• Andy Paulucio

Selfies: What Do They Say About You?

Updated: Apr 10

Selfies convey information that you might not be able to pick up at first glance. People often want to capture an instant through selfies without realizing they give away a subtle cue about themselves. The key to catching these cues on selfies, for instance, in dating app profiles, is knowing what to look for. In order to do this, you must pay attention to details.

Let's begin by understanding what a selfie is.

A selfie is a picture taken by the same person in it, usually showcasing their face or standing in front of a mirror. It is one of the most common tools among people who want to show off their best angle. In doing so, they are unawarely transmitting hints of self-admiration.

As you may find in multiple sources, the matter in question with individuals who take many selfies is that they often convey a narcissistic personality and a psychopathic disorder in some severe cases.

Does that mean that anyone who takes selfies is narcissistic, heading towards the path of psychopathy? Not necessarily. We are all narcissistic to some extent. However, selfies may serve as an indicator that reveals much about an individual's state of mind. But before jumping to conclusions, we need to take context into account. For instance, let's say someone decided to open an account on a dating app, but does not have any recent pictures of themselves, so they take a couple of selfies to display in their profile. In another instance, let's say someone who takes selfies for the sake of vanity on a daily basis. The context is entirely different in the two cases just mentioned.

So what should you be on the lookout for? Keep in mind that this is not an absolute rule, but a good indicator of a potential above-average narcissism is when a profile exceeds one selfie in a repertoire of three pictures or less. Or when it exceeds two selfies in a repertoire of four pictures or more.

Selfies with filters.

Filters are features added to a picture with two functions, enhance or conceal.

Concealing imperfections (e.g., wrinkles, pores, or pimples) or/and enhancing lacking attributes (e.g., skin tone or skin smoothness) are, in its essence, acts of deceit. After all, a filter is a layer that differentiates between what is and what would ideally be.

Individuals who apply filters in their selfies indicate a concern about how others perceive their self-image, thus conveying high esteem for superficial qualities and vanity.

Selfies with shades.

A famous quote attributed to William Shakespeare says, "windows are the eyes to the soul."

There might be some truth to that.

There is something mystical about the eyes that reveal much about a person.

How we establish eye contact is a form of nonverbal communication that may have more than one connotation. For instance, firm eye contact may transmit confidence, but the opposite is true when the lack thereof.

Thus, concealing eyes in a selfie as the best representation of oneself by wearing shades could indicate a shady personality that may convey a likeness of being untrustworthy, deceptive, or elusive.

Selfies with a smirk.

The smirk characterized as being a half-smile has a strongly negative connotation. It usually projects a self-conceited attitude.

Individuals who take this type of selfie may try to convey a self-image of "confident" or "cool." However, the outcome is far from that.

Selfies with smirks are aggravated when wearing shades.

Smirks may also indicate that individuals are diverting attention away from their insecurities and vulnerabilities by concealing them through a scorning gesture.

Selfies with a funny face.

A funny face would be characterized as any unusual gesture made with the mouth and face with the intention to come off as funny or cute (e.g., duck face, sticking tongue out, or fish-face).

Selfies with these gestures might indicate that the individual has a playful (cunning) personality.

In some instances, projecting a goofy personality through selfies may also indicate emotional immaturity.

Head position in selfies.

The position of the head conveys subtle cues that you may not want to miss out on keeping an eye for.

For instance, a head tilt to the side, exposing the neck, conveys submissiveness. The neck is a fragile part of the human body; thus, exposing it sends out a message of docility.

A slight downward head tilt may also convey submissiveness or, in some cases, a response to feeling intimidated or insecure.

On the other hand, a slight upward head tilt may project confidence and a dominant attitude.

Tilting the head upwards too much may convey arrogance because the individual would need to look down to meet an adequate eyeline.

There are always exceptions to the rule, so it is crucial to consider the context before making any assumptions.

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