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7 Signs Someone Might Be A Spiritual Narcissist

Which are the 7 signs someone might be a spiritual narcissist?


In our quest for spiritual growth, we encounter a variety of personalities.

Some guide us to enlightenment, while others lead us astray.

Among the latter, spiritual narcissists stand out with their unique blend of spirituality and self-centeredness.

This article aims to shed light on this complex personality type and provide seven distinct signs to spot a spiritual narcissist.

The 7 Signs Someone Might Be A Spiritual Narcissist:

#1 The Illusion of Superiorityspiritual narcissism

The illusion of superiority is a trait deeply ingrained in the spiritual narcissist’s psyche, making it one of the most telling signs of their personality.

Rooted in an inflated sense of self, this superiority complex goes beyond mere confidence or self-assuredness. It’s a pervasive belief in their spiritual supremacy, an unwavering conviction that they are on a higher plane of existence compared to others.

This sense of superiority can be so overpowering that it affects every interaction they have.

They approach others not with curiosity or openness but with a predetermined notion of their dominance. In their world, they are the enlightened gurus, and everyone else is a novice struggling to keep up.

Their conversations often reflect this attitude. They may dismiss other people’s spiritual experiences or beliefs as trivial or misguided, asserting their views as the ultimate truth.

For them, spirituality is not a shared journey but a competition they believe they are winning.

Consider the analogy of a person claiming to have read every book in the library. This individual doesn’t merely enjoy reading or appreciate literature; instead, they use their ‘knowledge’ as a weapon, a tool to assert dominance.

They dismiss your favorite novel, not because they have valid criticisms but because acknowledging its worth might challenge their superiority. Their interest lies not in exploring diverse perspectives but in affirming their supremacy.

In a similar vein, spiritual narcissists use their spirituality as a means of elevating themselves above others.

They aren’t interested in learning from different spiritual paths or appreciating the diversity of spiritual experiences. Instead, they are fixated on proving their superiority, on establishing themselves as the ultimate authority on all spiritual things.

This illusion of superiority, while it might seem harmless at first, can be incredibly damaging.

It hinders genuine spiritual growth, fosters division, and turns spirituality into a battleground for the ego.

Recognizing this trait is important in identifying spiritual narcissists and navigating our interactions with them.

#2 Exploitation of Spiritual Authorityspiritual narcissist

The exploitation of spiritual authority by spiritual narcissists is a complex and usually subtle form of manipulation.

It’s based on the narcissist’s deep-seated need for control and validation, which they satisfy by asserting their spiritual superiority over others.

One common way that spiritual narcissists exploit their authority is by positioning themselves as the gatekeepers of spiritual truth.

They present their beliefs and experiences as the ultimate spiritual reality, dismissing or invalidating differing perspectives. This creates a dynamic where they are the enlightened masters, and everyone else is a spiritual novice in desperate need of their guidance.

In this scenario, the spiritual narcissist isn’t genuinely interested in helping others grow. Instead, they use their spiritual authority to create a power imbalance that serves their ego. They manipulate others into feeling inadequate or spiritually inferior, strengthening their position of dominance.

Another way that spiritual narcissists exploit their authority is through guilt and shame. They might imply or outright state that others are spiritually lacking if they don’t subscribe to the narcissist’s beliefs or practices. They use spirituality as a weapon, making others feel guilty for their supposed lack of enlightenment.

This exploitation of spiritual authority can have serious consequences. It can lead to spiritual abuse, where individuals are manipulated and controlled under the guise of spiritual growth. It can cause people to question their spiritual experiences and beliefs, leading to confusion and self-doubt.

It can also damage the communal aspect of spirituality.

Spirituality is typically about connection – with oneself, with others, and with the universe at large. But when spiritual narcissists exploit their authority, they turn spirituality into a hierarchy with themselves at the top.

This fosters division and conflict, undermining the unity and mutual respect that are at the heart of many spiritual traditions.

#3 Lack of Empathy

Lack of empathy is a characteristic trait of narcissism, and it is no different in the case of spiritual narcissists.

While they may project an image of being deeply connected with the universe or possessing a higher state of consciousness, their inability to empathize with others paints a contrasting picture.

They oftentimes fail to understand or relate to the emotions, experiences, and needs of the people around them, as their focus remains primarily on their spiritual journey.

This lack of empathy can manifest in various ways. For instance, they might dismiss or invalidate others’ feelings or experiences because they don’t align with their own.

They may be indifferent to the struggles or challenges that others are facing, showing little interest or concern. In some cases, they might even exploit others’ vulnerabilities for their gain, using their perceived spiritual superiority to manipulate and control.

The analogy of someone engrossed in their smartphone at a social gathering aptly illustrates this trait.

Similar to the person who is so absorbed in their digital world that they ignore the real-life conversations around them, the spiritual narcissist is so focused on their spiritual journey that they disregard the emotional realities of others.

They remain oblivious to the needs and feelings of those around them, creating a sense of disconnection and isolation.

This lack of empathy is not only harmful to the people around the spiritual narcissist but also counterproductive to their spiritual growth.

Spirituality involves cultivating compassion, understanding, and connection with others. Failing to empathize, spiritual narcissists miss out on these essential aspects of spiritual development.

#4 Spiritual Bypassing

Spiritual bypassing is a defensive mechanism employed by spiritual narcissists, enabling them to sidestep personal growth and self-accountability.

Using spiritual concepts as a shield, they avoid confronting their shortcomings, unresolved issues, and negative emotions, thereby maintaining their illusion of spiritual superiority.

This avoidance can manifest in various ways.

One common method is dismissing valid criticisms or personal flaws as ‘lower energy’ concerns. Instead of acknowledging and addressing these issues, the spiritual narcissist simply labels them as unspiritual or insignificant. This allows them to maintain their self-perceived image of perfection and continue living in denial of their faults.

Another form of spiritual bypassing involves using spirituality as an excuse for inappropriate behavior.

A spiritual narcissist might justify their manipulative or hurtful actions by attributing them to some higher spiritual purpose. This not only absolves them of responsibility but also positions them as spiritually advanced, further reinforcing their superiority complex.

The analogy of a student blaming their poor grades on the teacher’s dislike for them perfectly encapsulates this behavior. Like the student refusing to accept their lack of effort or discipline, the spiritual narcissist avoids taking responsibility for their actions or shortcomings.

They shift the blame onto others or onto ‘lower energy’ concerns, steering clear of any self-reflection or personal growth.

However, spiritual bypassing is a counterproductive strategy. It stunts personal and spiritual growth, preventing individuals from dealing with their issues and learning from their mistakes.

It can also lead to strained relationships, as it often involves disregarding others’ feelings or experiences.

#5 Demand for Constant Admiration

A defining characteristic of spiritual narcissists, much like their classical counterparts, is their insatiable need for admiration and validation.

They derive a sense of self-worth from the praise and adoration they receive for their supposed spiritual accomplishments.

This constant demand for admiration inflates their egos and reinforces their self-perceived spiritual superiority.

Spiritual narcissists commonly go to great lengths to ensure they receive their desired level of admiration.

They may boast about their spiritual experiences or insights, showcasing them as evidence of their advanced spiritual state. They might also perform acts of kindness or charity, not out of genuine compassion, but as a means to garner praise and recognition.

However, their demand for constant admiration also makes them highly sensitive to criticism or lack of acknowledgment. If they don’t receive the recognition they believe they deserve, they can become upset or defensive.

They may react with anger, denial, or even attempts at manipulation to restore their image of superiority.

The analogy of a star athlete who thrives on applause but throws a fit when another player is acknowledged aptly illustrates this behavior. Comparable to the athlete who cannot bear to share the spotlight, the spiritual narcissist struggles with the idea that others might also possess spiritual wisdom or insight.

They view spirituality as a competition, one where they must always be the winner.

This constant demand for admiration, however, is ultimately self-defeating.

It turns spirituality, which is fundamentally about selflessness and connection, into a self-centered pursuit of recognition. It creates a barrier to genuine spiritual growth, prioritizing external validation over inner transformation.

#6 Alluring Aura of Mystique

Spiritual narcissists often cultivate an alluring aura of mystique to attract attention and admiration.

They position themselves as enigmatic figures, shrouded in a veil of spiritual mystery and intrigue.

They claim to possess profound, esoteric knowledge that is beyond the grasp of ordinary individuals, further enhancing their image of spiritual superiority.

This mystique serves several purposes for the spiritual narcissist, including:

  • it attracts followers or admirers who are drawn to their apparent wisdom and spiritual prowess. These individuals become sources of validation and adoration, feeding the narcissist’s ego and reinforcing their perceived superiority.
  • the aura of mystique creates a power dynamic where the spiritual narcissist is seen as the enlightened guru, and others are positioned as less knowledgeable seekers. This dynamic allows the narcissist to maintain control, manipulate others, and avoid scrutiny or criticism.
  • the mystique acts as a shield, protecting the narcissist from having to reveal their true self or confront their flaws and insecurities. By keeping others at arm’s length with their enigmatic persona, they can avoid vulnerability and maintain their illusion of perfection.

The comparison of a magician captivating an audience with their tricks illustrates this behavior. Akin to the magician who leaves everyone in admiration of their seemingly supernatural abilities, spiritual narcissists use their aura of mystique to mesmerize and control those around them.

However, it’s essential to remember that this mystique is just a facade. Behind the mask of spiritual wisdom and intrigue lies an insecure individual, craving validation and fearing exposure.

Recognizing this fact is another step in dealing with spiritual narcissists effectively. It allows one to see through their illusions and set appropriate boundaries, protecting oneself from potential manipulation or emotional harm.

#7 The Absence of Genuine Spiritual Growth

Despite their grand claims and ostentatious displays of spirituality, spiritual narcissists generally exhibit a glaring absence of genuine spiritual growth.

Their approach to spirituality is more about maintaining an image of enlightenment rather than starting on a journey of authentic self-improvement and transformation.

This lack of genuine spiritual growth becomes evident in various ways.

For instance, they might show signs of powerlessness or unbelief. These individuals may also exhibit prayerlessness and a lack of spiritual perception – indicative of a superficial and not deeply ingrained spirituality.

Similarly, they can display behaviors that hinder spiritual growth, such as partial submission and ignorance. This may mean cherry-picking aspects of spirituality that serve their ego and ignoring those that challenge them to change or grow.

Another common sign is a negligible spiritual or scriptural knowledge intake and a shallow relational time with a higher power or the Divine. Instead of engaging in meaningful spiritual practices, they might focus on appearing knowledgeable or enlightened to others.

Spiritual narcissists may also fail to address character flaws or weaknesses that impede their spiritual growth. They may resist introspection and self-improvement, preferring to maintain their illusion of perfection.

Final Thoughts

Spiritual narcissists, with their intoxicating blend of charm and spiritual rhetoric, can be challenging to spot. However, armed with the knowledge of these seven signs, you’ll be better equipped to discern genuine spiritual guidance from narcissistic manipulation.

Important note –  true spirituality fosters empathy, humility, and personal growth – values that spiritual narcissists frequently overlook in pursuing self-aggrandizement. As you continue your spiritual journey, embrace those who inspire you to be better, not those who merely claim to be ‘better.’


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