Are Selfies a Sign of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

Selfies are everywhere you look on social media. They are pasted on your friends walls or perhaps even on your own. Studies are now being done among certain groups of people that are researching the link between taking selfies and the narcissistic personality traits. Does a connection exist between this new found photo opportunity and this disorder? Take a look below at the links found between men and these personality traits. 

Traits of a Narcissist
There are many traits connect to this type of personality. People dealing with this trait are ones who consider themselves very self sufficient. They do not believe they need help from anyone else, ever. They are very concerned with their appearance and also have strong leadership drives that will lead them to do anything to be in authority over others. They also tend to lead towards exhibitionism as they crave admiration from those around them.

Selfies and These Traits
When research has been conducted on these groups, it seems that those who took selfies the most were men who were exhibiting all of the signs except for that of self-sufficiency. For women, they were more focused on the admiration aspect of the photos and that is why they tend to post those selfies. 

Could selfies be a new illness that has come about with this wave of technology? Research is still out on that but one thing is for sure. There are all types who post selfies and they look like they are here to stay. 

Reference
Seidman, G., "What is the real link between selfies and narcissism?", Psychology Today,(Website).(2015)

  • 16 Commentsby Likes|Date
  • I have read this study before and it's very intriguing. First, let's define narcissism:

    "Narcissism is a preoccupation with oneself and how he or she is perceived by others. These people get gratitude or satisfaction from vanity and admiration from others."

    Hmmm... Taking in this definition, can we say that those who love taking selfies might be narcissists? Not all the time. Narcissism has other more symptoms like restricted understanding of other people's opinions, inability to take criticism, anger issues and refusal to take responsibility for one's actions. If the person has all these other symptoms, plus an addiction to taking selfies, then he might be narcissistic. 

    But in a way, social media and its high standards help make a person become a narcissist. I mean, just look around and you'll see pictures are edited to the point that you cannot even recognise the person anymore. They aim to take the perfect selfies, even taking pictures for hours just to post the perfect one on their account. And all to get comments and likes on their pictures. 

    Studies have found a link between Facebook use and narcissism already. Those who constantly update their status, upload their selfies and post quotes pertaining to their glorious abilities may probably have narcissistic tendencies. 
  • Interesting post, but I definitely don't think that for me there's any sort of hard proof that there's any link. Honestly, I think most of the people I have seen taking selfies are teenaged/early 20's girls, and I think that it's just one of those things where they're trying to find themselves and also trying to feel good about themselves - so I don't see the harm, really! :)
  • Eh. Is this based on hard scientific truths? Because the majority of the population likes to post selfies but that doesn't mean they're a narcissist, necessarily. Sometimes selfie-posting means you like to be in the moment and certain selfies have significance that are outside the realm of vanity. Some selfies have purpose.
  • I believe it is but the wave of it is more of a narcissistic trend rather than narcissism manifesting in individuals. The difference of that to me is that some who might not be naturally self absorbed could also find it entertaining to participate whereas those who have it more ingrained into their personalities will take the opportunity of it being a standard as a way to bask without getting too much notice for it .
  • There's nothing wrong with taking selfies but just like everything else in life, if you find yourself taking selfies all day long then the habit becomes an obsession and will eventually develop into a personality disorder. Maybe an expert here can tell us on average how many selfies per day border a Narcissistic Personality Disorder.   
  • @winniethepooh Your first paragraph outlines the people that post group photos of nights out, and then things get nasty when one friend decides she doesn't look good in the photo and asks for it to be taken down.

    I think selfies go hand in hand with "photos of my every meal and every coffee I order in starbucks". Everyone posts a photo of something they are really appreciating, or really need now and then, but anyone know those folks that post EVERY DAY, their meals and I don't mean culinary/gastronomic art, I mean "Lunch today, bowl of soup. With a spoon in it". this has to be a form of narcissism.

    Wasn't the planking phase similar?
  • There is a link between selfies and narcissism tendencies but with a significant margin of error. Meaning it's not true for all selfie-loving people. Others seem to post selfies just for fun without really taking to heart other people's opinions. The frequency of posting may need to be taken into consideration.



    There's this article in the DM site chronicling the life of a selfie-obsessed teen. She posts 15 selfies a day and feels bad when people hardly react to them. That's obviously a narcissist.
  • Selfies are fine once in a while. If you do it constantly, flooding your Facebook feed with pictures of you in every angle imaginable, and complaining to people that you are "ugly", then yes, that is a sign of a narcissistic personality disorder. I tend to avoid people like these, as they can be so annoying at times.
  • I don't think of selfies this way. I think that this is a bit of a stretch. For younger people selfies are a way to fit in with their peers. They see their peers posting selfies and they want to do the same to fit in.
  • It's an annoying media trend, but not a harmful one at all. And certainly, people with narcissistic personality traits are prone to get  pathologically obsessed with selfies, unlike teenagers playing dumb with selfies hungry for attention. I mean, for example, everyone like to keep clean their houses, but some people with OCD disorder
    are obsessed with the order and cleaning of their houses.
  • I think it is too easy to look too deeply into a natural trait or action.

    We all want to look successful, attractive, happy to other people.
    We can try to capture this in a photo of ourselves and make ourselves feel good by thinking other people are impressed by us.

    We feel more confident when we look good in a photo and all those 'likes' and positive comments boost the ego.

    Just a way of making us feel good :)
  • There's the cultural side of this question to consider: has social media and technology somehow influenced narcissistic behaviors? The selfie really has become a cultural social media event - everyone I know when we go out, takes them. We also call it the "traditional selfie" to document all of us out and gathered around each other. So I think if the selfies are done to gain attention or reassurance, then yes I would say there's an issue there - whether esteem or narcissism. But for fun or "we were here!" I think it's mainly harmless. 
  • I'm a little bit split on this question. On one hand, yes I think taking a lot of selfies does seem to point towards someone being self centered and narcissistic. On the other hand, the selfies is just a part of modern society and mainstream culture these days. So ultimately I think it comes down to the individual person. From my own personal experience those who tend to take a lot of selfies do tend to seem a bit more narcisstic than those that don't. 
  • I did read someone that taking a lot of selfies was some sort of disorder like that. I had to laugh because I take a lot too. I just take a lot because a lot of the times I don't like the ones I do take so I keep taking them until I get one I do like. I am really not sure but I hope not because I do that a lot. Not every day but I do. But I also love just taking pictures of a lot of other things too. *shrugs*
  • This is so intriguing ... Talk about food for thought.. Now I'll never take a selfie without questioning whether or not I'm a self-absorbed narcissist who finds gratification in vanity .. :0
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