Dealing with a narcissist is never pleasant, no matter how old they are. Normal people usually become wiser as they age. They come to appreciate family and friends more than ever before, and their life experience makes them more able to empathize with others. But narcissists? Narcissists get worse with age.
In this blog post I will discuss the eight ways that narcissists get worse as they age, making them more difficult to deal with.
Narcissists get more entitled as they age
Age does not bring wisdom or humility to a narcissist – it simply reinforces their sense of entitlement. Narcissists believe that they are entitled to the best of everything and will go to great lengths to get it. They will use their family and friends to get what they want, regardless of who gets hurt in the process.
In fact, as narcissists age, they become more demanding. They expect the people around them to cater to their never-ending list of requests, and they may become angry and abusive if they don’t get what they want.
Narcissists become more manipulative as they age
Aging does not make narcissists any less manipulative. If anything, they become even better at it as they have had more practice. By now they are experts in gaslighting and will have accumulated a pack of flying monkeys to unleash on their targeted victim.
Narcissistic parents can be especially dangerous as they age, as they become more adept at manipulating their children to further their own agenda. Triangulation is a common tactic they use, playing one sibling off the other in order to create divisions between them.
They will also use their age as a ploy to get sympathy and to guilt-trip people into doing what they want. Aches and pains and sob stories will be lobbed at anyone who is trying to draw boundaries or make choices that do not align with what the narcissist wants.
Narcissists become more paranoid and controlling as they age
Paranoia is a common symptom of narcissism, and it usually gets worse with age. As a result, narcissists often become convinced that everyone is out to get them, and they may go to great lengths to protect themselves from imagined threats.
In addition, they become much more sensitive to perceived slights or any form of criticism, no matter how mild.
There is also the danger that they will start to obsess that their partner is being unfaithful, even if there is no evidence to support this. This means that they will become even more controlling, and intrusive behaviours such as spying on their partner’s text messages or emails will escalate.
They may also try to control other aspects of their victim’s life, from who they spend time with to what they wear. As a result, the ambient abuse in the home will escalate, taking a toll on everyone who lives there.
Narcissists become more self-centred as they age
Age does not mellow a narcissist – it simply makes them more self-centred.
They may become obsessed with their appearance, obsessing about every wrinkle or the appearance of white hairs. If they have retired, they often become obsessed by the loss of their career. They may be jealous of their partner’s success, or that of their family and friends. They may even be jealous of younger people, as they see in them a reminder of what they have lost.
It is inevitable that as we age our beauty or our strength starts to wane. Most people deal with this reality gracefully, but of course this does not apply to narcissists. As a result their need for attention and admiration increases, as they try to compensate for what they perceive as their own deficiencies.
Their fragile ego cannot deal with the fact that they are past their prime. This makes them increasingly bitter and resentful, and they often take it out on the people around them.
Narcissists become more bigoted and close-minded as they get older
Sadly, narcissists often become more bigoted and close-minded as they age. They hold onto outdated views and refuse to consider new information. They also often become fixated on one particular topic, and they will refuse to listen to anyone who disagrees with them.
This behaviour is closely linked to their obsession with their declining influence and power. Desperate to find someone else to blame it on – anyone other than themselves – they will pick a scapegoat and unload all their bitterness on them.
An old narcissistic man could, for example, blame women for all his problems. He becomes obsessed with his misogynistic view of the world, and any woman who dares to challenge him becomes the target of his anger.
Basically, narcissists need to feel superior to other people, so they bolster their sense of superiority by picking on a group of people. This is why so many ageing narcissists are sexist, racist or homophobic. They think that they will feel better about themselves if they insult someone else. This, of course, never works, so they become even more of a nightmare to be around.
Narcissists become more critical and difficult to please in their old age
Narcissists will find fault with everyone and everything, no matter how small or insignificant.
As they age, their expectations become increasingly unrealistic and they will find fault with even the smallest of things. As a result, they become almost impossible to please.
Narcissists become more isolated as they age
As narcissists age, they often become more isolated. They may withdraw from family and friends, and they may even isolate themselves from their own children.
This is because they cannot deal with the fact that other people have lives that do not revolve around them. They also find it difficult to accept that other people have different opinions and values. This worldview gets even more entrenched as they get older and their thinking becomes more rigid and black-and-white.
Narcissists become more dependent on others when they are old
Although narcissists try to project an image of being strong and independent, the truth is that they often become more dependent on other people as they age.
This is because they are no longer able to take care of themselves. They may need help with basic things like cooking and cleaning, and they may even need someone to take care of their finances.
This dependence can be very frustrating for narcissists, who will often lash out at those who try to help. Their increasing paranoia will also come into play, and there is a good chance that they will accuse their helpers of stealing their money or cheating them in some way.
The result, of course, is to make a bad situation even worse for those who have to deal with the narcissist’s demands and mood swings.
If you have a narcissist in your life, then you will know that they are extremely difficult to deal with. Age does not make them any wiser or humbler. It simply makes them more entrenched in their ways and more of a challenge to deal with. It is therefore important that you keep this in mind and try to find ways to protect yourself from their manipulation, control and abuse.
What do you think? Do you have any experience dealing with an aging narcissist? Share your stories and advice in the comments below!
For Further Reading
- How to Deal with a Narcissist
- How to Define a Narcissist: The 5 Traits You Need to Look Out For
- How Narcissistic Leaders Create Toxic Workplaces
- Narcissistic Supply – Feeding the Narcissistic Ego
- Narcissistic Injury – The Agony of the Fragile Narcissistic Ego
- 8 Ways Narcissists Get Worse with Age
- Can a Narcissist feel Empathy? The Answer May Surprise You
- The Devious Traits of the Female Narcissist – What to Look Out For
- Narcissist Meme Gallery
- How to Tell If You’re a Narcissist
- Does a narcissist ever truly regret hurting people?
- Can Narcissists Change? The Truth About Personality Disorders and How to Treat Them
- Can a Narcissist Ever Be Happy? Appearances May Be Deceptive
- Can a Narcissist Be Nice? The Myth of the Generous Narcissist
- Can the agony of the narcissistic injury ever be healed?
- What is the Root Cause of Narcissism?
- What’s a Narcissist? Characteristics of a Narcissist and How to Spot Them
- The Five Types of Narcissist – Which One Are You Dealing With?
- Narcissist – Covert – How to Recognize and Deal with a Covert Narcissist
- The Traits of a Covert Narcissist: What You Need to Know
- Grandiose Narcissism: What It Is and How to Protect Yourself From It
- What are the Treatment Options for Narcissistic Personality Disorder?
- How To Identify the Traits of Narcissism
- What is an Enabler? A Critical Asset for the Narcissist
- Unmasking Narcissism – What are the 5 main habits of a narcissist?
- What are the signs that someone is narcissistic?
- The Effects of Narcissistic Abuse on Future Relationships
- What are the red flags of a narcissist?
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. When you use one of my affiliate links, the company compensates me. At no additional cost to you, I’ll earn a commission, which helps me run this blog and keep my in-depth content free of charge for all my readers.