On Eye Contact with a Narcissist

eye contact“I was watching your eye contact as you visited.  That was weird.  Your eyes were tearing up when he was talking to you, but it was a friendly conversation.  What was that about?”

Jen wiped her eyes.  “I can’t look at him without my eyes watering.  It’s uncomfortable – not like I’m gonna cry, but more like my eyes hurt.  So I pretend like I’ve got an eyelash in my eye and I keep rubbing them.  It’s just really uncomfortable to keep my eyes on him for very long when he’s talking – or any time.”

I turned to Will, “What do you think?”

Will shook his head, “I feel the same way.  It’s hard to look at him for long.  Oh, and I feel myself getting anxious when I try to tell him something.  Like I’m afraid he’ll criticize what I say, so I say it fast so I can get it over with, and then I sound like I’m slurring my words.”

I said, “Yeah, and then you open yourself up for more criticism.”

“Yeah!  And have you noticed that when you’re talking to him, he’s not really listening?  It’s like he’s planning what he’s gonna say when it’s his turn to talk again.”


Maybe without realizing it, they know the truth of their eyes being the gateways to their souls.  They are protecting themselves.  They don’t want to risk opening that door for fear they’ll leave their souls exposed and vulnerable.  Once that door is opened….




On the other hand, given the fact that he’s a narcissist, maybe he’s not at all interested in their souls.



“The soul, fortunately, has an interpreter –
often an unconscious but still a faithful interpreter – in the eye.”

                                 – Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre


“When life gives you lemons, squirt someone in the eye.”
                                 – Cathy Guisewite


 *I’d have posted this with a photo of either Jen’s or Will’s eyes, but herdin’ a cat is easier.  (Jen took this one.)


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  1. They are only interested in your soul if they think something they find there could be used as leverage. Sad.

  2. Sandy,

    Yes, annexing comes to mind.

  3. Great picture by Jenn!

    She captured the distinct quality of what I saw in the narcissist once in my life. Kitty’s pupils are narrowed. Intense, alert, waiting to absorb as Sandy mentioned…the things of your soul that the narcissist will use as leverage to attack. (Although, I do think Kitty was focused upon Jenn & the camera. Not waiting to lash out.

    Sitting there, staring, listening…tools of the trade. All the while, sharpening their blade to pierce my heart at their desire thus draining the life from my being.

    Jenn’s picture of Kitty’s eyes brought out an old memory. One evening, I was getting ready for bed. Suddenly in my mind, I saw a large round unmoving being like a cruel ogre sitting in the chair in the corner of the room. It did not move. It’s arms & legs were useless appearing like tiny wooden dowels that would easily break. I was completely aware it could not move.

    What caught my thoughts were it’s huge eyes; sometimes still & staring & other times darting back & forth. Hadn’t realized until your posting, Jesse, & Jenn’s picture…that is how I felt then.

    Only, I was some years away from knowing what my brain was telling me. I did not learn about narcissists & the danger of such until I filed for a divorce.

    Fortunately, I don’t see horrid things in inkblots. LOL

  4. Kay,

    Thanks for writing. There is a total lack of warmth in their eyes. Maybe empathy makes our gaze warm, and as they lack empathy, well ….

    I’ve never done an inkblot test. Might be best that I not go there?

    I like the way you string words together.

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