Selfies and Narcissism/Psychopathy

Although this regards narcissistic and psychopathic traits rather than full blown disorders, it is still interesting.  The study found men who post more selfies score higher for narcissism and psychopathy.  What do you think?  I can think of one particular guy who does this, however, I never thought of him as having those traits.  However, he had also lost a lot of weight so maybe it is an exception to the rule.  I've also known someone who displays narcissistic and psychopathic traits, but he doesn't post many pictures.  There's hardly any selfies of him.
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  • That's an interesting article. I can't think of any men who post selfies but I can think of lots of girls.

    Another thought I have is that some people are more attractive, and they know it, so are drawn to taking pictures of themselves. So I wonder if everyone was that attractive, if they would all just do the same thing. Such as the example you gave of the guy who lost weight - suddenly you snap a picture and think, wow, I look good! Or the opposite, you take a picture and think omg, delete, and then your the type who wouldn't post anything. So an attractive person would have to be extra aware and mature not go down this path I would think. Ok those are just some ramblings going on in my head :) 

  • What does the study say about women ? For some people it seems to be an addiction, they will post like 10+ selfies a day on facebook. I don't like it when women post in suggestive ways to get validation.

    Some women are not that good looking, but they repeatedly post pictures of themselves in extremely suggestive poses. And then they make comments to seek validation, what is troublesome is when older women who are 45+ are doing this sort of thing.
  • Well, Diane, I think there's still a lot of attractive people who don't post all that many selfies.  I connected the guy who lost weight with pride; he was happy to have overcome such a feat and wanted to spread his happiness.  Moreover, after having been overweight for so long I think it's natural to be a little positively preoccupied with appearance for awhile. 

    Women were not included in this particular study.  However, they make a point of saying they are more prone to self-objectification. 
  • That's pretty interesting. Yeah, narcissism was pretty obvious, but I didn't know they could even have psychopathic traits. Guys who post selfies are usually a bit (too) girly, especially the ones who edit them. But hey, technology has been taking over a lot.
  • You are probably right Blur92, I was just thinking out loud about my experiences with people I know on Facebook. A lot of the people I know that post a lot of selfies really are attractive. Also there is that story of Narcis (?) that looked into the still water and fell in love with his reflection - that makes me think of the person who loses weight and suddenly thinks wow!! at every picture they see of themselves. I would consider that kind of normal too after being overweight for a while. Then the whole question comes up of what is healthy narcissism and when does it become unhealthy?
  • I'd be really curious about women stats on that, I definitely know more females that do that then men. I personally can't stand taking pictures of myself or having them taken so I don't do it but I get the appeal.
    I wonder if this only relates to straight men, because I know that my gay friends post a lot of selfies. A lot. Of selfies.
  • @Diane, you're thinking of Narcissus.  I don't think I would connect the article with those who lose weight.  My example of the guy I know confused me because he never displayed narcissistic behavior.  I think it's good for him to be proud.  You ask a good question, though.  I suppose when it impinges on their mental health and/or general happiness.
  • I cannot stand looking at pictures of myself, I get disoriented and feel like I'm looking at a doppledanger or some other strange person who sort of looks like me. I could never understand why some people want to stare at snapshots of themselves all day like that, let alone post them out to others. Has your face really changed in the last 24 hours, or the last 2 or 3 hours that you need to keep all your Facebook connections up to date with what it looks like?

    I think part of it has to do with some people who simply cannot stand the thought that others are preoccupied with other things and not paying attention to them at all times - so they keep interrupting everyones news feeds with pictures of themselves to keep reminding you about them.
  • If I had a dollar for every narcissist that I've been around, I'd be a rich woman.  I seem to attract them by the ton.  
    It's totally understandable that a person who posts a lot of pictures of him or herself has some narcissism going on.  People like that kind of make me laugh because they believe their own hype.  It's really sad in a way.  I mean, it's ok and even necessary to have a healthy dose of self-esteem, but some people take it too far.
  • For me it sounds strange because I hate selfies, but I'm a totalyl narcissistic :P

    @DietOwl I believe woman posting selfies is different then man doing it. Men may wanna promote themselves while woman want to know how people rate their pictures. Of course this is only a general assumption and still greatly depends on the individual person.
  • Well, I do not want to mistake people who simply post a lot of pictures to be narcissists.  They would have to demonstrate other qualities as well in accordance with the DSM V to at least be potentially diagnosed.  I think it is important to draw a line between people who are proud or happy with the way they look and narcissism. 
  • Most of the people I know who do this are female and whilst it is acknowledged that most narcissists (with the full-blown disorder) are male, females are more narcissistic by nature anyway. There's nothing wrong with posting selfies, but when someone only ever posts selfies repeatedly and compulsively and not photos of anything else then you know there's a problem. Of course, modern technology and society are encouraging the whole "look at me" ideology and that's not healthy in my opinion.
  • @androl, there are a ton of unhealthy trends and habits modern technology encourage including the aforementioned.  Honestly, I think it contributes to not only narcissism but also depression, anxiety, and the like.  I cannot agree with you on females being more narcissistic by nature, though.  I think we're just accustomed to the term 'cockiness' which in many ways is no different than narcissism. 
  • I do agree there is a big difference between narcissism and full blown narcissistic personality disorder. There are a lot of narcissist type people out there, or people who do narcissistic things, but that does not mean they are narcissists in the sense of NPD. 

    What is funny about NPD is there is a huge dose of low self worth involved, which contributes to pumping up and hiding behind the mask. That's different from just narcissistic people who are really quite literally in love with a part of themselves, like their image in pictures.  
  • @blur92
    Females being more narcissistic is not my personal opinion, it's just a natural fact of life. Men defend themselves in a physical way, whereas women defend themselves in a mental/emotional way - that's the way nature intended it and, of course, (healthy) narcissism is about loving and defending the self.
  • @androl, the way in which defense is carried out, whether physical or emotional, has little difference with diagnosable narcissism.  Because men are more physical in fights does not mean they are not narcissistic.  Rather, they are simply more aggressive.
  • @blur92 I wasn't really referring to diagnosable narcissism (i.e. Narcissistic Personality Disorder) when I made that statement but was referring to narcissism in general, which is directly related. I didn't say that men are not narcissistic - everyone has narcissistic traits to some degree. Without them no-one would ever be able to defend themselves and that's the real point - being able to defend one's self. I've been studying narcissism for the last seven years and prior to that was in a relationship with a narcissist for twelve years.
  • Some teenagers become obbsessed with looking great on their selfies.
    They want their noses to look thiner, they want to have long and healthy hair,
    they want to be loose weight, they want to just look perfect on the outside,
    but hey that's not how life works. You can't concertrate on the outside of your look
    because it's only a "shell", you live in your mind and your thoughts make you the person
    you want to be and as soon as you'll release it you will tend to live differently and have
    a different outlook on life, really releasing this personally helped me a lot!
  • great post. i think that the whole selfies topic on Facebook can go either way. i know secure, professional people who post selfies for their own pleasure and i know others who post them for obvious applause and attention.  i personally don't post selfies because i tend to view them as "attention seeking". for me anyway. if i post a selfie, i'm probably going to want attention and enjoy it too much.  haha.  but because i want my self-worth to primarily come from "me", i refrain.  lots to think about. 
  • If a man posts an excessive amount of selfies, that's something to be alarmed about. A truly masculine kind of guy would be wary of doing something girls are known for doing. So perhaps, the propensity to take selfies could be an indicator of narcissism and psychopathy but there are other factors to consider too such as self-perception and how a person wants others to perceive him.
  • @xTinx, would not part of his narcissism then restrain him from posting more selfies?  If he notes that it is mostly a girl behavior and that he would be reflecting feminine behavior in doing so, then I would think that he would be discouraged in posting a lot of pictures.  Narcissists are self conscious and concerned about what other people think.  According to, they require constant admiration.  In consideration of that, they would avoid anything which potentially causes criticism or ridicule. 
  • I can relate to everyone else in this thread, as I haven't found myself men who would post selfies more than one or two times per month, but this doesn't necessarily mean that those men are less likely to score as high as the ones who post 50+ selfies per month. I personally think that Facebook is a very misleading indicator for this study, not because it isn't necessarily effective, but because some people don't spend that much time on Facebook and prefer to brag about whatever physical qualities they might possess either publicly or privately.
  • I think that the narcissism makes them believe that everyone wants to see the selfies. I know some people post too many selfies because they are looking for validation but I think narcissists post to say "Look at me, aren't i hot!". 

    I can't say I've ever posted a selfie - after all, I look exactly the same day in, day out. I also find excessive selfies really irritating and recently has a Facebook friend purge. All the funny and important stuff was getting pushed to the bottom by annoying selfies so I decided to unfirend once and for all. 
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