Let Their Words Do the Talking

Verbal cues to detect deception.

Reflected Selfies

A treasure trove for closet narcissists

A group of tourists who were standing in front of a famous restaurant, which I often frequent, located on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, France asked me to snap a souvenir photo. Several members of the group reviewed my handiwork and they were both surprised and amused to see that I had joined their group. I looked at the photo. There I stood alongside the group holding an iPad in front of my barely visible face, which is unacceptable by all means. The window of the restaurant reflected my image into the photograph. Voilà, the reflected selfie was born. Like most great discoveries, it was by accident.

Reflected selfies are ideal for closet narcissists. They allow people to immortalize themselves without resorting to the traditional, in-your-face selfies. Selfies are obnoxious and self-serving. Reflected selfies achieve the same goal but with style, class, and finesse. I spent the rest of my vacation motioning people a little bit to the right or a little bit to the left. Inch by inch I mastered the art of the reflected selfie.

The best platform to take reflected selfies is the iPad or tablet cameras because they don’t block your face when you take pictures. You can hold the iPad or tablet chest high and with a slight upward tilt, your face is unobstructed and clearly reflected off storefront windows, mirrors, or other shiny objects. The subject or subjects of the photograph block the reflection of the iPad or tablet, leaving only your smiling face nestled snuggly into the group photograph. The best part about using iPad or tablet cameras is that you can see the picture before it is snapped, allowing you to maneuver the group with a flick of a finger to the left or to the right to ensure that you become the central focus of the photograph.  

The reflected selfie is the ideal means for long-suffering, introverted narcissists to become the center of attention without drawing attention to themselves. Skill and talent is required to achieve the perfect reflected selfie. Anyone can take a selfie, but not everyone can create an imortalizing self reflection. Only a truly well-balanced, self-centered person can transform the crude selfie to a sophisticated reflected selfie off the front window of a fine art gallery. The next time you ask someone to take your picture, you should sing to yourself, “I’m so vain. I’m so vain. I probably think this picture is about me, don’t I, don’t I,” but you’d be wrong. It’s about me. Say cheese!

John R. "Jack" Schafer, Ph.D., earned his degree in psychology from Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, California and served as a behavioral analyst for the FBI.

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