The Narcissist and the IPPS – The Four Classes


I have written before about how there are four cadres of narcissist – the Victim, the Somatic, The Cerebral and the Elite. I have also references on many occasions the three different schools – the Lesser, the Mid-Range and the Greater. Knowing what cadre and school your narcissist belongs to is extremely helpful in enabling you to understand why he or she behaves in the manner that they do and also to enable you to know what you need to do and what you should expect.

It is also worth your while knowing that there are also four classes which are applicable to the interaction between us and our primary sources. There are, effectively, four overarching methodologies which our kind applies to our primary source of fuel. The people who are our primary sources are almost always intimate partners and we operate in a certain way with regard we treat those people. I am not referring to the narcissistic cycle of seduction, devaluation, discard and hoover but instead the interaction over time between us and our primary sources.

Identifying the type you are engaged with or have been engaged with will provide you with insight into his or her behaviour and allow you to understand what you can expect by way of further interaction.

The first is the Nomad. This narcissist will form a relationship and conduct the narcissistic cycle and then as part of that cycle, identify a new appliance. Once with the new appliance, there may be the occasional hoover of the old appliance and there will be intermittent seduction of passing interests whilst with the new appliance and then another new appliance is sought out. The Nomad will triangulate the new appliance that he has and that triangulation will be with both the old appliance and other appliances, but he will only “skirmish” with those old and other appliances whilst with the new. He uses the old appliances and the other appliances naturally for fuel, he uses them to triangulate with the current, new appliance but he will not return to the old appliance to form an ongoing relationship. He may spend a few days with that person, a night together, maybe even a holiday but he will not want to commence the more formal relationship with the old appliance. He will always consider a return, after all hoover fuel is excellent fuel and he will take it but he has no desire, nor the energy, to instigate a long golden period through this hoover. He will connect, charm for a night, a few days perhaps a week or two and then he will return to the current appliance. He may come back to the old appliance much later down the line, when there is a different new appliance, but the pattern will remain the same. There will be no relationship in the formal sense with that old appliance. That has happened once and will not again, but the opportunity for a brief burst of fuel will not be relinquished. As for the other appliances, he will utilise them in the same way. He will spend a night with them, perhaps a few days but there will be no relationship at all. Unlike the old appliance, where there once was a relationship, the other appliances are just passing fancies, to distract him from the current, new appliance and to use for the purposes of triangulation.

Once he tires of the new appliance, he finds someone different and does not return to the old and the other appliances but seeks fresh territory. He will seek out a completely new appliance. He will triangulate this new and different appliance with the recently discarded one, he may even do so with the one before that, the older appliance but he will not form relationships again with the old or older appliances. He is always moving, seeking out new victims, occasionally hoovering old ones, but not to the extent of resurrecting an ongoing relationship with them.

The second is the Ping Pong Player. This type of narcissist will secure his new appliance and he will triangulate her with the old appliance. He will then hoover the old appliance and return to her as part of an ongoing relationship. He will triangulate her with the recently replaced appliance who was the new appliance. He will then vacillate back and forth between these two appliances, leaving one for the other, a lengthy and ongoing tug-of-love as the narcissist bounces back and forth like a ping pong ball between the two same people. There may be interaction with other appliances on an intimate level but they will be one night stands and brief liaisons. He is only interested in the long-term in moving between two particular appliances. He has his two primary sources who he goes back and forth between for as long as he can. Should one eventually decide against continuing with this arrangement then this narcissist will organise a replacement and draw them into this ping pong set-up. The newly escaped former appliance will be hoovered initially in order to maintain the ping pong set-up, but if this fails then a new person will be drawn into the arrangement. There may be intermittent hoovers of the escaped appliance but she will no longer form part of the ping-pong arrangement as the narcissist now has two primary sources to shuttle back and forth between

The third is the Anchor. This primary source is long-suffering. The narcissist will have a long-standing intimate partner, usually a spouse and there will be children involved. The narcissist will seek out fresh appliances and conduct affairs, possibly leaving the long-standing appliance and striking out anew with the replacement. After a period of time, the narcissist will return to the long-standing appliance, often citing missing the children, or doing it for the children, or they realised just how much their spouse truly loves them and they love her. The recently acquired appliance will be cast aside for some time. The narcissist may hoover that discarded appliance at a future point but only for the purpose of one-night stands and infrequent liaisons. He has no interest in resurrecting the relationship again. Instead, he will then seek out a new appliance and leave the long-standing one again as he pursues the dream of potent fuel forever with the newly acquired individual. Once again the affair will end and the narcissist will push her to one side and return to the long-suffering appliance. Time and time again he will leave her, having affairs and leaving home, before returning at a future point. It is often an individual who is regarded as the Anchor, the one who remains in situ and never changes, who is co-dependent to a considerable degree and is unable to want anyone other than the narcissist no matter how many times he has left and come back and no matter how many affairs that he has had.

The final category is the hybrid. This narcissist may operate the Anchor scenario before over time changing to the Nomad and then perhaps back to the Anchor or the Ping Pong arrangement. He will morph and shift between these different approaches, often as a consequence of the disruption to the primary source of fuel, whereby for instance the long-suffering Anchor finally moves on or is helped away from the narcissist, or perhaps both primary sources in the Ping Pong arrangement reject the narcissist and he is forced to adopt a Nomadic approach.

There are numerous reasons why these arrangements are adopted, dependent on the type of victim, the type of narcissist and other factors which I shall elaborate on in a separate article. No doubt you can recognise which methodology was applicable to your entanglement.

36 thoughts on “The Narcissist and the IPPS – The Four Classes

  1. Kristin says:

    I completely relate and I’m glad you got out.

  2. Kristin says:

    Very well stated, as usual. Although we see HG’s/narc’s life as exhausting since we often view it from our lenses, I also see the life of an empath, entangled with a narc, just as exhausting and detrimental to our mental and physical well being. They are a slave to their disorder and we are fighting our addition to the narc.

  3. Done With It says:

    My married narc has exhibited all 3 behaviors…depending what needs to be done to get the best fuel…
    With me…the Anchor.
    With the one before me…the Ping Pong
    Between me and her…the Nomad
    Right on the mark, sir

    1. Kim e says:

      HG. I am confused by what Done With It states. Is it true that the N can change class?

      1. HG Tudor says:


        1. Lorelei says:

          Oh this is the IPPS thread. I want one that lives a few hours away! I’ll take flowers and some perfume.

  4. Michelle says:

    I know many narcissists who have long-standing relationships or lasting marriages. However, most of them have altruism as the primary feature of their facade, i.e. they are “angels.” My mother, for example, flitted between fuel sources who would “benefit” from her wonderful altruism, but she never, as far as I know, cheated on my dad. She tended to attach to a family with lots of children for a period of time, then when something went wrong, she’d look around (sometimes literally in the classifieds for families seeking childcare) and find a new family with lots of children, leaving behind the last. Each family became the nearly sole focus of her time and attention for the period she worked for them. During those years, I would have a phone call with her while she was at the other family’s house after dinner and mostly be left on my own while she cared for other people’s kids. She repeated the same fundamental dynamics that you describe, HG, but not in sexual partner relationships — she preferred caretaker relationships. In those, she was very hot and cold and certainly had wildly changing alliances. She would choose families with a lot of dysfunction and claim she was a better mother than the kids’ “real” mother. When she passed away, some of her fuel sources actually contacted me trying to achieve closure because they had fallen out somewhere along the line. I declined to get involved.

    1. Gina says:

      I think these are the mid-range narcissists.

    2. lisk says:

      I wonder if this is similar to narcs who remarry and take care of step-children *better* than they do their own children.

      According to NarcX, his NarcDad didn’t give two hoots about him, and actually competed with him, then NarcDad got remarried and gave his all to the new step-son.

      Before knowing about narcissism, I would have chalked the NarcDad’s behavior up to some form of self-hatred, i.e., NarcDad hates himself so he hates his own son.

      Now i just see it as about F-U-E-L and C-O-N-T-R-O-L.

      If you can’t get fuel from and control your own children, move on to other kiddie pastures.

      1. Michelle says:

        I’d say this is accurate. My mother started seeking out other fuel sources when I became an adolescent and stopped idolizing her. I think it’s a common misunderstanding that all narcs are (sexual) players. It depends on which type of relationship they favor for fuel. For my mom it was children, sick older people, disabled people . . . anyone who would depend on her altruism and think she was angelic in her selflessness. Rejecting her care didn’t go over well.

  5. winco says:

    Hmm if the narcissist, after a year of silence, starts contacting his former IPSS (a girl he was dating and having sex with for a few months but not as the IPPS) in benign, friendly way (liking photos, liking all social media posts) does this mean his current IPPS (a girlfriend he ensnared and who is living with him a few months after discarding/shelving IPSS) is in devaluation now?

    1. HG Tudor says:


  6. wendydarling says:

    HG, do you continue to be a nomad?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I do.

      1. Lorelei says:

        How can you be a nomad and gain a stable life? Is chaos always part of the life? It’s tiresome to read.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Control equates to stability. You are making the common mistake of imposing your world view on the situation. It is not the applicable world view. Yes, it appears chaotic and tiring to you, but it is not, it is necessary.

          1. NarcAngel says:

            Many people have commented over time about HG’s life (or that of other narcissists) as being chaotic and tiring. I do understand how it can be viewed as that, but as HG points out – that is because we are looking at it through a different lens. For example: I view having and raising children as being chaotic and exhausting, but I know that the majority response is that it is found to be rewarding and fulfilling, and to suggest otherwise would cause insult and indignant response. I think it’s wonderful for those who enjoy their children, but I still reject for myself the lengthy lists of benefits and reasons provided to me that I should have them, and any suggestion that my life is not successful or fulfilling without them. There are many interpretations of what successful or fulfilling is. I am often struck by the irony that the view of a narcissists life as being empty and unfulfilling is often made by those who (in some cases for long periods of time) fought to share in exactly that by enduring abuse from the narcissist because they did not view it as such. Would actually have countered anyone who suggested to them that their life was tiring and chaotic while in it. The view is different depending on the lens position and focus.

          2. HG Tudor says:

            Absolutely right.

          3. Gina says:

            Not sure about that last part. For 10 plus years I viewed my life with the narcissist as chaotic and tiring. There were reasons why I stayed, one of which was I thought I could fix it. I did notice that he seemed to thrive on all the drama as I just became sicker and more tired. Until eventually I left because the bad far outweighed the good. I think I was more afraid of what was going to happen once I left as opposed to liking being there or loving him.

          4. NarcAngel says:

            I was speaking of the period of time where we are unaware of it being abuse or consider it chaotic and tiring. The time where others outside looking in would identify our lives as such (ie: she is always deferring to him and catering to him and cutting herself off from others etc) but we do not yet view it as that. It is just our normal. You are speaking of the period where there is recognition by the target that something is wrong and the feeling has become that of chaos and exhaustion. Two different timeframes. When we look back we can see that it was all along.

          5. Lorelei says:

            Good perspective NA. I know my life is intimidating or chaotic as viewed by some. In fact, my energy is back and I have absolute capacity to manage a slew of critters, children, work, home, now a house flip, school, and I’m going hiking today. That’s after I do a 25-30
            page power point and fuss around here!
            I’ve always been this way—when not sapped by a mid range ass. I’m absolutely humbled at times at the process it has taken to be renewed. Thank you. Oh—I’m ensnaring a new victim too. That is my side hobby.

          6. Lorelei says:

            Do you at least get a discount with a moving company?! Sheesh. I’m super picky about anyone in my space so I’m not moving anyone in so I don’t relate. I didn’t even let my ex move in until our wedding. I also detest someone’s body sprawled out on my bed as if they have rights beyond a brief moment in time. Except for my cat. In fact, he used to dislike me and was nice to everyone else. He was triangulating but I stuck it out and he likes me now. He’s big and orange.

          7. Lorelei says:

            HG—Etsy has vintage wall hooks and chains from the Ukraine. Rusty and spooky.

        2. WhoCares says:

          I would think the nomadic part works for him – especially in the context of his professional life.
          To onlookers it likely adds a context that makes any sense of “instability” sensible or plausible.

          1. HG Tudor says:


  7. Renarde says:

    Why do you do this HG?

    We think we GET it then the gig is ripped. We stand there and go, he’s bloody done it again.

    No fricken wonder we cant get high scores on the quizzes

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Because I am the expert,Renarde, now pay attention at the back.

      1. Renarde says:


        Urm like no? Yer not me Dad and shit? Suppose you put me in detention?

        Lunchtime. Not doing after school coz I haz business.

        If you do after school, me ma will get mad at youz, innit.

        You dont want me ma to git croz. Shes like a narc? She’ll go bad on yer ass cuz shes a LMS. Yeah man. And what R U an ting?

        I’m now drawing a great big hairy cock n balls in me jotter. Put yer name underneath and everythin.

        1. Violetta says:

          Renarde, what are you smoking and why haven’t you shared it with the rest of the class?

          1. Renarde says:


            Not smoked in months and of course I’d share it.

            And I was so proud. I found my own dealer. Hes ripped me off by a tenner and despite his bragging about home grown , when I wanted more its was double.

            Oh it’s high grade, he said. Yeah and it’s not worth it?

            I left him quite a few months to allow himself to calm down. I then message him again. Not responded but then I’ve had a lot of messages recently.

            I do miss my Yardie cos he was sound. I was at his one day and he had a chum there. For some reason we got onto the topic of Lenny Henry, who misguidly called his dog, Haile Selassie.

            Lenny was told apparently.

            Just want to be clear, I dont conduct with hard drug dealers. I have taken Charlie and I knew one who was dealing in that. Just dont. No heroin or crack. I’ve never touched serious. That’s frightening.

          2. Renarde says:

            Heres my worst ever drug story. And my God, its bad.

            Had a lovely female friend who I met through work. Emp. Met a thoroughly undesirable. Nurse, my God they can be very bad indeed.

            A plan was concocted. We are now going into London, Hammersmith Palais. Hes getting the pills in.

            Now, I’m not a huge fan of pills. Not in that setting. I’m a dancer and E slows your reactions. Plus Leah Betts.

            I did speed. Back in the day.

            So I’m now on my own in the club. UMS has fucked off somewhere. Dont judge, I’d often go on missions myself.

            I’m there swaying gently sucking a lollipop. Just watching others dancing. Regretting the pill which was crap, not dancing. But not blatted. Just rendered temporarily incapable.

            The energy in the room suddenly changes. I must have been late twenties. But I saw, I sensed.

            Security had gone. Now I’m hardcore Liverpool. I saw the Gs. We all knew where they were in the city. Usually around the Arena Bar.

            What happens next is so fucking blatant.

            A black man walks past me. He has a plastic case and its fucking RAMMED with pills and powders. Hes calling it out as well. To everyone in the club. Now hes heading off in the direction of the toilets. My jaw was on the floor.

            In Liverpool, I was never very good at spotting the dealers in a club. The UMS took care off that. But this was off the scale.

            But that wasn’t the worst. It was two white women, his bitches, scurrying after him.

            That day woke me up and I hope my story wakes you up too. When you’re dealing at that level, removing security like that you are talking about serious organised crime. It’s not the drugs its whats behind it. Its cartels.

            When I ran my events in London which were spectacularly successful, I remembered the way London was operating and I often felt I was being followed from the station to the venue.

            And if my story doesnt give you nightmares, nothing will.

            When I ran one of the events, I’d always made sure I had least three tall fellas with me. And they were handy. And I trusted them but only so far and only in the moment. I’m still in contact with one. The other two couldnt be trusted in the long term.

            Dont have nightmares kids!

          3. Violetta says:

            Full disclosure, Renarde: I don’t smoke weed anymore–reminds me too much of Jr High.

          4. lisk says:

            Same here.

            It seriously astounds me that anyone smokes into adulthood.

        2. Anm says:

          Cash me ou side how bou da?

          1. Renarde says:


            I think you mean, how much is bizness?

            I goes aie and you gives it. The green fur green.


  8. Gina says:

    I’ve seen this before and I’m not sure what my ex is. Certainly 23 years might qualify me for being an anchor. But to the best of my knowledge he’s always had trouble finding other women.

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