Priest Class #3: Entitlement (Spiritual Arrogance)

Spiritual Arrogance is defined as the self-exaggeration of one’s own importance. Also known as “Spiritual Narcissism,” the term “Spiritual Arrogance” is commonly used to describe some kind of ego vanity or conceit, consciously or unconsciously displayed by a person or group of people. It is an unhealthy self-absorption, due to an unbalanced sense of self-worth, entitlement, and extreme emotional defensiveness.

The Destructive Patterns of Spiritual Arrogance

  • The individual has an unrealistic sense of superiority – truly believing that they are better than others
  • Pursues power at all costs, lacking normal inhibitions in this pursuit
  • Devalues and exploits others without remorse
  • Lacks personal values and has a weak code of conduct
  • Has an inability to follow a consistent path, is easily bored; and often changes course
  • Is often a victim of a traumatic childhood, responsible for undercutting their true sense of self-esteem; therefore believes that he or she does not need to be considerate of others
  • They tend to be contrary to reality. Their self-inflated views tend to be extremely exaggerated, and they perceive themselves to be unique and special people

The 7 Main Patterns Emotional Patterns of Spiritual Arrogance

  • Shamelessness: Shame is the feeling that lurks beneath all of the unhealthy patterns of an individual expressing Spiritual Arrogance; along with the inability to process shame in healthy ways.
  • Magical Thinking: A person with Spiritual Arrogance sees themself as being perfect, using distortion and illusion (known as “Magical Thinking”). They also use “projection” as a survival mechanism, and continually dump “shame” onto others.
  • Arrogance: A person with Spiritual Arrogance who is feeling “deflated,” may re-inflate them self by diminishing, debasing, or degrading somebody else.
  • Envy: A person with Spiritual Arrogance may secure a sense of superiority in the face of another person’s ability by using contempt to minimize the other person.
  • Entitlement: Because they consider themselves to be special, a person with Spiritual Arrogance holds “unreasonable expectations of particularly favorable treatment and automatic compliance.” Failure to comply – is considered an attack on their superiority, and the perpetrator is considered an “awkward” or “difficult” person. Defiance of their will is a injury that can trigger narcissistic rage
  • Exploitation: This can take many forms, but always involves the exploitation of others without regard for their feelings or interests. Often the victim is in a subservient position, where resistance would be difficult or even impossible. Sometimes the “subservience” is not so much real, as it is “assumed.”
  • Bad Boundaries: A person with Spiritual Arrogance does not recognize that they have boundaries, and that others are separate and are not extensions of themselves. Others either exist to meet their needs or may as well not exist at all. In the mind of a person with Spiritual Arrogance, there is no boundary between them self and others.

Class Homework – Life Problem #3

As a priest – you will be faced with the opportunity to council others and help transform their lives for the better – Please discuss the following:

A student comes to you with the following problem

Student A believes that they are better than the other students in their group  –

  • What would you do to help them resolve their differences and create trust?
  • How can this problem affect themselves and others?
  • What will be the benefits of the resolution
  • What will be the outcome of not resolving the problem?