Knowing the Narcissist : Why Does the Narcissist Seem Like a Different Person?



It is accurate to state that we operate in three essential states. There are varying degrees within those states, differing levels of intensity which are affected by factors such as the type of narcissist that we are, what we require from you, the level of empathic individual you are as well as several others. Nevertheless, there are three basic states. The first, as you would expect, is the golden setting. We are at our most wonderful, most brilliant and most loving when in this state.

This always appears during our seduction of you and we will reinstate it from time to time and often when we hoover you in order to suck you back in and keep you hanging on to us. The second is the dark setting when we instigate our devaluation of you. This dark setting allows us to deploy our various machinations against you, a variety of different of manipulations as the abuse begins and we make your life particularly unpleasant.

This requires effort and energy on our part and whilst we will be rewarded with fuel, a certain degree of application is required to use these manipulations against you. When we unveil our dark setting it is upsetting and confusing but often you will find some reason to explain our behaviour. It is usually the wrong reason but you will find one nevertheless as you like to understand and have a reason to explain why someone is behaving in a certain way towards you – you decide we are stressed, tired, hungover, in need of affection or perhaps you are unduly harsh on yourselves so that you, in that usual empathic manner, blame yourself for the behaviour we have meted out against you.

Perhaps you did not listen when you ought to have done, perhaps you should have realised that we wanted to go out tonight, or that we would not want chicken for a second time this week.

There is a third setting and this often proves more confusing that our unpleasant dark setting. This setting might be regarded as a neutral setting, somewhere between the golden and the dark, but it is not. This setting is on the road to the dark setting and is closer to that than the golden. This particular setting is the stranger setting.

There will be times when we do not wish to apply considerable energy to our continued devaluation of you, but the devaluation must continue. It may not be as harsh, since there is no shouting, no violence, no insults and such like. It is not the golden period because we show no affection, we do not do things for you and we do not exhibit any of the charm that once flowed so readily from us.

During this stranger setting we are neither wonderful nor awful but we behave like someone who doesn’t really know you and you are certainly left feeling like you are dealing with somebody else.

If you telephone us we will not dole out a silent treatment and ignore your repeated calls. We will not answer in less than a ring and speak to you with affection and enthusiasm, instead we answer and engage in a monosyllabic conversation. It is like drawing teeth. We confirm that nothing is wrong and you may think there is but we have not responded angrily or harshly. We have not accused you of anything, we have not labelled you in some way but the conversation is flat.

It is as if our personality, whether golden or dark has vanished and left almost an automaton in its place. We function, we talk about our day but with little detail and certainly no enthusiasm. We ask questions of you but they are polite and perfunctory as if we are just going through the motions. There is no nastiness, no backbiting or sneering. It is difficult to process because it is not nothing, that cannot be the case because we are talking to you, but it feels like nothing.

We may call around to see you but it feels like an inspector has called around. We sit, we decline a drink that you offer us and we answer your questions without offering you anything much in return. Where has the charmer gone? Where has the monster gone? Who is this stranger that looks like us, sounds like us but is not behaving like us?

You cannot accuse us of being unpleasant but it feels unpleasant because you are dealing with someone you do not recognise. Any questions about what is wrong with us are politely answered and you are assured there is not a problem, but we seem lifeless. You flatter us, compliment us and whilst we accept them there is no spark of interest, there is no response.

Why are we like this? Why is this being done? Why do we seem like someone else? It is as if we have been abducted by aliens in the night and replaced with a robot which is neither wonderful nor savage but is frustratingly something else. This third setting occurs during the devaluation period. It is not a respite from devaluation as that is the golden setting once more. It is clearly not the dark setting as that is the rolling out of nastiness and abuse.

This third setting is an indicator of the calm before the storm. Whilst there are occasions where we might switch from golden to dark setting in the blink of an eye, this third setting is used when we wish to conserve energy in readiness for unleashing a particular savage next stage in the devaluation as we will move to the dark setting and crank it up to eleven. You are not cruising along being driven by fair winds, nor are you being thrown up and down buffeted by a storm, instead you are becalmed or moved along by a weak breeze.

This is the time we are girding our loins, gathering information and plotting. The switch of functions to the organisation and scheming of what is to come, along with the intense outpouring of energy required to sustain the vicious intensifying of this devaluation means we adopt this near automatic state.

You may not ever see this happen dependent on the nature of the narcissist you have become entangled with, but when you do, you should be aware that a storm is brewing and not just any old storm but a supercell storm of savage and damaging proportions.

This is a warning.

8 thoughts on “Knowing the Narcissist : Why Does the Narcissist Seem Like a Different Person?

  1. Contagious says:

    One final comment. I always felt like an outsider looking in. In my teen years, I was a cheerleader but I did drama which I was good and lost myself in it, I was friends always with the outcasts, friends with segregated races, sat with the pot heads at lunch as I found them interesting and soulful, and in class with the geeks. I went to college and joined the popular blond sorority was even VP but I hated the cattiness and superficiality and until adulthood I didn’t realize my pledges were from two different races , I joined political activism boycotting apartheid, was a journalist ( my degree), and a legal affairs member who engaged in helping an American Indian on a social security ID and constitutional issue. My friends are for life but I don’t hold true to groups I once belonged like a sorority. To this date, I chose people with good hearts to surround me and not title or money. I have loved rich and poor men. I got involved with a narc who I tried to love and help as he was a true victim from an unfathomable childhood. The underdog and my Faith always calls me. But in his case WOW! What pain, thank you HG! I have n ver changed my core which is run by feels seated Faith. I don’t preach and have friends of most Faiths. But my life is that Truth that I found at a very young age and with experience. Experience. Again I wonder if any of this helps explain a contagion empath and who we are and why. This outsider who is connected to a deep current or m Abington maybe not even the self?

  2. Candied Pansy says:

    I loathe the Midsommar vibe in the photo, IYKYK, and that you knowingly do this to empaths. If you only took on other narcissistic psychopaths or at least greater narcs, it’d be different.

    HG, you have the Golden period and bronze period.
    1. Why not silver too? 2. Could silver be for NISS/IPSS/IPTS when they’re not golden worthy, but you’re nicer than bronze? You discussed golden setting, dark setting, and stranger setting in this post, but golden setting = golden period, so I thought of it, the bronze period, and lack of silver. Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Gold and bronze are used to make a clear distinction between the two, adding silver would confuse matters. Gold is giving you a glorious experience, bronze is more about keeping the nastiness away without it being anything particularly special.

  3. doginheaven52 says:

    It has been for several reasons that I have decided to remain with the man I’m involved with. I think since I’ve been reading HG, it has been about five years. I repress myself when with him. It is always just for sex, sometimes conversation but mainly sex. It is because of our age as well and because of convenience. I don’t contact him because of the dark setting which triggers a death like anxeity. At these times, he is lifeless, acts as if I am the last person in the world he wants in his presence. He does not answer text or phone calls so I stopped that long ago. I have to see him occassionally because of work and this is where his golden light unfolds itself and I become transfixed, like the victim floating to a vampire. In the back of my mind, I honestly know he is planning a super cell nova of a storm and I know what this could do to me. In spite of years and years of psychotherapy… I’m not getting any better and feel that because of age, I’m running out of time. A big piece of it I know is destruction of the self driven by complex shame, guilt and DNA…

    1. Bubbles says:

      Dear doginheaven52,
      Your story is so very sad 😞
      I don’t understand why! Life can be much more! 💕

    2. Truthseeker6157 says:


      I wonder if you could take a first step, just a first step by putting him through a Narc Detector?

      HG will tell you what classification of narcissist he is and you could then find out more about this specific type of narcissist by listening to HG’s YouTube videos and reading relevant articles here. Understanding him better can only help not hinder.

      Sometimes, just completing the questionnaire can help you to organise your thoughts. You can see in black and white all of the behaviours that concern you, the list can be quite lengthy and that in itself can help you reconcile what it is exactly that you are getting ( the apparent upside) for the price you are paying ( the downside).

      It’s a useful exercise. It’s entirely confidential and the results are yours to do what ever you want with. No obligation to take further action.

      Not every empath here has escaped all of the narcissists in their lives. There’s no judgement here, only support and a sincere desire to help.

      I’m glad you commented, welcome to the blog Doginheaven.


    3. Contagious says:

      Maybe dog in heaven read the parental narc series. It’s possible you have a narc parent and therefore feel this situation is the norm. For example, a CoD per HG was a child who got validation by giving to the narc parent. The carrier soldiered on. HG has not done one on contagion. I think for me there were several reasons. I think my father was a contagion. I am very much like him. Although a Vietnam vet, an engineer in sales, he was predominantly a singer and guitarist. Involved in community groups, church, home being a folk singer. He was offered a record deal in his youth. Second, religion. I was very religious at a young age. Searching and yearning and experiencing Faith. My parents were not true church goers. It was me. I wondered about existence very young. I was tested as gifted in school and often called precocious. I still recall the tree I stood next to at 5? Where I wondered about death and eternity. Third, I think I spent as much time as I could outside the house in nature and its beauty, solace and mystery. Finally, my mother emotional abuse lies in what is not said. Silence is a verb so I think I became hyper vigilant about reading the room. I look forward to more education from HG! HG says not all empaths become empaths from a narc. I think we mostly do. I don’t like drama. Violence was not a norm but my ex did come from it and as a narc it was as the air he breathes.

    4. Contagious says:

      One more thing I did as a child. The had been magic nary friends. Sam Vatnim said his imaginary friend became his false self at 4. He woke up and felt he was dead. And he became his false self. HG said I was an empath. But I did have imaginary friends. My stuffed animals were real. Pets. Nature. I felt connected to everything but especially to God. I was very imaginative creating games to play with friends where sticks became swords and creeks with stones were where prisoner escapes. I thought I was a fairy. I was a fairy every Halloween. I created games for Saturday mornings for my younger siblings where I created a room of rides and games while watching Saturday morning cartoons. I was given a tape recorder and created an underwater world. I wonder if contagions turn to imagination to create a safe place, a big world where you are accepted or Faith where you connect to the true love? I don’t think I went Sam’s way but a different way. I was an actress and am a published author ( all from dreams) and now am a multimedia artist but attorney for income. Sam says he feels like he lives in a silent movie. He says he feels an absence and empty. He draws on others to buffer going there. . It terrifies him to live in a void. I don’t feel this way. Sam says he recalls being a child but then thrust into monsters and let “ not me” die. “Not me” didn’t have his head fractured. His false self is absolute. It can handle all. But I feel I had the opposite. I found solace and peace outside my home. I found it in Faith, nature and imagination. I needed validation outside my family. I am as lucky in that I had a pure unconditional love from a father but it wasn’t enough. I searched, I yearned, I created and I had all these weird dreams throughout my life… and I believe that I found love there too. Is that what makes a contagion? Some would say you lived alone in a way there. Sam Vatnim said he was always alone. But we went on different paths. Sam felt good about creating pain. I never did. In fact, I recall distinctly Saint Bathlowmews death At a session in the Catholic abuse. I remain horrified. Sam said as a narc he could read others. He had a rader, a sensor and he later abused this gift to control others and sadism. He used it to let others know he knew them then used it to create a “ soul mate.” He was a scientist of others. I feel this way but I think mine arose from my education on the vibrations of the universe or sensing the undercurrent of truth. I don’t know what that would be called but nature and Faith is a great education. Maybe I am wrong. No idea. I just know that Sam and I had imaginary friends. Waiting on answers. HG where does a contagion empath come from?

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