Do Narcissists Get Worse With Age?

Do Narcissists get worse with age? Do narcissists continue to exhibit toxic behavior as they age? When it comes to individuals with narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), everything can be a little unpredictable and challenging to guess or make assumptions about.

Aging is perceived differently by everyone. Some may perceive it positively and consider it as a fruitful result of their efforts while some may perceive it negatively and a near to death phenomenon. Narcissists in particular do not get any better with age because they do not perceive age as soothing or positive and have a hard time accepting the changes, challenges, and complexities that come with aging.

Their behavior may exhibit an increasing graph towards toxicity with age. But it totally depends on the type of narcissist, their personality and characteristics, and the degree of narcissism. So let us find the answer to the question, “Do Narcissists Get Worse With Age?” further.

Do Narcissists Get Worse With Age?

Growing older comes with its own challenges and affirmations. Age brings a lot of experiences and changes. Both physical and mental changes can be observed in an individual. But the most crucial difference is that it brings subtlety and the person mellows down with the passing of time. People continuously change as time passes and life continues.

Growing old also brings limitations and loss. It makes it difficult for a person to adapt to changes. Many people mallow down with age, while some may be more vulnerable and some less. With old age, people usually reflect on the lives they have led, and the process they have made as a person.

But some people become even more vicious rather than mellowing down with age. They are unable to self-reflect on their mistakes and the lives they have led, they are unable to view the self-image that they permeated with their grandiosity and superficial ideas of life. These people are narcissists who would refuse to be anything less than perfect even though it is nearly not possible.

Narcissists cannot just accept the fact that they are becoming weaker and less willowy with age. This fact makes them frustrated and they become even more ferocious thinking this. The fact that age might bring them weakness and numbness threatens their idea of the perfect image that they have created in society is absolutely disliked by the narcissists and thus they become even harsher with age.

They usually get obsessed with constantly trying to stop the aging process and also they hate everything that harms their physical appearance, in this case, wrinkles and loss of skill to attract anyone due to withering looks. All of these aging factors make the narcissist even more outrageous and act as a trigger for the victim mentality.

According to some mental health experts and observations made according to them, the symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder worsen with age and it becomes the main factor why they become even more narcissistic with aging.

Thus now of all moment, it is important to know the exact reasons why narcissists usually become more narcissistic with age. Do Narcissists Get Worse With Age? – So the answer to the question is yes, narcissists become even more vicious with age, but why? Let us know the reasons further.

How Do Narcissists Get Worse As They Age?

Narcissists become even more difficult to deal with as they age due to some obvious reasons,

They are natural manipulators, so that trait might only get stronger with so much experience as they age. You are unable to forget something easily that you have been practicing your whole life, so narcissists would naturally become even more manipulative with age.

Age also brings changes in the way you look. Narcissists have this undeniable charm, beauty, or charisma which gradually starts withering with age, which makes them insecure as they become less visible. So to make people notice them and gain the same amount of attention they used to receive while they were young, they would become the intense and ultimate version of themselves.

With age, their need for narcissistic supply increases even more as they start losing their options. Thus they take extreme measures to obtain their narcissistic supply.

They fear abandonment and this feeling doubles up as they age because they constantly fear that people might leave them as they no longer are as attractive, powerful, and controlling as they were when they were young, so their narcissistic traits become acute as they age.

Do Narcissists Mellow With Age?

Based on studies provided by mental health experts, it is suggested scientifically that the personality traits of narcissism can intensify as they age. However, it cannot be generalized to all individuals. Some individuals may become more self-reflective and self-aware and they might become less self-centered, less egoistic, and less bothersome. However, it is a rare phenomenon with narcissistic individuals that they become self-reflective with age.

In most cases, narcissists get more toxic, more abusive, and more bothersome as they age. They become more and more difficult to handle as they age. Narcissists become more entrenched with ego, and this results in a surge of toxic behavior and traits. It is really difficult to predict in general how an individual with a narcissistic personality will age and how they may evolve with each passing day.

Why does the Narcissist get worse with Age?

Individuals suffering from narcissistic personality disorder lack empathy and have a grandiose sense of self-importance and thus they might do anything to maintain that high-end image that they have created. They need constant control, admiration, adoration, and validation regarding their perfect selves and everything they do. Thus they have a sense of entitlement which makes them difficult to deal with.

They tend to exploit others immoderately. Thus a personality disorder may persist throughout a person’s lifetime making it difficult to treat because narcissists lack self-awareness which makes it difficult for them to recognize that they lack somewhere or they are toxic. Thus narcissistic personality disorder can prevail throughout a person’s life inflicting emotional harm to people around them. And with age, it just increases and gains a peak as with maturity the traits are at the highest affecting point.

Reasons Why Narcissists Get Worse With Age

Narcissists get worse with age as their narcissistic supply runs out, they become dependent on others, they lose control over others, they fear abandonment, they become even more unempathetic and entitled and thus become bothersome and very hard to deal with. Let us have a better understanding with a few more detailed explanations,

They cannot get as much Narcistsic Supply

A narcissistic supply is everything that makes a narcissistic life fulfilled. Narcissists would not substantiate the fact that they survive and fit into the world with the help of supply, as they feel nothing could weaken their existence, but without supply, they would not be able to function smoothly and effortlessly.

When they are younger they are easily able to secure this supply as they are comparatively attractive, active, and social. But as the narcissists age these sources start to vanish as their looks and attractiveness fade, their social circles diminish and they become passive due to limited mobility.

Thus with age, they may become more aggressive and manipulative due to a lack of narcissistic supply.

Narcissists become more dependent on others when they are old

Everyone becomes dependent on others as they age. But this fact is undigested by narcissists as they feel that dependency is equal to the loss of control. They become dependent on others due to a decrease in physical and non-physical activities.

Also, aging is a trigger for feelings like abandonment, fear, vulnerability, and fear of being left out. Thus this may increase the amount of effort that a narcissist may make to seek control and thus manipulate others even more.

They fear being Alone

Narcissists do not like being alone. They are people who manage their lives on the basis of external validation, attention, and admiration. When they are alone, they may fight their internal conflicts, would feel lonely and empty as they are fake and empty from within. They are not really able to receive their true selves and true emotions, and thus they fear being alone.

As narcissists age, they lose their charm to lure people in, resulting in isolation and fear of being alone. Narcissists may end up alone as they age as their constant need for admiration might push people away. Their struggle to maintain friendships, relationships, or any kind of bond becomes real.

This can ultimately lead a narcissist to become isolated and lonely as they may start withdrawing from situations that may bring them embarrassment as they age. This leads to feelings of rejection and emptiness.

Narcissists feel more entitled as they age

Narcissists feel more entitled as they age due to the resources they have accumulated, the achievements, and the recognition they have bagged. This ensures and strengthens their sense of superiority and entitlement.

By the time narcissists become older, they might already have surrounded themselves with like-minded people and people who like being controlled by them and believe their opinions thus reducing their challenges. With age, they might care less about social norms and be more focused on their own selves, own needs, and own well-being being leading to an increase in the sense of entitlement.

Thus narcissists become more and more demanding with age with a never-ending list of wants, desires, and requests. People around them become so fed up with their demands that eventually, they neglect their own needs to fulfill the narcissists’s needs.

Narcissists become more manipulative as they age

Narcissists are in constant need of attention, control, and admiration. They lack empathy and display a pattern of grandiosity that persists in their lifestyle. They often manipulate others around them using tactics like gaslighting, mirroring, projecting, and much more to establish their power.

Thus with age, they become even more manipulative out of habit and also due to loss of power, attractiveness, achievements, social status, and control. Thus loss of power and control leads to an increase in narcissistic tendencies.

Anyone who is aging may find it difficult to adapt to changing situations and a constantly changing society. This is not any different from narcissism. In fact, narcissists find it harder than others comparatively to adapt to changes and always feel threatened by younger individuals around them. Thus all of these psychological, environmental, and changing factors may make a narcissistic individual more manipulative with each passing day.

Narcissists lose their sense of purpose as they age

Everyone needs a purpose for life to make life fuller and fulfilled. Generally, the purpose may be served with the help of careers, contributing to society, giving back what they received, serving communities, or having a family.

However, with age, the sources of seeking purpose may start to diminish. Retirement, independent children, and limitations to physical and cognitive activities lead to a sense of lost purpose.

This loss of purpose becomes even more challenging for narcissists as it directly questions their self-made self-image, productivity, and superiority. This loss of purpose will eventually lead to feelings like emptiness and worthlessness and may force the narcissist to react negatively, escalating their narcissistic behavior as they may constantly try to fill the void in their life created by loss of purpose.

Narcissists become more self-centered as they age

Narcissists become more toxic with age. Though there are no relatable studies that may prove so, there are a few studies that suggest that narcissistic traits tend to escalate with age. Narcissists become more toxic with age rather than mellowing down.

Narcissist perceive old age, loss of career, loss of attractiveness, greying of hair, vanishing beauty, loss of appetite, and increased dependency on others as their deficiencies that make them more irritating, and annoying. They tend to seek more attention, admiration, and validation than they usually seek to fill that feeling of being worthless and desolate.

The relationship between narcissism and aging is constantly been complex and it keeps on changing depending on the characteristics of each individual and the degree of narcissism.

Final Thoughts

Aging is perceived differently by everyone. Some may perceive it positively and consider it as a fruitful result of their efforts while some may perceive it negatively and a near to death phenomenon. Narcissists in particular do not get any better with age because they do not perceive age as soothing or positive and have a hard time accepting the changes, challenges, and complexities that come with aging.

Their behavior may exhibit an increasing graph towards toxicity with age. But it totally depends on the type of narcissist, their personality and characteristics, and the degree of narcissism.

Ella Carrillo

Ella Carrillo

Hey Reader, I am Ella, an Online and Offline Therapist holding an experience of 6 years in this field. From Relationship, Depression, and Personality Disorder to Narcissistic problems, I have helped a lot of people find their solutions. Upon gathering a number of common problems that people face, I decided to put the information on this blog so that anyone can get their answers easily.

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