The Five Devaluation Triggers (And Is There A Safety Catch?)
You will be familiar with the fact that one day you are cock of the walk and the next day you are a feather duster. You are atop the pedestal and in a flash you have been thrown from it and you are lying in the dust as we stand over you berating you. The sudden switch from hero to zero, from princess to pauper, from “good person” to “bad person” is perhaps the most confusing, bewildering and upsetting part of our behaviour. People cannot comprehend why they were being feted as the love of our life on Monday and then by Tuesday they are the devil incarnate. It is something which causes (and of course we want this) victims of our nefarious behaviour to cling to us in order to get an answer, to receive an explanation and some kind of reasoning which will allow them to make sense of what has happened. They are unlikely to accept it, the emotional hold of the seduction and the golden period prevents acceptance of this sudden fall from grace for a very long time, but if you are able to understand why it happened, you are able to move yourself forward with greater speed than you would otherwise. Our reasons may appear illogical to you based on your world view but at least you have some reasons and that is more than you would usually ever receive from our kind as we plough on with your devaluation offering no cogent or realistic explanation for this sudden switch. I am not explaining why we devalue you (fuel, control, reinforcement of our need for superiority and self-worth). I am explaining what is it that makes us love you then hate you in the blink of an eye. What causes this sudden change, this 180-degree swing, this volte face, this switch? You will be given no answer or if you are they will not be anything to do with the real reason why we suddenly idealise you then devalue you. These false reasons are wheeled out to make you remain all the more, pursuing an elusive point as we continue to drain you of negative fuel until we decide you are to be disengaged from. Thus, here are the five reasons that are the triggers for the devaluation.
The fundamental reason for seducing you is to gather your potent and positive fuel. In the beginning and for some time afterwards we are invigorated by this precious fuel that you supply to us. We are reliant on it, we want and need it and we marvel at the fuel you provide us. This may last months or it may even last years dependent on our demands and your ability to fulfil them. Your complacency however causes the fuel to become stale to us. You may not regard yourself as having done anything wrong. We understand that according to your view of how a healthy and mature relationship should progress that after a dizzying, honeymoon period the relationship moves to a deep-seated position where that initial buzz of excitement has faded to be replaced by something long-lasting, substantial and fulfilling. Should you appreciate your relationship with us with this mind set, it results in us seeing you as complacent. You may regard it as a natural and understandable, indeed potentially necessary progression. We do not. Your failure to admire us in the way you once did (or at least the manifestation of this admiration), your demonstration of love, adoration and such like becomes lessened. You may not think that you love us any less but it is the way that appears to us that matters. This change manifests as complacency to us and it makes your fuel become stale, less potent and this in turn threatens to weaken us. In order to defend ourselves we must immediately switch to the devaluation and extract the negative fuel from you which will power us to the extent we want and demand.
Our sense of entitlement, inability to recognise and respect boundaries and huge need for control means that we have to have you do what we want. This control arises through the application of the incentive, the carrot approach, when we have seduced you and the golden period is in play. Through the application of wonderful and loving behaviour we cause you to do what we want by providing fuel and carrying out our wishes. We have delighted you and you want to please us in return. We provide you with the love you desire and you respond by complying with our requirements. When you stop submitting to this benign control then we will switch and commence the devaluation. You may, when viewed objectively by others, be correct in not doing what we want, taking an alternative course of action and doing something else but to us that is irrelevant. You are challenging our control and this cannot be countenanced. In order to stamp out this uprising before it gains traction and undermines our careful operation that has been constructed to control you and gain fuel from you, we must tighten our control, remove the dissent and increase our grip on you. This is when the devaluation begins. We move from benign dictator to malign tyrant.
- See Through
If we apprehend that you are working us out. If we perceive that you have been influenced by another source and you are joining the dots. If we gauge that you are beginning to realise what we are and what we are doing, then we must strike first in order to shock and awe you into submission once more and dispel your fabrications. You may well be right but we are not going to accept you being right. We will switch to the devaluation in order to unleash all those manipulations which will confuse you, drain you and most of all make out that it is all your fault. We have done nothing wrong other than love you with a perfect love and instead you have brought this on yourself through your lies about what we are and your treachery. We cannot allow you to unmask us and therefore we will assault you with a frenzied devaluation which gives you no option other than to try and defend yourself so you lose sight of your goal of seeing through us. We will make you feel guilty, cruel and heartless in the hope of tapping into your empathic traits so you stop what you have been doing and concentrate on putting things right between us, mending the relationship and showing that you care. The commencement of the devaluation when you are uncovering what we are is a massive distraction exercise designed to protect us and harm you.
- The Hoover Opportunity
This is not a hoover against you. Instead it is the opportunity which suddenly arises to hoover a predecessor. This person may have been discarded and moved away from our sphere of influence or they have escaped and done likewise, but now something has happened whereby they have come back into our sphere of influence. The promise of that sweet and powerful hoover fuel will outweigh the positive fuel that you are currently providing us with. The prospect of getting this hoover fuel means that we want to focus our attention on the predecessor and hoover them. We will not get shot of you, not yet, because that will leave us in in-between primary sources of fuel. Instead, we commence the hoover to seduce again your predecessor and thus because they have appeared on the horizon they make you look like the less desirable option. This causes us to question why we are with you, to regard you as a mistake and therefore we switch to devaluing you as we begin the seduction of them once again. Should the hoover fail, expect the golden period to be reinstated for you, with another sudden switch. Should it succeed and we begin to tie the predecessor back to us once more with the hoover fuel beginning to flow, you can expect the devaluation to worsen as you hurtle towards being discarded.
A sudden switch to devaluation may indeed herald the fact that a predecessor has appeared on our radar and we are hoovering that person at your expense.
- Total Control
You are aware that we want to control you. This is fundamental to the dynamic between us. Yet, as a further example of the double standards that we engage in we want to control you and if you disobey us we will commence your devaluation but furthermore if we believe we have obtained total control over you then we will similarly commence your devaluation because we know that you will do anything that we want and we will just use you to validate ourselves in the event that other, more exciting prospects do not fuel us during the course of the day. You become relegated to the reliable and dependable, because you are actually doing precisely what we want, but through our warped logic, this equates to you no longer being special. Thus we need to make you special to us once again and we do this through devaluation. We will not cast you aside when we have achieved total control, not at all. This state of affairs brings with it considerable benefits but they will now be channelled through the filter of devaluation and not idealisation. It is symptomatic of the bizarre (when judged from your perspective) logic we apply that when you finally do the very thing we want, we turn against you and begin your devaluation.
How do you deal with all of this? The short answer is you cannot. Any of these five reasons may suddenly apply without warning and your devaluation starts. You cannot avoid it and you could not avoid it. You did nothing wrong, but you did everything wrong from our world view. There is nothing you can do to avoid this happening, because once the trigger happens, the devaluation will follow. The thing you can draw the greatest solace from however is that in knowing this is how we are, in knowing that there was nothing you can do or you could have done to have changed the outcome, you at least now have this knowledge and through it you can attain freedom from the doubt, uncertainty and sheer bewilderment of wondering why it happened.
12 thoughts on “The Five Devaluation Triggers (And Is There A Safety Catch?)”
I used to wonder why it took over 1500 pages and almost a million words for Lovelace to attack the purity of Clarissa (things go somewhat faster in the BBC version), but it’s clear now. Rape is too quick: he wants to gaslight her. From one of his letters to a friend:
It is infinitely better for her and for me that we should not marry. What a delightful manner of life [O that I could persuade her to it!] would the life of honour be with such a woman! The fears, the inquietudes, the uneasy days, the restless nights; all arising from doubts of having disobliged me! Every absence dreaded to be an absence for ever! And then how amply rewarded, and rewarding, by the rapture-causing return! Such a passion as this keeps love in a continual fervour—makes it all alive. The happy pair, instead of sitting dozing and nodding at each other, in opposite chimney-corners, in a winter evening, and over a wintry love, always new to each other, and having always something to say.
In other words…Fuel.
“the rapture-causing return!”
Sounds like a hoover to me!
Lisk: I agree. He’s textbook.
The (covert narc) “manager” had underperformed in a big presentation where I outperformed him , and I sensed his seething envy. To cover up his apparent injury and act like good sport, he bought me lunch to “celebrate” my performance at winning over the crowd. He was furious to say the least.
I happily ate and prattled on about what a success the event was while he stewed and said very little. I felt his narc stare plotting his vengeful devaluation which I intuitively knew was around the corner.
The fuse was lit. There was no further instruction from him – which was necessary to do my job – and he immediately stopped feeding me tasks. So I found myself doing nothing at work for more than a week.
Suddenly out of nowhere, he scheduled an “ambush” meeting where I would be expected to report what I had done in recent days. Others would be present as well, and when that day came , I looked good and entered the room with complete confidence … as if a promotion was expected.
HE: “So tell us what have you been working on?”
ME: “ Pardon? I don’t … understand the question……”
HE: “What do you mean you don’t understand the question. Since our presentation, what have you been working on in the last couple of weeks?”
ME: “Well , don’t you know? You’re the project manager, are you not? So if you don’t know what I’m working on then you’re not very good at your job.”
It threw him against the wall.
His beet red face was priceless.
Everyone was uncomfortable except me.
Then I really drove it home….
ME: “See, if you’re not effective at tasking and managing your team, you should never expect to ask what they are working on. You should KNOW what they are working on at all times ….. or be a better manager. You can assume I have been watching cat videos on YouTube. Who’s got my paycheck?”
The “devaluation” is inevitable for high performers. Because just by being ourselves, we devalue others inadvertently making them look less competent. It wasn’t first time I was the golden child then – for no reason at all – facing devaluation just when I should have expected a raise and promotion.
So this time I was prepared for it.
I gave myself the promotion.
You can say anything you want to anyone and get away with it if you say it with enough authority. But you also have to be right and be able to back it up. Narcs never can, because they are posers and frauds.
Correct with regard to many of our kind, but not all.
That’s a very common narc attempt at devaluation. They think in terms of the lowest common denominator —- which is intellectually stunted.
“Birds fly” is an accurate generalization. But you can always count on a narc to point out “NOT ALL! Because penguins, emus and ostriches don’t!”
You could mention “There’s a 30% chance a huge earthquake will rock California in the next 10 years….”
… which is really just another way of saying there’s a 70% chance it will NOT happen. Everyone in the room understands this. But only a narc will feel a need to interrupt someone and point that out.
It’s already understood “not all” birds fly.
It’s already understood there’s a lesser chance of a large earthquake.
…. but a narc will find a way inject any kind of devaluation or contradiction – and will even focus on the lowest common denominator — just to perpetuate circular arguments for their own sick need for “fuel”.
Yes, I know.
Normally, I would even care about this or bother commenting. But this is a narc site, and every major narc I can recall feels some need to end every true generalization with “not all”. It’s virtually a trademark identifier.
It’s called accuracy. There’s a world of difference between a statement about birds flying and the world of narcissism
Right! it’s called accuracy.
… until the narc is held to his own standard and is corrected when inaccurate. Then the narc back pedals until cornered and all “fury” breaks loose and he has an “injury” because he’s now exposed as a colossal Inconsistent hypocrite.
NARC: “I am your superior.”
RESPONSE: “In order for you to be superior, there actually needs to be a reason WHY. And in your case, there is definitely NO reason. It’s called accuracy”.
Thrice as effective in front of others.
Correct. For some of our kind.
I’m very impressed, Thomas. I appreciate your example of how to successfully handle a narcissist at work. Inspiring!
I love psychology, but symptomatic of the bizarre Is a correct description of this messy thinking mr Elite narc. Good writing though. )
I now know whatever we do is never good enough and not enough in their world. It’s just very complicated as we see things different from your kinds perspective. In your eyes we have done everything wrong. In our eyes our world is shattered as we keep trying to figure your kind out just like a puzzle. But we never will