On Menopause, Pathological Envy, and Ways Female Narcissists Terrorize Other Women

Karen Barna
4 min readJun 19, 2024


Relational Aggression Towards Other Women Out of Pathological Envy

Female narcissists and sociopaths engage in behavior that is covert, underhanded, and bullying when it comes to women who threaten to outshine them, in any way shape or form, and threaten their spotlight. This is known as malevolent envy. This type of malicious envy has been linked in research studies to the Dark Triad (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machievellianism) and the Dark Tetrad (narcissism, psychopathy, Machievellianism and Sadism). Its association is particularly linked to the Machievellian character trait of personality.

I have come to understand that this behavior can represent the expulsion of the internalized maternal “bad object” onto ‘Other’ female objects in the individual’s relational orbit in an attempt to master the anal anxiety associated with growing old and aging. And, when the narcissist reaches her tipping point, it is an expulsion of that internalized maternal imago right out of the body through plastic surgery and pharmaceuticals. The game becomes “who looks the youngest and prettiest… now.”

Menopause can become a particular developmental crisis for women who are confronted with the original maternal object. The symbolic castrations of menopause, the loss of fertility, youth, and health can unconsciously reactivate the rage at the mother which initiated the original female Oedipal conflict. Just as in the Oedipal period and adolescent period, older women can experience the same heightened sense of penis envy and castration anxiety once again, mobilizing aggression toward and, at the same time, identification with the original internalized mother. In turn, this experience can also activate manic defenses to elude metaphorical death and symbolic castration by re-writing the body in an attempt to restore youth and beauty. We see the effects of these psychic defenses in the explosive market earnings, and need for, plastic surgery in older wealthy women. And we see it in the violation of fair market practices in medicines that do not have adequate long-term data for its use. Although, clinical studies have deemed it to be “safe.” Where outcomes and side effects have no long-term imperical data to inform us like in the “miracle drug” Ozempic. Ozempic is currently being used as a weight loss drug for those who can afford its $1,000 a month cost.

One of the the strongest adhered to psychic introjections is that of the younger, stronger, faster, healthier female self. This is the powerful self we remember from high school and our college years. Where time hasn’t touched our looks, our health, our speed, and our shape.

Freud noted that “menopause can increase the strength of the instincts and impoverish the ego in a way that can cause a neurosis in an otherwise normal women, or at the very least, lead to an enormous disruption in the equilibrium of mental health (Holmes, 2008).”

In women who are pathological, it will be no surprise to see deception, sabotage, the spreading of rumors, smear campaigns, and blatant misrepresentation for those the envious narcissistic female loaths. Men, too, are not immune to the psychic effects of aging.

Unlike benign envy which can motivate people to improve themselves, malicious envy drives negative thoughts about the envied object ‘Other.’ The narcissist may engage in victim blaming and gaslighting techniques to make the victim question her own set of experiences. Two of the the strongest traits displayed are a lack of empathy and contempt for others. Narcissism has even been linked to the acceptance of rape myths and victim shaming attitudes.

In order to attack women who pose a potential threat, female narcissists and sociopaths engage in covert put-downs, fear mongering, shaming, and policing. Think of the narcissistic co-worker who consistently spreads rumors about a talented colleague. A narcissistic friend who says, “Should you really be wearing THAT dress?” When the dress looks fantastic on her friend’s shape. Think of the narcissistic family member who micromanages their relatives life only to sabotage it. The narcissist may couch their insulting, depraved behavior in false concern, attempting to dipict their vested concern in another’s welfare. Female narcissists are really invested in ensuring attractive, successful women do not get to feel confident because that would pose harm to their own ego.

Women should build friendships with other women who are interested in celebrating and encouraging them. If you get put down covertly or overtly by a narcissist, remember it’s not you. It’s them. You are not obliged to shrink and bow to meet their needs or stroke their ego in response to their abuse. Cut ties, if you can, with anyone who uses these tactics.



Karen Barna

I am a Targeted Individual suffering electronic harassment. I write about gender difference and object relations and feminism. I am Gen. X