When you bet on the body, you bet on a losing horse.
– Buddhist saying
Unlike lay betting though, this sort of bet can never win. The aging narcissist can only lose. This is why while narcissism is relatively normal (unfortunately) in many non-pathological people up until age ~40, after age, narcissism is almost always a sign of serious pathology. This is because in addition to the wear and tear on the body factor, by the time they hit 40, most folks, no matter how successful, have already had about a million really bad things happen to them. At about the 500,000th massive failure you start to figure that maybe your shit might smell bad after all. In short, even most attorneys, physicians and such are pretty humbled by the time they hit middle age.
Yet the narcissist carries on just the same. It’s hard to explain away a million crashes, but the narcissist has his bag of tricks. The river in Egypt says they never happened in the first place or explains losses away as victories. One thing humans excel at is something called “blaming other people.” I know folks deep in middle age who have been doing this their whole lives. I assume they will be cursing the enemies and saboteurs on their deathbed. It’s a Hell of a way to live.
After age 40, narcissism becomes more precarious in the individual because it is increasingly obvious what a gigantic lie it is. Therefore we will see the aging narcissist develop more pathology to make sense of a philosophy that is so glaringly false. Hell, the own mirror punches him in the face every day. How can you ignore that?
Also the narcissistic structure will tend to break down more as the person ages. Narcissism is always built on a house of cards. It looks like the best skyscraper in town, but really there’s no scaffolding to hold it up. At the root of much narcissism is profound self-hatred. The deeper the self-contempt, the greater the grandiose projection needed to balance it out and arrive at the steady state we all want.
People who know narcissists often ask me why they plunge into such awful depressions. But it’s simple. There’s nothing to hold it up. So the narcissist is either the greatest person on Earth (the typical compensatory state that we see most of the time) or, if not, he is the lowest worm that ever slithered forth. You see this sort of thing painfully in Eliot Rodger’s memoirs, which you may wish to take a look at. The narcissist is either a hero or a zero. He can’t be in between.
The aging body is one of the main pitfalls of the narcissist. The narcissist is often an attractive person; in fact, good looking people are especially prone to narcissism. Their narcissism is enforced by so many people telling them how beautiful they are. Problem is that the physical game definitely has a sell-by date.
I have some young men who are my good friends. Some of them have told me that they could never see a 40+ year old woman as being beautiful. They wonder what they will do when they get to be that age. Other young men tell me that after age 40, they will take off to the Philippines and screw young women for the rest of their lives. As older women are so hideous you know.
Since I definitely have sex with women my age (lately 48-51), young men ask me how I can do it. Well first you come to accept your own aging body. Then you learn to appreciate older women. I have been consciously doing this for a while now, and I have developed a taste for them. Many older women have great bodies. I was with a 48 year old woman recently who had the body of a 20 year old.