Body Language

An overt narcissist will have a tendency to have haughty arrogant postures.  For example, the male narcissist might walk down the street with his chest puffed up or move with a swanky stride.  The overt female narcissist will walk into a room as though she was walking down a cat walk.  Covert narcissists are not so “obvious” with their posturing.  However, there all have other strange types of body language such as:

  • They can look at others with complete distain, to let them know that in the narcissist’s eyes they are not worthy of acknowledgement. A narcissist will often have a wide personal space, but can stare with a cold predatory stare/dead eyes, paying close attention to your body language looking for signs that you might be weak or vulnerable.  These signs could be that fact that you blush easily or that you are indecisive when ordering from a menu or look for advice from others. It may seem that they are “interested” in you and they are they are assessing you to see how useful you might be to them.
  • Their dead eyed stare can look straight through you as if you weren’t there. If this makes you feel uncomfortable, go for minimum eye contact with them.  When they have ascertained what your vulnerabilities are they will jump on the opportunity to exploit them for their own personal gain.  Narcissists have a hidden agenda in everything that they do.  If you can stare back at them and they will usually loose interest as they will realise that you are not so easy to intimidate, only stare back at them if you don’t have an emotional reaction to someone glaring at you.
  • When a narcissist speaks they tend to use a very emotionless language, this is because they are in touch with only the most basic emotions like happy, sad, fear, shame, guilt, jealousy and envy. They do not have access to the vocabulary of the more nuanced emotions because they do not feel them themselves. As we know if a narcissist doesn’t feel them, then they aren’t important.
  • If a person is being emotional or excited about something they can have a very inappropriate reaction, like laughing when someone tells them something that upset them or made them sad or looking upset or being totally dismissive when someone tells them something that they are really happy or excited about.
  • However, when reading other people’s body language in in particular their facial expressions, they are really good at seeing the macro emotions at play which they in turn use to manipulate their victim. When a narcissist is luring someone in, they will pay attention to the rules of conversation and can be very charming.  Once the person is hooked, they will go back to their default position of talking which includes constantly interrupting, never listening, talking over people, looking bored if the focus is not on them or just walking away when someone is in mid-sentence.
  • Normally when we meet someone we smile to show the other person that we are pleased to see them. Not so with the narcissist.  The can greet a person without showing any change in their facial expression (unless they are trying to impress that person), their tone of voice will not show any pleasure in seeing that other person either, it will be flat and emotionless.
  • The narcissist will use very direct language to find out what people’s fears are and what makes them feel uncomfortable, when they hardly know them at all, if you ask a direct question back they will feel under attack and detach from the question without answering. Narcissists have absolutely no intention of being open with you at the same level that they “demand” that you are with them.  If they do not deflect a direct question they will just lie.
  • The narcissist might have an effected way of talking such as talking with a foreign accent even though they have never left the country, being over dramatic in the delivery of their speech as though they were on stage, talk in a very slow and measured way so that it takes them ages to say something, talking in a very quiet voice so that people have to concentrate really hard to hear them and lean into them so that they can hear, talk in a loud booming voice that will drown other conversations out or narcissistic women will often speak in a “ickle baby voice”, like a child of three to appear “cute”, the message being “I need someone to take care of me”.
  • The narcissist has the ability to be extremely charming and engaged with a person who they think are worthy of their attention and will completely ignore someone else because they are deemed unworthy or inferior in their mind, but they can also be ignored because they threaten the narcissist in some way, like being funnier, more intelligent, having nicer clothes, a bigger car etc. The way that a narcissist will approach someone who they perceive as a threat is to evaluate how useful this person could potentially be.  If they cannot see how this person can be used they will sneer and jeer at this person, accuse them of being a show off etc.  They often do this by making faces behind that person’s back, making insulting hand gestures or rude facial expressions.
  • Narcissists can often touch others inappropriately either sexually or to show dominance (not in a touchy feely friendly way). This is an act of control, but they will get very angry of someone should have the audacity to do the same to them.
  • They can push in front of other people in queues or just shove people out of the way on a street to assert their dominance even when they aren’t in a hurry or being chased by something!
  • If they want to get the attention of someone “important”, they can step in front of another person and place their back to them (creating a physical barrier) so that they cannot enter into the conversation. They can do this without a cue that they are welcome into the conversation and they certainly aren’t afterwards.
  • They will often take up more physical space than everyone else by for example, spreading their legs (man spread) in a communal space, by grabbing the arm rest in an aeroplane and making no effort to share the space, not moving out of the way when they know that someone is trying to get past them or by not acknowledging if someone is too hot or too cold in a confined space insisting the temperature is how they like it.
  • Male narcissists will often try to kiss females on the lips when only a kiss on the cheek would be appropriate (done to dominate)
  • Males will  often nudge a colleague through a door before them to let their colleague know that “I am in control here, I decide the order of things”.  In a typical narcissist way it seems like an act of politeness (“no please you go first”) but it is not it is an act of domination.
  • Male narcissists will often hold a hand shake for too long, grip to the point of causing pain or pull the other person’s arm towards them, this is to knock the person they are greeting slightly off balance and again it is to assert dominance.
  • Male narcissists can often “undress” women with their eyes again this is an act of domination and designed to make the woman feel uncomfortable and give the narcissist “the upper hand”.

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