Spotting a Twitter Narcissist and How Not to Become One


As you become involved in the social media scene, you’ll almost certainly encounter what has been coined as ‘social media narcissism’.  It’s derived from what is more commonly termed Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) described by the psychiatrists’ Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or DSM) as “a pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration, and a lack of empathy.”

Narcissists (NPD people) have a “big personality” that is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power and prestige. Everyone has some need for attention, but NPD people are pathologically obsessed with it and for many, social media is the perfect breeding ground for them. Recognition and awareness of this destructive, yet common, disorder in the social media scene can save you intense pain and grief.

Social media narcissism is very real and can be a negative influence on your personal brand if left unchecked. As you become more involved on Twitter, you’ll almost certainly encounter it, along with those Internet trolls who like nothing more than the opportunity to criticize others online (and most likely offline too).  It will probably happen to you too; that moment of complete ego-driven mania, fueled by having achieved a certain number of followers. One minute you may be tweeting about the importance of sharing and the next you’re so seduced by all the responses and comments surrounding your wonderful Twitter stream that you begin to feel like the new messiah!

Stop!  This is your red light; your signal to take a reality check and come back down to earth. Social media narcissists are for the most part shallow and volatile.  They take far more than they give out on their platforms and it really isn’t worth investing your time on them. Participating in the world of the trolls and narcissists will only cause you setbacks on your road to personal branding success.



  1. James Blom · February 24, 2013

    Always a great read with astute observations SJ.

  2. Michele Price (@prosperitygal) · February 24, 2013

    Love your worm and yes we have all had out run in with a few “divas” online. My advice, run the opposite direction so fast you need a gallon of gatorade.

  3. melina · February 25, 2013

    Tim Wilson the I.p.a guy is sadly one of many in the media…

    Really sad condition..

  4. Our Man in Montreal (@OurManinMTL) · February 26, 2013

    We are trying to solve the problem with — its a pay it forward campaign to help others be successful.

  5. Four Hens and a Rooster · February 28, 2013

    I really, really love your site design 🙂 Back to business – I know way too many of these people and you’re right.. they will suck your energy dry. They seem innocent enough to the regular bystander but get to know them and it’s a constant me, me, me battle.

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