Opinion: Narcissists Change In Middle Age

Stacy Ann

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Narcissists exhibit an excessive sense of self-importance and an exaggerated sense of entitlement. While narcissistic traits can be present in people of all ages, there are certain characteristics that are unique to narcissists in middle age. In this blog post, we'll explore what narcissism looks like in middle age and how it can impact personal relationships, work performance, and mental health.

Middle age is when many people begin to reevaluate their lives and take stock of their accomplishments. For narcissists, this can be a particularly challenging time, as they may struggle to maintain their sense of superiority and control. They may feel threatened by younger colleagues or family members who they perceive as threatening their power and status.

One of the critical characteristics of narcissists in middle age is their need for control. They may become increasingly rigid and demanding in their relationships, insisting on having things their way and becoming angry or manipulative when others don't comply. This can make it difficult for them to maintain healthy relationships, as their behavior can be seen as overbearing and controlling.

Narcissists in middle age may also become increasingly isolated as they age. This can be due to their behavior driving others away or because they become less able to maintain the same level of social activity as they age. They may find themselves increasingly lonely and feel that they are not getting the attention or admiration they feel they deserve.

Another common characteristic of narcissists in middle age is their focus on their appearance. They may become more preoccupied with their looks and spend much time and money on cosmetic treatments and procedures. They may also become more obsessed with their physical fitness, as a way to maintain their sense of control and power.

In the workplace, middle-aged narcissists may struggle to adapt to changing environments and technologies. They may resist new ideas and have difficulty working with younger colleagues who they perceive as less experienced or less capable. They may become increasingly rigid in their work habits, insisting on doing things the way they've always done them, even if it is no longer effective.

Middle-aged narcissists may also experience mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety. They may struggle with feelings of inadequacy and fear of losing their sense of control and power. They may become increasingly anxious about their physical appearance and may experience body dysmorphia, a condition in which a person becomes obsessed with perceived flaws in their appearance.

Treatment for narcissists in middle age typically involves therapy and counseling. A skilled therapist can help them identify the root causes of their behavior and develop strategies for managing their symptoms. They may learn coping mechanisms for dealing with feelings of insecurity and inadequacy and how to communicate more effectively with others. They may also learn techniques for managing stress and anxiety, such as mindfulness and relaxation exercises.

For loved ones of narcissists in middle age, it can be difficult to cope with their behavior. It's important to set boundaries and maintain open and honest communication while being compassionate and supportive. It may be helpful to seek out support groups or counseling for loved ones of narcissists, as they can provide a safe space to discuss their experiences and get advice from others in similar situations.

Ultimately, middle-aged narcissists can be challenging to deal with, as they may become more rigid, controlling, and preoccupied with their appearance. They may struggle with adapting to changing environments and experience mental health issues like depression and anxiety. Treatment typically involves therapy and counseling, while loved ones may also benefit from seeking out support groups or counseling. It's important to set boundaries and maintain open communication while being compassionate and supportive.

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