On the face of it, narcissists seem to be able to swan through life, charming and confident, without a care in the world for the trail of destruction, chaos and heartache they leave in their wake. They have little remorse, and nothing appears to be able to halt their unstoppable march toward further emotional devastation of anyone foolish enough to be conned into caring about them.
This is a fallacy, however. Meet what is referred to as Narcissistic Collapse.
This happens when they can no longer manage to maintain the charade, or the gap between their false self and real self. Hard reality knocks, and the vulnerability of their false self is laid bare. Their looks catch up with them. They’ve pissed so many supporters off along the way that people steer clear. The players in their make-believe world including friends, enablers and flying monkeys wake up to realise that the whole victim narrative was a string of lies and that is they who are the toxic ones, and not their victims. That none of their apparent “success” in life is actually attributable to them but was essentially stolen or borrowed from others. That all of their crazy and abusive exes are in fact not unhinged, but were made to appear that way by all of the crazy-baiting and drama deliberately caused by the narc themselves. Their children wake up to the reality that their normal range parents loved them all along.
Narcissistic Collapse presents itself as a massive mental breakdown after which they become withdrawn and isolated. They struggle to face themselves, and as a result can’t face the world.
Narcissistic Collapse is generally permanent – the narcissist never recovers for the rest of their life.
There is a less common variant known as Narcissistic Hibernation. This generally happens when the Narcopath loses their key sources of narcissistic supply and therefore struggles to maintain their charade. They lie low until another is found and from whom they are able to derive sufficient narcissistic supply to feel good enough about themselves to face the world again.
This is the karma about which pundits offer refer. It’ll happen, sure enough. And if you as a victim want to accelerate the onset of narcissistic collapse, just go out there and thrive. Your success deals them hammer blows.
- Most thrive well into their 20s and 30s, having given the impression to everyone they have been popular or the “cool person” since childhood.
- By the time they reach their 40s, the tables begin to turn.
- As they begin to show age and resent it, they lose the power to charm and entrance people by using their looks.
- By the time they hit their 50s and 60s, most narcissistic people start to lose friends and have less influence. US Health Update
There’s a great article and how eternal victimhood often ends up as Narcissistic collapse at Collapsed Narcissists