and sexual abuse through planning and the greater subtleties and insidious nature attached to these particular machinations.’

    Even his mum said to me to stop playing into his silly games when he would give me the silent treatment and i would call her worried as he had disappeared!

    I think he was very aware of what he was doing, that’s why i’m so confused between him being a greater and a mid. Is it possible for a greater to be a victim? The whole world was against him, his mum was the devil followed by him worshiping her – it was so weird.

  7. Tex says:


    if a M-R during your seduction liked your every social media post, even the dumbest and when you finally are dating he stops giving you likes or hits the like button once a month while he likes other people (men and women, friends and strangers) posts on daily basis is it a sign of devaluation or putting you on a shelf or something like that? Or maybe it doesn’t mean anything?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It depends on whether you are the Candidate IPPS, the IPPS or a Shelf IPSS.

      If you are the candidate but not the IPPS, you have probably been reverted to Shelf IPSS when this happens.
      If you are the IPPS and everything else is well, this is just a sign that you have been embedded and he feels you are under his control and has no need to keep up the likes, but you are not being devalued.
      If you are the Shelf IPSS (you did not get to candidate status) then you are placed on the shelf and he is cultivating these other appliances, who may well be NISS and therefore it is not an act of devaluation.

      1. Tex says:

        Thank you for this explanation!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

  8. mommypino says:

    HG, I’m still trying to understand. How can a mid-ranger truly believe that s/he is empathetic and caring if they can’t feel empathy? Do they have a wrong notion of how empathy might feel?

    Sometimes I really wonder if I’m a mid-ranger but reading what you wrote disqualifies me because making people feel bad, whether from me lashing out at them out of anger or just me being a fruitcake and saying something careless makes me feel horrible inside and wishing I could take it back. I remember my sister looking gleeful after telling me all of the horrible things about me which was a mix of truth and wrongful interpretations of my actions. I cannot possibly look like that if I made anybody cry.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are not a Mid Ranger.

      They believe it because their narcissism causes them to adopt such a belief, they have cognitive empathy but their supposedly empathic behaviour will only manifest when there is something in it for them. Plus, there of course will be other determining factors which confirm that person is a narcissist.

      Broadly speaking the Lesser doesn’t give a flying fuck and behaves like a wrecking ball, thinks they are far better than they are and don’t see their shortcomings. The Mid-Ranger will present sometimes as a tortured soul (I try to be good, I really do) or as empathic (because they have sufficient cognitive function to recognise the correct response but they do not feel it – it is all about fitting in, the façade), they think they care but actually they do not. The Greater knows he does not give a flying fuck but has the cognitive function to appear to care and delights in maintaining such an appearance because of course it suits the Greater’s needs.

      So let’s apply that in the context of say a Narc Abuse Support Forum

      1. The Lesser is unlikely to create one at all. Doesn’t understand the subject, cannot be bothered, why help these people, they should sort themselves out etc. Fuck it, pass me another beer.

      2. The Mid-Range will create one often believing themselves to be a victim of a narcissist, thinks that they care but they do not and their behaviours (see the Narc Support Forum Fraud article) will ultimately betray them but of course they are blind to those behaviours because it is the fault of someone else.

      3. A Greater creates one but it would be less about support but more about conveying the facts and does so for the greater glorification of his name and empire. He is intelligent enough and savvy enough to know that a unique and informative forum is a win/win for him and those who go there. He extends his reputation and flexes his considerable communication skills, creativity, knowledge etc and the readers get first-class information to help themselves. The Greater has no need to pretend to care (as he does not) and this honesty is respected. Instead the focus is the delivery which the Greater, owing to superior ability is able to provide, so every one wins and nobody labours under any misapprehension as they would do with the Mid Range forum.

      1. mommypino says:

        Wow thank you so much for straightening that out for me. I will never have to wonder anymore. And thank you for your thorough explanation. It is perfectly clear now.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Jolly good.

      2. Lori says:

        This is accurate. When I went to help some people after a natural disaster he said why are you doing that it’s there fault for living there

        1. windstorm says:

          I’ve heard a lot of narcs make comments like that. Disaster victims don’t deserve help or compassion because it was their fault for living there.

  9. Elise Marie says:

    I am not sure whether the narcissist in my life is a mid-ranger or greater. I will have to read the blog on the greater to understand more fully but I 5hink he is a greater. One gnawing question I have is why he almost always used the pronoun “we” instead of “I” when chatting and texting about his thoughts and actions. Rarely did he use “I.” Is it common or usual among greater or mid-range narcissists to feel or talk like they are more than one person? Or does he perhaps have an additional disassociative disorder?

    1. NarcAngel says:

      Elise Marie
      I don’t know the answer, but it seems appropriate since he is (at least) two different people. The facade him and the real him. He likely does not know what he is but perhaps he is aware there is an internal struggle? Or perhaps he’s just a pompous ass that thinks that sounds classy. There’s always that.

    2. flutterbymorpho says:

      My husband never refers to himself as I. He often refers to himself in third person..sometimes saying his whole 1st, middle and surname! He has been diagnosed with dissociative disorder.. which seemed to come out of nowhere in his mid 40’s? I kept questioning that until finally the mental health team (after I supplied writings of his behaviours) gave me a number for the local domestic abuse. I put stuff down to alcohol, being plain thick & tactless, cheeky.. then this mental illness surfaced? So then I thought it was that.. but I questioned his behaviour over the years..they couldn’t answer (data protection) i had hints but didnt realise. I asked outright then after coming across cluster B stuff.. the answer was ‘he is not manipulating you on purpose’ go figure.. but I live with him and have seen that mask slip.. and have the info here ! he even had tons of physical tests manipulating the mental health team! They give up now and told me to not worry about him as he is a survivor, told me they have worried more about me and to get away from him basically..

    3. k says:

      Elise Marie
      I think he used “we” because he subsumed you.

      “When we seduce you, we want to absorb you. We want to make you part of us. This is because we see you as an extension of ourselves ”

      1. NarcAngel says:

        Good one. I hadn’t thought of that.

        1. K says:

          Thank you NarcAngel
          I also thought of the articles Own and I Object but Absorb made the most sense to me because the narcissist assimilates you into him.

      2. Elise Marie says:

        Interesting. And as per that blog post, he brought me into his close familial fan club. Only hos fans. When I confronted his lies later he seems to have told them all I was stalking him or something.

        1. K says:

          Elise Marie
          Yes, the smear campaign. You are the stalker/crazy one/abuser. Narcissists are very predictable.

  10. Supernova DE says:

    The MRN are fascinating, and ubiquitous. And, of course, infuriating and abusive if you get too close.
    My MMRN has a short leash on his cold fury. If I landed a (perceived) criticism in conversation, he could go back and forth a few more texts. He did not blow immediately. But he always mysteriously vanished from the conversation a few minutes later (start of silent treatment). When enmeshed, this was utterly bewildering and confusing. Now I see the pattern and understand what was happening.
    He always, always, always vanished if I flat out challenged him and did not accept his half baked first response.
    Initially, I never understood why he wouldn’t want sexy fuel from me, IPSS, and why he wouldn’t just flit off for the weekend with me. But now I see that as a mid range, he would see staying home with IPPS as much easier fuel to obtain and (much more so than a Greater) not want to rock the boat at home explaining where he was and who he was with.
    I am still unsure why he stuck with me. Sometimes I actually feel that he knew I was unsuitable, but I seduced HIM by being persistent, and then it was game on to see if he could control me. And he did, for a time.

  11. Candis says:

    Hg – my MR ex would always randomly snap and say WHAT!? I can’t hear you. You are always mumbling.” He did this so much and yet so randomly that he actually had me convinced I mumbled I even asked people around me when he wasn’t around if they can hear me when I talk. Is him accusing me of mumbling a mid range form a devaluation? He would literally be fine and we would be in the car talking for ten minutes then all the sudden the next thin I said I was mumbling.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is a form of manipulation, it is done to create shifting sands and cause you to doubt yourself. It is a devaluing act.

    2. ava101 says:

      Horrible and frustrating.

      My sister and mother did that half of my childhood. Till a lady friend of the family said “what are you talking about?!”. 🙁

      1. SMH says:

        Ava101, My mother too but my sister would ‘translate’ for me. My mother still does it. I did not know that this was a ‘thing’ with narcs. Learn something new here every day!

      2. ava101 says:

        Yes, SMH, every day another aspect, that’s why I keep coming here. 😉
        And I listened today to a sublimal track for healing from effects of toxic parents, had to cry for some reason. 😉
        My mother does all those typical things – forgets what anyone has said, doesn’t hear, does hear extremely well when it suits her, and so on. But who, as a child, thinks that they are gaslighted by their own mother?

        1. SMH says:

          Ava101, right? It has gone way past childhood, though.

      3. ava101 says:

        SMH, yes, it did go waaaay past childhood – till today.
        Till one year ago, when I have last talked to my mother.
        But … it still took me decades to understand. 🙁 She was …. kind of overshadowed by my narc father. ;D ;D

        1. SMH says:

          Sorry to hear that, Ava101. I cannot cut my mother off completely but I have found ways to make being around her easier.

    3. SMH says:

      Candis, My mother does this to me all the time. Still. She is a narc though I have not figured out which kind. Thank you for asking the question and thank you HG for the answer.

    4. Louisa says:

      My partner used to do this to me, but no one else had difficulty hearing me speak. Thanks for mentioning this, it helps me add to the insidious reasons I felt so low for so long. On the flip side, I did wonder if he had a hearing problem. I see now why he was miffed when I dared suggest this 😊

  12. ava101 says:

    Can someone be an upper mid range narc, and really intelligent, and still totally unable to focus and hold ANY kind of better job, that requires some education / skill-set?

    Are there upper mid range victim narcs?

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. ava101 says:

        I see.
        Thank you, HG.

  13. Kel says:

    Are narcissists able to see narcissism in other people even if they’re not able to see it in themselves?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Some (usually Mid Range) will allege narcissism when instinctively manipulating the real victim, thus they see it when it is not there. Most would not be able to identify actual narcissism, although where two narcissists collide they may well accuse the other of being a narcissist (as part of the projection self-defence mechanism) and get it right purely out of fortune as opposed to a studied analysis.

      1. ava101 says:

        I watched a speech by Angela Merkel on TV with my mother, and was amazed, how much she actually did observe. While my mother usually likes to put other people down, I had never noticed before that she can be also very analytical in doing that …

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