The soul is generally defined by many as the life force of humans. It can also be defined as our personhood–what makes us who we are. In the religious world, the soul is also considered immortal or eternal. So what happens when we do not guard our soul? When our very being is sold out to such damaging behavior as narcissism? More specifically, what happens to the soul of a narcissist?
To talk about what happens to the soul of a narcissist, experts believe narcissists are damaged to their core by extreme abuse and/or neglect experienced in early childhood. They continue on a downward spiral that eats away at their soul as life goes on. And for those who believe in Heaven or Hell, the narcissist most certainly won’t make it to Heaven after elevating himself above God throughout his life in order to be perceived by all as the greatest.
Let’s take a look at what research and experience showed me regarding the soul issues of a narcissist.
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Does a Narcissist Have a Soul?
This would seem to be a difficult question to answer because we cannot look at the soul as we can a physical part of the body. But there are some things we can see as exhibited in the behavior of narcissists. And once you start looking deeper, you realize that it really isn’t so hard to answer at all.
Based on the definition above, the narcissist does indeed have a soul that is attached to his body and determines his actions and words. Maybe the bigger question is whether the soul of the narcissist is possessed by demons and how does it affect his eternal standing.
Many people believe narcissists are demon possessed because the behavior and characteristics of narcissists worldwide and throughout time has been remarkably the same. The same excuses, lies, gaslighting, denial, trickery, and underhanded schemes play out to the victims of narcissism. Even the vocabulary they use is eerily similar.
What could make their behavior so incredibly similar regardless of history or location? The answer that most people have to this baffling question is that it must be a certain demon that possesses them.
I am not prepared to say this is definitely the case, although it is an intriguing concept. I would definitely agree that it is within the realm of possibility. But, I do not have the ability to say yay or nay. I wrote an article about narcissists and demon possession that you can check out here.
What I do know is that many have reported their narcissists taking on demon-like characteristics: evil and dark eyes that stare through you, odd voices coming out of them, and superhuman strength. I experienced some scary similar things with my ex, but nothing that I could definitely attribute to demon possession.
*Note: For the best resources on understanding and dealing with religious narcissism, click here!
All this is to say that narcissists definitely have a soul. If you are a human and alive, you have a soul. But it is what you do with your soul, who you let influence your soul, and your heart that determine what happens with your soul in eternity. James 5:19-20 says, “19 My brothers and sisters, if anyone among you strays from the truth and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that the one who has turned a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.”
Are Narcissists Lost Souls?
Narcissists are indeed lost souls. While there is believed to be a genetic component to narcissism, the more prevalent belief maintains that narcissism originates when young children are severely abused and/or neglected by their parent(s). Their souls become lost as they feel such depth of shame that they can no longer stay in touch with their inner being.
As they get older, they learn ways to keep their true inner self beyond sight of those they associate with. They lie, cheat, steal, gaslight, manipulate, blame shift, and many more things in order to keep people from seeing their true self and call them out. At the same time, they try to make themselves seem to be honorable and above board. Because most of us generally trust people, we never see it coming when narcissists start playing mind games on us.
The narcissist is constantly looking for ways to advance themselves without anyone realizing that it cost them their very soul. For this reason, it may very well be that the narcissist never comes to a point of honesty with him/herself. They can’t even be honest with God. I don’t understand this since the narcissist must acknowledge that God is omniscient. Therefore, He must know the narcissist as s/he is.
In my case, my ex-husband actually seemed to be trying to fool himself into being a great Christian so he could fool God. He did succeed in fooling friends along the way. But I guess he doesn’t realize he can’t fool God. He didn’t fool the counselors, (most) church leaders, lawyers, judges, mediators, or any other authorities who were involved in our counseling/divorce.
Can You Have a Soul-tie With a Narcissist?
Because we know that the soul of a narcissist is in a dangerous place, what can happen if you are in relationship with a narcissist? Can you have a soul-tie with a narcissist? Does it put your soul–your being–at risk?
First, let’s clarify what a soul-tie is. A soul-tie occurs when two people form an unusually strong bond between each other. The two most common ways this happens is from getting married and/or having and intimate physical relationship.
So, yes, you can have a soul-tie with a narcissist. But it can be one-sided. S/he may say the right words to make it seem like a mutual soul-tie. It is much more likely that it is one-sided. Narcissists cannot truly connect with anyone outside of themselves. But that does not mean you don’t feel permanently and deeply connected to them. Your healthy soul did not understand what it was attaching to.
Having a soul-tie with a narcissist can be incredibly damaging, especially in a long-term relationship. It does put your emotional health at risk, so it is not wise to remain attached to the narcissist. But it won’t destroy your soul and cause it to be like the soul of the narcissist. It can and likely will crush your spirit over time.
Removing a Soul-tie With a Narcissist
So, if you find yourself in this position, how do you remove the soul-tie? It is hard to just walk away as though it never existed. You gave that person so much of yourself. The first thing you must do is find a counselor that understands narcissism. You would need to do this even without a soul-tie. Narcissists literally suck the life out of you.
You must learn to heal in a way that prevents them from still taking from you for years to come. That is such a tricky thing to accomplish when they have intertwined their life with yours. Your reality is altered in such a way that it is hard to figure out how to emerge in a healthy way. You need a counselor that can safely guide you out of that.
You likely may need lawyers and a court system to help you as well. And you will need to follow the rule that whoever helps you through this process needs to be experienced in narcissism. If you follow that one rule, you will be amazed at how different the outcome will be.
What Has Already Happened to The Soul of a Narcissist?
While we have been speaking about what happens to the soul of a narcissist in the present tense because of how it affects us, I did some research into what has already happened to the soul of the narcissist. What has made them so closed down to relating in a healthy way?
The narcissist’s soul was squelched in their first years of life. It didn’t have a chance. Whether that was by genetics or neglect/abuse, they were not able to develop their being. They felt the deep shame of who they were. The scale of shame made them so unwilling to put themselves “out there” that they had to develop an alternate reality. And that alternate reality is what helped them survive the rest of their childhood.
As they get older, they become so attached to that alternate reality (or maybe mask is a more descriptive word) that they hold onto it for dear life. And so their life continues. They hold on to what they want to be seen as, denying their actual being even to themselves. BUT––they know it’s still there. And they still feel that shame. All the time.
It is this deep-rooted existence that prevents them from healing. There were a couple of times our counselors started to get my ex-husband to acknowledge some difficult things from his childhood. But the minute he felt his real self emerging, he would get very angry and close things off. We were hopeful so many times, just to be followed up with “back at square one.”
What Will Happen to the Soul of a Narcissist?
Now that we have covered what happens to the soul of a narcissist in the present and past, let’s take a look at what the future of the narcissist’s soul looks like.
This is actually the scary one, especially in the Christian world, where what you do in your lifetime affects how you will spend eternity.
The Bible makes itself clear that those who do not turn from their wickedness will spend eternity in Hell. That is bad news for the narcissist because a change in their heart seems to be pretty much impossible. They have no ability to feel empathy. They only concentrate on what will further their own desires.
My Experience in Dealing With the Offenses of a Narcissist
Even though my ex proclaimed Christianity and was an elder in his former church for many years, if anyone approached him regarding a wrong, he would get angry and refuse to acknowledge the wrong they were speaking to him about. They had no ability to even have a conversation about it.
There was one exception to this dilemma. There were some people that he got a significant amount of narcissistic supply from. Flying monkeys is the narcissistic term for these people. They would do his bidding to get him his needed narcissistic supply, often without even realizing they were being used.
When one of these people approached him regarding a perceived wrong, he would engage with them in words of repentance and even Scripture. He would apologize and thank them for being such a good friend. Then he would be very careful next time to tweak the offense just enough that it wasn’t considered the same offense. And he wouldn’t do it around those people. If they didn’t see the bad behavior again, it would appear that he had repented.
This is why I know narcissists are very intentional in their thoughts and actions. They know exactly what they are doing because they have to be so careful to not get caught red handed by their supply. There are so many lies and details that they need to keep track of. And in my case, my ex could run circles around me in memory. My clarity was gone because of the years of gaslighting. His was amazingly clear as he kept on prodding.
Is There Any Hope for the Future Soul of the Narcissist?
Most counselors and professionals in the realm of narcissistic treatment say there is no cure for narcissism. They tell those that are in relationship with a narcissist that the only way to become emotionally healthy is to leave the narcissist and go no contact. For as long as you are in contact with a narcissist, they will continue to gaslight, lie, blameshift, and manipulate you.
This does not leave much hope for what happens to the soul of a narcissist as they approach the end of their life. Can God work a miracle? Of course. But the narcissist would have to want that. And often they can’t come to terms with their life enough to do that. They are so buried.
This fact has made me feel sorry for my ex more than anything. As frustrating as life was and still is with him (we are still in contact because he has occasional visitation with one of his sons), I have learned how to keep myself and my son emotionally healthy while dealing with him. The manipulation still occurs, but he has lost the power to keep us under his thumb. I was so incredibly blessed to have more support through my experience than I could have ever asked for.
How My Narcissist Ex Can Continue in Wickedness While Professing Christianity
He, on the other hand, has left his former life behind. Most of his friends (a few flying monkeys followed along with him), neighbors, work associates, church, and children are no longer in his life. But he has created a new life. This time he chose people that he could isolate and control. And most have no clue. He married six days after our divorce papers came through. Recently, he went to a wedding of a friend of his new wife’s. I was told that he said the prayer for the ceremony because they think he is such a godly man. And as long as he quotes Scripture and puts on that act, it will work for him for all of the people who aren’t quite close enough to see what is really going on.
But he won’t fool God. No matter how much he thinks he can. And that is what makes his future such a scary prospect, probably more for those of us that know than even for himself. He has no capacity to evaluate his life and relationship to God in that way. Because that is just as unbearable as admitting that he has been wearing a mask for the vast majority of his life.
Is There Anything we can do to Help Narcissists?
You’ll probably never get your narcissist to change their ways and become a new person. When you’re able to tie them down to what they have done, they will apologize, tell you they won’t do it again, then do it again to you with a twist to validate that they won’t do that specific thing to you again. It will be a lifetime of mindgames. You will never gain clarity.
The one thing that may change this scenario is to have a counselor guiding you through your relationship. But there is a problem with this. Their counselor may be able to get the narcissist to admit their wrongdoing if you can prove it through documentation or witnesses. The narcissist will likely apologize and promise to make things right. Then they’ll forget all about that counseling session. They are now scheming the next way to gaslight you.
You’ll never be free of the mindgames even if you can get a counselor to mediate. It will only be for one circumstance at a time. And that is just for the things that come up in counseling. You won’t be able to change the heart of a narcissist. And they will get tired of dealing with the counselors and walk away.
My ex went through 7 counselors. At the time of writing this article, he is under court ordered counseling to try to improve the relationship he has with his son. But since the week after the last court hearing he has been trying to end the counseling process. He has tried 3 times in the past 4 months. And the counselor is about to give him his wish because she is so frustrated with his lack of improvement and constant manipulation. Her whole office says there is nothing she can do.
Has a Narcissist Ever Found Healing?
Has there been a case where a narcissist was healed? I have done internet searches for over 10 years now. And I only found a couple. Both are questionable.
One is the case of Sam Vaknin, an Israeli writer who spent time in prison for fraud. He was required to get psychological testing done. Vaknin said he was borderline, schizoid, but predominantly Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
After prison, he moved to Macedonia and married Lidija Rangelovska. It has been a very interesting marriage. They both acknowledge Vaknin’s narcissism. According to Wikipedia, Vaknin believes narcissists have lost their “true self“, the core of their personality, which has been replaced by delusions of grandeur, a “false self“. Therefore, he believes, they cannot be healed, because they do not exist as real persons, only as reflections.”
So instead of healing, there is only acknowledgment and a plan between Vaknin and his wife to function with it. It is also notable that they have built a livelihood with his narcissistic issues.
The second case I know of is a couple from Australia. Steve and Kim Cooper’s marriage was in trouble. They went to counselors. Steve was diagnosed with narcissism. They were told that the only solution was to divorce and move on. But they refused. They also learned to live within a system that regulated the narcissism. They have also made a living from this diagnosis.
So, after looking at the results of both of these cases, it seems both couples had much to gain by embracing the narcissism. In both cases they openly admit that their life did not have a normal, happy ending. They are functioning through a very difficult diganosis that they have made to work for them. Neither couple has said their arrangement resembles a healthy relationship.
So, in light of all of this, what happens to the soul of a narcissist? Unfortunately, because it is damaged so badly and completely early in life, there doesn’t seem to be any documented proof that the soul can recover. The narcissist will likely go through the remainder of his/her life with a false self which allows them to continue to participate in society without excessive shame. It is the only way they believe they can survive.
If you liked this article, I think you will also love the following articles:
- Flying Monkeys Spying: Understanding and Dealing With It - September 21, 2023
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- 9 Types of Flying Monkeys:Know How to Deal With Each One - September 14, 2023