If a person past age 40 is still arrogant and highly narcissistic, something is badly wrong. A lot of times you are looking at Narcissistic Personality Disorder. That said, even the narcissist can only lie to himself for so long before even he has to admit it’s all a big fake job. Time and age is hard on the narcissist. Time not only heals all wounds, but it also wounds all heels, even narcissistic heels.
There is a decline in many functions and appearances with age, not the least of which is personal appearance. You can cover it up with makeup and even plastic surgery and a lot of extreme Denial so strong that you look right in the mirror and your mind literally distorts your own reflection. Yes, defenses can cause actual perceptual distortions.
But at some point, all the patching up isn’t going to work anymore, and the narcissist will have to deal with the painful reality that he is no longer so goodlooking or hot anymore, and in fact, he is now a homely aging or old person. This is very hard for the narcissist to take, and a lot of narcissists become depressed in middle to old age. At some point all the defenses collapse and the whole structure comes tumbling down, leaving them dazed, bruised, and forced to look at the reality of their own personal wreckage.
A healthy person can be fairly ok with this. For example, I joke:
I think my looks are shot, but a lot of women still tell me I’m hot. I don’t get it.
Of course, I don’t really believe that, but it works pretty well as self-deprecating humor, and it’s the opposite of narcissism. And I’d be lying if I wasn’t fishing for compliments* when I say that.
The woman, even a young one – Hell, even an underage teenage girl, usually says:
“No way! You are handsome!”
To which I respond,
“Really? Well, if you say so.”
Humility, fake or not, tends to go over pretty well as long as you don’t act like you hate yourself. If you have egotistical tendencies (and I do), it knocks you down to other people’s level, and people like it when you meet them on their level, whether it’s genuine or not.
I’m starting to think that no one cares how you really feel about them. Life is all about appearances, and appearances are by their very nature quite fake, at least in us showboating human egoists. Walk the walk and talk the talk and you’re done. Fake it til you make it.
Everyone acts like this is an immoral way to walk through life, except that people who say that are probably doing the exact same thing. In a sense, our interactions with other humans are best seen as a series of roles that we are playing in a drama with the other humans as co-actors. Shakespeare remarked on this. Yet it’s true. How many of us is truly genuine and why in the Hell would that be a good idea anyway?
Know one but you knows what is in your mind, so your thoughts are important to you only and are never important to anymore else until you verbalize them, which isn’t mandatory and is often a bad idea. Thoughts originate in your head and are often best kept right there. Thoughts aren’t illegal yet either; though don’t fret, the feminists and SJW’s are working real hard on it, and there should be some legislation to deal with thought crime soon.
In a way, the best social actors are those who can play a variety of roles. If you always play one role, fine. But in some cases, you may need to try on a new role. I’ve played all sorts of roles in life, and I like to try new ones all the time. It’s pretty fun and it’s an escape from egoism, narcissism, and solipsism because it gets you out of your damned head for once, and it also makes you realize that this thing called “you,” your actual identity, is in a way fake too, as fake as all these roles you are play. It’s manufactured, created or socially constructed as the postmodernists like to say.
Age is painful for us all, but healthier people, as the British like to say, “manage to muddle through anyway.” But here the narcissist is in trouble because at a fundamental level, he is simply not healthy.
It is no secret that a lot of narcissists are very goodlooking, highly intelligent, or quite skilled at this or that. A lot of narcissists really are superior to most of the rest of us. Nevertheless, you’re not supposed to act like it. If you do, you will make everyone mad because no one likes to be talked down to.
*Supposedly fishing for compliments sucks, but you know what, readers? You all go ahead and fish for all the damned compliments you want. Life’s tough enough as it is. We all deserve a break and a pat on the back now and then.