Weeping With The Frenemy



You will be familiar with the concept of a frenemy. One of the applications of this oxymoronic portmanteau is to describe a person who pretends to be your friend but is actually your enemy. The frenemy makes several appearances in the narcissistic world. The most obvious one is us. We appear as friend but we are really the enemy. If you are an intimate partner who is the primary source you witness this first hand as love turns sour. As a secondary source you also experience the narcissist as frenemy. It is not always obvious because as that secondary source you may experience a lengthy golden period but even if you do, we are your enemy because we are taking from you, taking your fuel, acquiring your attributes for our own use and drawing on your resources by way of residual benefits, such as using your car, borrowing money, blagging invitations to events and so forth. The same applies to tertiary sources who are more likely to witness the charm turn to malice as a consequence of a delayed serving or giving attention to someone else instead of us in the store. Our kind are the frenemy incarnate. If we are not plain using you for fuel and other benefits as we smile, charm and compliment, we then turn rogue on you, lashing out and devaluing you.

With that stated however let us turn to another type of frenemy. The Lieutenant. The loyal and obedient puppet that not only provides us with fuel but supports us and carries out our wishes and wants without hesitation or complication. Every narcissist has at least one lieutenant, usually more and the lieutenant performs a range of actions on our behalf. The lieutenant will naturally provide fuel, praising and admiring, being a great audience to our witty repartee, providing a sympathetic ear when we complain about the behaviour of others and ensuring as a dedicated secondary source that we can always rely on them. The lieutenant can be relied on to acquire information for us in respect of the targeting of a potential victim. The lieutenant will form part of our façade and will welcome you with characteristic smile and warmth to be part of the coterie and as soon as the command is given by us, turn his back on you and pretend that you never existed. He or she will do favours for us, ever eager to gain our trust and praise and outperform other lieutenants. This is especially so if the Lieutenant is earmarked for potential recruitment to intimate partner. It is not just the victim who receives some future faking. A lieutenant will be promised jam tomorrow – whatever it might be, promotion to intimate partner, that promotion at work, the membership of that club we can secure, a weekend away with us – whatever lies within out gift will be dangled before this lieutenant in order to secure loyalty and their commitment to us. Of course the rewards will be delivered from time to time, so long as we have extracted a sufficient price from our part of view, but future faking plays its part in keeping the Lieutenant ready, willing and wanting. The Lieutenant will also be used in our post escape and post discard campaigns. They will assist with hoovers, they will hoover on our behalf, prove receptive to our smearing of you and indeed assist in plastering mud about you far and wide.

How then does our kind go about identifying and maintaining these Lieutenants? Naturally it depends on the nature of the relevant member of our kind.

The Lesser

The Lesser Narcissist operates with fewer Lieutenants than the other two schools. This is because he lacks the charm and ability to acquire them so readily but also given his low control threshold he also runs a greater risk of his devaluation of them proving too much and resulting in them no longer remaining loyal and thus they are either discarded or they escape the narcissist. The Lesser has very little trust and his inherent paranoia makes it difficult for him to create a wide network of those he can call on. Instead he often relies on family members to be his Lieutenants. Parents, siblings, extended family and adult children are common Lieutenants of a Lesser Narcissist. In terms of friends, he may have one or two friends who are longstanding. These individuals are often childhood friends who have known the narcissist all his life and feel a sense of duty and obligation towards the narcissist borne out of when the narcissist put his furious temper to good use in giving a bully a hiding and thus earning the ongoing gratitude and admiration of the Lieutenant. This Lieutenant is also frightened of the narcissist, as he knows what he is capable of and consequently aims to stay on his good side and therefore is very loyal. The Lesser makes no conscious decision to recruit people to assist him but rather, owing to his sense of entitlement, he expects those around him to do what he wants. Owing to his low sense of trust, he feels he can only rely on those close to him either from blood (family) or longstanding friends. The Lesser ensures that those who are Lieutenants do his bidding through a combination of guilt-tripping (“We are family; you should have my back on this”) or intimidation (“If you don’t do it I will kick your teeth in”). It is rare to find a Lesser able to recruit a Lieutenant from your own ranks and therefore your vigilance should be maintained primarily in respect of those people you know who are his friends and family.

The Mid-Range

The Mid-Range Narcissist is an extensive user of Lieutenants because of his generally passive aggressive nature he would rather have other people doing his dirty work for him (the Greater is similar but his rationale is different – see below). The Mid-Range possesses sufficient cognitive function and pleasant charm to recruit suitable people to do his bidding. He will have a circle of dependable friends from whom he will draw a few Lieutenants. He also makes extensive use of family and colleagues as well. The Mid-Range also recognises the benefit of having a Lieutenant from within your ranks He will do this on the basis of wanting to curry favour with you by cosying up to your parents, a sibling or a good friend in order to inveigle his way into their affections. He will not necessarily possess the out and out charm of the Greater but rather be regarded as a “good egg”, “a decent person” and “pleasant and likeable”. The Mid- Range will ensure he has numerous lieutenants because he will need them to be used extensively when he hoovers and smears at a later juncture. Master of the Hard Done To, he will tell his sob stories about how badly he has been treated by you in order to have those Lieutenants propagate this position to others through a smear or to convey to you how much the narcissist is hurting and needs you back.

The Mid-Range usually maintains his Lieutenants by doing two things. He does not future fake extensively (with Lieutenants) and whilst there may be occasional rewards he does not rely on this to any great degree in order to keep his Lieutenants loyal. He instead relies on being liked and also for people to feel sorry for him and thus they will do what he wants. He will use emotional blackmail extensively in order to ensure that his Lieutenants act on his behalf.

“I am in a bad place right now and you need to help me.”

“I knew you couldn’t stand by and see me be treated like this.”

“She has said some horrible things about you, naturally I defended you, so I know I can rely on you to do the same for me.”

“It just isn’t right for someone to behave like this.”

“You are better at dealing with people like this.”

“I am on the edge here; you need to help me out.”

“I know she is your friend but I don’t think someone as decent as you would want to be associated with someone who behaves like this.”

“I appreciate she is your daughter but she is letting down your family with what she has done.”

The Greater

The Greater has many Lieutenants. He recruits them from friends, colleagues, family and even acquaintances. The Greater makes its aim to have at least one (but usually more) from your ranks. His huge reserves of charm ensure that people are made to feel so special to be associated with him that they want to do his bidding. They want the Greater’s approval, favour and largesse. A master at future faking, the Greater will not only reward those who carry out his commands but he will also ensure that larger rewards are repeatedly on offer. These may be material in nature but they are often based on elevation. Promotion from outer to inner circle friend. Advancement from colleague to outer circle friend. Potential to move from inner circle friend to intimate partner. The Greater is no fool though and will ensure that rewards are provided, not only to maintain the loyalty of the recipient but to act as an incentive to the others who have not been rewarded on this occasion. If your narc seems to know when you leave home and arrive do not be surprised to find that he has even recruited a neighbour minion as a Lieutenant.

The Greater will use a varied range of techniques to ensure that his Lieutenants remain loyal and willing to assist him: –

–         Reward

–         Threats of devaluing behaviour/ expulsion from the clique

–         Emotional blackmail

–         Smearing the victim so the Lieutenant is motivated to “do the right thing”

–         Threats of exposing or exploiting a vulnerability of the Lieutenant.

Of all of the three schools the Greater is the only one who engages in calculated behaviour to recruit and maintain his Lieutenants. The Lesser has a limited range to choose from and thus there is no consideration given. He expects loyalty anyway. The Mid-Range does it by making himself likeable and then playing on a sense of obligation and loyalty. The Greater will scrutinise who will have something to lose and who will want to gain in order to use this information is his advantage in due course. These Lieutenants will then be subjected to the love-bombing charm (adjusted appropriately depending on status) and brainwashed (along with the presence and effect of the façade) into believing that the Greater is better than anything else, is to be worshipped and can do no wrong.

Keep in mind that you as an intimate partner may well be recruited for Lieutenant purposes as well as against the primary source that you have replaced. Think how often you have witnessed the incoming primary source join in on attacks against you once you escaped or have been discarded. Indeed, using the primary source as a Lieutenant in such circumstances takes them beyond the sphere of Frenemy and into total enemy territory, but that person remains a Lieutenant nevertheless.

We use Lieutenants extensively. We ensure we maintain their loyalty and you should always exercise caution in your dealings. You may think we are off the scene and we have disappeared but there are Frenemies lurking all around you ready to continue our campaigns against you.

Listen to Weeping With The Frenemy

14 thoughts on “Weeping With The Frenemy

  1. Mercy says:

    I have learned to never ever trust anyone involved with BS in anyway. How did I learn that? Because I knew none of them could trust me. I never knew if I loved him or hated him. I never wanted them to confide in me because I couldn’t trust what I would do to gain favor with him again. Shameful to think about.

  2. W says:

    One who is trying to ensnare me got his friend to watch me during a social event. He sent me screenshots of the chat and reading it was like watching myself from 3rd person, like a movie. He showed me to smear another Narc as a predator. Hm I might need to stop attending these events. Wonder how to cut communication without causing a backlash 😨

  3. Mona says:

    This one helped me a lot. I was extremely friendly towards people who had or have a tiny contact to him. I did not talk bad about him, I praised his (real) talents. And I regretted that “love sometimes ends”. And I only talked about unimportant stuff like the weather. That made them confused. They had expected something else. I do not know, in how many different ways he had smeared me, but to see me praising him, made them unstable in their opinion. I am always very, very careful, when I meet people, who are in contact with him. This will never end.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I’m pleased that was the case.

  4. J.G. Campoy says:

    Hello G.H. Tudor. Congratulations on your books that I read avidly.
    In all of them you talk about FUEL. You could give me a more specific definition of what is FUEL. From what I understand the fuel is created by our attentions to the Narcissist after the dramas, fights, manipulations, triangulations etc.. You get a torrent of adrenaline in your physiological system at the cost of wearing your victims emotionally.
    And I say All for this fuel/Adrenaline
    You can’t get the doses any other way like epinephrine….
    If this is not the fuel, you could illustrate to me how you have done as all your books and articles. Thank you…
    Greetings from Spain.
    I didn’t know where to leave this question, I hope you can answer me. Thank you for everything, you have been liberating….

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Fuel is the emotional response occasioned by our actions or inactions. Do read the book ‘Fuel’ to learn more.

    2. K says:

      J.G. Campoy
      I found this article and these comments about fuel very helpful.

      NOVEMBER 2, 2016 AT 02:59
      I’m very curious about the actual way the fuel fuels you. For example, does it provide energy, a good feeling to you, a sense of superiority, how exactly does it fuel you?

      HG Tudor
      NOVEMBER 13, 2016 AT 16:50
      Hello Shae and thank you for your post. Fuel makes me feel powerful, it banishes any sense of unease, it edifies and invigorates, it powers me so I can gain more fuel. In certain instances the extent and potency of the fuel has made me feel like I want to burst, that I am capable of achieving anything.


  5. Sun says:

    Dearest HG,

    Would you mind answering this, please. They are personal questions. So, If you don’t want to answer, it’s ok.

    – While you are engaged in therapy at the current time. Do you have the full freedom to go wherever you want? Or are you under the sight of authority?

    – Does the Good Doctors have any rules about who you date? Who you go out with? Or where you go?

    I hope that my questions will not make you angry.

    Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. I can do as I please.
      2. No.

      Not at all.

    2. eco dissonance says:

      That’s something I would ask.

  6. 69Revolver says:

    One of my closest friends, one who went through the entire narc breakup with me, has become a Frenemy. I *NEVER* thought it could happen but he played upon her single mom, lonely insecurities (I’m a single mom too, I’m not judging. But I’m not vulnerable anymore either) and she took to him like a bee to honey.

    I’ve been NC for 11-mos now and I believe (although I have no concrete proof) that she has outed to him the entire last year of my life. POS.
    I feel so angry, so dismayed, so heartbroken, so aghast by her betrayal that sometimes I can’t catch my breath.
    But I then remember who I’ve been dealing with for the past 6-yrs and I feel it’s almost not her fault. When you don’t know any better, the Spell of a narc is completely irresistible. I, more than anyone, know that.
    In any event, I’m NC with her now. He’s pervasive & he has maniacally inoculated almost everyone in my life. I’m NC with too many people these days. He’s made it so and, it must be.

    1. ANM says:

      It is a blessing in disguise. Years ago, I was engaged to a Narcissist. A month after we broke up, my cousin broke the news to me that she was dating the Narcissist, and hoped I was “cool with it”. This talk took place at the Country Club, BTW, not the Jerry Springer Show or the Trailor Park, but felt like it. He ended up hovering me after he was finished with her, and I wanted nothing to do with him. His massive embarassment kept me from being hovered by that monster. As far as my cousin goes, that wasn’t the last time someone close to me has betrayed me because of a Narcissist in my life, and there have been times that I cut the wrong people out of my life and had to ask for them to come back to my life. Both happen.

      1. 69Revolver says:

        ANM, thanks for replying.
        I did really struggle with cutting her out. I waited a week before making the decision.
        She & I live in TX and the narc lives in PA. Thus, no actual “proof” of them together at this point.

        He offered to ship my things back to TX after I left him (so magnanimous of him, but he’s just a swell kinda guy). Since I’m NC, my friend agreed to be the one to forward from him (via email) all pertinent shipping info to me.

        After the fact, I discovered he did not ship back my beloved books or family heirlooms. Of course he didn’t. Duh. (I was gobsmacked that he sent anything at all but it was just a grand hoover.) I asked her to request those things be sent to me (MISTAKE). They began corresponding with each other over that then things got friendlier with the two.
        And the rest is history they say. Where’s he’s concerned, I give no one the benefit of the doubt.

        Cheers 🥂

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