Narcissists are Forceful-Starting with the Handshake and Gaze

Many narcissists begin their act by letting you know that they are in control of everything, including you. I have had narcissists upon introduction give me an overpowering handshake. It smarted. This doesn’t mean that a strong handshake is negative; it can mean confidence and self assertion. I am speaking about narcissists who come on strong from the beginning. They look directly in your eyes, riveting their gaze to yours simultaneously with the intimidating shake. I have watched these narcissists go on to overpower people by the force of their personalities. So many individuals are impressed with people who are strong, self entitled and highly successful.

You may feel inferior in their presence. This reaction is tailor made for them to overwhelm you with fear, awe and/or dread. If the narcissist is in a position of authority like an attorney, psychiatrist, judge, CEO, etc. we are inclined to relinquish our power to them. This is a serious mistake. No one has the right to control or intimidate you, especially spouses, ex-spouses, siblings and professionals that you hire. Learn to watch these clever actors closely. Your keen observations and intuition will tell you that they are out of line. You get a sense that you are being forced by the willfulness of this individual to do what they want. When you try to reason with them, they will not listen and raise the volume on their “certainty.” If this escalates they are clever at scaring people. They paint catastrophes that will befall you if you do not listen and exactly what they say.

When you hire someone as an expert–a lawyer, doctor, therapist, etc. —they are working for you. Your knowledge and research is valuable. If they disparage your questions, treat you with disrespect by not listening or blowing off your observations, you know that you are dealing with someone who functions to control others to gain mastery over them (and often their money if there are fees involved.) These narcissists are always looking for victims. They sense weaknesses and unsureness–that’s the master predator at work. Beat him/her at his ugly game through knowledge, your intuition, strong self assertion and self respect. To learn about the narcissistic personality in-depth, visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life