Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing? The Mid Range Narcissists



Previously I addressed whether the Lesser Narcissist knows what he or she is doing and why, but now let us examine the Mid Range Narcissist. You may well accept that the Lesser, unrefined battering ram that he or she is, just ploughs through life oblivious to the harm they cause, but surely the more cognitively blessed Mid Range narcissist is well aware of what he is doing? He plots and plans, yes? He knows precisely how to manipulate and thinks it through, scheming in advance to get the right result for him?


The Mid Range Narcissist (Lower Mid, Middle Mid (Types A and B) and Upper Mid) has an increased level of cognitive function beyond the Lesser. The Mid Ranger also exhibits cognitive (fake) empathy, knowing enough of how he or she is expected to behave in order to fit in, to con and thus ensnare. However, despite this increased cognitive function – and the Upper Mid Range Narcissist may be highly intelligent – it is instinct that once again rules the behaviours and response of the narcissist.

The Mid Ranger does not sit in a hollowed-out volcano like some Bond villain rubbing his hands together and scheming. He or she does not think about all the ways he or she can ruin the life of the empath in the forthcoming weeks. Their narcissism operates in a way, as ever, as a self-defence mechanism to enable the Mid Ranger to function and be effective – because he or she has not developed other coping mechanisms which non-narcissists have, to navigate a path through life. The operation of this is instinctive.

Does the Mid Ranger think that he will sit and sulk so he can assert control over his long-suffering spouse and gain fuel as she begs him to speak to her? No. He instinctively sits in silence because that is the optimum response as a consequence of him having been wounded. His narcissism operates to make him issue a silent treatment. This of course draws fuel and asserts his perceived superiority over the relevant appliance, but he does not decide to give a silent treatment, he just does it. He knows that he is not speaking to her.

Does the Mid Ranger decide that she will issue a pity play to her colleagues about the way she has been passed over for promotion, thus smearing the boss and gaining sympathy fuel from those listening? No, it is her manipulative response to having been wounded by not gaining the promotion.

Does the Mid Ranger recognise that his cold put downs upset you? Yes. He sees your tears, hears the hurt in your voice and your pained expression. This provides him with fuel (although he does not recognise as such) and he feels the power flowing from the provision of such fuel. This reaction to the flow of power might be to smile or smirk at you. You may then think, “He knows what he is doing.” No, he knows his action hurts you, but he feels no guilt, no remorse, no upset at behaving this way because as ever, from the narcissistic perspective, it is entirely justified.

To understand this further, imagine there is a Mid Range Narcissist and a victim. Husband and wife. Both have been at work during the day. The narcissist called his wife twice during the afternoon but she did not answer – this wounds him. She also failed to call him back. He is wounded again. His wife, as his Intimate Partner Primary Source is painted black as a consequence of his split thinking. Thus, from his narcissistic perspective everything she says and does will be viewed through a ‘black lens’ until she becomes painted white again. A normal, healthy person would work out that her failure to answer and return the call means she is busy, perhaps in a meeting. The narcissist, governed by paranoia and the overwhelming need to control is wounded. This person is not doing what he wants, his sense of entitlement (that she should be available) is dented. He feels like he is losing control. He starts to feel powerless and is reminded of a time when he once was regularly made to feel that way. This situation must be addressed – he must assert his superiority and his blackened view of his spouse will enable him to do this.

His wife is at home first. The husband walks through the door and she greets him with

“Hello darling, what have you been doing?”

An innocuous and pleasant question, enquiring thoughtfully about her husband’s day.

The husband does not regard it that way. His narcissism demands that he asserts control and that she is punished for her transgression. He does not think

“She did not answer my call, I must punish her. She did not call me back, I must assert control.”

Those needs for control and punishment are automatic and instinctive. Her question is viewed as prying, controlling and unnecessary.

“What’s it got to do with you?” he snaps at her. His blackened view of her meaning his response is provocative and unpleasant. His wife is taken aback, her expression changes to one of hurt and the narcissist receives fuel from this.

“Sorry? What’s wrong? Why are you being like that?” she asks in a hurt tone.

These questions are challenge fuel. Her emotion gives him fuel, but because she is querying him, she is challenging him and thus (viewed by the narcissist) continues to reject control and rebel against him.

The Mid Ranger does not think

“Ah good, she is upset and confused. I know I will keep this going.” Instead, his instinctive response, which is automatic and swift in order to preserve him as his self-defence mechanism should, causes him to respond

“There’s nothing wrong with me. It’s you, always prying, asking me questions, trying to control me.”

The wife is taken aback once again. She knows she is not controlling (but then she may start to doubt this of course) but she is confused. Her confusion is welcome, it makes her easier to control. Her responses keep fuelling the narcissist. The Mid Ranger however is not considering what he will say next in order to keep confusing her, he is not considering how to gain more fuel from her, he is not considering how to assert his control over her, it all happens as a matter of instinct. He knows she is upset, but it is her fault because the narcissism makes it anybody’s fault save that of the narcissist. He knows that his comments trouble her, but they are necessary because she is the aggressor.

A third party watching this scene would decide that the narcissist responded unpleasantly at the outset and thus he is the problem.

The narcissist does not and cannot see that. He thinks he is the victim. He thinks his spouse is the problem because she failed to answer his call and call him back. His narcissism makes him think she is controlling  and thus he RESPONDS to her abusive behaviour and accordingly he is not the instigator. This is why, coupled with a lack of remorse and guilt is why the Mid Range Narcissist sees nothing wrong with what he is doing because all he is doing is responding to the unreasonable behaviour of another and therefore he is in the right.

This increased cognitive awareness of the Mid Ranger also gives rise to the façade. A Lesser would have an affair and would not care who knows – the cuckolded spouse is at fault for whatever reason he chooses and anybody who dares to say anything bad about his infidelity is a moron. The Mid Range Narcissist knows that society regards infidelity as a bad thing. He does not and moreover his narcissism will give him plenty of reasons why he should commit it. However, because he has enough cognitive awareness to recognise that it is frowned upon, he will hide the affair (unless there is an overriding beneficial reason not to) which gives the appearance that he feels bad about his behaviour. Not so, he does not want his façade damaged, he does not want the aggravation of the steady home life (with its attendant fuel and residual benefits) damaged. but again he does not think in such terms, he just knows that people will frown on him for cheating on his wife, so he keeps it hidden.

It may seem that the Mid Range Narcissist does indeed feel guilty for his behaviour. That he is genuinely sorry and he will make amends. Not at all. Again, he knows enough from instinctive observation that not talking to someone for a week is hurtful and viewed as a ‘bad thing’ and will even go so far as to admit that BUT there will always be a reason or an excuse. He will say

“I know it hurts you when I do not speak to you for a week BUT if you didn’t nag me, I would not need a time out.”

He instinctively blame shifts within this moment of apparent contrition.

Some Middle Mid Rangers and Upper Mid Rangers may plan to correct the perceived wrongs they have suffered, but this remains an instinctive response. He does not think – “I know this is wrong what I am planning, but what the hell, I will do it anyway.” He knows people may regard it as wrong, but he knows that he is justified because he has been offended, hurt, wronged in some way – namely wounded or challenged – and thus his action is justified and necessary.

When the Mid Ranger lies, he does not know that he is lying. The lie is his truth because his narcissism causes it to be – his narcissism will deflect blame, apportion blame to you, revise history, deny and so forth – all part of the instinctive responses which are totally necessary for the narcissist to regain and maintain control and is as a result of the The Narcissist’s Twin Lines of Defence

When the Mid Ranger gas lights, he does not know he is doing so. He may be contradicting what he said five minutes ago but his narcissism blinds him to this, it has to so the defence mechanism remains intact and effective, and therefore he genuinely believes what he is saying is correct and moreover you are wrong and therefore you are the problem.

This is why Mid Range Narcissists believe that they are good people, indeed empathic people and that the other person (the real victim) is the problem. This is why the real victim is labelled as an abuser, a tormentor and even a narcissist and the Mid Range Narcissist truly believes this to be the case. He does not think “I know I am the problem and she is not, but I am going to mess with her head” – he really believes the victim is the trouble maker because that way his responses and actions have absolute conviction, have the best possible chance of a successful outcome (namely fuel and control) and thus the manipulation goes on and on with no prospect whatsoever for change.

Understanding the Narcissistic Perspective

Which narcissist am I dealing with?

13 thoughts on “Do Narcissists Know What They Are Doing? The Mid Range Narcissists

  1. A Victor says:

    Whether they know what they are or not, they don’t change. Bottom line. It is not my job, even if it would be my desire, to try to change this for them. My life time is mine and to throw it away on such a hopeless endeavor would be irresponsible of me, of my handling of the time I’ve been granted.

    My main responsibility at this point, now that I’ve been enlightened to the reality via my narcs and HG, is to learn how to better myself for my own future, to ensure that I do not become entangled with another one. Or hoovered back in by an old one.

    Thank you again for the information here.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You’re welcome

    2. Eternity says:

      Victor I agree with you, I have lived it,seen it and experienced it for so many years .
      These people do not change and there is no point in trying. They see the world from a different perspective.
      We need to live our life now and find someone that is not a Narcissist and live normal. What hurts the most is that I was never loved and desired by my Narc. I hope there is someone out there for me, if not I will live Narc Free and travel the world by myself. Being isolated for so long I need to start living .
      Good luck to you and wish you all the best.

      1. A Victor says:

        Thank you. I wrote that as support and encouragement to myself, because I can change, and also for anyone else that could benefit from it. I am so glad not to be trapped by myself, in the manner that narcs apparently are. And, as sad as I am for them, I’m just as glad that I’m not trapped to them in the manner they would like to believe we are. I have yet to be hoovered, praying not to be, so I may feel differently about the “trapped” part at some point. But right now, having taken appropriate precautions as well as read about 12 books and numerous articles and watched many youtube videos from HG in the least two weeks, I feel pretty prepared if it does happen. Lol, perhaps that is naive, if so I may be here longer than I’ve expected.

        1. Eternity says:

          A. Victor,
          Tske as long as you want. There is a lot of interesting things to read on the this blog. Also HG does consult and can help if you want to.

  2. Asp Emp says:

    A good educational insight into the cerebral thinking and the instinctual behaviour of the Mid-Ranger.

  3. lickemtomorrow says:

    Thank you for this very enlightening explanation. So much of it rings true and I understand completely.

    The point you made around ‘absolute conviction’ hit hard in terms of narcissism’s unchangeable nature.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome and I am pleased you understand it. The “state of knowledge” of narcissists is something so many people do not understand and they need to.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        I get it and I’m fighting with it at the same time.

        It’s been such a painful part of my experience,

        If I understand it, does that mean I accept it?

        If I accept it, does that mean I tolerate it?

        If I tolerate it, does that mean I embrace it?

        Embrace the reality of it, the unchangeable nature of it, the hopelessness built in to its edifice?

        You see I am wrestling with it.

        It has robbed me of so many things.

        It has robbed the narcissist, too.

        At least now I can see how we have both been robbed.

        And why I’ve sought to replace what was stolen from both of us.

        1. Eternity says:

          I totally agree with you. I have learned to accept the fact that they won’t change and dont know what they are. I have been robbed of all my years that I cant bring back .
          We Empaths need to stick together and get over this !
          We can look forward to the future and stay positive and Natc Free!
          HG can help us and he has in many many ways.
          Take care sweetheart

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thank you, Eternity <3 I appreciate your kind words and encouragement.

            Confronting reality is never easy and it's the combination of them not knowing what they are (for the most part) and their inability to change associated with that which really affects me. It's hard to accept even if I can understand it. Some of that is probably just down to my nature, but also from the point of view of one who has been wounded. And I know we have all been wounded. Including the narcissist. I have to make my peace with it. I'm not there yet. But empaths sticking together is definitely one way of getting there 🙂

            And HG has definitely helped us.

  4. Eternity says:

    I dont understand how sensitive they can be at times

    1. lickemtomorrow says:

      I assumed sensitivity once upon a time, too, Eternity. I do believe that is a display of cognitive empathy. So the narcissist can give the appearance of being empathic without actually experiencing any emotional empathy. They just know how to portray it or act it out, and it has to be thought through rather than actually experienced. But it certainly does give all the appearances of being genuine and can hoodwink us if we don’t know any better. Some of the narcissist’s I’ve known were very skilled at this fake show of emotional empathy. So, they had the ‘cognitive’ part down.

Vent Your Spleen! (Please see the Rules in Formal Info)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Previous article

Forever On The Fake

Next article

Charity Ends At Home