Have you heard of a spiritual narcissist, or maybe a religious narcissist? This is the type of narcissist who will act as if they are extremely religious or spiritual. They can be of any faith, or of any spiritual belief. And they are the ones who twist spirituality and religion around and don’t exactly give either a good name. Some people call this religious abuse.
What is religious abuse?
The official definition of religious abuse is as follows: Religious abuse is abuse administered under the guise of religion, including harassment or humiliation, which may result in psychological trauma. Religious abuse may also include misuse of religion for selfish, secular, or ideological ends such as the abuse of a clerical position.
5 warning signs of a spiritual narcissist
1. They Claim to Have Conversations with God
Just like any other narcissist, spiritual ones brag about their social connections. The difference between a typical narcissist and a spiritual one is that the religious type will literally claim that God speaks to them. For instance, if a narcissist gets a promotion, they’ll say that God (or their Higher Power or the Universe) chose them for it, or that God spoke to them about it personally. Or, if you have a big decision to make, they’ll claim that God told them you should do (whatever it is they want you to do).
2. They Judge You On God’s Behalf
A spiritual narcissist will judge you harshly and they’ll use their religious rules or text to show you that you’re wrong in some way, or to feel justified in their judgmental stance. And often, they will say that God told them to do it – or that they are God’s agent on earth, sent here to keep you from going to hell…or some version of that. They may also even claim that God (or their version of that) is punishing or challenging you for your bad choices or behavior.
3. They Talk About Love But Never Show It
Spiritual narcissists will preach love to you and to anyone else but they never ever show it – at least not without an ulterior motive. They also say that they have nothing but love, empathy, and compassion for anyone – but their actions make it clear that this is a delusion they hope you’ll believe. They will claim to love everyone, yet they are very judgemental and cruel anyway. In other words, they are hypocrites. They also are the type to throw toxic positivity statements at you when you are going through a hard time such as “it could always be worse” or “maybe if you weren’t so negative, this wouldn’t have happened” or “just get over it already.”
4. They Talk But Don’t Listen
Spiritual narcissists and typical ones always talk but are never the type to listen to you or to anyone. They truly like to hear the sound of their own voice and that is it. They are the only ones who believe that what they have to say is important and whatever you have to say is not. When they talk, they expect you to hear and mentally record every word. But when you talk, they’re openly not listening to you, or they’re pretending to listen but are only using your words to file away for later manipulation.
5. They Never Own Up To Their Mistakes
The fact that spiritual narcissists never own up to their mistakes is a big red flag. Don’t get me wrong here. No one likes to talk about their mistakes, of course. After all, admiring your mistakes can be embarrassing – but it makes you human as well. The difference is that you accept responsibility for your mistakes. Spiritual narcissists don’t. Any narcissist does not.
Another thing is those spiritual narcissists are into the dogma of either religion or spirituality and do not have anything with the true meaning behind it.
How do you deal with a spiritual or religious narcissist?
Narcissists are infamous for using religion to manipulate, control and absolutely dominate you through fear of what will happen to you if you don’t do what they want. But how are you supposed to deal with it? Start by watching this video, where I explain step by step how to deal with a religious narcissist.
In the video, you’ll also learn about how depression can be a side-effect of the CPTSD you get after experiencing a toxic relationship with a narcissist and dealing with the gaslighting, repeating discards, narcissistic rage and other manipulation tactics used by religious narcissists.
Angela Atkinson is a Certified Life Coach and the author of more than 20 books on narcissism, narcissistic abuse recovery and related topics. A recognized expert on narcissism and narcissistic personality disorder who has studied and written extensively on narcissistic relationships since 2006, Atkinson was inspired to begin her work as a result of having survived toxic relationships of her own.
Atkinson offers trauma-informed coaching and has certifications in life coaching, level 2 therapeutic model, CBT coaching, integrative wellness coaching, and NLP. She is a certified trauma support coach and certified family trauma professional. She also has a professional PTSD counseling certification. Her mission is to help those who have experienced the emotional and mental devastation that comes with narcissistic abuse in these incredibly toxic relationships to (re)discover their true selves, stop the gaslighting and manipulation and move forward into their genuine desires – into a life that is exactly what they choose for themselves.
Along with her solution-focused life coaching experience, Atkinson’s previous career in journalism and research helps her to offer both accurate and understandable information for survivors of abuse in a simple-to-understand way that helps to increase awareness in the narcissistic abuse recovery community. Atkinson founded QueenBeeing.com Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support, the SPANily Narcissistic Abuse Recovery Support Groups and the Life Makeover Academy. In her life coaching practice, Atkinson’s clients enjoy her personalized approach that allows and encourages them to become the best possible versions of themselves and to succeed in doing what they love most. She offers individual and group coaching for victims and survivors of narcissistic abuse at NarcissisticAbuseRecovery.Online and NarcissismSupportCoach.com.