March 9, 2018 / Modified mar 9, 2018 3:42 p.m.

Self-Centered People Could be Secretly Depressed, Study Suggests

UA psychologist links narcissism to negativity, anxiety and insecurity.

A study on narcissism in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology suggests people who use first-person singular pronouns, or "I-talk," are not always focused on their happy side.

Narcissism is described as having an excessive interest in one's self or personal appearance.

University of Arizona scientist Allison Tackman is the lead author of the study. She found that when someone frequently says "I," "me" or "my," it can mean a that person is hiding a series of negative emotions, including depression.

"If they recognize that we're using a lot of 'I-talk,' that could suggest, at least in our study, that there may be something that this person is dealing with, negative emotions," she said.

Tackman notes narcissists could be trying to deal with feelings of anxiety, insecurity, and sadness. She said people using "I-talk" are so focused on their own problems that they can't avoid talking about themselves in conversations with others.

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