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Virtue Signalling

Among religious members, virtue signaling is pretty common and prevalent. The same could be said among groups of singles. If you combine the two together, virtue signaling becomes commonplace among single members of our church. Why do people do this? Partly because of insecurity, but mainly as an effort to make them more attractive or impressive in some fashion—although the opposite effect often occurs. In single church circles specifically, the aim is often to come across as more spiritual, caring, or sensitive in an effort to appear to be a “good catch” for a relationship. Virtue signaling often backfires when someone sees through it, as it often comes across as disingenuous and/or manipulative. “Humble bragging” is another phrase describing virtue signaling and it reveals insecure, prideful, and/or selfish motives in disguise.

So, what exactly is “virtue signaling”? It is, literally, making some kind of outer, noticeable words or gestures to somehow “signal” (demonstrate) one’s virtue. From the Urban Dictionary, virtue signaling is further defined and clarified as follows: “To take a conspicuous but essentially useless action ostensibly to support a good cause but actually to show off how much more moral you are than everybody else. Example:

Fred: I see George has changed his profile picture to show his support for refugees.