Do narcissists became more narcissistic as they age? Do they become more abusive and mean as they age? Does narcissism get worse with age? To answer these questions well, let me first give you a short life story of a certain ageing narcissists, let’s call him Robert.
When Robert was still young, he was very handsome, body-build and charming that he used to attract attention from the girls easily. Robert, like any other narcissist, he needed attention so much. But because he could easily get quality attention and narcissistic supply from people by displaying his good qualities, there was no need to engage in silly attention seeking behaviour like some narcissists do.
Robert developed passion for acting after realising that some actors who were nothing compared to him, in terms of looks were popular.
Unfortunately, Robert never managed to become a actor because he was not a good actor. Although he never felt bad about himself until he turned 50, when he started losing his muscular body that used to get him a lot of admiration and attention.
When Robert was about 60, he was no longer the nice and charming Robert that everyone knew. Instead he turned out to be very abusive and controlling especially to people around him.
Why Do Narcissists Get Worse With Age?
It’s not the age itself or some hormonal changes that take place when a person is ageing that makes a narcissist get worse with age but the life changes that usually happen when a person is ageing.
Narcissists can get worse with age due to but not limited to:
- Loss of resources: As we have seen, When Robert was still young, his good looks could get him attention and admiration that he needed in order to stabilise their self-esteem and feel good about himself. Unfortunately, ageing is the worst enemy of narcissists who get narcissistic supply from good looks. A loosing his muscular body he also lost all his self-esteem. As I said in my previous article, being emotionally abusive and overly controlling are signs of emotional trauma that a narcissist is going through.
- Failure to achieve greatness: narcissists usually have larger-than-life dreams about their future. Unfortunately, sometimes life does not always go in the direction the want it to go. When they find themselves ageing while still far away from reaching their dreams, they do not only get depressed but their overall mental health gets affected. Note that this happens to normal people as well.
- Mid life crisis: mid life crisis brings feelings of regret, loss and depression when a person realises that time is passing but he is not where he wanted to be in his life. While mid life crisis affects normal people badly, it brings feelings of shame and inferiority to narcissists, which as a results affects their overall personality and behaviour.
Life problems and a narcissist’s coping skills determine how his personality will change with age, therefore it’s wrong to assume that every narcissist must get worse with age. For example, narcissist who depend on their intellects to get admiration and attention are least affected with age while those who depend on their looks are more affected. (See also: 5 things that make a narcissist panic).