Old-age Narcissist

Uploaded 8/26/2010, approx. 4 minute read

My name is Sam Vaknin. I am the author of Malignant Self-Love, Narcissism Revisited.

The narcissist ages without mercy and without grace. His withered body and his overwrought mind conspired to betray him all at once.

He stares with incredulity and rage at cruel mirrors, refuses to accept his growing fallibility and mortality. He rebels against his decrepitude and mediocrity.

Accustomed to being awe-inspiring and the recipient of adulation and attention, the narcissist cannot countenance his social isolation and the pathetic figure that he cuts in old age.

The narcissist suffers from mental progeria.

According to childhood abuse, he ages prematurely and finds himself in a time warp, constantly in the throes of a midlife crisis.

As a child prodigy, a sex symbol, a stud, a public intellectual, an actor, an idol, the narcissist was at the center of attention, the eye of his personal twister, a black hole which sucked people's energy and resources dry and spit out with indifference their mutilated carcasses.

No longer. With all age comes disillusionment. All charms wear thin.

Have you been exposed for what he is? The deceitful, treacherous, malignant egotist.

The narcissist's old tricks now fail him. People are on their guard. Their gullibility is much reduced.

The narcissist, being the rigid, precariously balanced structure that he is, cannot change. He reverts to all forms. He re adopts hoary habits and succumbs to erstwhile temptations.

He is made a mockery by his accentuated denial of reality, by his obdurate refusal to grow up, an eternal, malformed child in the sagging body of a decaying man.

It is the fable of the grasshopper and the ant revisited.

The narcissist, the grasshopper, having relied on supercilious strategies throughout his life, is singularly ill-advised to life's rigors and tribulations.

He feels entitled, but fails to elicit narcissistic supply.

Wrinkle time makes child prodigies lose their magic. Lovers exhaust their potency.

Philanderas waste their allure.

Ingeniuses miss their touch.

The longer the narcissist lives, the more average he becomes. The wider the gulf between his pretensions and his accomplishments, the more he is the object of derision and contempt.

Yet few narcissists save for rainy days. Few bother to study a trade or get a degree, pursue a career, maintain a business, skip their jobs, or raise functioning families, nurture their friendships, or broaden their horizons.

Narcissists are permanently and perennially ill-prepared. Those who succeed in their vocation end up bitterly alone, having squandered the love of spouts, offspring, and mates.

The more gregarious and family-orientated the narcissist is, the more often he flunks at work, leaps from one job to another, relocated erratically, forever itinerant and peripatetic.

The contrast between the narcissist's youth and prime and his dilapidated present constitutes a permanent narcissistic injury.

The narcissist retreats deeper into himself to find solace.

He withdraws into the penumbral universe of his grandiose fantasies.

There, on the verge of psychosis, the narcissist salves his wounds and comforts himself with trophies of his past.

A rare minority of narcissists accept their fate with fatalism or good humor.

These precious few are healed mysteriously by the deepest offense to their megalomania, old age.

They lose their narcissism and confront the outer world with the poison composure that they lacked when they were captives of their own distorted narratives.

Such changed narcissists develop new, more realistic expectations and hopes, commensurate with their talents, skills, accomplishments and education.

Ironically, it is invariably too late. These narcissists are avoided and ignored, rendered transparent by their checkered past.

They are passed over for promotion, never invited to professional or social gatherings, cold-shouldered by the media. They are snubbed and disregarded. They are never the recipients of perks, benefits or awards. They are blamed when not blingworthy and rarely praised when deserving. They are being constantly and consistently punished for who they were.

It is poetic justice in more than one way.

These narcissists are being treated narcissistically by their erstwhile victims.

They finally are tasting their own medicine, the bitter harvest of their wrath and arrogance.

Old age is the narcissist's ultimate punishment and purgatory on earth.

If you enjoyed this article, you might like the following:

Narcissist Hates Happy People and Holidays

Holidays and birthdays are a difficult time for narcissists, as they provoke a stream of pathological envy. The narcissist is jealous of others for having a family, being able to celebrate lavishly, or being in the right mood. They hate humans because they are unable to be one and want to spoil it for those who can enjoy. Holidays remind the narcissist of their childhood, the supportive and loving family they never had, and what could have been.

Narcissist: Loser and Failure

Narcissists have three traits that make them fail and become losers: a sense of entitlement, arrogance, and aversion to routine. Their sense of entitlement makes them lazy and believe that they should be spoon-fed. They are under-qualified and lack skills because they believe they are above mundane chores. Their arrogance and belief that they are superior to others hampers their ability to function in society. They become outcasts and are shunned by colleagues, employers, and family members.

Narcissist's Constant Midlife Crisis

The midlife crisis is a much-discussed but little understood phenomenon. There is no link between physiological and hormonal developments and the mythical midlife crisis. The narcissist is best equipped to tackle this problem as they suffer from mental progeria and are in a constant mid-life crisis. The narcissist's personality is rigid, but their life is not. It is changeable, mutable, and tumultuous. The narcissist does not go through a midlife crisis because they are forever the child, forever dreaming and fantasizing, forever enamored with themselves.

Narcissist as Eternal Child

Narcissists often refuse to grow up and remain in a state of infantilization, avoiding adult responsibilities and functions. This is because remaining a child caters to their narcissistic needs and defenses. Narcissists are often envious of children and try to emulate them, as children are forgiven for narcissistic traits and behaviors that adults are not. By remaining a child, the narcissist can indulge in these behaviors and not be punished for them.

Narcissist: Bumbling Fool, Incapable of Learning?

Narcissists can appear to be stupid for several reasons. They have no impulse control, act out, and engage in self-defeating actions. They also use pseudo-stupidity to avoid the consequences of their misdeeds. Narcissists are gullible, have an impaired reality test, and cannot read social cues or the intentions of others. They also use false modesty to fish for compliments, but their attempts are so transparent that people react with repulsion. Finally, the narcissist regards learning something new or getting advice as narcissistic injuries, which renders them appear profoundly stupid.

Narcissistic Entitlement=Learned Helplessness+Grandiosity

Entitlement is a crucial pillar of narcissism, and it is one of the diagnostic criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. Narcissists feel entitled to everything, including narcissistic supply, which they believe they are owed by the world. Entitlement is a form of learned helplessness, which is acquired through abusive parenting. Narcissists hate routine and use emotional investment prevention mechanisms to avoid getting emotionally involved and subsequently getting hurt.

Narcissistic Rage and Narcissistic Injury

Narcissistic injury is any threat to the narcissist's grandiose self-perception, and the narcissist actively solicits narcissistic supply to regulate and sustain their ego. The narcissist is caught between their habit and frustration, leading to disproportionate reactions to perceived insults. Narcissistic rage has two forms: explosive and passive-aggressive. The narcissist's aggression is directed outside and inside themselves, and they often become vindictive and harass those they perceive as sources of their frustration.

Narcissism, Friendship, Egoism: Self-Interest is not Self-Welfare

Narcissists fail to meet the criteria for friendship, as they lack empathy, have cognitive deficits, and are impulsive and predictable. True egoism is the active pursuit of self-welfare, not just self-interest, and altruism is the outcome of social conditioning to avoid anxiety. The optimal mix of self-interest and altruism exists for individuals and society, and the narcissist fails to understand this due to their lack of empathy and inability to optimize their behavior.

Narcissists: Their Professions, Jobs, and Vocations

Narcissists are over-represented in certain professions, including teaching, the clergy, show business, corporate management, medicine, the military, law enforcement, politics, and sports. They gravitate towards these professions to construct self-enclosed spaces where they are divine, god-like figures with a coterie of fans, admirers, followers, and devotees. Narcissists are dangerous in these professions as they lack empathy and ethical standards, and are prone to immorally, cynically, callously, and consistently abuse and misuse their position. Their socialization process is often disturbed, perturbed, and this results in social dysfunctioning.

Raging Narcissist: Merely Pissed-off?

Narcissistic rage is a phenomenon that occurs when a narcissist is frustrated in their pursuit of narcissistic supply, causing narcissistic injury. The narcissist then projects a bad object onto the source of their frustration and rages against a perceived evil entity that has injured and frustrated them. Narcissistic rage is not the same as normal anger and has two forms: explosive and pernicious or passive-aggressive. People with personality disorders are in a constant state of anger, which is effectively suppressed most of the time, and they are afraid to show that they are angry to meaningful others because they are afraid to lose them.

Transcripts Copyright © Sam Vaknin 2010-2024, under license to William DeGraaf
Website Copyright © William DeGraaf 2022-2024
Get it on Google Play
Privacy policy