If you talk about yourself constantly, you might not necessarily be a textbook narcissist, a new study shows. However, you’re still really annoying.
One might assume that the personality trait of narcissism, which is an “excessive concern for oneself with or without exaggerated feelings of self-importance” as defined by Merriam Webster, goes hand in hand with excessive use of words like “I” and “we.”
However, a study published last week in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology argues that frequent use of “I” and “me” in conversation is not a sign of ego-centrism at all. Continuing pervious research from the 1980s, the new study tested approximately 5,000 participants worldwide by having them take a series of communication tests designed to measure their use of the pronouns “I” and “me.” In addition, the subjects filled out personality questionnaires that tried to measure their ego-centrism.
Results showed that a person’s focus on themselves was not necessarily portrayed in their speech patterns.
Do you try to avoid friends and lovers who might be a little too into themselves? Well, then you shouldn’t be on the lookout not for “I” and “me” in a person’s conversation, but rather excessive self- laudatory speech, says U. of Arizona doctoral student Angela Carey, one of the study’s authors.