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The Ageing Narcissist

Some narcissists will eventually mature out of their behaviour as they grow older. They won't be as violent or aggressive. They might develop more control over their emotions, but they are still narcissistic. They still have the same way of thinking, they still have an excessive interest in themselves, but you might see a change in the way that they conduct themselves.

Some narcissists become more covert as they get older, their behaviour changes because they are still maturing mentally and emotionally. They're maturing at a far slower rate than someone who is not narcissistic. As the narcissist gets older people become less tolerant of their behaviour. They no longer put up with their temper tantrums, they no longer put up with their uncontrolled outbursts of anger and frustration. This can often compel the narcissist to change their behavior, because their tantrums are no longer making people attend to them, it's no longer helping them to get their needs met.

People are more tolerant of someone in their 20s having a tantrum, but when it's someone who's in their 50s or 60s, nobody wants to deal with that. You can forgive someone for these things when they're young and immature, but when they start getting old they should know better. They should have more awareness of their behaviour and how it's affecting people. The people who have been around these ageing narcissists since they were younger will eventually get fed up of it, they won't want to deal with them anymore.

When you're young and you're telling someone about a sad story, a list of personal problems or an excuse for failing to do something, it's more understandable, it's more tolerable. But as you get older and older and you're still talking about the same stories from 20 years ago, still dealing with the same issues you never attended to or took responsibility for, no one wants to hear that. If you're in your 20s or 30s it's more understandable and it's more tolerable. Because you're still young and you haven't had much experience in life, you haven't had much time to learn or figure things out, you haven't fully matured yet, so it's more acceptable.

Some of us have had a difficult childhood. We went through things that may have affected us and set us back mentally and emotionally, so it delays our maturity. Our psychological age may be very different to our chronological age, because we have experienced traumatic events in our childhood, which have stunted our growth and development. That's why things are the way that they are, but as the narcissist gets older it becomes more difficult to justify their behavior. Because they've had plenty of time to deal with their issues, they've had plenty of time to resolve whatever is going on inside of them. So people are going to be less forgiving of their behaviour, they are going to be less compassionate towards them. I believe that it is never too late to change your life, it is never too late to improve yourself and become a better person. But the narcissist is not trying to improve anything, they don't want to change and the older they get the more obvious this becomes.

They keep using the same excuses to justify their behaviour, they keep using the same stories or conspiracy theories as a reason why they continue to fail in relationships, work or anything else in their lives. Nothing ever changes and it doesn't matter what you or anyone else does to try to help them. Nothing will ever improve, they don't want to change, they don't want anything to improve. They are comfortable with the dysfunctionality, it works for them, it gets them what they need, so why would they ever want anything to change.

As the narcissist gets older, people may start to realize that the person who was said to be responsible for their problems wasn't responsible after all. This is where it begins to look bad for the narcissist. People might stop believing in their stories and lies, but rather than looking at themselves and trying to improve or change their own behaviour, instead they change the villain in their story. They change the person who they said to be responsible for their problems, but while the villain may change, the story always stays the same. It's always a bad person or a bad situation, there's always a reason why the narcissist can never succeed and that reason never has anything to do with them.

They're just helpless people in a hopeless situation and there's nothing that anyone can do about it. Someone always gets in their way, someone always causes problems for them, someone always does something wrong. Or they're this courageous person who somehow manages to beat the odds, they somehow managed to overcome improbability and become the winner or champion. They're either the world's greatest hero or the world's biggest victim in every story, it never changes and the longer you know them the more evident this becomes. They always have an excuse, they always have a reason or explanation to justify their faults or mistakes. They always have someone to blame, they always have someone that they can hold responsible.

It gets to a point where people just stop believing in their stories and lies and that is when the narcissist will begin to move around. They go from relationship to relationship, house to house, job to job. They have to find someone who will agree with them, someone who will validate the illusion that they are trying to portray. But as they get older, it becomes more difficult for them to do that. They lose their looks, they lose their physical attractiveness and this makes it very difficult for them to manipulate people, now they're no longer as attractive or desirable as they once were. As the narcissist gets older, people lose interest in them.

Some narcissists remain the same no matter how old they get. When they get old, their behaviour is still the same as when they were young. The reason for this is because they are higher on the narcissism spectrum and this makes it more difficult for them to change or adapt to their environment. They are maladaptive, they cannot adjust adequately or appropriately. They don't have the ability to change to suit different conditions, so they remain the same, they remain stuck in their old ways. Even if their behaviour is only harming themselves and ruining their own lives, there's still nothing they can do about it. They are completely stuck, but they can't do anything to change it, it creates a crisis for them, a time of intense difficulty or danger.

They might still try to use their ageing looks or past success to manipulate people, but it doesn't work anymore, it doesn't have the same effect as it once did. This can create a very difficult situation for the narcissist. It can cause uncontrollable fear or anxiety, because they don't know any other way to get what they need and the only way that they know is no longer working. They are stuck in a cycle of behaviour, doing the same thing again and again, expecting a different result. Nothing ever changes, they become anxious and depressed. Their behaviour gets a lot worse when they can no longer get what they want. They get very mad, they become very frustrated and resentful to the people around them.

If you are an adult child of an ageing narcissistic parent, you may desire to go no contact with them. But you might be afraid of being judged for your decision. Please remember that you are not responsible for anyone who has disrespected you or has not treated you right. If they are unappreciative of everything you have done for them, that is not your problem. If you want to help them that is your choice. But unfortunately you will have to deal with the consequences of making that choice. You may not be in a position to help them, but a drowning man will clutch at a straw and often they will pull you down with them. So please be aware of this if you do decide to help the ageing narcissist.

Remember that their behaviour has nothing to do with you. It has everything to do with how they feel inside and that is why their behaviour was already this way even before you were around. This is just who they are, they never learned any other ways of behaving. They are emotionally immature and underdeveloped people. They are completely helpless and powerless. The only help and power they can have is from what they can get from you, that is why they always need you to help them, that is why they have to trick you into giving your power to them. But once you realise and accept this, they can no longer hurt you. Observe what they're saying, observe their behaviour, but do not absorb it, do not identify with it. It has nothing to do with you and it has everything to do with how they feel inside.

You cannot control what they say about you and cannot control their behaviour. But you can control how you perceive it and how you respond to it. You don't have to let it affect you, you don't have to let it control how you feel or how you react. Take control of your emotions and choose how you want to respond. How you feel and how you behave is your choice, don't let them make that choice for you. If you choose to help them that is your choice.

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LeafsIn2023 !
LeafsIn2023 !
May 03, 2021

In this case, the old expression, "Time heals; time cures all," does not work.


Terri Caldwell
Terri Caldwell
May 03, 2021

Very informative and helpful!

Narcissists are very selfish, crafty and manipulative!

Decide, How, When and how Often you interact with them! If you "choose" to help them, take EVERY precaution beforehand!


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