Why Does The Extent of the Narcissist’s Manipulations Vary?


He said he would marry me but he never did. He met the new woman and within a year they were married. Why her and not me?

I talked to his last girlfriend and she said he had beaten her up many times. That did not happen to me though.

I did not get much of a golden period, but I can see on his Facebook he is posting pictures of flowers he has sent her and other gifts. Why didn’t I get that?

She often talks about how wonderful my sister is, but never talks about my achievements.

He always talks about all the places he went with his ex but he never takes me anywhere. Why did she get all that and I do not?


Doubtless you will recognise comments such as these or variations of them. Why do we, as narcissists, behave in different ways with those in our fuel matrix? What causes this distinction in treatment. There are several factors but they all lead to one outcome which I shall explain to you further in this article. Let’s look at the factors :-

  1. Your status in the fuel matrix. It is important to establish where you sit within the fuel matrix. This can be easy enough to ascertain but often is not and therefore you can address this through What’s My Place in the Fuel Matrix? Your position in the fuel matrix reflects the importance of your provision of The Prime Aims and as a consequence the higher you are in the fuel matrix (as a general rule) the more varied, sustained and intense the manipulations (both benign and malign) will be.
  2. Whether you are painted black or white in our eyes.
  3. Where you are in the dynamic with the narcissist. Are you at the outset of seduction of an intimate nature? Have you been embedded and thus remain in the golden period as the Intimate Partner Primary Source? Are you on the shelf as an IPSS?
  4. What is the nature of your interaction with the narcissist? Are you interacting at all? Are you providing Pure Fuel, Challenge Fuel or Wounding?
  5. How large and accessible is the narcissist’s fuel matrix? Does the narcissist have other options besides you, how accessible are they and to what extent will they satisfy The Prime Aims?
  6. Perception. You may perceive (through the warped lens of Emotional Thinking) that there is a considerable variance in behaviour, but you need to revisit this and look for evidence. You may perceive that he is ‘always buying’ your replacement gifts, but is he really. You are likely to find, when looking at from an evidential point of view that he has only bought gifts two or three times, but your emotional thinking took hold of your narcissistic trait of envy and used it against you to suggest there was a lot of gift buying going on, so that you would continue to engage with the narcissist as a consequence of this envy, annoyance and/or sadness.
  7. Consider also instances where the basis of your comparison is information fed by  the narcissist, him or herself. The narcissist tells you he went to Rome, Paris, Budapest, Copenhagen and so forth with his previous girlfriend whilst you get Bognor Regis Butlins. But do you have any evidence that he took her to these places? Are there pictures of them in these locations for instance? Remember, the narcissist will say and do anything in order to maintain control and saying things is the easiest, fastest and most efficient method available. I have lost count of the number of times I have stopped people during consultations and asked “How do you know this?” and they respond with “The narcissist told me.” I then explain that this cannot be relied on and therefore they must seek independent evidence. Often they do so and later confirm to me that the narcissist lied. These lies will be used in relation to benign and malign matters also. Accordingly, your perception may also be affected by the lies of the narcissist so you are led to believe that a different victim was treated better or differently when in actual fact they were not.

All of these factors influence the degree to which the narcissist manipulates you but what do they all lead to ultimately?


The extent of the manipulation is linked to the necessity to exert control over the appliance.

Take for example a tube of toothpaste. If the tube is full of toothpaste, you do not have to exert much pressure on the tube to get what you want, namely the toothpaste. A gentle squeeze and out comes the minty, plaque attacker. Conversely, if the tube is nearly empty, you have to squeeze from the very edge of the tube, possibly rolling it upwards in order to coax the last of the toothpaste out of the tube and onto your toothbrush. Comparatively, this takes a lot more effort to achieve the same outcome – toothpaste on the toothbrush.

Similarly, the outcome we want is control. Control over you and others.

If that control can be achieved with a gentle squeeze then this is what happens. If we need to obtain that control through more concentrated effort, with a sustained and intense squeeze, then this is what happens instead.

We must have control and because the circumstances that both

  1. Threaten our control in the first instance ; and
  2. Threaten the assertion of control

can and will vary considerably, then so does the type of manipulation applied, the extent and intensity of that manipulation and the effort applied to apply it.

Of course, in certain instances we may decide that the tube of toothpaste is no longer working at all and throw it away. Or that it is too much effort to squeeze those last drops of toothpaste out and we can pick up a new tube of toothpaste nearby far easier. Again, the achieving and maintenance of control will vary dependent upon circumstances.

If you are easy to control, then the variance and intensity of the manipulations (both malign and benign) will not be extensive because it is not necessary. We hate having to do more than is necessary, indeed, we nearly always avoid such a situation.

If you are far harder to control then the assertion of control might be through a wider range of manipulations and of a greater intensity. In some instances the effort is applied for a period of time but the cost proves too great so some of our kind will apply control by rejection (it might be a silent treatment or disengagement) and will turn to a different appliance to provide the Prime Aims instead.


He said he would marry me but he never did. He met the new woman and within a year they were married. Why her and not me? Because you could be controlled without the necessity of marrying you. It was necessary to marry her to gain control.

I talked to his last girlfriend and she said he had beaten her up many times. That did not happen to me though. Because in order to control her, he had to beat her up. In order to control you, he did not need to.

I did not get much of a golden period, but I can see on his Facebook he is posting pictures of flowers he has sent her and other gifts. Why didn’t I get that? Check the perception and if it is accurate then he has sent her all of these gifts because he needed to do so to gain control. It was not necessary with you.

She often talks about how wonderful my sister is, but never talks about my achievements. Because it is more effective to gain control over you by triangulating you with your sister and not giving you praise, than it is to praise you. (For all you know, your sister may be making precisely the same comment!)

He always talks about all the places he went with his ex but he never takes me anywhere. Why did she get all that and I do not? Check the evidence and if it is accurate then it was necessary to take the ex to these places to gain control. It is easier to triangulate you by mentioning them to control you, than it is to take you to these places to gain control.

It is all about the control.

40 thoughts on “Why Does The Extent of the Narcissist’s Manipulations Vary?

  1. Bekah B says:

    Very good article.. Spot on.. It is all about control.. The narcissist will only ever apply just the right amount of effort towards his/her appliance in order to bring them under control.. And since not all appliances are created equally, sometimes it takes a bit more or a bit less effort to bring about that control.. The amount of effort (or manipulation) is essentially customized for the appliance.. It used to be extremely difficult for me to comprehend this–I always believed that the ex narcissist in my life would wine and dine other females and not me because he valued their attention and affections more than he did mine.. But now I am able to see that’s what it had to take in order to bring them under his control..

    It actually kind of makes me feel better about myself, in a sense: the narcissist didn’t have to pull out all the stops in order to impress me, make me become enthralled with him, and thus worship the ground he walked on.. It was as if it was always my decision to do so because I loved him for who he was and he never had an opportunity to manipulate me and show me anything else (which would’ve been false).. Don’t get me wrong, I was manipulated plenty of times in a variety of ways throughout the years.. But he was never able to dupe me into falling for him.. I cultivated that love and admiration all on my own without him needing to do anything extra, as he has with other sources.. He’s even made mention of that before in a text message sent to me in 2017:
    “Stop Crying.. Plz.. I Do Love You.. I Do Care.. I Really Do.. I Jus Dont Know How To Show You When You Dont Leave Me Any Room To Improve.. You Made Me Feel Like I Was Everything.. Like I Was Perfect.. Like I Had It Going On.. If You Already Viewed Me Like That, Why Did I Need To Show You Anymore?”

    I actually forgot about that message until reading this article.. Now I am able to reframe and put into a better perspective all that I endured with the ex narcissist in my life and all of the many different ways I have observed him interact with his other sources..

    1. nunya biz says:

      I like this Bekah, some of it definitely resonates with me.

  2. Omj says:

    That is brilliant HG! So well explained and we all say this .. Why her ??? Why does she goes there and he never brings me there … I love this because our first answer it is because she is more this and that or that we are less this or that.
    After a few years in the relation it gets very tricky that control question – especially when you start to escape and leave and distance yourself .

  3. WokeAF says:

    Oh my GODDDDD this is stellar!! Oh it explains so much
    🤦‍♀️ 🤦‍♀️🤦‍♀️ It’s so obvious!!

    Eg LMR I was on/off for rarely initiated contact.i always did. When I FINALLY grew a pair and left for 8 months, then got hoovered back — I was a new woman. I didn’t need him, didn’t even want him. So I got my first bronze period.
    After a couple months, I was still strong, so was refusing to be the first to make contact. He started to do it, but then started spacing it out. I didn’t react, so eventually he waited as long as a week. LOL
    I still didn’t react , he mentioned it “oh I know I’m an ass for not calling” lol I said “yeah you are but it’s fine it’s just not gonna work for me ,just so you know”
    Then he immediately did it again, so I ghosted .

    I GET IT!
    My kid’s dad didn’t used to scream and rage like he does now. It got more frequent and intense over the years . ESP after I left him.

    I understand FINALLY boy this is a great week for 💡 moments

    I’m loving the articles lately

    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Caroline R says:


  4. MB says:

    I love the toothpaste analogy, HG. Using them in this way makes it so crystal clear. I had quite the aha moment while reading. I was mostly compliant and easy to control, so I didn’t require much manipulation, which made it seem “not so bad”.

    Oh, and by the way, for all you know, he’s fucking your sister!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you MB.

      He may well be, although in that example it is actually a Matrinarc triangulating two daughters! Not that you have sex on the brain or anything, ha ha!

      1. MB says:

        Omg! I totally read that with my sex deprived glasses on. I missed that. Thank you for correcting my inaccuracy. That was amusing!

        1. foolme1time says:

          Oh MB, I’m so glad you’re back! Lol. 😘

          1. MB says:

            Thank you FM1T! One of my favorite things is to make people laugh.

          2. foolme1time says:

            Just remember I am laughing with you never at you. You always brighten my day.

          3. MB says:

            FM1T, I know.

        2. E&L says:

          Your comment was hysterical, anyway! Very fun reaction. Your reaction was text book empath.

          1. MB says:

            E&L, I make myself laugh often with my shenanigans! It’s just that most times it’s not witnessed by so many people.

    2. foolme1time says:


      1. MB says:

        FM1T, I was referring to the article and made an amusing mistake. I crack myself up sometimes. 😂 It must be the ditzy dust I sprinkled on this morning with my hair perfume! More likely, as HG accurately pointed out, I have sex on the brain!

        1. foolme1time says:

          It’s ok MB, you always make me laugh. 🥰

  5. Jess M says:

    So if I was discarded and there was/is no other primary source (yet). Does that mean it was because I was too hard to control?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. You need to ascertain whether you were the primary source.
      2. You need to ascertain whether you were disengaged from.
      3. If you were disengaged from it will be as a consequence of one of the disengagement triggers which are all linked to the issue of control from the NARCISSIST’S perspective, not yours.

  6. Believer says:

    Now that I am truly open to learning how to Seize the Power, your words have taken on new meaning to me. No matter what the Narcissist does for each “appliance”, it is still always about the Narcissist, and only about the Narcissist, and never about the “other person” (it never was, and never will be).

    ….””If that control can be achieved with a gentle squeeze then this is what happens. If we need to obtain that control through more concentrated effort, with a sustained and intense squeeze, then this is what happens instead….”” H.G. Tudor


    1. HG Tudor says:


      1. Believer says:


  7. Bibi says:

    Excellent article. This makes so much sense. It’s amazing how once I gain that understanding how obvious it becomes.

    I had to Google that place you mentioned. I wouldn’t mind going there! As if it is somehow less? So what? Maybe it is nice and fun.

    Also, everyone needs to keep in mind that traveling to Rome or wherever could also resort to crappy accommodations. He might have taken her to Rome but they stayed in a dump.

    I know I have a tendency to idealize the best in ‘Romantic cities’ and overlook all the poverty and dirtiness that you witness when you travel.

    Investigating is important when considering the facts (assuming this does not affect one’s ET). I mentioned how the Lesser Somatic had a kid with a gf but would not marry her. Then he met some chick on Tinder and married her in 4 months or so.

    I did some digging and came to learn that the wife started a new government job that same month they eloped, which means benefits and decent pay. He is a bum who job hops and his ex had no income so he saw the wife as an opportunity. More money, benefits, hence let’s get married.

    Before he was with the ex gf with the kid, he had this other chick pining after him. She would have given her life to be with him, but he never called her his gf. Because he was able to control her, to have her at his side w/o having to do it.

    Wow, this is makes so much sense! Thank you for this explanation! How could I not have seen it?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      All valid points.

      Generally speaking Butlins resorts are seen as the preserve of those who do not have a large budget to holiday and the resorts do attract some snobbery but ultimately I guess it is like drinking an expensive or an inexpensive bottle of wine, if you enjoy it, fair enough. You would not find me there though. Ever.
      Bognor amuses because of this tale

      1. alexissmith2016 says:

        Are you using the twin lines of defense again HG?

      2. Bibi says:

        Ah, good to know. The name IS silly. I can see how it might be kitschy and how some foreigners to the UK (like me) would not be aware of the reference/kitsch factor. I assumed it was a spa like Miraval.

        And cheap wine can be downright unpleasant.

      3. MB says:

        I enjoyed the story. Bugger is a term we don’t use here. I saw it referenced on narcsite (I believe by a commenter?) and looked it up.

        Upon first skimming the article, I was shocked to see that he would shoot peasants and tigers. It’s just not my day for reading!

    2. Caroline R says:

      That’s interesting.
      I enjoy your investigative journalism.

      1. Bibi says:


        Thank you for that. I prefer ‘Investigative journalist over ‘creeper’ and it is fun b/c he has no idea I study him. This loser is a good specimen to study b/c I don’t have the ET for him and I enjoy seeing HG’s articles play out in real life.

        It is so interesting though how the empaths, or those on the receiving end, always assume they were at fault. ‘Why me? What was wrong with me? Why is she better?’ Etc. instead of seeing it as a result of the narcissist’s needs in that moment.

        More info on this guy: the ex gf with whom he had a kid had a new bf right away. Her new bf does not seem like a narc but more of an empath. As result, and this is mere speculation, she does not seem to be as high on him as she was the Lesser–at least by her FB comments.

        With the narc she was all gushy but with this new guy when asked if they were serious, she said something like, ‘It appears so.’ The wording was not as exciting.

        Again, all speculation but I find this very interesting. Who needs soap operas when you have FB? Will they break up? When with the narc leave his wife? Stay tuned!

        Hey, this is all for educational purposes. But I do remain steadfast in never looking up the Mid Ranger b/c that will piss me off. This Lesser just makes me laugh. It gives me a little rush of power to know this, I must admit.

  8. alexissmith2016 says:

    Ooooh I like this one HG!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Do you now, Kenneth Williams!?

      1. alexissmith2016 says:

        “Stop messing about…!”

        1. Caroline R says:

          You made me laugh!

          1. alexissmith2016 says:

            I almost had him confused worh the guy from are you being served and was going to respond with, “I’m free”

      2. Lorelei says:

        Did you see that El Chapo was a victim of an unfair system!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Just like R Kelly.

  9. Lorelei says:

    If I ever get hooked up one day will you do a five hour assessment head to toe? Body scans, psychoanalysis etc. The narc detection won’t do—I need an almost surgical approach. Interview etc?

  10. Caroline R says:

    This is very satisfying to read, and gives great food for thought.
    Thank you!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

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