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 her 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.

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

  1. Cloudy says:


    Lots of people fall for false promises.Its heart breaking.

    1. Marlene says:

      Wow, HG!

      Thank you so much for these explanations. I have experienced many of these; in my ignorance, I thought that he bought more for them, took them to more places, told me that he told them that he loved them–because he cared more for them. It was painful, but instead of challenging Narcy, I fell silent and, obviously, into my Emotional Thinking. Now that I know what Narcy is, with your help, I see that it was all about control.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        You are most welcome. Your full name appeared in your blog details, I removed your middle name and surname, for your future reference.

  2. Neha says:

    Again a masterpiece HG! Thank you

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you.

  3. Gab says:

    Does it mean that women who are beaten by their abusive partners are stronger, more confident? I don’t get it… I always thought it’s quite the opposite – that they have weaker boundaries. Narcissist knows that if he hit one woman she will escape, call cops etc while other woman will stay and tolerate it so she can be his pounching bag when he needs it.

    I also thought that a person who is harder to manipulate have a tendency to challenge and injure narcissist and that is why narcissists do not invest in them much – it would be waste of time from narcissist point of view so they take on a trip someone easier to manipulate, someone who will give them tons of positive fuel in return.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      It is not a simple as that Gab. It is a combination of the type of victim, the place they occupy in the fuel matrix, what the narcissists fuel matrix looks like at a particular time, the school of narcissist, the extent of the threat to the narcissists control and more besides. This variance of factors means you cannot on a moment by moment basis predict what will happen and that is why you never ever try to manage or manipulate a narcissist, you apply GOSO.

  4. Charlene says:

    This finally explains so clearly why I could never understand! Thx HG – always about control whatever it takes.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  5. Charlene says:

    This is such a great explanation of what I could never put my head around! Makes total sense – all about control I’m whatever fashion it takes to work on each individual.

  6. Pingback: Why Does The Extent of the Narcissist’s Manipulations Vary? ⋆ NarcTopia
  7. Whitney says:

    Dear HG the God, why don’t the Victim Narcissists target me? I’m a Carrier Geyser Empath. Thank you

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Hello Whitney, please see Sitting Target.

    2. WhoCares says:


      There will be plenty of Victim Narcissists who will be looking for some sympathy fuel during this Covid-19 circus. You won’t have to search far if you want one to target you.

      1. Whitney says:

        Thank you HG, I read Sitting Target and I thought I’d be a good target for a Victim Narc. I love children so the Victim men should try to steal my nurturing.

        Maybe they don’t target because I think they’re disgusting.

        Actually the Somatic kept coughing towards me last night WhoCares. I’ve never seen him cough before and there is hardly any Covid in my city yet, but everyone is worried about Covid.
        He must have been trying to get negative fuel. Narcs are bizarre and wacky.

        1. Violetta says:


          Bet he’d be nowhere to be found if you got sick and needed help.

        2. WhoCares says:


          I am glad they don’t target you.

          “the Somatic kept coughing towards me last night…
          He must have been trying to get negative fuel. Narcs are bizarre and wacky.”

          They’re opportunistic. Every last one of them will capitalize on the Covid19 situation in whichever way comes instinctively to them.

          Victim narcs will manage to up the ante in their “victimhood”.
          Your Somatic chose a slightly more crass and simplistic way of drawing attention back to him, in the moment.
          Good to hear that there is hardly any Covid in you city. Take care.

          1. WhoCares says:

            *your city

          2. Whitney says:

            So sweet, take care too WhoCares. I hope you are doing OK in NY Violetta.
            The Somatic is very helpful when I’m in need. We know this is about facade, and creating a dependency. When I was sick he got me fruit salad, hot chocolate, made a sandwich with brie and tomato and avocado, and made pizza. His actions seemed mechanical, not empathetic. He is always helpful with food and whatever I need. Same with the UMR Elite who is blocked now.

            But we know the Somatic is abusive and bizarre.

        3. Anm says:

          why would you want to be the target of a victim narc? they also don’t target anyone, they will accept anyone to care for them

          1. Whitney says:

            Anm there is nothing more disgusting than a victim male narc. “A man should stand up, not be held up”. I was just wondering why they don’t target me and what that means about me.
            Thanks for your insight that they don’t target anyone.

  8. Esther says:

    That’s a great article! I love it!!!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed it is and thank you.

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