10 Signs of a Spiritual Narcissist

by Ryan Hart | Updated on October 2, 2023 | Post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.

Have you ever met someone who seems to have it all together spiritually, but their behavior towards others doesn’t match up? They may be a spiritual narcissist.

This type of person feels superior to others by using their spiritual beliefs and practices. They may boast about their spiritual accomplishments and look down on those who don’t share their beliefs.

Spiritual narcissism can be difficult to identify because it often masquerades as genuine spirituality. However, there are warning signs to look out for.

A spiritual narcissist may have a strong sense of entitlement, lack empathy for others, and manipulate situations to get what they want.

They may also believe that they are more spiritually enlightened than others and use this as a way to gain power and control over those around them.

If you suspect that someone in your life may be a spiritual narcissist, it’s important to set boundaries and protect yourself. While it’s essential to be compassionate towards others, it’s also important to recognize when someone’s behavior is unhealthy for you.

In the following sections, we will explore the signs of spiritual narcissism and how to deal with this type of person.

What is Spiritual Narcissism?

Have you ever encountered someone who seems to use their spirituality to boost their ego? This is known as spiritual narcissism. It is when a person unconsciously tries to feel superior to others by using their spiritual beliefs and practices.

Spiritual narcissists may boast about their spiritual accomplishments, make others feel inferior for not being as “enlightened” as they are, or use their spirituality as a shield from criticism. They may also use their spirituality to manipulate and control others or to gain attention and admiration.

It’s important to note that not all spiritual people are narcissists, and not all narcissists are spiritual.

However, the combination of spirituality and narcissism can be particularly harmful, leading to a sense of entitlement and a lack of empathy for others.

Some signs of spiritual narcissism include:

  • Boasting about spiritual accomplishments
  • Believing that your spiritual wisdom makes you more special than others
  • Using your spirituality as a shield from criticism
  • Making others feel inferior for not being as “enlightened” as you are
  • Using your spirituality to manipulate and control others

If you suspect that someone in your life may be a spiritual narcissist, it’s important to set boundaries and protect yourself from their harmful behavior.

The Ego and Spirituality

Regarding spirituality, the ego can play a significant role in our development. The ego is the part of us that identifies with our thoughts, emotions, and experiences. It is the voice in our head that tells us who we are and what we should do. The ego can be both helpful and harmful in our spiritual journey.

On one hand, the ego can motivate us to seek spiritual growth. It can push us to explore new practices and ideas that help us connect with our spirit. However, the ego can also lead us down a path of spiritual materialism. This is when we use our spiritual practices to boost our ego and feel superior to others.

It’s important to recognize when the ego is getting in the way of our spiritual growth. When we become attached to our spiritual progress and accomplishments, we are feeding the ego. This can lead to spiritual narcissism, where we believe we are better than others because of our spiritual practices.

To avoid spiritual narcissism, focusing on the spirit rather than the ego is important. This means letting go of attachment to spiritual progress and focusing on the present moment. When we connect with our spirit, we experience a sense of oneness with the universe. This is the true essence of spirituality.

Characteristics of a Spiritual Narcissist

If you suspect that someone in your life may be a spiritual narcissist, there are a few key characteristics to look out for. Here are some common traits of spiritual narcissists:

  • Control: Spiritual narcissists often feel the need to control others and situations to get what they want. They may use their spiritual beliefs as a way to justify their behavior or manipulate others.
  • Superiority: They may feel superior to others because of their spiritual beliefs or practices. They may believe that they are more enlightened or spiritually advanced than others.
  • Judgment: Spiritual narcissists may be quick to judge others who do not share their beliefs or practices. They may see themselves as the only ones who are “right” or “enlightened.”
  • Entitlement: They may feel entitled to special treatment or privileges because of their spiritual beliefs or practices.
  • Manipulation: Spiritual narcissists may use their beliefs and practices to manipulate others. They may use guilt, shame, or fear to get what they want.
  • Self-worth: They may tie their self-worth to their spiritual achievements or practices. They may feel that they are only valuable or worthy if they are “enlightened” or “spiritually advanced.”
  • Validation: They may seek validation and attention from others for their spiritual beliefs and practices. They may feel the need to prove themselves to others.
  • Attention: They may crave attention and admiration for their spiritual beliefs and practices. They may use their spirituality as a way to gain attention and admiration from others.
  • Egocentricity: They may be self-centered and focused on their own needs and desires. They may see the world through the lens of their own spirituality rather than considering the perspectives and experiences of others.
  • Self-image: They may have a distorted self-image based on their spiritual beliefs and practices. They may see themselves as more enlightened or spiritually advanced than they actually are.

Overall, it’s important to remember that not everyone who is spiritual is a narcissist. However, if you notice these traits in someone in your life, it may be a sign that they are struggling with spiritual narcissism.

Signs of Spiritual Narcissism

If you suspect that someone in your life may be a spiritual narcissist, it’s important to be aware of the common signs. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Lack of empathy: A spiritual narcissist may seem to be more interested in talking about themselves and their own spiritual journey than in listening to others or showing compassion. They may also dismiss or belittle other people’s experiences or emotions.
  • Feeling superior: A spiritual narcissist may believe that they have reached a higher level of consciousness or enlightenment than others. They may act condescending or dismissive towards those who don’t share their beliefs or practices.
  • Manipulative behavior: A spiritual narcissist may use their spirituality as a way to manipulate others. For example, they may claim that their beliefs or practices are the only way to achieve true spiritual growth or use guilt or shame to pressure others into following their lead.

Other signs of spiritual narcissism may include:

  • Making everything about themselves, even in group settings
  • Refusing to consider other perspectives or ideas
  • Belittling or dismissing others' spiritual practices or beliefs
  • Using spirituality as a way to gain attention or validation
  • Claiming to have special powers or abilities
  • Insisting on being seen as a spiritual authority or leader

If you recognize any of these signs in someone you know, it may be time to reevaluate your relationship with them.

Healing from Narcissistic Abuse

If you have experienced narcissistic abuse, you may be struggling to heal from the trauma. Healing from narcissistic abuse can be a long and difficult process, but it is possible with time and effort. Here are some steps you can take to begin your healing journey:

Acknowledge the Abuse

In order to heal from narcissistic abuse, the first step is acknowledging that it happened. This can be difficult, especially if you have been gaslit or manipulated by the narcissist. But it is important to recognize that the abuse was real and that it was not your fault.

Seek Support

Healing from narcissistic abuse can be lonely, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist who understands narcissistic abuse. A person who has gone through similar experiences can provide validation and empathy.

Practice Self-Care

Self-care is an important part of healing from narcissistic abuse. Make sure you take care of your physical and emotional needs through adequate sleep, healthy eating, and enjoyable activities.

Set Boundaries

Setting boundaries is crucial in healing from narcissistic abuse. This may mean cutting off contact with the narcissist or setting limits on your contact amount. It can also mean setting boundaries with others in your life who may be toxic or abusive.

Acceptance

Acceptance is a key part of healing from narcissistic abuse. This means accepting that the abuse happened, accepting your feelings about it, and accepting that you cannot change the narcissist. It can be difficult to accept these things, but doing so can help you move forward with your healing journey.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can you identify a spiritual narcissist?

Identifying a spiritual narcissist can be tricky, but some common signs to look out for include:

  • A strong sense of entitlement.
  • Lack of empathy for others.
  • Feeling superior to other people.
  • Being manipulative to get what they want.

It becomes spiritual narcissism because the person has started identifying solely as a “spiritual person.”

What are some common traits of narcissistic spiritual teachers?

They may also manipulate their followers and use their spiritual teachings to gain power and control over them. A narcissistic spiritual teacher may have a grandiose ego, a need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.

Can a narcissistic person experience a spiritual awakening?

Yes, a narcissistic person can experience spiritual awakening, but it may be more challenging for them to let go of their ego and embrace humility. It may also take longer for them to recognize their own faults and work towards self-improvement.

What are some ways to overcome spiritual narcissism?

To overcome spiritual narcissism, it’s important to focus on self-awareness and humility. This may involve seeking feedback from others, practicing mindfulness and meditation, and being open to constructive criticism. It’s also important to remember that spiritual growth is a lifelong journey, and there will always be room for improvement.

What does the Bible say about narcissism and spiritual warfare?

While the Bible doesn’t specifically mention narcissism, it does warn against pride and self-centeredness. The Bible also emphasizes the importance of spiritual warfare and the need to put on the full armor of God to resist the devil’s schemes.

Do narcissists believe in God?

Narcissists may believe in God, but their beliefs may focus more on how God can benefit them than on a genuine desire to serve and worship God. Narcissists may also use religion as a way to manipulate and control others.

Bottom Line

If you find yourself in a relationship with a spiritual narcissist, it is important to prioritize your well-being. Remember that your self-esteem should not be based on their opinions of you.

Seek support from friends, family, or a therapist if necessary. Recognizing and dealing with a spiritual narcissist can be difficult, but prioritizing your well-being and maintaining a balanced approach to spirituality can help you navigate these challenges.

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About the Author:
Ryan Hart

Ryan Hart is a certified relationship coach and writer. His mission is to help make connections between people better, stronger, more meaningful, and longer lasting using technology.

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