The Five Devaluation Triggers



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.


  1. Stale

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.


  1. Disobedience

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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.


  1. 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.

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11 thoughts on “The Five Devaluation Triggers

  1. A Victor says:

    Learning of the summer narc’s dad dying last Thurs has renewed the desire to reach out to him yet again. He got a liver, I did not congratulate him, my dad died, I did not tell him, now his dad died, and I cannot send him even a note of sympathy. All of this in the span of 4 weeks, it has been a roller coaster. This article is a great reminder of why I cannot, and at a timely point. It makes me ever more grateful for this site and your good work HG. I have been posting things on my Pinterest as it is untraceable back to me, I don’t feel the same safety with my IG but I tell people about your work at every opportunity that arises. Thank you for doing all that you do.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

    2. NarcAngel says:

      A note of sympathy to a narcissist is not the comfort we envision so it’s not necessary and you need not feel bad. It’s your emotional thinking conning you into thinking he needs comforting over losing his father but he will only be feeling sorry for himself and not emotional over his father. He will be milking the occasion to fuel up with the attention. Having no empathy they do not grieve as we do. We tend to forget they do not think like us.

      I’ve relayed this story before. I watched Stepnarc trying to cry at his mother’s graveside. It was a pitiful display of clenching and unclenching his hands and squeezing his eyes shut but he couldn’t muster up a tear because there was no such feeling of loss. Looked instead like he was trying to take a shit. I was across the casket from him and we locked eyes. I smiled and shook my head slowly side to side (as in how pitiful). He immediately stopped the theatrics and looked away from me. There was nothing there.

      Now other Schools/Cadres may be able to pull off a believable performance (cue the mid victim narc) but again, any feeling will be for themselves (in losing an appliance, prime aims, or perhaps an income source for example) and not for the deceased.

      Long way around saying please don’t do it AV.

      1. A Victor says:

        NA, thank you for the reply. I actually had told my daughter a bit ago that he was likely taking his dad’s death much how my mom took my dad’s death. She said, yes, very likely. I am learning something! Lol!

        Your story is so much like my mom. We’ve all been amazed at the total lack of emotion from her, it’s sickening.

        No, I will not be reaching out to him, thank you for the encouragement.

    3. lickemtomorrow says:

      I was thinking this has been a very rough few weeks for you, AV, and when you put it all down on paper, so to speak, all I can say is you are doing incredibly well to have stayed away from your narc during this period. I take my hat off to you in the circumstances and admire you greatly. The fact you have only been here for a short while and yet able to apply the learning so thoroughly is a real credit to you. Everything you mention adds up to some very emotional experiences and all of them triggers to make contact with the narcissist. This place can be our saving grace at times like that. It certainly has been for me. I’m so glad to hear you are staying strong and getting the support you need from HGs work and the site <3.

      1. A Victor says:

        Thank you LET, you, among many others, can take some credit for my success, being straight with me at times, gentle at times, always encouraging, offering of yourselves and so on. Had you all not been here and so receptive to a newbie, I would likely not be doing so well. It has been a true delight to get to know you all a bit!

        “We tend to forget they do not think like us.” From NA’s comment above, this keeps popping into my mind right now, it is still so hard to accept this, my brain just wants to reject it all the time. But, the more I am able to accept it, little by little, the easier all of this becomes. Very little by little at the moment. My brain keeps saying it would be so easy to call him and move many miles away and just be there and be happy. But, then my brain says, no, you would be miserable and perhaps even under threat of death. It’s very good that my brain talks to itself, haha. Also, it reminds me of the times when HG says “Alert, alert…” This always makes me laugh!

        1. lickemtomorrow says:


          It's definitely good that your brain talks to itself, as does mine. It's often in constant conflict with the classic angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other! For the most part the angel wins out, but the devil still wants to have his say. It's human nature. Takes it's toll.

          And while the idea of moving away and creating happiness that way can seem tempting, I have to admit I've read an odd horror story here where someone has done just that. It's awful to read about those people's experiences and what it cost them, even just in terms of peace of mind. It wasn't long before they were neglected and rejected, used and abused. Then there is the making and breaking of plans before some of them could even get there. Strung along for years on a hope and a prayer. It's a nightmare. And one you, and all these others, did not and do not deserve. Narcs are so good at creating that wonderland which they help us envision, then destroying it piece by piece as they seek fuel and control.

          Anyway, I'm glad you stayed away, AV. And stayed here for the support we all need.

          1. cadavera says:

            LET, read my response if you’d like, to AV’s above once it’s posted. I think this will be a new nightmare to add to the ones you’ve read about. It took me 6 weeks to get out there once I’d decided to move. He faked me out and said he was coming to get me and then never showed. I was living in a motel and had to be out with no way of moving my stuff anywhere since my car had broken down and the person who said they could fix it broke something that was needed and couldn’t be replaced since my car was super old. This ended up with a suicide attempt, subsequent hospital and psych ward visits, a mugging, another hospital and psych ward visit, back home to my mother’s to regroup and a horrible muscle spasm that developed in my left shoulder that still bothers me to this day going on 11 years later and became a huge muscle knot that I haven’t been able to get rid of. All of that took 6 weeks from start to finish and for what? To end up with a prison sentence to boot. Yeah, a total horror story. They should make a movie out of that drama. Cheers!

        2. cadavera says:

          AV, don’t pick up and move because you will be miserable and under the threat of death for sure. Or, like me, you can move, be miserable, triangulated immediately after arrival with their ex, or thrown to the wolves (his family) and let them devour you. It was a huge mistake on my part and done because I really had nowhere else to go and he popped up right at the perfect time (how do they know to do this?). After living there and no longer with him since I had to move out then he ruined the place I’d moved into, getting me kicked out by threatening my landlord, he then moved me in with his ex fiancee where I was renting a room from another landlord. Nice huh? Oh but it gets better. Due to my emotional state at the time from all the moving around (3 moves 9 months), I was not getting along with his ex and I admit I screwed a lot of my circumstances up due to being so damn insecure, we ended up getting arrested because he attacked this landlord too, physically. And I was the accomplice that brought him there to do the attacking when all I was really there for was to collect my things. I was brought up on the same charges of aggravated assault and a week after being arrested, we were indicted for attempted first degree murder. Can you imagine? All of this because I loved a narcissist and allowed him to talk me into moving out of state and away from friends and family. Needless to say, I went through hell during that time only to become a convicted felon and giving up 3 1/2 years of my freedom while I did prison time. The best things that came out of this whole nightmare was 1) my now ex-narc went to trial even after I told him repeatedly not to risk it and got 10 years to my 3 1/2 in prison, removing him from my life for a lengthy time where I was able to get over him and never want anything to do with him again and 2) I ran into a high school friend there (yes a state away and hadn’t seen her since high school when we both graduated in 1987) who has become one of my dearest friends and we both have since moved back to our hometowns where we went to school and live 4 miles apart. Talk about synchronicity! Other than that, it was a horrible experience that I don’t recommend to anyone who enjoys their freedom and mental health.I know my situation is an extreme one but I don’t doubt that all it takes is for one narc to ruin you for years. I won’t even go into my cancer diagnosis while still in prison and what I went through with all of that or how my nex didn’t even bother to find out how I was when I contacted his mother to let her know and she told him. And the reason I’d moved out there was to be there to help him with his own health issues from a gastric bypass gone wrong. You’d think he would’ve understood what I was dealing with and given at least a small shit about me during that time. And he didn’t. That right there was when I made a decision to keep him out of my life since it showed he had zero empathy for what I was dealing with. I wrote to him when I got out and his response was, “I’m so glad you’re ok cuz I was so worried about you!” Yeah, it sure showed too. Good luck!

          1. A Victor says:

            Cadavera, thank you for the encouragement to stay put. The further out I get from that relationship, the more insanity I can see in the whole thing. I don’t think Lessers are my thing though his confident, Daredevil spirit was fun for a short while. Also, being quite distant from my mother, through ANC, is helping my ET to level out some. Your situation sounds unbelievably horrible! I’m so sorry all of that happened to you! I hope you are able to maintain NC from him and not become ensnared by another. Your story is definitely one to help others understand why staying away from narcissists is wise! I’m glad you have your freedom again, thank you for sharing!

  2. December Infinity says:

    ‘… 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.’

    All of the above mentioned apply to the continued devaluation I received from the last narc. The ones that stood out though to me (although I figure the other ones happened as well) are that I was ‘stale’ and that I was ‘reliable and dependable’. He was living off me and made my life hell. Good to know the reasoning behind it all. At least now I can spend time deciphering (plus learning from it) what had happened for several years since the narc is gone.

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