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!