What does watching a reality show say about you?

What does watching a reality show say about you? Photo of woman applying lipstick in a mirrorYep – it’s Reality Show Time!

The Apprentice, Pop Idol, The X Factor, I’m a Celebrity…, Project Catwalk, Katie & Peter, Big Brother, Life of Grime, Any Dream will Do, Bake Off, First Dates, The Only Way is Essex, Judge Grinder…

And what can we say about the people who actually take part in these programmes?

Ahem, Grand Designs…

Let’s not even go there!!

What does watching a reality show say about you? Photo of Kevin McCloud and Lysette Offley laying a piano duetThough in our defence, we did GD to support our architect, rather than for ourselves…

Your typical reality show viewer

Psychologists tell us that people who watch more reality TV shows have more narcissistic personalities!

They say that these shows attract people with more vain and narcissistic traits; who look out for and feel more affinity with characters similar to themselves and the more of the programs they watch, the more normal narcissistic behaviour seems.

It is also thought that reality shows could be making people more narcissistic.

And it’s not just reality TV, people who watch more sports – political talk shows and thrillers fall into the same category.

What does watching a reality show say about you? Photo of narcissus flowerPeople who watch news programs however, tend to score lower on the narcissistic scale.

Phew! I’m all right then!

Maybe the sort of people who watch the news are more interested in other people and what’s going on around them in the world, than their narcissistic friends.

We’ve been aware for a long time that our youngsters are becoming more narcissistic. Indeed, they seem quite proud of the fact, and to identify them, all you have to do is ask! They’ll be very quick to admit it!

But what’s the fuss about? Who cares if we are becoming more narcissistic as a society?

Well, I do, for one!

What does watching a reality show say about you? - image of choice between me and youSo much of our media is encouraging self-interest at the expense of other people’s well-being. It all seems to be about focusing on yourself rather than your community. And we know that a lot of dysfunctional thinking and behaviour, as well as negative emotions and a poorer experience of life can come out of spending too much time focusing inwards with rather than outwards.

What does watching a reality show say about you? Image of road sign to you, me or we20 years of teaching in classrooms taught me that no matter what personal challenges I was experiencing, the moment I walked into a classroom, and until the end of the school day, my focus, quite naturally being on and with 30 other people at a time, meant that I wasn’t ruminating on my own problems.

And that’s a good thing. Ask any depressed person where their focus is. That should tell you something.

We are social animals. We are hardwired to be with other people, not in our own individual, self-absorbed bubbles.

It’ll come to no good, I tell you.

You have been warned!



Oh go on! You know you want to… Leave a comment and tell me if you agree… or not…


Do you think narcissism’s OK?

Maybe you agree with Dr Nigel Barber that social media is partly to blame? Read his article “Is Narcissism All Bad?”


Is there such a thing as healthy narcissism, do you think?

Read Elizabeth Lunbeck’s article, “5 Things You Didn’t Know About Healthy Narcissism


You’re so vain – Carly Simon

I bet you think this song is about you. Don’t you? Don’t you?




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About the author

Lysette Offley


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