It’s New Year’s resolution season: The gyms are packed, there are lines waiting for the treadmills, and your social media feeds are most likely stacked with people posting their latest accomplishments in fitness.
If you think the Facebook friend who posts every sweaty mile of their workout routine before you’ve even had your morning coffee seems a little too into themselves, a new study shows you might be right.
Researchers from the Brunel University in London found that people who post frequently about their exercise routines are more likely to have narcissistic tendencies. The need for constant validation is the fuel to their workouts. That’s not passing judgement — most people need and deserve to feel validated, and if it encourages a healthier lifestyle, so be it — but the narcissistic component means that their flaunting of what they’ve got might not be as appreciated as they think. And as long as they’re raking in the likes, they have no idea not everyone’s loving it.
Psychology lecturer Dr. Tara Marshall, from Brunel University London, said:
“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 politely offer support while secretly disliking such egotistical displays. Greater awareness of how one’s status updates might be perceived by friends could help people to avoid topics that annoy more than they entertain.”
If you’re hitting the like button out of politeness and hoping they’ll get enough and lose interest, the opposite is probably happening: More likes encourage more bragging posts. If you hate seeing their every 5 a.m. 5K run, perhaps make it your own resolution to use your likes more sincerely.
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