Each of us has at least once been in the company of a narcissistic person.
Narcissistic people may be recognized by their characteristic pattern, but their famous narcissistic stare serves as a good hint of their narcissism.
Maybe we aren’t aware of the importance of eye contact, but as Charlotte Bronte said: ‘‘The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter – often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.”
This unpleasant gaze is the starting tool of their manipulation. That’s why I’ve prepared this article for you so that you can manipulate the manipulator!
What Exactly Is The Narcissistic Stare?
A narcissistic individual will stare at you with an empty, unfeeling expression on their face. It is frequently described as lacking any emotions and “seeing through you.”
This look is intended to scare you for some reason, control you, manipulate you, etc.
There are different ways a narcissist can stare at you. You will probably recognize the stare as:
• looking through you,
• lacking any emotions.
Either way, you will feel very uncomfortable, unpleasant and disturbed. It can even get to the point where it gets a bit scary.
They look at you in a way that makes you feel threatened, like they want to manipulate you in a bad manner. The gaze can also look blank, like they just saw through you.
The Manipulation Behind The Narcissistic Stare
The narcissist cannot help but turn on his special stare. However, the gaze is sometimes turned on purpose.
The narcissist wants to manipulate you. The manipulation background of the narcissistic stare can be diverse and have several motives:
1. They want you to feel intimidated
We have all found ourselves in a situation where we notice that someone is looking at us for too long. If you are an anxious person or someone who is shy, you might find this act of staring very intimidating.
Staring will cause the recipient to overthink everything they do, the way they look, the way they speak, and so on.
Whether we are shy or not, none of us is comfortable when someone stares at us for too long. That’s why narcissists can take advantage of those situations.
2. Love bombing – the way a narcissist loves
A person with extreme narcissism can sometimes have good intentions but wrongly express them. For instance, love bombing.
The narcissist will give all of his love and affection to the person he loves in an intense manner. He will always try to find you and make eye contact, even if you are in a crowd of 1000 people.
This personality trait may appear to be non-toxic, but it is a double-edged sword. Even though it is in the nature of humans to feel good about receiving love and compliments, too much of them can be considered a red flag.
Yes, this is a way for the narcissist to express their love and affinity.
But don’t forget that love bombing is also a great manipulation weapon a narcissist may use to get what they want from you.
3. They desire to make you uncomfortable
The right stare: look away ratio is always hard to determine. At which point does looking become staring? And at which point does looking away become rude?
One thing is sure, narcissists do not save the effort when staring. In that field, they may be too generous.
This, indeed, represents a huge problem for the person who is being stared at. It makes the person extremely uncomfortable.
Making someone uncomfortable affects their well-being, in some way forcing them to act unnaturally and do things that the narcissist wants.
4. They want to make someone jealous
In some other cases, the narcissist will use you to make someone else jealous. They will stare at you and pretend like they are really interested in you, while they’re actually thinking of someone else and using you as a ‘fake prey’ so that they can lure their ‘actual prey’.
Keep that in mind the next time a narcissist tries to play with your emotions!
Types Of Stares A Narcissist Uses
Different motives of a narcissist call for different stares. The type of stare a narcissist uses really depends on the situation. However, there is a general pattern.
1. The death/sociopathic stare
The death stare is often called the sociopathic stare.
There are no feelings or emotions present in this stare. It’s not like when someone looks at you and their eyes shine with delight at seeing you.
This appearance lacks any sentiments of love or concern. Perhaps the only indicator that someone is a sociopath is their sociopathic glare.
What’s the point of the death stare?
The death stare is usually linked with the idea of the narcissist that they are a predator and need to capture their prey. This stare is a powerful body language cue, since the narcissist thinks that their ‘prey’ will literally be amazed and thrilled with his gaze.
They use it to manipulate people more easily and cleverly. When staring, the ‘pray’ will be aware that they are the next victim, which will cause the person to become nervous and unable to look away.
How to recognize the death stare?
You will recognize it as ‘‘pure evil’’ gaze. This ‘‘pure evil’’ description is associated with dilated pupils. You can literally see the darkness in the narcissist’s eyes.
Behind this darkness is a simple, biological explanation. Pupil dilation happens due to anger. The narcissist becomes angry and this triggers the sympathetic nervous system which dilates the pupils.
Other indications of anger include fast breathing, high blood pressure, and high adrenaline levels. This leads to a characteristic pattern which can be recognized.
If you ever saw jealous Joe Goldberg in the series ‘You’, then you definitely know what I am talking about!
2. The intense stare
You would be surprised to know how much you can learn just by looking at someone. However, to do so, one must be devoted and motivated. The motivation can come from different backgrounds.
What’s the point of the intense stare?
The characteristic of this stare is that it does not have to be expressed only by narcissistic people. Normal people might express it as well.
Whether we are talking about a narcissistic person or a ‘‘normal’’ one, both of them want to figure out the emotional state of the receiving end or just give you a hint that they are in some way interested in you.
They must closely observe you in order to determine whether you are vulnerable and catch every hint and feeling, but also every tiny detail about you in order to imitate your actions.
This will lead them to their ultimate goal: for you to notice and like them back!
Narcissists have invested in their acting, so now it becomes impossible to distinguish between narcissists and normal people making an intense stare.
However, when and if they approach us, a few minutes of conversation can help us find that out. No worries, narc traits are obvious! At least if you read this article!
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD)
Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) is a type of mental disorder. Vanity and selfishness are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to NPD. Some narcissistic traits include:
1. Minimizing the worth of others/devaluation of others,
2. Lack of empathy,
3. Showing no respect to you,
4. Having higher self-esteem.
When it comes to minimizing the worth of others, a narcissist acts as though everything they represent—their needs, ideas, successes, problems, and more—is more important than anybody else’s. In the way of achieving this thinking, their victims will probably suffer from narcissistic abuse.
This trait consequently leads to another one, a lack of empathy. One thing is sure: narcissists aren’t empaths!
A person with NPD might not make an effort to grasp the viewpoint or emotions of anyone other than themselves, which could lead to a lack of empathy and regret for any wrongdoings.
They play with human emotions just so they can get what they want. They will do anything to satisfy their ego. So be careful!
What Causes NPD?
The cause of NPD remains unknown. According to experts, both genetic and environmental factors are involved.
However, it is associated with:
1. Different types of abuse (sexual, verbal, physical),
3. Relationships with parents and friends during childhood,
4. Being overly adored without any particular reason in real life etc.
How To Deal With A Narcissist
It is pretty easy to remove a narcissist from your life when the narcissist is just another random person. But, how do you deal with a situation when the narcissist is your parent, best friend, or co-worker?
It can be annoying and if it takes place over a longer period of time, it can even affect your mental health.
1. Avoid direct conflict
The first thing you shouldn’t do is call a narcissist a narcissist. It’s the best formula to make them angry.
As narcissistic people are not prone to criticism, this will only cause a countereffect. It can even turn the narcissist into the ‘‘psychopath’’ mode. And that is what we want to avoid!
If you feel you must discuss the matter, then try to have a nice approach. You need to dose the critics carefully and indirectly try to explain the issue.
The best way to do so is through the so-called ‘‘compliment sandwich approach’’. This means you should start and finish with a compliment, but in the middle, subtly explain the issue. In this way, the narcissist won’t be offended and everyone gets what they want!
2. Don’t allow any bad behavior
If the first method doesn’t work and the narcissist is offended, then they will probably try to gaslight you into thinking that they are the victim and that you acted badly towards them.
You will, therefore, question everything you did and said. They will never confess that they contributed to any problem.
One way of gaslighting you is the silent treatment. Don’t be fooled! This is a method that may be considered abusive, a way to think that you did something extremely bad while maintaining silence.
A narcissist’s perception that you are the one assaulting them will only be reinforced if you keep arguing with them. Instead, stop participating in the conversation and take any necessary steps to leave the area.
Your job is to make it clear that you won’t tolerate any aggression, abuse, or words that insult or humiliate you.
3. Allow them to think about their options
Focusing on decisions, both yours and theirs, is one way to deal with narcissists. In a conversation with any narcissist, you will soon figure out that they always have to have the upper hand.
By giving them the right to choose, the narcissist will not feel threatened and limited, which will give you a huge advantage later in life.
4. Set boundaries
Maybe the most important step in dealing with a narcissist is setting boundaries. The first time they cross it, it is your responsibility to let them know that there are some limits that cannot be crossed.
Don’t be afraid to do so, since this will be an important step in protecting yourself and your feelings. Make sure they are familiar with the consequences of crossing the boundaries and how you will respond to crossing them.
Although you have no influence over a narcissist’s actions, you do have power over your own.
Show them that you have patience, but that you also know your worth and have the right to stop this loop at any time.
5. Other ways of dealing with a narcissist
When none of the above-mentioned methods help, then it’s time to seek some professional help! This especially applies to family members and co-workers, situations where you just can’t avoid the narcissist person.
All that humiliation, insults, and other abuses can make you feel lonely, helpless and affect your self-esteem. Qualified professionals can help you gain that self-esteem and help you acquire the required perspective to conquer the hard times.
Is it narcissistic to stare at yourself?
It depends on how long you stare at yourself! Everyone likes to look at themselves in the mirror and admire their beauty.
A Narcissist will take longer to do so. They also might admire their selfies on social media more than what’s acceptable.
What are some other ways to tell if someone is narcissistic?
Besides the narcissist stare, narcissists are famous for their devaluation of others, thinking they always have to have the upper hand and they are not empaths.
They’ll always believe that their emotions, issues, and accomplishments are greater than those of other individuals. Love bombing is also a powerful tool a narcissist uses.
What are the different types of narcissism?
As narcissism is a complex disorder, we can divide into different types of narcissism: overt, covert, communal, antagonistic, and malignant narcissism.
What is the difference between a narcissistic stare and a regular stare?
The basic difference is the feeling you get from those stares. Regular stares can usually be easily explained, they are obvious and don’t have any hidden agenda. Narcissistic stares cannot be explained, and they usually have a manipulative background.
Even though there is no scientific test or proof that someone is narcissistic, our subconscious plays an enormous role in figuring it out!
In a room full of people, it won’t take you long to notice a narc! It’s their stare that gives them away. You will recognize it as a creepy, looking through you, insensitive gaze.
This can make you feel intimidated and uncomfortable, but there is a simple solution! Just leave the room.
Remember, it is better to be safe than sorry. That’s why you should carefully read this article to know how to recognize a narcissistic stare in order to catch them on time and prevent them from spreading their manipulation skills all over you!