When you assess whether a person is a narcissist or not, one of the many valuable tools is a fine perception of the non verbals.
These assessments were corroborated by other interactions with these individuals. Some narcissists strut across a room, head held very high and literally look down on those in front of them.They are performing for their adoring audience and displaying their irresistible attractiveness. One of the pilates trainers at the gym enters the room with a glossy smile, head lifted. She stares into your face with her painted on rigid smile. It feels like a sneer. There is no feeling in the eyes. She is not making any real connection with you. Her statement is: “Here I am. I’m perfect. I look down on you because you don’t have a perfect body conformation like mine. My looks make me superior to everyone else.” I later had several interactions with this woman that indicate that she is highly narcissistic. On another occasion I had a couple of brief interviews with an orthopaedic surgeon with a first rate professional reputation. He had recommended a surgeon for a friend of mine. After the procedure was completed, I took time to thank him for the excellent referral. He hurriedly greeted me with a confident very firm hand shake. His eyes avoided my gaze; his dismissive hurried manner evaded the words of sincere gratitude that I was expressing. He didn’t have three seconds to make human contact. I remember those large vacant eyes. I could see that they were moving quickly on to his next engagement. He had no time or energy to spare with me, a person who was so insignificant in his mind. In fact I had the impression that he wanted me to step out of his royal presence. My sincere appreciation was not a sufficient narcissistic supply to such a “superior surgeon and man of power.” I was not on his level. I could not get through his steel armor of grandiose defense to reach his humanity. I believe he had left that behind long ago.
I have had many nonverbal encounters with narcissists. They vary in their detail but they are common in the complete lack of connection that is made with them.This can shift if the narcissist wants something from you. Then he or she moves adroitly with the charm and magnetism offensive—a form of method acting that is flawless in high level narcissists. Pay attention to the non verbals. They will tell you more than the narcissist thinks he is giving away. When you make these distinctions and can detach from his highly polished act, you have the knowledge and the power to perceive the truth about these personality disorders. You are seeing through the elaborate lifeless mask of the narcissistic personality disorder. Visit my website:thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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