Time Wounds All Heels

I was worried that I was a narcissist myself because I had a therapist who told me I was one, mostly because I happen to like myself a lot. So I sought out my best old therapist from the old days and asked him. He told me that I had “high narcissism” which just means “high self-esteem.” I am perfectly happy to have high self-esteem, but some people don’t like it. I have had girlfriends complain that I am “self-impressed.” My attitude is, “This is bad?” When I was young I remember a young woman maybe aged 18-20 once offhandedly said, “All men are vain,” in a world-weary tone of voice. She acted like it was some sort of basic fact of nature.

I don’t have NPD because I still care quite a bit about other people. But I have gotten the “You don’t care” thing from girlfriends before. One thing is just that I don’t need humans all that much. I won’t even call my best friends for long periods of time simply because I don’t need them. I mean I love them, but I would probably only call them if I needed them. I am quite happy by myself, and I don’t have huge needs for others. But girlfriends keep interpreting this as “you don’t care.”

What’s nuts is when they say this I am so crazy head over heels nuts in love with them it’s pitiful. I keep trying to tell them that, but they keep coming back with the “You don’t care” thing. I told my Mom and she said, “Oh, women are always saying their husbands don’t act like they love them.” Then she told me the story above about the guy who responded to his wife that the fact that he stuck around at all meant he loved her since if he didn’t love her, he would be gone in a New York minute. I think men and women have different ways of expressing love.

Generally speaking, when narcissism is excessive and you are turning into an asshole, it’s better to tone it down, and you will often become a better person as a result.

I watched a couple of documentaries about some rock stars who are now in their 40’s and 50’s. A couple were notorious for being arrogant, egotistical assholes. Actually I imagine it was more than a couple. But I noticed that so many of these guys had really toned it down at age 48-58. Even the ones who were serious arrogant assholes had seriously toned it down. They were so much more likeable as a result that it is hard to put it into words. A little bit of humility goes a long way.

A lot of people are pretty narcissistic, arrogant, egotistical and assholey when they are young. In particular, many young men in their 20’s and even into their 30’s are serious assholes. I like to say that the reason they are like is because they haven’t had enough bad things happen to them yet!

But usually by age 40, most people have toned it down. Arrogant people over age 40 are not common. The thing is that by age 40, most people have had about a million failures and bad things happen to them and not too many still think their shit doesn’t stink. With age comes humility. This is a rather normal life course for a lot of basically normal people who do not have any particular personality disorder, narcissistic or otherwise.

The problem with NPD is the narcissist hits 40 and has had a million failures and bad things happen to him, but instead of becoming humble, his response is to wildly ramp up the narcissism as a response to all of the narcissistic injuries or wounds that these bad things and failures caused. NPD’s also don’t take to aging very well. Aging is hard on anyone’s self-esteem, and to the narcissist it is positively confounding.

In other words, NPD’s do not follow the typical life course of increased humility with age.


Filed under Gender Studies, Man World, Mental Illness, Narcissism, Narcissistic, Personality, Personality Disorders, Psychology, Psychopathology, Romantic Relationships

6 responses to “Time Wounds All Heels

  1. Dirk Schrontz

    Uh Time Wounds All Heels???? Do you mean Time heals all wounds or stating a scrambled version of this aphorism? I only heard this referenced this way by John Lennon as a brainy quote. Just curious

    • …stating a scrambled version of this aphorism? I only heard this referenced this way by John Lennon as a brainy quote. Just curious.

      You got it. We don’t call it Beyond Highbrow for nothing. Good job picking up on that BTW.

  2. HOOD



    Actually it is a bummer to be a narcissist because your delusions of grandeur never completely work out (Maybe 2/5 do) so narcissists usually end up disappointed at the amount of money they have and living off one or two past glories. Which is my case. Also I think cynicism comes early to Narcissists because we have been opportunists all over our life.

    There are also the endless power struggles. Contrary to what is believed most narcissists are not fearless aggressors and often they lose and have to hit the road because their verbal belittlement has made somebody angry enough to actually kill them.

    Also, like me, grudges are born for a long time. This is a bit exhausting to resent the guy who screwed you 15 years ago.

    Our job resume has some accomplishments but zero references because whatever we did involved “conning” somebody out of money. My own business was basically hinged on financing and my investors all hate my guts. So do most of the people I worked with. I can show people my work but anybody who called for a reference would get a hysterical string of profanities from people that were once my partners.

    There is also the realization that comes to most Narcissists unless they are mentally retarded that

    Narcissists including myself also really don’t have the appeal past their salad days (This I think was the point of the book Lolita which was about narcissism and aging) in a sexual sense. Remember that unlike psychopaths we are not really glib and charming. We come off as incredibly shallow and self-centered.

    Most narcissists have probably accomplished something that they wished to accomplish by the age of 40 and if they have any money at all they begin-as I did-to retreat into a literal as oppose to a fantasy world (In my case living in Asia which was cheap enough for me to do what I wanted and marry who I wanted). They just simply withdraw, as I have, into a world they perceive having complete control over.

    I’ve noticed that most narcissists will do anything to avoid adverse circumstances because we have no principles. As a result we tend to look a little (Maybe five years) younger than our age.

  3. HOOD


    Sir Time and IQ of Heels

    If you look at the statistics the average NAM in Chicago only lives to be 22 years old. He’s dead quite young.

    Skip over to New Jersey and Tony Soprano lives to be 45-50. There’s a few exceptions-the mob “associates” or “soldiers” who get so hooked on coke or heroin that they are killed and so on-but generally the average age of the dead Italian mobster is 40 something.

    With Triads or something quite a few of them live to be 70 years old.

    Time seems to weed out heels and those who are not weeded out end up quite debilitated by 35.

  4. HOOD

    NPD and age

    You’re quite ignorant of many things because you focused on what was going to do the most for you. You might know a field that you made money in but outside that forget it. I can barely charge a car battery. My focus was on what was regarded as an esteemed profession and then in my 30’s I became obsessed with money.

    You don’t have many lifelong friends. There is no romantic hate either just a bunch of people that think you’re a shallow self-centered asshole. I can show people my work and it is impressive but I could not get a reference.

    You’re transient. Narcissists tend to move around a great deal. Rootless. Maybe like me they earn enough money to settle down somewhere but only after 20 years of roaming around opportunistically.

    Townies and the like really dislike you and call you an “elitist” which you might want to be but most narcissists do not make the money to be. Trying to hide your pompousness is impossible and when you try to do so they think you are a liar for acting less intelligent than you are. You’re restricted to the cities because the rubes would really take offense.

    You’re never as successful as you wanted to be. The chances of a narcissist having the power, recognition, money that they wanted is %.00000. I live on a few past glories.

    Most of the women a male narcissist slept with were prostitutes. Unlike psychopaths Narcissists are not charming or glib. They are cold and shallow. It is obvious to most women that a Narcissist cares only for himself.

  5. HOOD


    NPD sad realizations in the middle life.

    Maybe 5% of NPD will actually get into a business that makes them famous or rich or powerful. The rest of us will have one or two past glories we can put on a resume that nobody gives a shit about.

    Once you’re past 40 you cannot hustle the same way.

    Unless you are owning a limousine it is hard not to be called out on being a pompous asshole. That is what you finally realize you really are.

    Young men who are arrogant have a bit of appeal-the confidence, the fearlessness, the sexy urgency. Not at 40.

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