How children's use of social media can increase narcissism

Wendy Behary, LCSW Psychotherapist and Author, explains how children's use of social media can increase narcissism in kids
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How children's use of social media can increase narcissism

Every parent wants their child to be able to fit in and be a part of their own peer group and community. Every parent wants them to do that in the safest way possible and most parents, I think no parent wants their child to grow up to become a narcissist. The problem is now we’re dealing with the new age of social media, which is a wonderful thing and at times a dangerous thing and probably over the years, the recent talk has been of the fear of sexual predators on social media, so parents have developed ways to watch carefully to protect their child. But the missing element of danger there is the element of narcissism. What we can do on social media is somewhat an infinite number of possibilities to show yourself to the world, to show yourself in the most flattering and amazing ways. And photos and friends and numbers of friends and competing with numbers of friends and competing with who’s got the early decision into the college and who made the dance recital and who got the lead in the play and who looks the prettiest and where they bought the dress or the suit. It’s endless. It’s endless, so social media gives you that chance to continue to keep expanding your behind the scenes. You’re standing behind the scenes, so you’re not really communicating this, but the pages are communicating it for you very broadly, all about me. No one’s listening, no one’s interacting, no one’s expanding on their interest or appreciation for the other expect with wow and OMG. And so there’s a bit of a risk for developing a very self-absorbed quality of personality.

Wendy Behary, LCSW Psychotherapist and Author, explains how children's use of social media can increase narcissism in kids


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Wendy T. Behary, LCSW

Psychotherapist & Author

With 25 years post-graduate training and advanced level certifications, Wendy Behary is the founder and director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and The New Jersey Institute for Schema Therapy. She has been treating clients, training professionals and supervising psychotherapists for more than 20 years. Wendy is also on the faculty of the Cognitive Therapy Center and Schema Therapy Institute of New York, where she has trained and worked with Dr. Jeffrey Young since 1989. She is a founding fellow of The Academy of Cognitive Therapy (Dr. Aaron T. Beck). Wendy is also the President of the Executive Board of the International Society of Schema Therapy (ISST).

Wendy Behary has co-authored several chapters and articles on schema therapy and cognitive therapy. She is the author of the New Harbinger Publication (1st and upcoming 2nd edition) Disarming the Narcissist: Surviving and Thriving with the Self-Absorbed. Wendy has a specialty in treating narcissists and the people who live with and deal with them. As an author and an expert on the subject of narcissism, she is a contributing chapter author of several chapters on schema therapy for narcissism. She lectures both nationally and internationally to professional and general audiences on schema therapy, and the subject of narcissism, relationships, and dealing with difficult people. Her work with industry has included speaking engagements focused on interpersonal conflict resolution. Her private practice is primarily devoted to treating narcissists, partners/people dealing with them, and couples experiencing relationship problems. She is also an expert in coaching individuals in interviewing, public speaking, and interpersonal skills enhancement.

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