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.

23 thoughts on “The Narcissist and the IPPS : The Four Classes

  1. Empath007 says:

    I have no clue what mine is because he keeps all his “relationships” a secret. He hasn’t had an IPPS in almost a decade… nothing about his patterns with an IPPS seems “normal” in the sense that it doesn’t match any of the descriptions you put on the site. Him and I have been done for 3 years… and he hasn’t so much as hinted a fuel source on social media (but they are there).

    I can tell who’s likely been his fuel sources by the constant “friending” then “unfriending” on social media. The hot and cold dynamic speaks through that.

    It does seem as though he has a fetish for breaking up other relationships (marriages or otherwise) and gets some thrills from doing that.

    But unless I am missing some important imformation (which is very plausible)… he has absolutely no interest in an IPPS. And will remain that way as long as he possibly can.

    I think I caught me a Greater… good thing I found H.G. who gave me the strength to throw him back in the ocean.

  2. Rae says:

    This is one of the best articles I’ve read so far for gaining understanding of the dynamics and intricacies of a narcissistic relationship. Extremely easy for those of us involved in one to spot which type we have been entangled with. Thanks HG Clear, concise and insightful. No matter how much I read, I still struggle to get my head around it all, but it helps. Maybe in a millennium I might be able to. Here’s hoping.

  3. Asp Emp says:

    The MRN was the ‘Ping-Pong Player’ and did all the to-ing / fro-ing on a daily basis. This went on for about a year. Until he ‘sensed’ that I was less under his ‘control’ and selected another and a very much younger, innocent and vulnerable NIPS. Obviously he was ‘triangulating’ her and the IPPS that he replaced me with. Oh, it really hurt me at the time. I am not bovvered now.

    I was in fact the NIPS for a number of years – it was emotionally intimate, not physical – he would have had other sources of intimacy elsewhere. This ‘realisation’ of being the NIPS occurred to me as I was reading this article!

    It is interesting to read that a narcissist can change their ‘interaction’ with primary sources of fuel – from / to the Nomad / Ping Pong Player / Anchor / Hybrid more than once, depending on the ‘here and now’ circumstances of the narcissist.

    “He will morph and shift between these different approaches” – I liked the wording. Just like a narcissist that can change the positions of their fuel sources, without ‘notice’.

    Reading this article reminded me of HG’s books ‘Understanding Changes to the Fuel Matrix’; ‘Fuel’ and ‘Sitting Target’.

    At the start of my learning, when reading one particular article, I may have commented with only that specific article in my mind. In my view, it was because I was still under the ‘fog’ of emotional and mental turmoil from years and years of narcissistic abuse. Travelling through my journey on KTN site, learning about narcissism as I went along, absorbing the information, reading & communicating with other bloggers on KTN, understanding myself, recognising myself, rediscovering myself has aided me to remove the unnecessary ‘psycho-crap’ of narcissistic abuse in order to free up (liberate) my mind to be able regain my ability to analyse and think laterally.

    All because of one man, HG. And his Legacy. And his own personal experiences of narcissism.

    1. Bubbles says:

      Dearest Asp Emp,
      The weasel did the same as well !
      Every time I heard a ‘ping’ on my phone …. I knew I could smell a ‘pong’ 🏓
      Luv Bubbles xx 😘

      1. Asp Emp says:

        Dear Bubbles, ping pong balls are the flimsiest s**ttiest balls you can get!! They don’t go very far either LOLOL

        1. Bubbles says:

          Dearest Asp Emp,
          They squash easy as well
          I bought some ping pong balls for my mum’s cats to play with …. they soon got bored and lost interest ! 😹
          This is an excellent article to highlight what’s NOT normal …… normal relationships are open n committed, none of this back n forth, now you see me, now you don’t
          Any mention of exes, past or present…….ditch em, they’re just wasting your time and messing with your head
          You’re either in, or you’re out ….. the only way is forward, what’s it gonna be
          Quite often when our daughter goes on a FIRST date, the bloke always mentions his ex …..nope that’s it, theres no second date haha …….the focus should be on you, not the ex
          Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          1. Asp Emp says:

            Bubbles, yes, I learned that very early in my life RE: “They squash easy as well” – I am referring to ping pong balls, of course. No wonder the cats got bored LOL. With the rest of your comment – absolutely.

            RE: “Any mention of exes, past or present” – you forgot to add, ‘future’ as narcissists very rarely ‘let you go’, the ‘bind’ is until one of the ‘entanglement’ dies.

            I am glad your daughter has also learned some important lessons in life. I have to say that I am that far removed from my past and am looking forward, ahead with the blinkers off. Just the blinkers, nothing else LOL.

          2. Bubbles says:

            Dearest Asp Emp,
            Cute …… haha
            Yes, ‘future’ should not be forgotten….. most important !
            Blinkers off is an eye opener, or should I say two eyes …… 😂
            Good girl !
            Luv Bubbles xx 😘

          3. Asp Emp says:

            Bubbles, your comment was timely…… made me laugh too. Yes, I know I am a good girl – deep down I am. Thank you x

  4. Donna Riddell says:

    Jesus christ. Nomad he is. HG your willingnes to teach us who trapped hy your kind (as you refer) is probably the only blessing to come out of my situation in becoming entagled with a narcissist person. I am the ling standing old IPPS and have been been cast aside 6 times. Currently he is shacked up with his New IPPS.

    Do you have a page where we can contact you too ask questions?

    Thank you in advance HG

  5. karmicoverload says:

    I’m so confused. He has no intimate Partner Primary source. Not since his marriage ended several years ago, certainly not in the threeyearsI have known him. He survives on fuel from NIPPS, NIPSS and a whole bevy of IPSS’S, I truly believe that.

    1. Truthseeker6157 says:


      Not sure if this might be relevant to your situation?

      1. karmicoverload says:

        I read that with interest. I do believe there could have been a primary source initially, but their relationship broke up for sure. It was long distance, and she was very vocal about the fact they were no longer an item. How do I know there is no primary source for the last three years? I live next door to him. There are no visits from other women.
        If there is a primary source, it is his kids, in a NIPPS situation.

        1. Truthseeker6157 says:

          Hey Karmic

          I see what you mean. As his neighbour you would anticipate that you would know if there was a new IPPS. Unless, he is keeping her away from his house and spending time at hers instead. I do know what you mean though. If his car is still in the driveway then he isn’t at hers either.

          Another interesting listen / read is ‘the loneliness of the long distance empath.’ I know you weren’t an LDE. I was. We would be talking at all times of the day and night. I couldn’t see how there was an IPPS on the scene either. He will have been fuelling up somewhere though. That video offers more suggestions about how this might be done.

          1. A Victor says:

            It is pretty odd how they spend so much time with us online or on the phone and then you find out they had to be fueling up somewhere ‘for real’ at the same time. That’s a tough one for me to grasp.

          2. karmicoverload says:

            Thank you TS, I will re-read that one. I actually think he’s fuelling up online rather than in “real life” at the moment. Perhaps he has another Long Distance Empath. It wouldn’t be the first time.

          3. JB says:

            Makes you wonder how they find the time! Mind you, I don’t think they sleep many hours at night (just based on my experience)

          4. Truthseeker6157 says:


            It is interesting isn’t it, when you think about where their fuel is coming from? If they aren’t getting fuel from one place, it stands to reason they have to up supply from another as a temporary measure. There might also be NISS’s that are supplementing to an extent also. If people are distancing themselves then he might have done this before, driven people away through switching to more potent negative fuel to meet demand. I confess fuel supply is not my strong point. I know that narcissists need fuel and the differences in potency at different levels. I’m not good at knowing how the fuel matrix would be utilised in a range of different scenarios.

            Thinking about you and your recovery for a minute, try not to think about him too much. Difficult as you live next door! Try to put the blinkers on and be oblivious if you can. Thinking about this will only keep your ET higher than it would be. Good riddance to bad rubbish as far as he goes. Concentrate on you, your plan, your future. That’s far more important than what he’s up to. I do understand the curiosity, I do. Push yourself to the top of your thoughts if you can though. Xx

          5. Truthseeker6157 says:

            Hi JB,

            The online narc needed little sleep too. I used to worry about him talking to me then going to work 5 hours later. He is a firefighter, and so being tired on the job would result in more than a paper cut. When I would try to close the conversation, late, for this very reason, he could turn cold all of a sudden. Accuse me of being bored, picking him up and putting him down. I realise now my ending the call would be a threat to control. He was projecting by saying I was picking him up and putting him down. Bored, I don’t see projection, I am such scintillating company, obviously!!

            I have my theory about the narc requiring less sleep. Sleep has all kinds of benefits and purposes as we know. One of them is the processing and filing of the day’s events. If you don’t suffer stress or guilt, you don’t experience love, friendship or the associated concerns those entail, if you see in black and white rather than ruminating in grey, if you don’t self analyse your own conduct or emotions and so on, then what is there to process?

            Nothing. Just a series of events that essentially would look like a series of events belonging to someone else, as there is no emotional attachment contained within them. HG doesn’t dream, another indicator of the same lack of requirement to process. He doesn’t say “I rarely dream” or “I don’t remember my dreams often.” he says, “I never dream.” He goes into very deep restorative sleep for roughly 4 hours, then he gets up and starts again. He isn’t weighed down by worry, concerns etc. He is clear thinking.

            My view is that narcs generally need less sleep due to the fact that narcs have no emotional empathy. Just my hypothesis.

    2. Empath007 says:

      Mine hasn’t had a primary source in nearly a decade either. I completely understand your confusion.

      I did work with a narc (nothing materialized between us because he was well… gross)… but he also did not have and IPPS. In his case, he was morbidly obese, makes too modest of an income etc. He had no problem finding sexual partners…
      But I think he was too stupid, annoying etc for any woman (self respecting or not) to keep him around for any sort of long period of time.

      For some
      Of them…
      How great they are is truly only a figment of their imagination.

      So maybe these gents seem charming to us… but the reality is they are total loosers no woman wants around lol.

      1. Truthseeker6157 says:

        Hahaha Empath007,

        You make a fair point there! The MMRB was a weird fish. I’ve listened to HG Mauls. I’ve had the NDC. He doesn’t exactly fit in MMRB or in A. He didn’t whine or do the woe is me routine. Very occasionally and more to do with work and the system. In fairness they do treat firefighters poorly, they are underpaid and their union leader is a tit. So in reality many of his moans actually were justified.

        He did however suggest loneliness. He suggested also and in a very matter of fact way, that he might be here today gone tomorrow. He claimed to have had a hospital stay but I wasn’t allowed to help, visit, or do anything practical to assist. There we have it, the hook. Someone to rescue that won’t allow me to rescue. How very fortunate.

        So I agree with placing him in B but he only just gets in to B, more due to a lack of anywhere else to put him. Looks wise, he was attractive. I’m the better catch by a fair way looks wise if I’m being honest. Ha ha! That sounds awful doesn’t it? It’s true though. I’m brighter than him too! Drive a nicer car, (that full on annoyed him), I’m definitely funnier, I’m probably better than him at golf as well, or I would be, if I played golf 😂So really I see your point, what was the draw? Addiction. Has to be. We see what we want and expect to see.

      2. karmicoverload says:

        You’re right Empath007, he is almost 64 years old and he has not had a Primary source (At least a “full time” one anyway) since his wife divorced him over ten years ago. I agree this is probably because he is such a nightmare to be around all the time, all his old hangers-on have gotten wise to this so he has to settle for secondary sources and long distance sources.

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