That Really Gets My Goat


You ought to know by now that control and fuel are what we narcissists need and desire.

Control over you.

Fuel from you.

These are the fundamentals and our existence is founded on these two items. Obtaining them, by any means, is the everyday interaction between us and you, our appliances. This is what gives rise to the manipulations, be they good such as showering with compliments during the seduction or be they bad, such as, subjecting you to a silent treatment when devaluation comes calling.

By reading my work here and in my books, you have become increasingly familiar with the vast range of manipulations and you will identify with some of the “stand out” forms of manipulation, such as physical violence, sexual abuse, gas lighting, silent treatments, earth-moving sex, the withdrawal of sex, circular conversations, triangulation and many more.

What you may now have realised is that many of those minor irritations that a narcissist engages in are also part of the application of control. What you chalked down to a somewhat annoying habit or an exasperating behaviour as being that and that alone, is actually incorrect.

In the context of the world of the narcissist is yet another way to exert control and gain fuel, with the minimum of effort and the maximum of plausible deniability as to what it actually is achieving.

“What are you talking about? I do not do that!”

“Good god woman, so I leave a damp towel on the bed, get over yourself!”

“Oh what a trauma, I have left the kitchen light on again. Nobody has died you control freak!”

“You can talk, you are always putting crumbs in the butter.”

What do you see there? The annoyance of an individual to having some petty irritation pointed out to them? Or do you see denial, minimising, exaggerated comparison and blame shifting?

It is important to recognise that narcissists and non-narcissists engage in the same behaviours but is the reason behind it which assists your understanding. If somebody keeps leaving a wet towel on the bed after a shower, it does not mean that this person is a narcissist. If a non-narcissist does it, they are forgetful and no doubt pre-occupied with a thought about something else and when it is pointed out to them, they will apologise and correct the problem. If a narcissist does it, it evidence the sense of entitlement, lack of accountability and the latent application of the need for control. This runs through us and applies to everything we say and do, because the need for control is always required when an appliance enters our spheres of influence in some way.

It is often the case that our kind will have a “go to irritating habit” which our narcissism applies because it is easy to do, it is easy to be dismissive about it, it is easy to claim you are over-reacting to something trivial and it easily allows the assertion of control and the gathering of fuel.

What is the habit or what are the habits which the narcissists you have been involved with which has or have really got your goat and why?

This is not about the major manipulations some of which I have listed above, but it is about giving you an opportunity to highlight and explain what are those seemingly trivial and relatively unimportant things that the narcissist did or does which really got your goat, so you now understand why, since it was a narcissist clearing his throat every five minutes as loudly as possible or licking the knife clean at dinner, it was instinctively designed to get your goat and control it.

Over to you!


64 thoughts on “That Really Gets My Goat

  1. Michele Renn says:

    Back when I would be sad that he was leaving… He would spend an extra excruciating hour of showing me stupid You Tube videos that he had shown me before and knew my dislike for them and would literally get in my face acting all excited to show me “a different one” if I as much as turned to adjust my position- he would “you’re not even looking! This is the best part” then he’d proceed to fewunfy the one second I had missed.
    Needless to say – he cured my sadness of him leaving! I couldn’t wait to see him go! I learned to squirm, get a drink, go to bathroom, tell him to pause the video while I did something totally useless. Then I’d start asking him to rewind even though it was obvious I was totally paying attention. I would even act surprised at videos he had shown me a million times. It wasn’t long before I was “the meanest, stupidest person he had ever met! I agreed that I was indeed stupid! That would burn him up more because I’d follow it up by saying “Stupid for putting up with you!”

  2. Leolita says:

    Whenever we slept in the same bed at night he would put his hand in my hair, and start messing it up, (he called it «cuddling») while I was asleep, or just before I fell asleep- it was very annoying and it hurt. He always pretended to be asleep, and would never stop if I asked him to. – many times I woke up from the pain and was very upset. Then he would say something like «you are always so mad at night» the next day.

    He would let his dogs steal all the space in the bed, not leaving room for me to be able to Lie comfortably, and got angry at me if I tried to move them

    Also very often he started (or pretended to?) messaging with other people or reading things online while we were talking on the telephone. Suddenly not answering or taking part in the Conversation anymore. I even found out (he told me) that he had recorded (!!) some of these conversations, where I would end up getting upset because he did not answer…

    I could go on and on, there are so many things..

    Cant believe I put up with all that shit for so long. And I even doubted that this jerk is a narc.

  3. Bubbles 🍾 says:

    Dear Mr Tudor,
    Couple of things come to mind……
    My mother talks incessantly whilst watching tv programmes (especially something we’re interested in)
    She leaves tissues from one end of her house to the other and is always moving things so I can never find anything and she makes a point of being where I want to be in the house (I’m her carer n cleaner)
    Annoying n frustrating….absolutely, but I don’t let it get to me !
    I have no control over that I cannot change
    We could never have her live with us
    Eye opening article, one to take on board and take note of
    Thank you Mr Tudor
    Luv Bubbles xx 😘

  4. nooneofanyimport says:

    Ha ha! Whenever my inlaws came to visit, they would turn my kitchen sink drainer upside down! Supposedly it worked better that way or some such nonsense. But it got on my nerves, and every time I saw it that way I righted it again. And every time I came back, it was upside down again. The whole damn visit. I never said anything, but I would wonder: who does this in someone else’s house? Ha ha now I understand!

    1. Tammy says:

      Isn’t it amazing what entitled people do in other people’s homes. The first clue for them should have been when you turned it back the right way. A narcissist just does not know what being a guest in someone’s home means. Unbelievable.

      1. K says:

        It’s a battle for control/fuel. The inlaws displayed a lack of emotional empathy, poor boundary recognition, sense of entitlement, lack of accountability and superiority (the drain works better upside down after all). The act could be construed as belittling which is indicative of devaluing behavior/malign control.

        nooneofanyimport rights the drain and back and forth it goes. There’s no evidence of wounding so I suspect there may have been thought fuel or proximate fuel. If they witnessed nooneofanyimport right the drain then this would be perceived as challenge fuel and, throughout this tug of war, the inlaws really think they are just being helpful; they have no idea that they need fuel and control.

        It’s fascinating to see how the dynamic plays out in the comments.

        1. Witch says:

          Yep! Exactly like this woman I helped who was homeless.
          I’d be laying in my bed in the morning chilling, and she would come knocking on my door asking if she I come in. I would tell her to wait until I got up because I’m not dressed, and she would say “I just wanted to let you know I’m going to shops”….
          Why the hell does she need to come into my room just to tell me she’s going to the shops!? It would get on friggin nerves!
          I’m surprised she didn’t ask my gf and I for a threesome the way she was carrying on

          1. K says:

            Hahahaha…it’s a clash of personalities.

            Empath/apath World: We would just go to the store and not tell anyone. No drama whatsoever.

            Narcissist’s World: Lack of empathy, poor boundaries, unconscious need for fuel, etc., knock, knock, knock, Hey Witch! I am going to the store. It’s breakfast and I need some ciggies and a Snickers Bar; do you have a couple of bucks? I’ll pay you back next week (future fake).

            Never underestimate a Narcissist; a threesome is possible.

          2. Witch says:

            If she asked me for a threesome I would feel so disrespected… ewww she was not nice but he thought she was. She said she wants to 2 boyfriends at the same time and for both of them to remain faithful to her.. I was nice about it, but honestly, sorry to be rude and shallow (not really) she wasn’t pretty, at all, what made her think that she could get away with cheating and have men be loyal to her!!?? 🤣🤣🤣 nah!
            Narcs are hilarious sometimes

          3. K says:

            Hahahaha…well, there’s a good dose of magical thinking, delusion and triangulation. Sometimes, their shenanigans can be very funny. Good luck to her, cause she is gonna need it.

  5. Pingback: That Really Gets My Goat ⋆ NarcTopia
  6. K says:

    After my father retired from the navy, he got a job as an electrician at the VA Hospital (Veterans Affairs) and he carried around a large key ring full of keys, although it didn’t bother me, I noticed he jiggled his keys quite a bit as if he was impatient or irritated.

    Now I know why.

  7. NarcAngel says:

    Some of the behaviours described in this thread are stomach turning. Evidence to me that it’s addiction on the empath side to their deep unmet emotional needs. How else can you explain wanting Intimacy (never mind having sex) with people who don’t bathe, brush their teeth, and pick their nose? Ffs. This acceptance of behaviours that degrade your self worth and defy basic logic and hygiene can only be explained as addiction. Calling it love is just a deflection from self.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Indeed NA, hence the power of addiction and the necessity of obtaining the APs now discounted in order to conquer it.

      1. NarcAngel says:

        Yes. People should be running full speed towards information that can keep them from having history repeat (as it often does). Especially those who acknowledge they tend towards having addictive type personalities. The discount allows more people to be introduced to help that cannot only be used now, but can be referred back to in future if they find ET taking hold. Thank you for offering it.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          You are welcome.

      2. Lorelei says:

        HG—I read your comment and NA’s.. Often I wonder how to protect my girls from “this” and it’s been in my mind especially due my reflection of impacts on me—but more how it impacted my mother’s health over the years. The example you recently gave was that certain behaviors may indicate more of a desire for empaths to be with narcissists (under maybe a smoke screen of certain types of sexual activity). I know this expands into a ton of different behavioral arenas, some more subtle, and it may attract a certain brand of them—but it’s there.
        This is the sort of thing where illustrating to teens “If you are drawn to this” (whatever it may be) it could indicate a draw to certain unhealthy people that comes from you. Teaching them to look within. Being self aware is very proactive and takes the burden off “who is what.”

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Very much the case.

          1. Lorelei says:

            Yes HG—and this only applies to other people, not me. I have no propensity for sub-par behaviors!

    2. Lin May says:

      I admit I am addicted to Narcissists NA, and also addicted to the need to be needed because that is where I get my self-worth from. I am a Codependent Empath, I think being useful is all I have to offer so I put up with almost anything so that I am not rejected. HG is doing wonders at helping me through this and helping me learn about what I am as well as about Narcissists. His book Unchained could have been written about me. I am nowhere near where I need to be yet but with HG’s help and my determination I have hope for myself.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        You have me. Forget hope.

        1. Lin May says:

          How true, HG. I know that what you teach is what I need to hear

      2. NarcAngel says:

        Lin May
        Not an easy road, but you are in the best place to receive the information and assistance to be successful. Rooting for you.

        1. Lin May says:

          Thank you, NA. I am glued to the site and drinking in as much information as I can, plus HG’s consultations are invaluable.

      3. Witch says:

        Hi Lin,
        I’m part co-dependent but I find my narcissistic traits of pride and hate and empathetic trait of justice allows me to counteract my co-dependent traits.
        It might be helpful to explore the root causes of your co-dependency. I have a friend who is more co-dependent than I but things have improved since she distanced berself from her narc mother.

    3. Witch says:

      If you think that’s bad, some children are put into foster care because their parent will not stop having contact with the narc.. even at the loss of their own children some people do not break contact with the narc. I don’t think this will ever stop shocking and depressing me.

      1. NarcAngel says:

        Some lose their children and it has nothing to do with foster care or government involvement of any kind. They lose a future with them because of their own inaction and addiction.

        1. Witch says:

          I agree, I just find to more shocking that social services will literally pre-warn you that they may take you to court and request the children are put into care on top of actually trying to support you before it gets to that point and through that whole process of other people knowing and becoming involved that doesn’t trigger a wake up call or maternal response …
          (I say maternal because that’s usually the scenario)
          It’s one thing to never be offered support and stay.
          But to actually be receiving support, on top of everyone knowing your business now that agencies are involved and you can no longer see your kids, but that doesn’t move you… that’s just beyond beyond

    4. njfilly says:

      Most of these outlined behaviors are disgusting. I don’t think I could tolerate any of them. I guess I lucked out that my narcissist boyfriend was very clean. He showered twice a day. His disgusting behavior was his immaturity and abusive behavior. Still intolerable.

  8. WokeAF says:

    Snoring, grumbling and mumbling in his sleep, along with tossing around and only sleeping 5 hours.
    This last time I actually considered if he was actually awake the whole time faking it bc he knows I hate it…. bc he asked if he snored.🤔 (I said I didn’t know as I could sense he was fuel seeking.)

    Think he faked it, HG?

    Add to the outrageous noise , he always gets pissed when I sleep in to make up the sleep 😆

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Potentially, I doubt he would be awake all of the time though. Probably did it before falling asleep to provoke you.

  9. CandaceMarie says:

    And I forgot, licking his fingers after eating because he refused to use a napkin.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      What a heathen

    2. njfilly says:

      Although picking one’s nose, not brushing one’s teeth etc. is disgusting, I find licking one’s fingers to be so disgusting I can’t even bear to watch somebody who does that. It just makes me sick.

      1. CandaceMarie says:

        Thank you for your response. It is disgusting. He encouraged my daughter to lick her fingers too. He thought it was funny. I didn’t. She did try it but I broke her of that habit fast.

        1. njfilly says:


          I’m glad you were able to counteract what he tried to teach her. It must be very difficult trying to parent with a narcissist.

          1. CandaceMarie says:

            He wasn’t her dad. But he tried to boss her around like one. Then he would tell me he tries to just be a friend to her. I can’t imagine having to co parent with a narcissist either.

          2. njfilly says:

            CandaceMarie: Well, good luck to you in whatever is your situation. Hopefully he is no longer her friend.

  10. CandaceMarie says:

    Lessers seem to have a lot of irritating habits. Mine always wore dirty clothes, rarely showered and thought brushing teeth was for women. It is well known that British people have bad teeth but come on! If I took him shopping for clothes he wouldn’t buy anything. It was embarrassing going out in public with someone who basically looked homeless. If I cleaned something he would come behind me and clean it the way he wanted. He constantly told my daughter and I that we were messy. If only he could have seen the messes (made by him) I found after I kicked him out. When we first moved in together he would wash the dishes but let them out to dry with the soap still on them (who does that!?). But the one thing that I was truly disgusted by was he bit his nails. I clearly remember being in the car with him once and I saw him bite his nails and I could literally feel my stomach turn in disgust.
    Also, the first night he spent at my place we slept in the same bed. He was so inconsiderate that he spread out so much that I had no room.

    1. Violetta says:

      I’ve seen plenty of bad teeth in the U.S. As for those overbleached Chiclets in Hollywood, they’re all fake. Lindsay Lohan had to get them because all the substance abuse had rotted her real teeth.

      1. CandaceMarie says:

        Very true Violetta, there are plenty of people in the US with bad teeth as well.

  11. Lin May says:

    We talked a lot online because it was a long distance relationship. Everytime my dinner was ready they would have an emotional crisis and have something important to tell me that had to be said right then. Hence my dinner would be cold and 3 hours late if I ever got the chance to eat at all. Eventually I ate with one hand with the laptop balanced on my knee so that they could continue talking. When I did this there would be no emotional crisis, the moment I tried to grab 10 minutes to eat alone they would need me again. If they were out I would still need to be available so that they could text me in a crisis at all mealtimes, if I pushed for a time to eat their crisis would then turn into them being suicidal because no one cared. This went on for 5 years. What was I thinking?

  12. Witch says:

    I don’t get irritated by these sorts of things as it would make me a very big hypocrite. I can make a place look like the aftermath of an earthquake and I lick my plate after I eat 😭
    It’s more likely that the narc is going to be set off by everything I do rather than the other way round.
    One of the narcs was offended that I burped in front of him, so I was like “well, there’s the door you can always leave”

  13. when9793 says:

    My spouse chews ridiculously loudly. The lack of simple manners and the sound makes me want to crawl out of my skin. He curses so frequently and seems to almost absent-mindedly touches his private part.

    1. Leigh says:

      When9793, Mine always touched his private parts too!! We would be having a random conversation and he would touch himself.

      Mr. Tudor, I’m curious, is this a normal thing for narcissists or was he just a pig?

      1. HG Tudor says:

        Not for all narcissists to do, but common amongst Lessers given their lack of facade and lack of awareness.

        1. Violetta says:

          Maybe they want to make sure it’s still there.

      2. NarcAngel says:

        Their dick is the only tool some have, so they keep checking to see if it’s still there and not rotted off from overuse. If you witness them doing it, just give a bored sigh and say:

        Yup. It hasn’t grown any since the last time you checked.

        1. Leigh says:

          That’s funny! If I decide to break no contact, I’ll have to remember that if I see him do it!

  14. Tammy says:

    Ok here we go… Putting the wet towel on the bed, putting the wet towel on the floor, slamming the cupboard doors, using the entire bottle of shampoo and conditioner, leaving one half of a cracker in the box, turning the TV up when not even watching it, tightening the faucet until it breaks, dragging rough items across the new car, slamming the car door, wearing (and hiding) my robe, wearing (and breaking) my sunglasses, putting his shirts in the dryer after insisting I hang them to dry, putting empty jug of milk back in the fridge, asking for a ride and then getting a ride from someone else after I’ve made the trip, using all the hot water, leaving my drawers open and claiming I did it, turning the stove back on after I finished cooking and claiming I left it on, picking his nose and putting it on the carpet, (not lying) wiping his dick on the bedspread after taking a pee (again, not lying), using (wasting)every new product I bought within days, hiding the remote, taking nude videos of himself on my bed and posting online then denying it. That’s the few things that come to mind but there is plenty more.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Bet you feel better after that!

      1. Tammy says:

        HG, yes it’s good for me to put it in words and also a good reminder of what I won’t ever have in my life again. Maybe others will recognize these behaviors and realize they aren’t going crazy. I thought I was. One thing that came to mind after I wrote my list was how many things I have found in my house even after he’s been gone. Things that were clearly meant for me to find eventually. The narc gift that keeps on giving.

    2. Kim e says:

      I am glad you feel better. I was going to reply sooner but after reading that I had to take a shower, bleach all my bedding shampoo my carpets….
      OMG how disgusting!!! May I ask what school of N he was?

      1. Tammy says:

        @Kim e, He was a lesser of some sort.

        1. njfilly says:

          He sounds like a lesser human being as well.

        2. CandaceMarie says:

          Definitely a lesser, they are disgusting.

          1. Tammy says:

            Candacemarie, Yes he had some disgusting habits but oddly enough was very very clean and showered daily and brushed teeth daily. The gross habits he had were directly aimed at my belongings. He could care less about respecting my property but took great care of himself and his things.

      2. Violetta says:

        Tammy and Kim e:

        I wanted to bleach my brain, & I am a hoarder. (Books and papers, not Precious Bodily Fluids…bleccchh!)

        1. Tammy says:

          Violetta, I removed all my carpet and installed hardwood. I also replaced my mattress and all my bedding. Haha! I look back and say what was I thinking. He was a child in a grown up body.

    3. NarcAngel says:

      How long were you with him? Also, what was the good, or the “hook” that allowed you to endure/rationalize the negative behaviours?

      1. Tammy says:

        NA, The list I described was the most recent one. I was with him on and off for about 3 years. He showed up with a couple boxes and needed a place to stay after only knowing him a couple months. He was much younger than me and I thought I could help get him on his feet. The hook or the good about him was he was very sweet in the beginning. I knew it couldn’t be a long term situation with him but it felt good to have him around. He lied about his circumstances and I didn’t know he didn’t have a job and couldn’t hold one for more than a couple weeks. He said I was the first person who understood him and I really wanted to be the one person he could count on. I, like most felt sorry for him. I wanted him to feel the love I wanted to give him. It didn’t take long for me to realize he was not interested in a relationship but certainly led me to believe he was. He basically just wanted a place to stay and continued meeting up with people from different dating sites. He didn’t contribute at all and I had to eventually set him loose. He would return several times with the sad story and I kept taking him back. I finally realized how much it was affecting my health, my job, my house being destroyed, my finances going downhill, and a host of other things. He hooked me by lying to me. It took me time to find out what he was really about. He was much younger than me and it didn’t help that he was beautiful to look at with an incredible body. Lol.

        1. NarcAngel says:

          Ah. The physical attraction was really the hook. Do you think that pride or ego in snagging someone much younger and aesthetically pleasing played a part in allowing you to keep overlooking the bad stuff and stay engaged? Not saying that you are not attractive yourself. I just think we sometimes tend to place a lot of importance on the ability to attract those we think reflect on us in a way that we do not think of ourselves. Of course we don’t see that at the time, but truthful reflecting on why we allowed it can help in future.

          1. Tammy says:

            NA, Physically I was definitely attracted to him but as far as age goes I didn’t really give that much thought. Even before meeting him and having any physical attraction to him, I felt an emotional attraction. I felt sorry for him for what he endured as a child and it was beyond horrible. I think I wanted to give him a do-over because his mother was so evil and I wanted to be the person who would love him when she had failed to. I wanted to teach him all the things he didn’t learn and help him get on his feet and get a job, a home, a car, etc. Turns out he didn’t want those things. He wants to be taken care of and used sex to trick me in to thinking he wanted a relationship. He didn’t. He wanted a place to stay and food and transportation while he continued playing the field.

    4. Witch says:

      Wow, that is a lot! I thought I was a freak show

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