Narcissists Don’t Mellow With Age

The narcissist and his image are indistinguishable. He/she creates, embellishes and protects a gilted persona over an entire lifetime. Being attractive, mentally superior, socially adept, well connected and physically vigorous are essential to his identity.
Aging is a horrifying prospect for the narcissist. The narcissist will go to the greatest lengths to keep himself/herself looking young with plastic surgery and a variety of aesthetic enhancements. Narcissists are extremely envious of those who are moving up in the world of power and prestige, particularly if they are young and very attractive. Sometimes, they hire younger narcissists whom they can manipulate and control. These arrangements provide him with a very attractive person who is aligned with youth and vigor. This way the narcissist can delude himself that he is floundering on a downward path to old age and oblivion. One of the common routes to preserving image is marriage or pairing with a partner who is many years younger and very attractive. By associating himself/herself intimately with a youthful wife or husband, the narcissist is telling the world and himself that he is ageless, still desirable and sought after.

Beneath this complex image of outer perfection, the aging narcissist feels unconsciously more helpless. This is expressed through frequent bouts of rage. If you been married to a narcissist for decades and plan to stay with him or her, don’t count on any psychological mellowing. If anything, the aging narcissist accelerates his temper tantrums, raising their frequency and volume. As they lose their physical vigor and mental powers, narcissistic rage becomes more prominent ; tirades break in faster succession and explosiveness.

Although he may appear to be witty, the narcissist does not have a real sense of humor. The essence of humor is appreciating our full humanity, good and bad. One of the qualities that allows us to age with grace is self deprecating humor. The narcissist is incapable of this. Narcissistic rage has no beginning, middle or end. It is a continuous storm that appears to ebb for a while only to return with merciless fury. The aging narcissist is not going to lighten up on his rage; it is as much a part of him as his grandiose self, his hubris and his delusions of superiority. Visit my

Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
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