We all feel pretty great after completing a kickass workout: Maybe you just dominated spin class, or you FINALLY got that yoga bind just right, and you know what? You’re feeling pretty proud of yourself. So, how do you celebrate? If your answer is, “Take a cue from these fitness Insta stars by snapping a pic and posting it on Facebook for the world to see,” you’re probably a narcissist. At least, according to science.
A new study from Brunel University London took an up close and personal look at 555 Facebook users who also participated in a Big Five personality trait test (which measures tendencies of extroversion, neuroticism, openness, agreeableness and conscientiousness), and the results were nothing short of fascinating.
The team’s findings suggested that those posting about their diets and exercise routines were far more likely to fall in the narcissistic camp, using these updates to get more likes and comments and thus fulfilling a need for validation and attention.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, people who frequently posted about their significant others were more likely to have low self-esteem, while those who posted about their kids were more conscientious.
Psychology lecturer Dr. Tara Marshall said that it’s important to realize the motive behind a post in order to respond accordingly. “Although our results suggest that narcissists’ bragging pays off because they receive more likes and comments to their status updates, it could be that their Facebook friends are secretly disliking such egotistical displays,” she reasons.
In short? Stop feeding the ego. “Greater awareness of how one’s status updates might be perceived by friends could help to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain.”
Considering these same posters were also the ones most likely to be (gasp!) unfriended, it’s definitely worth considering!
Are you guilty of oversharing your fitness deets? Tell us over @BritandCo!
(h/t Bustle, photos via Getty)