Instagram is a narcissist’s dream — here are 7 signs you’ve found one

They're not that hard to spot.

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They’re not that hard to spot.
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baranq/Shutterstock

According to a recent study, narcissists tend to follow other narcissists on Instagram.

Generally, says the study, which will be published in a forthcoming issue of the journal Computers in Human Behavior, we see Instagram users who post selfies and “groupies” as more narcissistic than people who post photos taken by others. But when certain types of narcissists see selfies and groupies, they evaluate the posters in a more positive light.

That’s just one of a series of habits scientists have documented among narcissistic Instagram users in the last few years. Below, we’ve rounded up some of those key behaviors.


‘Grandiose’ narcissists post photos of their progress toward health and fitness goals

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A 2016 study published in the journal Social Networking recruited Instagram users under age 26 and had them complete the Five Factor Narcissism Inventory.

Results showed that “grandiose” narcissists – who are typically extroverted and attention-seeking – are more likely to post photos emphasizing their physical appearance. Specifically, they post photos highlighting their progress toward health and fitness goals.


‘Vulnerable’ narcissists request followers

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Wikimedia Commons

That same 2016 study found “vulnerable” narcissists – who are typically more introverted and hypersensitive – are more likely than others to request followers on Instagram. For example, they might post “#followforfollow.”


Narcissists use Instagram to look cool

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Rich Fury/Getty Images)

Narcissists use Instagram primarily to look cool. That’s according to a 2016 study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior. For the study, 239 undergrads who were active Instagram were measured on the Hypersensitive Narcissism Scale and asked about their motivations for using Instagram.

The authors write: “Narcissists can post and manipulate specific photos to make themselves and their lives appear to be a certain way. Instagram appeals to narcissists, because many interactions on it are ‘surfacy’ or ‘shallow.'”


Narcissists spend a lot of time editing photos

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Flickr/Robin Taylor

The same 2016 study in Computers and Human Behavior found narcissists also tend to spend a lot of time editing photos before posting them to Instagram.


Narcissists post more selfies and update their profile picture often

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Thomson Reuters

For a 2016 study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, researchers recruited 212 active Instagram users in Korea and had them complete the Narcissistic Personality Inventory.

Results showed that narcissists were more likely to post selfies and updated their profile picture often than less narcissistic individuals.


Narcissists think they look great in their profile pictures

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Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

The 2016 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found narcissists were also more likely to rate their profile pictures as physically attractive.


Narcissists spend more time on Instagram

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garryknight/Flickr

Finally, that 2016 study published in Personality and Individual Differences found narcissists generally spend more time on Instagram.