They say the eyes are the window to the soul. You have noticed it: the long stare with the dead eyes. Just like vultures sizing up their prey and waiting for the right moment, narcissists and psychopaths have an awful, creepy stare that’s hard to miss. You look at their dead eyes and it feels like nobody is home. It’s part of their body language and they can’t hide it. When they lie, they put their head down. When they are scheming, they have that smirk on their faces. It’s all part of their automatic body language. They don’t think about it usually. It just happens and it can expose their motives. But why do they stare?
You have to understand why they do it so you don’t fall for this tactic.
When narcissists stare, it could mean different things depending on the situation and the context. Usually it could mean they are hostile, it could mean they are scheming, it could mean they are trying to control and manipulate you, or it could just be their automatic negative body language as part of their disorder.
So, why do narcissists stare?! Here are the possible reasons
Staring As A Way to Control Their Victims
Narcissist might look at a person in a condescending manner. They are trying to prove authority over them. They are trying to scare a weak and vulnerable victim and they know it works. It’s like an adult giving orders to a child and they want to appear firm and overpowering. Narcissists treat people as inferior just like that.
They might be trying to manipulate the victim into doing something they don’t want to do so they use this dirty tactic. They would prolong the stare until it becomes really uncomfortable for the victim so they may agree to do the thing the narcissist wants them to do. When they stare, it’s like they are gauging how far they can go, how many boundaries they can break before the victim says stop. It’s like a competition for them and they don’t want to lose.
Narcissists have zero respect for boundaries. And if you are a people pleaser, they will see it in your eyes and it would be hard to say no to the narcissist. But you need to learn how to set healthy boundaries and ignore this stare to disarm the narcissist. If you are firm in setting healthy boundaries, the narcissist will see that you have a high self-worth and high self-esteem and they will treat you accordingly. If the narcissist tries to use a demeaning, controlling stare, you just walk away knowing that his plan didn’t work.
Narcissists Stare When They Are Hostile
When narcissists are in a rage, they can’t hide behind their mask. The façade is gone. They are raging bulls. They can’t help it. It shows as their automatic body language is taking over. And they know they can scare the victim just by looking with their dead eyes that’s full of anger and resentment. Narcissists have no conscious and the can do anything during a blind rage so you have to be careful at this point.
Narcissistic rage can also be passive-aggressive. So you have to be able to read the signs and see it in their eyes. This passive-aggressive behavior can be hidden behind sarcasm or offensive jokes that can be passed as socially acceptable behavior. Narcissists can be sneaky so this type of aggression is designed as a secret weapon to attack and demean the victim in a subtle way that’s hard to detect and also, it removes the blame or responsibility. Here you need to be assertive and set firm, clear boundaries and never accept the smallest aggressive behavior because if you do, the narcissist will see it as an open invitation for more abuse.
This look of anger and resentment can be actually projection. Meaning, it’s not you that they are angry with. They are angry with themselves and they project their hostile feelings onto you because they can’t deal with it. They can’t own the fact that they are the one at fault.
Narcissists Stare as a Method for Seduction
This time the narcissist wants to leave as good impression as possible. This is a “good” type of stare, even though nothing good comes from a narcissist. The narcissist has locked eyes on you, which made you feel as if nothing else mattered in life to him right at that moment. It’s intoxicating, the light is shining bright on his beautiful eyes and he is prolonging his gaze as much as possible to dive deep into your soul. You feel they have owned you which can be uncomfortable but a beautiful feeling at the same time. It gets too uncomfortable at a time so you look away from his eyes as if you are taking a breath after diving underwater. You realize you have been dragged down into the narcissist’s territory like an alligator drags his prey into water. The spell is cast onto you.
But, everything seems fine up till now. This might be the first date, even. And the narcissist is trying to love-bomb his way into your heart. You feel like you are at the center of the narcissist’s universe. You are the only thing that matters. Everything else doesn’t matter anymore. You feel like all your worries and concerns are gone as you are completely in the moment. You might have thought you have found your soul mate. After all, he is also telling you about his interests and they seem to align with you. He tells you all the right things no one ever told you. He wants the same thing out of the relationship, too. He is mirroring you and mimicking your interests to gain your trust. A narcissist will do anything at the love-bombing phase. And it’s such a rush! This is the time you would look back at and realize it’s the start of an addiction, the start of the trauma-bond that will make unable to break free from a soon to be toxic relationship. The trauma-bond is based on intermittent reinforcement where a narcissist alternates between adoration and withholding it. But at this phase of love-bombing, as he stares deep into your soul, he is giving you what you want. He is making sure that all the right chemicals are rushing into your brain.
This type of stare is also used to read deep into your soul, exposing your fears, your desires and your needs. The narcissist is trying to gain an understanding of you, as the eyes are the window to your soul, and the narcissist is really good at reading people. He is trying to understand what makes you tick, what moves you deeply and what gets you mad. This can be dangerous as the narcissist now knows everything about you at the love-bombing phase, so he can use it to his advantage later on. He now knows what buttons to push to get a specific reaction from you. That’s why a relationship with a narcissist is so hard to break free from. You are in too deep and he knows your secrets. And how would you know that this person would use the information against you when you confide in them? Only a heartless, toxic person would do that! So, you have to remember: it’s not your fault. And you are not an easy target!
The Empty Stare When Love Has Faded
When you first start a relationship with a narcissist, the love-bombing phase, everything is perfect about them, their eyes are sparkling with love and affection. They want to prove their fake love to you so they try very hard to convey their feelings to you in every way possible. And eyes are a great way to communicate their fake emotions. They use it to mesmerize and own you. And they view people as objects. So, when they own you finally, the chase is over. They love the chase but have nothing else to offer after it.
So, after love-bombing, everything changes form worse to worst. The mask and façade is gone. Now their eyes are absolutely dead. The stare is hard to miss now. They look at you as if they are looking past you. You don’t exist unless they want something from you. After they have tasted the narcissistic supply, they are bored now. When they stare now, it’s like they are thinking about something or someone else. They might be thinking about new supply. Something fresh and new. They are easily bored and they can’t settle in a relationship.
You find yourself looking at a stranger now. This is not the same person that you knew or you though you knew. His eyes were full of life and passion! What ever happened to that? It’s like dealing with a robot going through the motions and the emotions they are trying hard to fake. It’s like looking into a void; the hollow stare is piercing through your soul, declaring a new era, a new phase of the relationship. It might be very confusing to you right now but, this phase is called devaluation phase where the narcissist begins to see imagined or real faults in you. You are no longer the perfect target they thought you were. And narcissists think that they deserve the best, so, anything less than perfect is viewed as worthless to them.
They Stare When They Are Scheming
You feel like the narcissist is always up to something. Coupled with a shady smirk on their face, narcissists might stare when they are thinking about the best way to control you. You never feel relaxed and at ease with a narcissist. You don’t know what they are thinking. You don’t know what they are going to do next. They are emotionally unpredictable. So you can’t let your guard down. You are always walking on egg shells. What kind of relationship is that?! You can’t be in a happy – romantic or otherwise – relationship with a narcissist knowing that they are scheming all the time. And they don’t let you know what they are going to do next. One of the power techniques they use is unpredictability, it’s like they are going to war! They have mastered “48 laws of power” and they apply it in their day to day interactions. Some of the “laws” are:
“Never put too much trust in friends; learn how to use enemies” & “Conceal your intentions” & “Pose as a friend, work as a spy” & “Learn to keep people dependent on you”
This book is so important to understand how psychopaths and narcissist think. No wonder it’s so popular among prison inmates!