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.
4 thoughts on “Narcissism As Lay Betting”
To my own shame, I had to look up the meaning of the word, self gratification through one,s own vanity, or self worth of ones attributes. Yes, it is something quite disgusting to see, especially in men who look at themselves in the mirror, talk about whether they are more attractive than their other male colleagues and are self obsessed. I tend to find however that the worst cases of it are amongst the younger people, not older people. I am one of those people who like attractive young women and I could never see myself with an older lady. However, this has absolutely nothing to do with me having some kind of unrealistic vision of who I am, and has nothing to do with self vanity, which is something I have always despised in any man, a it is so utterly unmanly, like jealousy. I simply see attractive girls as such, and older ladies as who they are, as I saw those things all of my life. If a girl is not interested in me because I am an old guy, then fine I would fully support her right to think that. The reason that I could not see myself with an older woman has nothing to do with twisted false self image and vanity. I see an attractive young woman and that is what I see. No one ever sais to a forty year old mother or father that they should not smile with natural joy when they see their young daughter or son with a warm smile. Same thing, It brings m joy to see a pretty girl with a warm smile, and I am kind of indifferent to older ladies. Nothing to do with false sod image or vanity
I have a saying that keeps me in check:
“I look much better in the mirror than I do on paper.”
I must admit a degree of ignorance on this subject. I feel a little embarrassed by the fact that i do not understand the meaning of the term, but I tried looking it up and the definition given seemed to be that it is someone obsessed with their own vanity and attributes. I personally have allways found vaninity in men rather disgusting, as I find it rather disgusting when I come across those who have chosen a profession because they like being able to be control freaks, because they are so drunk on their own superciliousness. I tend to find this a lot in the Engineeing profession with Project Managers who have chosen their career path mostly because they see themselves as being superior with or without justify able cause. The focus of the discussion thus far however seems to be upon men who are single and in their middle age. As one such individual myself I can give testament to how difficult life can be, when all around you’re married with children and have different perspectives upon life. However, I spend a lot of time in Thailand because I am practical about the challenges of being an older single guy and this is a place where an individual can enjoy life. I ted to find that most of the guys I meet here are decent types, certainly not vain nasty individuals full of their own self importance, so I am a bit lost in understanding the discussion. Of course life might be easier if I hooked up with an older lady and kidded my self on that I wa truly content with it, but why lie to myself? Yes, eventually I will be iincapable with attractive young women and reflect upon the lack of maturing sons and daughters and I already finding it a challenge in life that all I meet through professional circles are married with families, but I don’t want to live a lie. I don’t see myself with a middle aged lady,which has absolutely nothing to do with me having some sort of over ego about who I am, I,m just being honest.
Beatrix – I found it interesting you noted that several narcissists turn to 12 step programs to find a continuing supply of victims. This doesn’t surprise me. You can take the booze away, but that doesn’t really change a person.