The Fading Narcissist


Everybody who is part of our Fuel Matrix plays a part in maintaining our existence. Our construct, that which imprisons the creature and that which we want the world to see, must be maintained in order to preserve our existence. If not, we begin to fade away as the construct crumbles and collapses. The maintenance of this construct is entirely reliant on the provision of fuel and you play an integral part in that. How do the various types of appliance mesh together then in order to prevent us from fading away? 

I have explained how we draw fuel from primary, secondary and tertiary sources. These sources vary in potency and are affected of course by the method of delivery of the fuel. The primary source remains our most important source of fuel since it is this person, usually the intimate partner, who we are with more than anybody else but also who has the greatest emotional reaction to what we say and do. Therefore, this person provides us with the most fuel and of the most potent kind. They are also someone who satisfies the  The Prime Aims (which includes fuel) more than anyone else. The primary source is naturally the most important fuel provider which is why we seduce this person with such dedication, unleash such a terrible devaluation and keep on hoovering following escape or dis-engagement. We make such an investment in you as the primary source that we regard it as our right to keep drawing fuel from you, whether that is positive or negative, whether it is now, next week or in ten years’ time. You belong to us, in our minds.

The secondary sources are those which contribute good fuel and are invariably those who are part of our façade. Our lieutenants and the coterie are drawn from the secondary sources – friends, family and colleagues – who we interact with frequently but not to the same extent as we do with the primary source. Nor do the secondary sources give out the same heightened fuel as the primary source. The secondary sources serve an excellent function as part of the façade and the maintenance of this façade is important, therefore we prefer to keep the same people in at and keep adding to it. Secondary sources invariably enjoy lengthy golden periods with us. This is because our call on them is intermittent and therefore we are far less likely to regard their fuel as stale. Moreover, we can have many secondary sources but we only ever have one primary source. Thus if a certain secondary source is perhaps not admiring us as much (but they are not criticising us and are still providing some fuel) it does not merit a devaluation. They remain loyal, they remain part of the façade and we will just switch to another secondary source to increase the fuel. There is no need to devalue or ditch the initial secondary source. Thus you may see our kind have a friend who is “flavour of the month” because their fuel is better than other secondary sources and then the fuel dips in quality but it is not a concern as we can add another secondary source or switch to another who perhaps we have not seen for a couple of months. This is advantageous as it means our energy can be saved for devaluing the primary source whilst keeping a range of functioning secondary sources on hand and the façade intact.

The secondary sources very rarely stop providing fuel. They have no need to. A primary source may do so owing to the descent into ill health caused by the devaluation or learning how to tackle our kind as a response to the abuse. The secondary source, nearly always treated to an elongated  golden period, has no need to adopt a stance of not providing fuel.

A secondary source may however criticise us and if that is the case they may be subjected to devaluation but usually they are excluded from the coterie and replaced easily enough. They will be smeared and made to feel like an outsider, with the narcissist using the façade and other secondary sources to achieve this aim. We like to create our cliques and if anybody threatens our supremacy or delivers a criticism who is a secondary source they will be ejected from the group.

The occasion for devaluation of the secondary source is rare. It only happens in two instances. Firstly, the source has criticised the narcissist (this criticism might come through something said to the narcissist or something done, for example through exposing the narcissist’s behaviour to others)  and thus fury is ignited and the narcissist decides this person must be made an example of, before being discarded, in order to show the rest of the coterie who is in charge.

Secondly, in an even rarer instance it may happen when the narcissist has no primary source. If there is an absence of the primary source for a period of time, say a number of weeks, the narcissist’s fuel levels will have been tested. He will have sought to seduce and embed a new replacement primary source and most times the narcissist in such a situation is able to do so with success. However, let us assume this has not happened. The narcissist turns to his secondary and tertiary sources (more on tertiary in a moment) and relies more than usual on them to provide him with fuel during the absence of the primary source. At first there is no problem, the secondary sources provide positive fuel which is sustaining the narcissist, but if he has only a few secondary sources, then it will not be long before his fuel demands outstrip the positive fuel they can give. The lesser quality of their fuel (compared to the primary source) is being exposed by the absence of the primary source. It is also because greater demand is being placed on them.

Ultimately, the primary source will always go further for the narcissist than anybody else and they are also far more proximate. No matter how seductive. if the secondary source has to deal with his own family, his work and so on, he may not be available to provide fuel. If this keeps happening, combined with the increased demand and the lack of a primary source the strain on positive secondary sources will start to tell. This means the narcissist will either have to add new secondary sources and/or devalue the secondary sources to shift to negative fuel so he is sustained. This will work for a period of time with the confused inner circle friend who is a secondary source trying to work out why their supposed best friend is ignoring them and then trying to patch up the relationship. A secondary source however will not sustain devaluation as long as a primary source and may even infect other secondary sources by pointing out how they are being treated. The narcissist is already suffering reduced fuel levels and the supremacy of his façade is being challenged. This increases the demands on him.

The tertiary sources provide the least fuel and generally they are also treated to lengthy golden periods – for example the lady who works in the petrol station or the postman – since they are only extracted from on an intermittent basis. Tertiary sources can also be used straight away for negative fuel, for example, upbraiding a waiter or shouting down a shop assistant. We do not regard them as necessary to the maintenance of the façade, their negative fuel provides a useful boost and such high-handed behaviour may impress a primary (or secondary source) and draw positive fuel from them where appropriate.

If there is no primary source for a period of time, the reliance on tertiary sources increases. There will be increased activity to use technology to draw these people to the narcissist – such as on dating sites, chat rooms or through social media, but if the reliance is frequent and sustained the quality of the fuel will diminish quickly and those who have been attached to the narcissist in this way will be discarded and replaced with new remote tertiary sources promptly. There will be a high turnover. At the same time, the narcissist is likely to lash out at physically proximate sources more and more as the fuel level dips. This happens for two reasons. Firstly, he needs the fuel more than ever from tertiary sources and negative fuel is better than positive. Secondly, he will be furious at being placed in this position (through having no primary source but he has not got one to lash out at) so tertiary sources bear the brunt of this rage.

A narcissist without a primary source will eventually alienate secondary sources and in certain environments – say a small town – will struggle to replace them as people become wise to what he is. He may lack the energy to keep up the turnover of remote tertiary sources and spends his time lashing out at those which are physically proximate. At this point the narcissist faces losing the façade (since so many people know about his behaviour) in order to keep drawing fuel. It is now that he has three choices: –

  1. Secure a new primary source immediately;
  2. Move his environment so he can seek out fresh secondary sources and tertiary sources and rebuild his façade; or
  3. Sink into depression and inactivity as his fuel levels plummet.

The narcissist becomes a fading star. Once brilliant, magnificent and illuminating, his loss of the primary source and inability to find another means that the alluring shine is fading as a black hole awaits. He begins to fade as he enters a fuel crisis. Thus you can see just how paramount the primary source is to the existence of our kind and why we make such an effort to secure them, replace them and hoover them back again.

44 thoughts on “The Fading Narcissist

  1. Alexissmith2016 says:

    HG if an Ns football or rugby team lost a big game, e.g. the Welsh going out today whilst England have made it to the final, would that be a criticism or challenge fuel?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It would wound.

  2. Mary Robinson says:

    HG have you ever felt these symptoms of low fuel?

    1. HG Tudor says:


  3. Pati says:

    HG, If we stop giving fuel e.g..ignoring the N daily, the only way the N will ever leave the current IPPS will to be to find a new IPPS so that the former one will then deleted?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Where do you fit in to the scenario you have described are you the current IPPS, the new IPPS or an IPSS? It is not clear from what you have written, Pati.

      1. Pati says:

        I am the IPPS

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Is this going to turn into a Spartacus moment?

          1. Pati says:

            Perhaps. I know you say love you hate you but never ignore you what happens when you ignored by your IPPS every single day ?

          2. Pati says:

            HG I answered to quickly .What did you mean by that if I may ask please.

          3. HG Tudor says:

            What did I mean by what Pati (I do not see what you are referring to in the moderation pane, so you will need to be specific)

          4. Pati says:

            It’s all good HG ,TPOT already answered . Thank you!

          5. ThePolicyOfTruth says:

            Pati are you asking what HG meant about Spartacus?

            It’s a reference to the slave gladiator Spartacus. In the Kirk Douglas film of the same name, a group of Spartacus’ comrades stand up one by one and declare in turn (and simultaneously) “I’m Spartacus” rather than reveal the real Spartacus’ identity to the generals.

            It was because you said “I am the IPPS”.

            It’s a good film actually.

          6. Pati says:

            TPOT thank you, that’s what I meant. I should check out the movie . I appreciate your explanation as well.

          7. ThePolicyOfTruth says:

            No worries Pati.

            I’m a bit of a sucker for historical or Biblical epics, or old musicals like Rogers & Hammerstein.

            Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments is fantastic.

            Apparently I have “old people” tastes in films. Old before my time haha.

          8. Pati says:

            Those are the best!

    2. FYC says:

      Pati, Don’t wait for him to leave. Plus you are never deleted, you just become FIPPS (former IPPS). In the mind of the N you only part when one of you dies and you have too much life to live to wait for that.

      1. Pati says:

        Oh dear, I am finished . He will always be around.we have 4 kids together. I shouldn’t have gotten married so young .Thank you for your advice FYC!

        1. FYC says:

          You are welcome, Pati. You can have a good life without him, even though you have children together. It’s hard to feel this is possible while you are still LUNI (Living Under Narc Influence). HG can help you deal with the process and aftermath.

          1. Pati says:

            Thank you FYC, I know HG can guide me in the right direction.

          2. MB says:

            FYC, “LUNI” ❤️it!

          3. FYC says:

            Haha, Thanks MB 😘

        2. Kim e says:

          You might be deleted, I was, but given time, the hoovers will still start over. Deletion means nothing to them after awhile as their they “forget” what you did because someone else wounded them and that person is now black…hence you become white. The past is forgiven and here he comes again. Nothing will change until you go NC

          1. Pati says:

            Kim ,I am still with him.
            I need to vent here sorry

            1. We went for lunch today to a really nice steakhouse (my N is not cheap)

            2. We park the car and he starts to walk in front of me (never gets the door) ER!

            3. He ended ordering first when the waitress came to our table . The waitress gave me a look, I then proceeded with my order.

            4. My steak came back really overdone ,I am not one to complain so I told the waitress about what happen. She apologized and offered to cook me a new one .

            5. The whole time he was ignoring me . I was watching him eat while I waiting for the steak to come. I tried starting a conversation and got one word answers. It was like pulling teeth.

            6. My food came I ended up eating halfway alone as he went out for a smoke break ( as usual) or he would go on his phone .

            7. We had dessert,he gives me his credit card to pay and said I will meet you outside. He said dont forget to give a tip. .

            8. He then waited for me in the car.

            Kim he has never hit me ! But this is emotional for me.

            This behaviour has been going on for over 20 minus the Golden Period.
            I thought this is how he is not realizing about NPD.
            If I am not mistaken I believe I am in devulation.

            I needed to get this one out! I am so pissed.
            I would have rather go to McDonalds and be with someone who wants to be with the real me. To hug me, kiss me,hold my hand . He does none of this. I just dont understand.

            Thank you for reading this.
            Hugs xoxo

          2. Kim e says:

            I am sorry your lunch was bad. I hope you can get up whatever it is you need in yourself to finally say F THIS>>>>>>I AM GONE!!!!! It will happen. Stay here, keep reading, vent all you want. Put 5 dollars a week somewhere…and I know I keep saying it but consult with HG. You do not have to have questions set up for him. Just let him talk……Believe me he is good at it. I have had consults with him. I listened. It still was up to me to make the first move to change my life. I have failed 3 or 4 times BUT every time I go NC again it gets easier. And IF I fail again, I start over. I have always admitted that I am very addicted to my N. I went from a CIPPS, was deleted after I was given a corrective devaluation and of course having no idea what it was ignored it. 70 days later I allowed myself to be hoovered back even tho I knew what was up by then. I did not care. I did not want to fix him. I just wanted him. I am now a DLSIPSS.
            In time you will get there……………I have faith in you. And when you do get out, buy yourself the biggest steak you can find and savor it in your freedom

          3. Pati says:

            Thank you so much Kim
            You dont know how much this means to me.
            I will start saving up for many consultations.
            I want desperately to talk with HG.
            I just feel so guilty talking about my N behind his back as I have never done this before . It is against my MORALS and values!
            You have been through so much!
            I feel for you like you will never believe .
            I am glad you got out sweety .

            I appreciate everything .
            Sometimes not knowing someone and not seeing how they look in person is a better person to talk about your feelings.

            Hugs xoxo

          4. Kim e says:

            If it makes you feel better talking about him just remember that you mean nothing to him. I am truly sorry to say that but sometimes the ugly hard hurting truth is what is needed to snap us out of something.
            The people on this site people that you have never met will never meet you have no idea what we look like live like …… we care more about you than he ever did it ever will. We will take you to dinner and ask how your steak is because we care.
            My 2 sons were both in the Army and deployed to very nasty places. I joined a support site for the loved ones of these men to get thru the military life. Our motto is We Get It. Been there done that and I think We Get It fits perfectly here also.

  4. ThePolicyOfTruth says:

    What happens if the narcissist remains without fuel (or without much fuel at least) for a prolonged period of time, and is unable to regain power or control due to circumstances? Simply deep lengthy depression? Or something more serious? Do narcs ever feel suicidal due to lack of fuel?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Suicide can occur but it is rare and is usually linked to a comorbid condition.
      A fuel crisis occurs resulting in extreme irritation. vacillating behaviours, self-neglect, isolation, depression, withdrawal.

      1. Bubbles 🍾 says:

        Dear Mr Tudor,
        Interesting !
        The weasel, my mum and our dear old friend have all mentioned numerous times about taking their own lives with tedious regularity
        Our greater friend maintains “just keep having birthdays” and brags about their visits to various drinking hole establishments every weekend …….. slight contrast somewhat

        As a “normal”, it doesn’t even cross my mind, about taking my own life
        Always learning, thank you
        Luv Bubbles xx 😘

  5. Kim e says:

    What, if any, are the outwards signs of a fuel crisis? If there are signs, are they different depending on the school/cadre of the N?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      1. Considerable irritation, vacillating behaviours, withdrawal, listlessness, depression, self-neglect are all signs.

      1. MB says:

        Might it be difficult to tell the difference between a fuel crisis and an Incredible Sulk in a Midranger, HG?

        1. HG Tudor says:

          To the untrained eye, possibly.

          1. ThePolicyOfTruth says:

            Is it possible for a narcissist to go through a fuel crisis after a particular high dosage of fuel which has then worn off? Like coming down from a high?

            I remember once ex-narc went though a bit of an excessive sexual binge of doing all sorts of depraved things with one of his other DLSs (which he told me about in great detail) followed by a weekend away with his wife where they attended pride carnivals and all sorts of things.

            Afterwards he said he felt on a downer, that he was depressed, and that after all the hedonism he didn’t know what to do with himself. He said he wanted to “kill some Mandingos” (apparently some film reference) just for something to do because he felt low.

            Was that a fuel crisis?

          2. HG Tudor says:

            It is possible to go from lots of fuel to very low fuel and enter a fuel crisis, but the act of coming down from very high fuel, to a lower (but not low level) is not a fuel crisis.

          3. ThePolicyOfTruth says:

            Thank you HG for the clarification.

    2. K says:

      Kim e
      My sister (an empath) is visiting from out-of-state and my LLN brother has locked himself in the cellar (he lives with my mother) and refuses to see her or acknowledge her on the phone. He is very anti-social (withdrawal).

      1. Kim e says:

        This was my Friday “UNBELIEVABLE” moment!!!! Just blows my mind…………

        1. K says:

          Kim e,
          Ha ha ha…I hope it was a positive mind-blowing experience!

      2. Claire says:

        OMG K! My grandmother did almost the same long long time ago- her granddaughters became persons non grata for unknown reasons when we were teenagers. It broke our hearts and my father’s heart ( she was his mother) because we always respected her despite her coldness and constant criticism toward us and our mother . I was painted white again few years later after attending a family wedding ( she was not invited, although one of her sisters was the grandma of the bride ) , maybe the extended family had provided a positive feedback to her as they all complemented me and asked if I was modelling ( no, I didn’t) . This Grandma valued the look more than the mind by the way. My sister was studying abroad at that time so we both have no idea if she was also painted white again or not.

        1. K says:

          Your paternal grandmother reminds me of my father’s mother (MMRN); very cold. It looks like she malign hoovered you, your sister, father and mother by deploying a Silent Treatment and Triangulation. The feedback may have been a Hoover Trigger and the Hoover Execution Criteria were met so she painted you white and deployed a benign hoover.

          Some narcissists are very superficial and value beauty and perfection (idealization) rather than intelligence but they may do a one-eighty and say: you should have done better in school, etc. (triangulating); it’s all about the fuel in the moment. It is difficult to say if your sister is black or white, however, if grandma speaks about her in positive terms, then I would go with: painted white.

          1. Claire says:

            You are absolutely right, K! For Grandma to manipulate was like for you and me to breath. My grandfather, then my step grandfather (she remarried after the death of my grandfather ) , her own sisters were triangulated all the time – inviting 2 of them on a family event but ignoring the other ( she had 3 sisters) and vice versa. Not to mention how did she behave on my father’s funeral. She disgusted the whole extended family to the point that after my father’s death her own family ( 3 sisters, all Dad’s cousins and other relatives and friends) ignored her. Long story, she was well known as pretty ( when she was young) but nasty woman. My father ( an empath) was the reason why she and her daughter, my so called aunt , were not outcasted earlier. I was already in Australia when she died and my aunt didn’t bother to notify us – my mother and my sister, yes , true story. I would travel back to my homeland for her funeral only in memory of my beloved Dad but I was not even given the opportunity.
            Looks like every family is “ gifted” with at least one Narc family member.

          2. K says:

            You understand, very good; manipulation is as automatic as breathing for the narcissist. They do not think about it; they just do it and The Dynamic applies to N v N, N v E or P v N.

            Death and funerals are great hoover opportunities and it looks like your Aunt excluded you, your mother and your sister from the funeral to exert control and draw fuel to maintain superiority and validate her self-worth. Exclusion from family events is a malign hoover that encompasses: triangulation, silent treatment, isolation and possibly smearing.

            Many families are gifted with one or more narcissists and it appears that your family was gifted with several narcissists over three generations.

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