Do you have a friend on Facebook who’s always posting their workout routine? It can either be motivating or annoying. Most people would say those who constantly talk about their fitness are narcissists – and they’re probably right. At least according to a survey performed by researchers at Brunel University in London.
The study explained that Facebook users choose their posts according to their personality. As for people who tend to have a narcissistic personality, they talk about their achievements and this includes their achievements at the gym. Additionally, their status updates are mostly about their exercise routines and diet.
This suggests that they use the social media to broadcast the efforts they put into their appearance. What’s even worse is that posts where people show their bodies off get more likes than other types of posts. This feeds the cruel validation cycle that narcissists crave for.
As for people who don’t have high self-esteem, they post more about their loved ones, especially their boyfriends or girlfriends. The research took data from 555 users of the social media website who completed surveys that were about their personality trait.
Measuring Personality Traits
The research was performed by a group of psychologists who measured the participants’ narcissism and self-esteem. The Big Five traits were measured as well, which are:
- Openness: Adventurous and with creative minds
- Agreeableness: More cooperative, kinder, and more affectionate
- Extroversion: Outgoing and gaining energy when in social situations
- Neuroticism: Very moody, sad, and may be emotionally unstable
- Conscientiousness: High levels of being thoughtful
Dr. Tara Marshall, a psychology lecturer, however, said that the public may be a bit two-faced. Most people are willing to hit the “like” button and leaving comments to their updates. One reason for this is that Facebook friends are usually very polite in providing support for their friend who posts such an update. All the while, those likers may secretly dislike these egotistical exhibitions. As a result, the narcissists keep bragging because they feel that their bragging pays off. This is why some experts believe quitting Facebook or any social media can make one’s life better.
Narcissism is a personality disorder that makes a person feel that he/she is extremely important and is preoccupied with their very little success. Being a narcissistic can give one a belief that he/she is special and unique. It is possible that a narcissistic person will exploit other people and doesn’t display empathy. Jealousy and arrogance are common traits of a narcissist and being one can cause distress in life.