Beware the narcissists lurking in social networking sites

Narcissists are people who focus entirely on themselves; they also believe everyone else should focus their attention on them as well…! They are attention seekers who rarely develop any long-term relationships or any deep and meaningful relationships. The trouble is, they are frequently successful.

Narcissists tend to be likeable, friendly and easy to get on with; often they are fun to be with. But it is all a sham – in reality they are only behaving like this in order to get your attention and fuel their addiction for being seen as wonderful. For some people this is in fact a diagnosed personality disorder that has been linked to being abused in childhood.

Whatever the cause, narcissists lead to problems for the rest of us – in essence they “lead us up the garden path”. Their success and apparent likeability makes us perceive them as leaders, people we should follow. So, we stick to them for a while, only to end up being let down at some stage in the future when we realise they are only doing what they do for themselves.

And now here comes another problem – a new study on narcissism and social networking sites has found they appear online in abundance. Facebook, it seems, is littered with narcissists; they have loads of friends, appear hugely successful and seem to be leaders in their field.

But the new research shows we need to take a more in-depth look at what they say online. Rather than superficially assessing these people from their profiles, look at the grammar. You will find a preponderance of personal pronouns and self-congratulatory statements in the narcissists online. In fact, it seems they “give the game away” more easily on the Internet than they might do in person.

Here’s another test – are they avid online social networkers? Do they appear to be constantly online, forever commenting and contributing? If so, the new research says, they are more likely to be narcissitic – and if that’s the case they could end up being more of a diversion to your online success than a help. You have been warned….!

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