6. Loss of the trappings of youth and success.
As narcissists age, they often grow even more abusive (a very few may improve–but they probably weren’t high spectrum to begin with). That’s because aging means a loss of looks, career, health, possibly even a spouse (who provides a narcissist with supply), and in some cases even financial solvency. All these things are proof to a narcissist that they still have value and are still admired and respected.
Somatic narcissists, who are most concerned with their health or physical appearance, have never developed other aspects of themselves that could be fallen back on when those things begin to go; that’s because the false self is a flimsy one-dimensional construct and is incapable of love, true attachment, friendship, and other things that the rest of us can fall back on when we’re old and not in such great physical shape or health anymore. If someone has spent their entire lives only concerned with their appearance, once that goes, what’s left?
Cerebral narcissists, who are concerned with their intellectual ability or business acumen, may be able to hang onto those assets a bit longer, but eventually, their minds may begin to become less sharp or they may be forced to retire or reduce their hours working. Having to retire is a huge blow to a narcissist whose entire identity is tied up in his or her career and earning ability. What is left?
In both cases, a narcissist experiences an almost total loss of supply and to avoid the ensuing depression, they lash out and attack others like angry dogs. That’s why old narcissists are so often cranky and mean. They’re also terrified of death, the last thing on the list that terrifies them.