Why People Who Share Post-Workout Selfies May Have Psychological Problems

Recently, Brunel University released a study which shows that people who regularly share what they eat and how intensely they exercise, are more likely to be narcissists.

The definition of a narcissist is someone who has an excessive interest in themselves while lacking empathy for those around them. People who fall under the narcissistic category are generally described as arrogant, self-centered, manipulative, or demanding.  

While there are multiple ways of spotting a narcissist, certain behavior on social media can be a telltale sign of those who are narcissistic, and likely have low self-esteem and need validation.

Starting in 2015, a group of psychologists studied about 500 Facebook userswith the aim to discover how much time these users spend on social networks, what their primary reasons for posting were, and what sort of feedback their posts received.

Out of these users, 285 of them stated that their go-to network was Facebook, and on average they spent 1.7 hours a day on it.

Throughout the duration of the study, researchers used a personality model that they referred to as the “Big Five”. The personality model states how individuals will vary in terms of 5 notable traits which are:

Openness to New Experiences





The researchers then determined which traits directly related to each subject, then they asked the subjects what they posted about most often.  

Those who were more extroverted were found to mostly post about their social activities. Those who were open-minded most often posted intellectual based topics. And conscientious users typically shared updates about their kids.

But the flipside to everything, was the narcissists most often posted about their fitness and physical appearance. They posted not only to seek validation, but to also relay how important their physical fitness is to them. They also tended to brag about their accomplishments, and continued to do so because of the response they would receive.

One researcher pointed out, “people may like and comment on a friend’s achievement-related updates to show support, but may secretly dislike such displays of hubris.”

Another interesting find in the study was how those with low self-esteem were more likely to over-post regarding their significant other.  

“Considering that people with low self-esteem tend to be more chronically fearful of losing their romantic partner, these people are more likely to post relationship-relevant information on Facebook, on the days when they’re feeling insecure,” The researcher noted, “it is reasonable to state that people with low self-esteem tend to update about their partner when their relationship feels threatened”.

Narcissism is often based on a fear of failing or showing weakness, which is why they tend to focus on themselves – it’s a way for them to prove themselves as the best, in order to overcome their insecurities.  

There are ways to spot narcissists on social media and here are a few:

They post regularly but never comment on anyone else’s posts

They only like comments made on their post if they are appreciative of them

They post a lot of selfies, especially with Snapchat filters

They only post self-promoting content

They would post anything to gain attention and will do so very bluntly

What do you guys think of the study? Do you agree with their thoughts on narcissists and social media? Have you experienced a narcissist on social media?

h/t: The Hearty Soul

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