The eyes of a sociopath

Socipathic eyesSociopaths are hiding in all segments of society. They can be male, female, all races, all religions, all ethnic groups, old, young, rich, poor, good-looking, homely. Only one aspect of their appearance may hint at their personality disorder:

The eyes.

If you’ve had any type of involvement with a sociopath, you may have noticed some weirdness about the person’s eyes. You may see this in one or more ways, such as:

Intense eye contact

In my book, Red Flags of Love Fraud one of the 10 warning signs is intense eye contact. To gather information for the book, I conducted the Lovefraud Romantic Partners Survey. Of the 1,352 survey respondents, 59% of them reported that their sociopathic partner engaged in intense eye contact.

Here’s how one woman described the moment she met the sociopath:

It was the most intense eye contact that I have ever experienced. So much so that it was all I could describe years later when I recalled “how we met.” ”¦ His eyes burned into my soul even though they were brown, and I didn’t like brown eyes!

The stare

Many Lovefraud readers also mention how the sociopaths stared at them. Here’s a recent email from a man about his ex-wife:

It has been my experience with a sociopath ex-wife that there are different reasons behind the stare. I saw the angry predator stare but I also saw other stares.

Before I started dating my wife I would catch her staring at me in church and I would think that this woman is interested in me, let’s go talk to her. She had two sons by two different men; one was eight and the other was four.

The first three weeks were great, then for some unknown reason she started expressing her anger at me. At first it was over small things but eventually grew into full time hatred. I would catch her staring at me at different times and wonder what she was doing. Turns out she was studying me very closely.

I learned in church that everything was either good or evil, moral or immoral. But studying psychology, I found a third category: amoral or non-moral. Money is amoral; it is neither good nor evil, but how people use it shows their heart is good or evil. Emotions are also amoral they are neither good nor evil, but how you choose to react to them makes you good or evil.

My father when angry would raise his voice and yell, so I followed his example as an adult and as a father. I saw, however, that not everyone yelled when angry. Some got very quiet, some would leave and come back later when calmed down.

My ex-wife would provoke me to anger with insults or other unkind words. I chose one day to pick a different reaction when angry. I would blow it off or be quiet. My ex-wife picked up on this right away and said in frustration that I was unpredictable when angry: You used to yell, now you just blow it off. I was floored at how quick she pick up on this change in my behavior and how it frustrated her attempts to provoke me to anger. I thought either she has an IQ in the four-digit range, or she has experience in this area before.

The stare was her studying my emotions and my chosen reactions to my emotions. She could read me like a book, and manipulated me to get her desired reaction out of me. I was amazed. I saw that she did this with everyone and could very easy manipulate others to her will.

Lifeless eyes

This is what I sometimes saw with my ex-husband. When he wasn’t actively engaged in manipulating me or someone else, his eyes seemed to indicate that there was nobody home inside.

In two Lovefraud surveys, I asked respondents if they agreed with this statement about their disordered romantic partners: “Sometimes, the individual’s eyes seemed to be lifeless.” In the Romantic Partner Survey, 60% of respondents agreed. In the Female Sociopath Survey, which is now open, 57% of respondents have agreed so far.

Because sociopaths can be so charming, exciting and magnetic, it can be difficult to spot this characteristic of lifeless eyes. Sometimes the best place to see it is in a photograph.

Black eyes

I’ve had several people tell me that when the sociopath was in a rage, his eyes turned totally black. I’ve only heard this about male sociopaths so far if anyone has seen this in a female, please let me know.

Here’s a letter from a woman who was married to a male sociopath.

One occurrence to this day puts chills up my spine and tears in my eyes.

The night my husband held me at gunpoint with a loaded hunting rifle, something terrifying happened. My husband’s eyes are bright, light blue. He has beautiful eyes, so bright you notice them from across a room.

But that night, when he attacked me, his eyes were black. Not just black but so black it goes beyond words. If you’ve ever watched the movie Amityville Horror, there’s a scene when the father has become deeply possessed and he turns on his family.



I researched it, and lo and behold there have been numerous cases dealing with narcissists and/or sociopaths where blue eyes were noted to have turned black when they were enraged!

How horrifying is that? It’s as though there is another being inside these people!

I still have nightmares. Never before nor since has he ever demonstrated that behavior. He says he doesn’t remember any of it. (No, I don’t think drugs and I know no alcohol was involved.)

Please warn your readers.

Pay attention

If you experience intense eye contact, or see the predatory stare, lifeless eyes, or frightening black eyes, know that these are the only possible physical signs that you are involved with a sociopath.

You may only see the scary eyes for only a moment, before the sociopath regains control and starts love bombing or manipulating you. Do not doubt your perception. Do not tell yourself that you are imagining things.

It’s said that the eyes are the windows of the soul. If you see eyes that make you doubt there is a soul inside, pay attention. You may have just seen the truth.


Posted in: Donna Andersen

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42 Comments on "The eyes of a sociopath"

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@Donna,what an amazing article and observation!! I am astounded by your astuteness as usual. Even professionals do not come out with these gems!

Now that you said it, I can go back and recollect ALL these eyes in my P… the intense eye contact (piercing.. and not just with me, I saw it being given to other young females too).. the lifeless stare, the predator assessing stare, the sharp studying gaze when he thought no one was watching him…yes, these are definitely different from what we see in normal people..

and yes, when posing for a photograph, specially in public, the face is full of laughter or even the eyes are smiling etc, the absolute opposite of what he really is in private life…. but in unguarded photographs with me or my son he does NOT have that laugh, he has a scorn, a steely guarded closed look that gives away nothing, almost as if saying “you get nothing from me’, a contemptuous look that says “I have more up my sleeve than you will ever know”.. hope I am not rambling now.. but all this has made sense only just now..while there I am next to him looking either clearly miserable or actually really smiling depending on the circs (as I did not know what I was dealing with then)….but not a closed look.

So maybe we can add a closed/ complacent/ contemptuous/”something up my sleeve”/ “wont give it (whatever you want most) to you look”/ arrogant/ sneering look as well to our observations?

Thanks again Donna and others who posted here..

Hi, I haven’t posted in over a year now. So much has happened. Mainly growth, Thank God! …having to look at your own contribution in all of this is hard, committed work and ,for me, difficult but unbelievably rewarding in multple ways. It took a HUGE bottoming out to surrender my own attempts for control in this darkness. Now I am not just “Alivetoday” but “living life today”!

I am writing today because one of the most prominent memories was his eyes. His eyes had no soul. His eyes were hollow. His eyes were mesmerizing. His eyes had a glare. His eyes had a stare. I could see him observing me, studying me like a science project. Sometimes repeating his physical action, over and over again, (like squeezing a nerve in my foot that made my body cave and he would phrase it as “playing around, wrestling”) or verbal expression to prompt my same response so he could either further study it or be amused by it or both. I have a picture of him and see snake eyes..demonic, lifeless eyes. I had a Christian friend who knew nothing of my story but when she saw his picture, she said please get it off my computer, she can’t look at it a second more, it is 100% demonic. I thought at that time, she can see what I know, but I chalked it up to yet another excuse of some kind so that I would not have face withdrawals. (The fear of losing my drug/him was stronger than any truth)

His look was a strong disturbance for me. It haunted me. I felt it was truly hypnotic and not human. I was so Love bombed that I made myself believe when he looked in my eyes or at me, that he loved me, I was special and I captured him. Oh, let’s not forget the combination of his eyes along with the rythmic sound of his voice! I craved it! Excuse me a minute while I puke!….ok, I am back:)

I find it hard to look back but this is my journey and what it took for me to evolve, wake up and see what was really happening around me. I like me now and for this reason, I would not change what I have experienced. (this is what it took for me). I saw a quote once: ” I like the person I am today because I fought like hell to find her”..:)

Thank you so very much Donna for your work, the hope you give to others for healing and a future. All of us that want to help victims do not have the gift that you pocess. I hope God utilizes me in some way to help a victim through one more day to stay alive and to know that they can live again!:) No one truly understands until you have experienced such inhumanity.


Thanks for the quote…love it!

Great article Donna! I have seen a female sociopaths eyes turn black. It was such a weird phenomenon it caught me off balance. She got VERY angry at me and was in the process of taking a swing at me. What I remember most about it was how startling the change was.

Spathtard is the only person I have seen do “the stare”, at me and at others. The picture that is often on here, of the man doing the predator stare is exactly EXACTLY what he looked like doing it. BUT………….oddly, he could have the most sweet and kind eyes. Really weird. He was (and still is in my mind) two entirely different “people”……

In my opinion not even one real person. It is all a demonic act of a creature without a soul. Used to think Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. But neither is real.

My Daughter-in-law noticed the eyes of my children’s father when she first met him. Actually my best friend did before I married him. It took me years to see it because it was so terribly frightening. The emptiness and the cold dehumanizing stare. I thought everyone was good down deep, even people who did bad things. My worst disillusionment in discovering I was married to a psychopath was finding out that was not true. Some people are evil, not even human. My first discovery was that he was incapable of love, even incapable of loving our children. I could not subject them to that and his abuse so I left. My adult daughter is under his spell now but I still know I did the right thing protecting her when she was young. These creatures cause unending grief and pain when they can, to other women, work associates, children. I have watched him do it for going on 50 years.

When I was going through my divorce and my estranged husband was tearing down my character, I tried to talk to my husbands attorney (because my attorney wouldn’t stand up for me) I tried to reason with husband’s attorney and appeal to his conscience. I said what if his 3 year old daughter grew up to marry a man like my husband who cheated and abused her and, when she goes to leave him, the court treats her like a tramp. This attorney spun on his heel, and stared at me with pure hatred. His eyes turned black.

I recoiled at the evil in those eyes. It was scary.

I have experienced the “fixed stare” at other times it wasn’t black eyes, but it was that intent stare to ground me into submission. It worked at one time, but it won’t work anymore. I have no money. Can’t squeeze even 20 bucks out me. Even minus 20 bucks will break the budget.

About women with the fixed stare. I have noted that their eyes bulge out.

Wow! That’s interesting about the dead, “lifeless” eyes. I remember a young fellow with eyes just like that. He was a waiter in a restaurant somewhere in the Languedoc. He was hardly more than a kid, probably no older than twenty. This was many years ago, but I’ve never forgotten him, and never seen eyes like it, before or since. The woman I was traveling with couldn’t help remarking on it either. This kid looked really creepy, but at the time, I imagined he must have gone through some terribly traumatic experience to leave him looking like that. I thought of World War II, but he was far too young for that. Now after reading this, I have to wonder about the real reason he looked the way he did.

Apart from that, I always recall what was said about a notorious criminal—unquestionably a psychopath—by a woman he bigamously married. She said:

“He had an extraordinary power over women. This power lay in his eyes. When he looked at you for a minute or two you had the feeling that you were being magnetised. They were little eyes that seemed to rob you of your will.”

This malefactor was a classic “lovefraud.” He made his living by bigamously marrying women for the sole purpose of heartlessly robbing them of all the possessions they had in the world. Eventually he graduated to murdering his victims, which proved more lucrative by way of inheritances and life insurance payouts. He killed three before he was finally stopped.

My ex had scary eyes, especially when he was angry, I had the feeling I was looking at the devil himself.
And the intense stare the blank stare…….. all of it.
He had blue eyes but wore glasses and usually they were tinted lens. I hated it when he took his glasses off. Even in a photo, his eyes scared me if he took his glasses off.
I have never seen anything like it in my life and I won’t soon forget. I know there is a devil, I have seen him.

My psychopathic ex accused me of domestic violence. I hadn’t raised a hand to him. Hadn’t raised my voice. He called the police and when they wouldn’t arrest me for him, he made a “citizen’s arrest,” and off I went to the pokey. The next morning he showed up all happy and smug and told the nice officers that he figured I’d finally learned my lesson and he would drop the charges. No dice. My family bailed me out and I left the ratbastard for six months. I had to meet with the prosecutor about the incident, and arrived to find a room full of domestic violence victim advocates who patiently explained to me that they had met with him previously and determined not only that he was not a victim, but that I was in grave danger. They said they had never seen such cold eyes.

There are people out there who can see those evil people for what they are. Once I got some perspective, I could see it too. But for a long time I saw only what he wanted me to see.


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